Freedom Rings – At Least In Some States

“Freedom” and “liberty” are common buzzwords in politics; uttered and heard with increasing frequency as each off-year and presidential election approaches. Every candidate – no matter the office being sought — supports “freedom” and “liberty”; and none would ever admit to acts that might diminish either one.

Unfortunately, a cold, hard analysis of the degree of freedom actually enjoyed by American citizens belies this highfalutin rhetoric. Americans are far less free than government officials admit; and citizens of many states are considerably less free than their compatriots elsewhere.

This is the situation revealed starkly in the latest study, Freedom in the 50 States, just released by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia. As explained by authors William Ruger and Jason Sorens, its purpose is to examine “state and local government intervention across a wide range of public policies, from income taxation to gun control, from homeschooling regulation to drug policy.” The picture of freedom the authors paints is not a pretty one for much of the United States.

The good news is that if you happen be a citizen of New Hampshire, South Dakota, Indiana, Idaho, or Missouri, you are – relatively speaking — far more free than if you have the misfortune to live in Maryland, Massachusetts, Hawaii, California, New York or New Jersey; states at the or near the bottom.

Because of its perversely high taxes and pervasive Nanny-state mentality, New York is ranked dead last in terms of economic freedom enjoyed by its citizens, and 48th based on personal freedom. New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, being the Empire State’s head cheerleader for enforcing restrictive mandates on everything from smoking and fatty foods to Second Amendment rights, probably will take a degree of personal pride in such a ranking, though he publicly would never admit such measures actually diminish freedom.

California, which in decades past was a magnet for individuals and companies seeking growth and opportunity, is now anything but “free.” Like New York, the Golden State continues to suffer an outflow of businesses and entrepreneurs as a result of high taxes and oppressive regulation.

New Hampshire, although surrounded by states that routinely, if not gleefully, take freedom from their citizens, remains – as it did in the 2009 biennial study – the most free state of all.

Georgia fares alright in the study — enjoying an overall ranking of 15th, but suffers a disappointing “personal freedom” rank of 31st. This low ranking is largely the result of restrictive legislation measures imposed in recent years by Republicans, who now control all levers of state power.

While there is not a complete correlation between the “freedom” scores awarded based on the Mercatus study, and the more political “red state/blue state” studies, there is a noticeable match. Most of the states in the bottom half of Freedom in the 50 States, for example, are among the “blue states,” traditionally voting Democratic.

Perhaps in anticipation that politicians in bottom-tier states would fault the Mercatus study, its authors included in the 83-page report an impressive and exhaustive listing and description of all variables considered. The report incorporates the full range of activities by citizens that reasonably might be considered to constitute indices of freedom, and that conversely are subject to regulation or prohibition by state governments.

Government spending and taxation obviously rank heavily in determining a state’s economic freedom; as do myriad regulatory mechanisms in place that restrict personal and business choices available to citizens. Importantly, however, the authors do not shy away from recognizing that such freedoms as the right to keep and bear arms, or to purchase and consume products such as alcoholic beverages or tobacco, also are part of the fabric of freedom devised so long ago by our Founding Fathers; but largely and sadly ignored by so many 21st Century state governors and representatives.

by Bob Barr — The Barr Code

71 comments Add your comment

Gerald West

June 27th, 2011
6:09 am

Bob, you need to reconsider “liberty”. It means that a person is free to conduct his life as he sees fit, so long as he does not impinge on the rights of others to do the same. Taxes to support government and society, and regulations that protect worker and consumer safety, do impinge somewhat on individual liberty. The all-time worse impingement on liberty is poverty, not taxes and regulations.

Any intelligent person knows that something is wrong with a survey indicating that the citizens of poor southern and western states have more “freedom” than citizens of prosperous northeastern states.

By your definition of liberty, Somalia is the freest nation in the world: it is a perfectly libertarian state with no government, rule by the gun, and millions of people “free” to starve when their crops fail.

Joel Edge

June 27th, 2011
6:19 am

I’ve only been to New Hampshire a couple of times during the nineties. I was impressed with the state and the people. An absence of signs plastered everywhere and some very laid-back people. The real culture-shock comes if you keep driving south and hit Massachusetts.

Eric

June 27th, 2011
7:23 am

I agree, Mr. Barr. I would add that our society, in general, has become incredibly legalistic and rules-oriented in just about every aspect of life. The 1970s were the last care-free moment in the U.S. Since then, people seem hellbent on putting up barriers for each other, especially in the more populous states, as you mention. How sad that is!

