Report: Vermont among least economically free states

FILE - Economic Freedom


By Bethany Blankley | The Center Square

Historically, economic freedom has been declining in North America, according to a new report published by the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute in partnership with Canada’s Fraser Institute.

However, its 2019 Economic Freedom of North America report indicates that several U.S. states are faring better.

The most economically free state in the U.S. is New Hampshire, followed by Florida, Tennessee, Virginia and Texas, according to the report.

The least economically free state is New York, followed by West Virginia, Alaska, Vermont and Oregon.

“As the size of government expands, less room is available for private choice,” the authors of the report conclude. “When the government taxes one person in order to give money to another, it separates individuals from the full benefits of their labor and reduces the real returns of such activity.

“When government owns what would otherwise be private enterprises and engages in more of what would otherwise be private investment, economic freedom is reduced,” they add. ““Policymakers should seize the chance to prioritize workers by lowering their tax burdens and level the private sector playing field with smart regulatory reforms that promote job creation and business investment.”

The report ranks every state and province in North America based on economic freedom, as measured by government spending, taxation, and labor market restrictions. The current rankings are based on data from 2017.

“Economically free states encourage and allow families and businesses to pursue economic prosperity,” the Ohio-based Buckeye Institute said in a statement accompanying the report. “Although governments can never ensure economic success for every citizen, policymakers can take meaningful steps to make success more likely.”

Andrew J. Kidd, Ph.D. , an economist with The Buckeye Institute’s Economic Research Center, said Ohio is one of the state’s that struggle with economic freedom.

“Ohio still falls well below the national average in providing a competitive, economically free environment for its citizens and businesses to build economic prosperity,” Kidd said. “The results of which we see in Ohio’s slower economic growth and higher unemployment.”

The institute argues that policymakers can improve the state’s economy by reigning in government spending, reducing “needless regulations,” and simplifying the state’s tax structure.

The Fraser Institute has measured economic freedom in every state and province in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for 15 years, “creating a comprehensive assessment of trends in economic freedom.” The Buckeye Institute and its Economic Research Center co-published the report for five years in a row.

12 thoughts on “Report: Vermont among least economically free states

  1. Freedom and prosperity in Vermont have become rare, along with a near-zero, real-growth Vermont economy for the past 20 years.

    Vermont having a STAGNANT population is absolutely great.

    Less people, means less destruction of the environment and other flora and fauna.

    Vermont has an aging population, which did have children, but many of them left Vermont for $$$$greener pastures, i.e., no future in Vermont.

    Vermont businesses left as well to escape excessive/oppressive rules and regulations and taxation and mandates.

    Younger families coming to Vermont to make a living is almost unheard off, i.e., no decent, steady, well-paying jobs, with benefits, are available, and the direct and indirect taxes are high, and the cost of living is high.

    Attracting older, retired, more-affluent people to Vermont is becoming rare, because they are scared away by excessive taxation (due to the Dem/Prog tax-the-rich mania), primarily instigated by Dem/Progs wanting to grow the state government more and more forever.

    The Vermont State government budget is about $6 BILLION PER YEAR

    The real remedy is to annually reduce the state budget by 3%, including the headcount by 3%, until it is about 50% of its present size, and to give back control (including health, education, energy, etc.) to local entities, and to have more open-ness in government, with public participation in planning and strategy meetings (no more closed-door meetings of any kind).

    Glasnost and Perestroika should finally arrive in Vermont.

  2. You are spot on Edward L :”..Vt. Digger won’t publish articles or comments that speak common sense and upright thinking when they go against the liberal doctrines.”. 100% Correct. I hope the editors there read the “competition” here….Digger is just a whitewash of all things hoisting a liberal/progressive/environmental position….yet they believe themselves to be “News in pursuit of truth”? That is funny. They routinely refuse to post many of replies…and they are not “nasty” or mean, just fact filled. Most of their reporters, (especially the environmenat one), are wet-behind-the-ears and fresh out of College Indoctrination Camps (cheap hires)….and that “the science is settled”. So, if the won’t allow our posts, it becomes more important to “vote” on posts there…they cannot ban us from should be embarrassing to Digger editors and writers (not), that the article they post is disliked by ratio’s of 10, 20 and even 30, 40 to 1 sometimes. and they still don’t get it! They may ban me (sometimes) because I no longer donate to them. Why would I. And the DANZIGER “cartoons”. They are horrible. Digger posts a FULL section of hate, hate, hate…. every day, non stop…in your face hate, with him. He is completely deranged. We’re not 🙂

    • Below is a comment that never saw the light of day on our new sex worker bill……

      So My, my, didn’t we just spend 4 years and how many hours in court trying a Senator? The out rage was rampant, even though the man was found innocent multiple times in court.