Jefferson

June 27th, 2011
7:33 am

Freedom scares controls freaks. For those it is easier to control than compete as the fear of exposure may result. Good regulations are put in place to keep the table level.

dylandawg

June 27th, 2011
7:38 am

I think that is the first time anyone ever said living in Hawaii was a misfortune and living in New Hampshire was not. I would guess the “most” free states also have the lowest level of education, higher levels of poverty, lack of health insurance etc. But you don’t need those things when you have god and guns.

jconservative

June 27th, 2011
7:59 am

“Georgia fares alright in the study — enjoying an overall ranking of 15th, but suffers a disappointing “personal freedom” rank of 31st. This low ranking is largely the result of restrictive legislation measures imposed in recent years by Republicans, who now control all levers of state power.”

Correct. The first two years of Republican control of the legislature were the two most liberal years for the Georgia legislature in my adult lifetime, since 1960.

UIC

June 27th, 2011
8:12 am

You’ve forgot to mention the other side of the coin, which is taking responsibility for your choices. You want the “right to keep and bear arms, or to purchase and consume products such as alcoholic beverages or tobacco” and to eat all the “fatty foods” you want? Be my guest, but do not turn to Medicare, Medicaid, or for that matter, the private insurance company that you and I both pay premiums to, when you get cirrhosis of the liver, lung cancer or diabetes. I’ll assure you that you didn’t pay enough premiums to cover those health care cost. When health issues are self inflicted and preventable, it is your responsibility. Bob, I have a feeling that the great majority of people who want their freedom from gov’t intervention will have a quick change of heart when they find out they’re also responsible for the consequences of their actions.

Free American

June 27th, 2011
8:13 am

Freedom is just another word for ..nothing else to lose.
.
And nothing….is what Obama Hussein left me.

WOW

June 27th, 2011
8:28 am

I am free to drive 55 mph in the passing lane on I-285. That is why I do it.

Get Real

June 27th, 2011
8:28 am

Gerald West….did you read the same article that I did???

Trapped in a Red state

June 27th, 2011
8:58 am

New York passed a smoking ban on outside public lands. While it would be nearly impossible for the second hand smoke from someone smoking outside in a park to harm anyone, the city buses belching large clouds of carbon monoxide get a free ride. Government at it’s best…gonna protect us.

John Galt, MBA, CPA

June 27th, 2011
9:08 am

Gerald West came on here with something to say and then molded it to fit the article-

UIC

June 27th, 2011
9:17 am

To: Trapped in a Red state…..annually, people take 1.6 billion rides on the NY Metro system. It’s either the buses or (fill in the number) additional cars on those streets. Would non-carbon monoxide emitting vehicles be better? Sure, but if your choice is between the bus portion of the Metro system and the additional cars necessary to transport the people, the buses look pretty good.

Trapped in a Red state

June 27th, 2011
9:21 am

UIC

A study done by Dutch scientist in 2008 involving 1000 subjects found that smokers and obese people cost the health care system far less than “thin healthy” people. The data showed that on average smokers live to 77, obese to 80, and the healthy to 84. Because the smokers and obese died sooner, their health care cost we less, on average $317,000 compared to the healthy’s cost of $417,000. Once again, people are quick to point fingers…even in state government where employees who use “tabacco products” pay an additional “surcharge” of $40 per month for their health insurance. Just like your ill informed comments…ignorance has no boundaries.

Janis

June 27th, 2011
9:49 am

Gerald West is right. Somalia is the freest nation in the world and China would probably be the most repressive. So, what we need to do is find a balance. We need laws to keep us safe so we can be free of fear but we also need freedom to live our lives the way we see fit. The first thing we need to do is legalize marijuana.

Oh yeah, and freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose anyway. So there. Peace and love y’all.

CDog

June 27th, 2011
9:53 am

GA needs to eliminate the income tax, offer a tax credit for school tuition and fees, and remove restrictions on where concealed weapons may be carried by a permit holder. Legalizing fireworks and repealing adult seat belt and helmet laws wouldn’t be bad either. That should move us up in the list.

Janis

June 27th, 2011
9:55 am

Trapped in Red State, thanks for that information. I suspected something like that just from personal observance. The people who don’t smoke languish away in nursing homes for years, whereas a lot of smokers die instantly from heart attacks. Even the ones that get cancer don’t last that long. People need to question what the media feeds them and stop being susceptible to rhetoric that flames the emotions and used by politicians to get elected.

Edward

June 27th, 2011
9:58 am

Interesting that some people resort to attacking Gerald West personally, but can’t attack his opinion because he is correct. By Barr’s definition, Somalia would be the most freedom-loving place on the planet. Why aren’t Barr and his defenders on a plane headed there right this moment? Or, if you prefer a country with a very conservative government, driven by nearly-pure capitalism, with no such thing as an EPA or OSHA or SEC or FDA or FTC to get in the way of business, no nasty “socialism” like Medicare or welfare, might I suggest a move to China?

Edward

June 27th, 2011
10:01 am

BTW, if you want to smoke and die sooner, by all means, do so. But, don’t do it where I have to breath the same air that you’re polluting with your toxic fumes. You don’t get to decide that I should live a shorter life simply because you’re too weak to give up a toxic addiction.

Ezra

June 27th, 2011
10:04 am

CDog is right! Most of those laws passed were “sympathy laws”! I lost my child so we ought to pass a law against doing that. Yep, sympathy laws have cost us more freedom than any invading country.

I have the right to be fat, smoke, and do what makes me HAPPY! I do nothing to make you happy so get out of my life you ideologist!!

The retards reside on Bookman's blog.

June 27th, 2011
10:27 am

Trapped in a Red state

You’re whining about buses yet you and other brain dead left wingers are always shouting “MORE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!!!!!!!!!”

What gives?

The retards reside on Bookman's blog.

June 27th, 2011
10:30 am

“A study done by Dutch scientist in 2008″

Can you provide a link to that study? I always love it when left wingers blame fat people for rising costs but totally ignore lawsuits by ambulance chasers like John Edwards. I also love how they ignore illegal aliens who flood hospitals at taxpayer expense.

I also noticed that fatty, Michelle Obama or as I like to call her, Chewbacca, was seen chowing down on french fries all while scolding Americans about not eating healthier.

http://www.reuters.com/video/2011/06/25/french-fries-and-fat-cakes-for-us-first?videoId=216470977&videoChannel=1

UIC

June 27th, 2011
10:31 am

Trapped in a Red state

Using tunnel vision, you make a good point. Throw in the cost of medical care for second hand smoke, productivity cost to businesses for sick employees, health problems for children of pregnant women who smoke, etc. and you’ll quickly find that there is more to it than just the non-smoker who out lived the smoker by 4 years. Agreed…ignorance has no boundaries.

Ezra

June 27th, 2011
10:41 am

UIC

June 27th, 2011
10:31 am
Second hand smoke is a joke! Only a progressvie liberal would believe that garbage.

The retards reside on Bookman's blog.

June 27th, 2011
10:48 am

“Second hand smoke is a joke! ”

There has never ever ever ever been any evidence that second hand smoke causes cancer.

Joe Mama

June 27th, 2011
11:04 am

I lived in Hawaii for four years, and there was no misfortune involved whatsoever. I’m not sure what sort of problem or problems Mr. Barr’s referring to out there, but poverty was the only one I saw very much of. The people were super nice and polite, and would let you merge on the freeway instead of flipping you off like they do on I-285.

They’ve got a saying out there — “Lucky you live Hawaii, brah!”

Uncle Billy

June 27th, 2011
11:12 am

The Mercatus Center is funded largely by the Koch brothers whose political ideas are well known. Freedom is not a word that defines itself so someone has to define it which is going to determine the results of the study. For instance many people in the antebellum South insisted that they were not free unless they could own slaves. The Koch brothers are largely concerned with their freedom to make money and not to pay much in taxes. — Bob Barr introduced the Defense of Marriage Act which denied gay couples the right to marry. New Yorkers now have that right which most of the freest state residents do not have. Of course, I have heard that Bob changed his mind. The Lord makes way for late conversions.
The Koch brothers

UIC

June 27th, 2011
11:12 am

I’ll take your word over the American Cancer Society. Look what those fools wrote:
Secondhand smoke causes other kinds of diseases and deaths

Secondhand smoke can cause harm in many ways. In the United States alone, each year it is responsible for:

An estimated 46,000 deaths from heart disease in non-smokers who live with smokers
About 3,400 lung cancer deaths in non-smoking adults
Other breathing problems in non-smokers, including coughing, mucus, chest discomfort, and reduced lung function
50,000 to 300,000 lung infections (such as pneumonia and bronchitis) in children younger than 18 months of age, which result in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations annually
Increases in the number and severity of asthma attacks in about 200,000 to 1 million children who have asthma
More than 750,000 middle ear infections in children
Pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke are also at increased risk of having low birth- weight babies.