      So I’m wondering what the comments will be on this one?

      Notice this bill was brought up by a progressive, it’s no coincidence. So if the act of sex is reduced to same as making a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, how can somebody be prosecuted for crimes involving sex?

      Vermont should tax pornography, steep tax. It is the legalization of prostitution.

      What say the other law makers? Are they all excited about being the first in the nation again to pass a bill?

      OH, I know what this is really about, the state wants more money, they want to put the pimps out of business! The state will be the “protector” aka PIMP!…

      So Vermont wants control of all liquor, drug sales, gambling (lottery where you have zero chance of winning anything) and now prostitution. My my our aspirations are so honorable.

      I wonder, how many comments they had to delete about legalizing prostitution? OH, I mean sex workers bill of rights….we’ve lost our minds.

      • Again, the experiments by John Calhoun, reported in Edward Hall’s ‘The Hidden Dimension’, come to mind.

        One need only read the consenting commentary on the ‘Sex work decriminalization bill’ posted in VT Digger’s article to see the connection between the Digger comments and the breakdown of social norms from stress and overcrowding observed by Calhoun, and paraphrased below.

        “The results of these experiments are sufficiently startling to warrant a detailed description. Alone, they tell us a great deal about how organisms behave under different conditions of crowding, and they throw new light on how the social behavior that accompanies crowding can have significant physiological consequences… sex mores were disrupted, and pansexuality and sadism were endemic. Rearing the young became almost totally disorganized…social behavior of the males deteriorated, … social hierarchies were unstable, and territorial taboos were disregarded unless backed by force. The extremely high mortality rates of females unbalanced the sex ratio and thus exacerbated the situation of surviving females, who were even more harassed by males ….”

        Yes, prostitution is one of human-kinds oldest professions. And those who ignore that history are doomed to repeat it.

  3. As bad as it may seem, keep in mind that you can’t fool the ‘markets’ anymore than you can fool ‘mother nature’. A ‘correction’ is inevitable. The unfortunate circumstance to our current legislative extremism is that many people will suffer more than they otherwise might have, had they learned the lesson earlier. None the less, learn it we will.

    “In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other. I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the Builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another’s throats.“

    Benjamin Franklin’s Address at the Constitutional Convention

    • Amazing speech. It goes to prove we are not as smart as our fore fathers…..the content and substance. While getting your message across today in 140 characters or less is good, just as proverbs so eloquently does, it would also be good for our populace, self included to be more accustomed to writing like this.

  4. Its actually worse then reported. The taxes and regulations are driving out the people with the most brains, which means intellectual capital that leads growth is gone for good. — Its pervasive. Even the media, like Vt. Digger won’t publish articles or comments that speak common sense and upright thinking when they go against the liberal doctrines. Thus, economic prosperity and freedom are attacked on every level one can imagine.

  5. “Report: Vermont among least economically free states”

    It’s just a feature of being ruled by a leftist fascist government of flatlanders for the last 50 years…

  6. Vermont, Ideologically speaking we are slaves, beaten, austracizied and outcast if we do not conform, we can not go out and publically speak without fear. This can be physically witnessed from the last election by political signs or should I say their abscence.

    It is ok to love God, it is ok to love a traditional family, it is ok to love America.

    Certainly not the rage in Vermont these days, but then we think legalizing sex workers is the latest hip trend. Thankfully I’ve never been in the cool crowd.

  7. And policy makers want to further burden VT workers with the TCI. Montpelier is like a young child that is easily distracted from cleaning up it’s room. Renewable resources, climate change, and TCI are but just a few of it’s toys it got distracted with, instead of cleaning up the state economy. This of course, didn’t happen yesterday, last month or a year ago. It’s been going on for decades. The parent is a composite made of many past and current governors. VT hasn’t had many good parents. That’s why VT is in such poor economic times.

  8. Don’t look now, but tax-happy Vermont is showing signs of a significant economic down-turn. Since June, the VT Labor Force declined by 4600, overall employment declined 5200, and even Non-Farm Employment dropped by 2300. Furthermore, Vermont’s tax heavy education and healthcare systems are floundering while nearly forty percent of the Vermonters that do work do so in the government, education and healthcare sectors. And while national unemployment is down with rising wages and stable inflation, Vermont’s taxes are increasing, and its unemployed and unemployment rate are now ticking upward.

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