I would list the statistics from the CDC, but I’d guess they’re equally ignorant.

Real Athens

June 27th, 2011
11:16 am

Gerald West read the article, comprehended it and added a rebuttal. One that offered another point of view that was based on rational thought and the age old concept of “enlightenment”. Look it up. There’s not a lot of it around these boards today.

Look up Bob Barr’s record as a legislator — he knows very little about freedom, liberty and intellectual pursuits.

commoncents

June 27th, 2011
11:28 am

I think some of you missed the point of the article, which is identifying states with varying levels of “freedom”

Being totally “free” from gov’t control is not necessarily good (for all of you “Then go live in Somalia!” commentators), but neither is heavy-handed gov’t regulations. In some of the not-so-”free” states, you won’t notice a problem with gun regulations if you don’t own or carry a gun or have any desire to. Likewise, you won’t say a state with a helmet law is oppressive if you don’t own a motorcycle. Is it stupid to not wear a helmet? Yes, but that shouldn’t be a law.

And Gerald West: good luck telling the poor, stupid redneck who lives off his own land with 100s of acres that he is not as free as the NY apartment renter living in 350 sq.ft. relying on public transportation to make it across the city for work everyday

Robert

June 27th, 2011
11:32 am

Frederick Douglass who first used the term “Uncle Tom” as a pejorative epithet denoting the shuffling docility of a submissive black man, and he traces the ups and downs of the novel’s reputation — high in the Civil War years, low during much of the 20th century, when the romanticized account in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind” (1936) largely supplanted Stowe’s version of the antebellum South. Today, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is again “one of the must-reads of American literature.”

UIC

June 27th, 2011
11:44 am

commoncents

I agree that there should be no law that requires you to wear a helmet as long as there is also a law that forbids a hospital or doctor from providing medical care if the person doesn’t have private insurance. If the person gets in an accident and wants Medicare of Medicaid (you and me) to take care of the bill, the answer is NO.
Same with mandatory insurance….you don’t have to have insurance, but you also are forbidden from receiving medical care if you don’t have it.

doc

June 27th, 2011
11:45 am

What a curious definition of ‘free’ you have. As a lifelong NYer working in this state a few years I have MUCH more personal freedom in NY than GA! As a gay man, no other example is needed than equal marriage rights being passed in NY on friday while a repressive regime like georgia’s will not even pass housing or employment nondiscrimination laws. And which held on like grim death to keeping gays and lesbians from even having sex. And for you straights, like how you can’t buy the ‘personal massage’ sold by Trogan on a million tacky tv commercials?

I pay more taxes than the vast majority of you and have no problem paying more. Freedom for me is personal. Not part of your phony libertarian mantle you’ve assumed since doing your best to curtail personal freedoms in congress, bobby!

Real Athens

June 27th, 2011
11:47 am

As a life-long motorcycle rider (and crasher), I feel any state without a helmet law should lawfully require said riders to be organ donors and to carry insurance that will pay for their miserable lives if rendered an invalid due to their stupidity and love of “freedom”.

What’s an idiot’s last words? “Hey man, watch this”.

The retards reside on Bookman's blog.

June 27th, 2011
11:51 am

“The Koch brothers”

Gotta love the wealth envy crowd.

The retards reside on Bookman's blog.

June 27th, 2011
11:52 am

“I’ll take your word over the American Cancer Society”

Please post that study. Thanks

The retards reside on Bookman's blog.

June 27th, 2011
11:54 am

doc

If you live in NY, why are you posting on the AJC website?

The retards reside on Bookman's blog.

June 27th, 2011
11:54 am

“What’s an idiot’s last words?”

I won’t have to buy my own gas cuz Obama gone buy it fo me.

The retards reside on Bookman's blog.

June 27th, 2011
11:55 am

I love being the king of the retards

Terry P

June 27th, 2011
11:58 am

Gerald the last time I checked New Hampshire was in the North East. As to the poor south I guess you haven’t been paying attention as economically they are in much better shape than wonderful NY and Mass. where business has been bailing for years.

Darwin

June 27th, 2011
11:59 am

Yes, here in Georgia we have the “freedom” of being educated.

Dr. Pangloss

June 27th, 2011
12:02 pm

“Georgia fares alright in the study …”

Gee, Bob, don’t you know that it’s “all right?” Two words.

As for the unfree states you mention,

Dr. Pangloss

June 27th, 2011
12:03 pm

Oops, didn’t finish my sentence. Sorry. Meant to point out that PEOPLE are much freer in Hawaii and California than in some of the states you laud.

Harpo sez

June 27th, 2011
12:20 pm

If we have a National Healthcare Plan, then smoking must be banned for all Americans. This reminds me of the woman who was arrested for spraying her breast milk at the cops. She had two .38s on her person. Then she pulled a gun. She had a license to carry a concealed weapon alright, but she didn’t have the proper license for her two .38s. Was this a violation of her constitutional rights? Was it a diminishment of her liberties? I think Bob Barr has a valid point here, if’n we consider this woman’s arrest.

Dr. Pangloss

June 27th, 2011
12:41 pm

Oops, didn’t finish my sentence. Sorry. Meant to point out that I want to marry a goat.

commoncents

June 27th, 2011
12:49 pm

Pangloss – People in CA are also free to be paid by IOUs. And not drive vehicles modified in any way (CARB act). Any not have guns that are “high capacity” (more than 8 rounds, I think). Don’t forget, many household cleaners are also banned in CA!

“California. Go for the weather, come back due to raging liberalism.”

Dr. Pangloss

June 27th, 2011
1:09 pm

No high-capacity guns in California! Dang! I really wanted to exterminate my entire neighborhood. And I love having poison around the house. Gets rid of those pesky rugrats.

Would anybody choose to live in New Hampshire or South Dakota if he/she could live in Hawaii or California?

Dr. Pangloss

June 27th, 2011
1:09 pm

One other thought: I lived in Missouri for a few months. I was dismayed by the amount of censorship of entertainment.

HarleyD

June 27th, 2011
1:34 pm

The comments posted here are written proof of an old axiom. Whether you are pro or con on a subject any excuse will do

Martin

June 27th, 2011
2:54 pm

So…when I lived in Georgia I was more ‘free’ than I am now when I live in California? I’ll ponder that thought next weekend when I buy my beer on Sunday. Oh wait — you can’t do that in Georgia.

redneckbluedog

June 27th, 2011
2:57 pm

Thank you so much, Bob, for defending freedom…Including teachers’ rights to organize, and all Americans for that matter, for better pay, benefits, and working conditions….

Darwin

June 27th, 2011
3:12 pm

We’re also very free from economic security. I mean, thanks to the helping hands on Wall Street- why do we need regulations?

The retards reside on Bookman's blog.

June 27th, 2011
3:24 pm

I love the freedom we have to post moronic statements and show our limited IQ

Carlosgvv

June 27th, 2011
4:11 pm

It seems that lawmakers are constantly passing more and more laws without properly enforcing many of the ones already on the books. Our country needs laws, but not such a surplus that they start to become just words and enforcment is questionable at best.

DK

June 27th, 2011
4:51 pm

The U.S. is becoming a police state and I am more and more scared for my liberty in any state. I read President Carter’s statement last week that said approximately 500,000 people were in prison during the time of his presidency. Now the figure exceeds 2,000,000. It is hard to claim that this country loves freedom when we jail more people than China, a communist country with five times our population. We had better wake up fast and realize that jail should be the last option instead of the first option in many cases, especially for non-violent offenses. We need to understand that law enforcement is not the proper avenue for dealing with social problems. We also need to grow up and take responsibility for raising our children. All too often I read of children being arrested for things that were laughed off or written off as kids being kids when our generation was coming up. When I was a teenager the police would take you home and tell your parents. Now they charge the kid with a crime. Don’t give me any hogwash about that being the only answer because most of the parent involved don’t care. I know quite a few good parents who’ve had to go to court with their teenage son because they got into a fist fight at school and were charged with a felony, that’s ridiculous.

Arnold

June 27th, 2011
5:27 pm

A “hundred years ago”, actually the late 1950’s, a female exchange student from Germany told me:
“what I don’t like about the USA – too many rules”. And this was before the USA became a full-fledged police state!

Gary Smith

June 27th, 2011
9:20 pm

Hum… One wonders if Geoge Mason University were around in 1858, just before the Civil War – it was actually founded 100 years later – what a similar survey on freedoms would have shown. Would Southerners in states below the Mason Dixon Line have more freedoms than Northerners? Would one of the great freedoms in the Southern states that the surveyors would not have shied away from recognizing be the right to own human property, i.e. slaves? After all, it was guaranteed by the Constitution then.

Don't Tread

June 27th, 2011
10:29 pm

“It is hard to claim that this country loves freedom when we jail more people than China”

If they didn’t break the law in the first place, they wouldn’t have to worry about it.

I guess prison should be the “last resort” for this thug.

Hopefully some nice citizen will exercise some of their freedoms on this one when they see him and save us the trouble of keeping him in jail for $100k+ a year.

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June 28th 2011 | Rebellion News

June 28th, 2011
1:19 am

[...] Freedom Rings – At Least In Some States [...]

thewatchdog

June 28th, 2011
8:33 am

I live in NYS. Freedom ranks first in NY. The great state of NY gave the country Franklyn Delano Roosevelt, ranked first, all time for U.S. presidents. NY is the seat of the NY Stock Exchange where millions have made their fortunes. NY is where the huddled “masses of poor” looked for their future.
“Let Freedom Ring” that was NY where the great speach got its inspiration. I know what I am talking about. NY is far from a “nanny state” In NY it is the birth place of the 4th Amendment, Freedom of Privacy and the venerable “Tea Party”.

Covers Dixie like the Dew

June 28th, 2011
9:28 am

The official state motto of New Hampshire is

” LIVE FREE OR DIE ”

The phrase comes from a toast written by General John Stark on July 31, 1809.
Poor health forced Stark, New Hampshire’s most famous soldier of the American Revolutionary War, to decline his invitation to an anniversary reunion of the Battle of Bennington. Instead he sent his toast by letter:

“Live free or die: death is not the worst of evils.”

Liberalism = retardation

June 28th, 2011
10:02 am

And here I thought that only white people could be racists.

Tonight, around 11 p.m., a group of at least 60-70 African American youth marched down one of the side streets (W. Thrush) to the 4 lane main drag (Sheridan). They were yelling threats to white residents.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:lHzJ2PFQcMEJ:peoriachronicle.com/+http://peoriachronicle.com/&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com

Carlosgvv

June 28th, 2011
10:41 am

Liberalism

African-Americans can be just as racist as whites. Unfortunately, white politicians cannot say that because it is not politically correct and because they don’t want Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton calling them racists.

Liberalism = retardation

June 28th, 2011
10:49 am

Carlosgvv

100% agreed.

James A. Farmer

June 28th, 2011
11:46 am

A decade ago (2001) JPFO, Inc. published a booklet titled, “Is America
Becoming A Police State?” This should remain available at http://www.jpfo.org.
Freedom of course cannot exist apart from morality. This via TRIM (Tax
Reform Immediately) at http://www.Trimonline.org. TRIM is a branch of The John
Birch Society (www.jbs.org). Perhaps the worse assault on personal liberty, the emergence of the overbearing “nanny state” along with more
government, socialism, and people control commenced under Lyndon B. Johnson, America’s worse president, back in the 1960’s! Also, the Earl
Warren Supreme Court during same era. Judicial and political abuse from
this era continues to haunt free thinking Americans today!

Harvey Schock

June 28th, 2011
6:02 pm

Georgia is very oppressive when it comes to personal freedoms. They decide what shows they will show on television (Jimmy Kimmel wasn’t shwon on WSB because they deemed it too racy for the masses), you can’t buy alcohol on Sundays, bars and clubs must close by 2 a.m., and most of the bars and clubs were closed and demolished to make room for condos and high-end shops in Buckhead.

Jeff

June 28th, 2011
7:19 pm

“Americans are far less free than government officials admit…”

Well Bob at first I agreed with that statement, until I thought about it for a minute. In terms of sheer numbers of people, if you compare the freedom that African-Americans have now with what they had, say, 50 years ago, U.S. citizens have more freedom today than at any time in our history.

Politi Cal

June 28th, 2011
8:16 pm

No state is well served by a one-party system, and Georgia has essentially been a one party state since Reconstruction. Just because former Democrats now call themselves Repubicans means nothing. Georgia is, was, and remains a one-party state. The solution? Gerrymandering!

Liberalism = retardation

June 29th, 2011
12:10 pm

“Georgia is very oppressive”

Then move.

Ella Robbins

June 29th, 2011
12:56 pm

Mr. West, it is my feeling that high taxes and over-regulation cause black markets.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/us/15rave.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/05/nyregion/05loosie.html

I think of the great urban areas these days as places where the masses go to huddle together to exchange their freedoms and money for the benefit of safety and conformity. Government is the only industry I see growing exponentially.