California and New York ranked last in a recent poll by the libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center regarding how many individual freedoms people enjoy.
Though the study claims to have measured a range of individual freedoms, it mostly seems to have focused on fiscal issues such as tax rates, job opportunities, and regulatory policies. It is unsurprising, then, that the California and New York, which rank first and third respectively according to state-wide GDP, weren’t looked upon favorably by the study.
Compared to the five top-ranking states, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Oklahoma, issues in New York and California appear in a much more drastic form due to the concentrated amount of people all suffering from the same ailments.
Obesity is much more prominent when over-packed schools complain of hundreds of children suffering from bad nutrition, which then fosters a larger and more vocal electorate urging their lawmakers to help solve the problem. New York Mayor Bloomberg, for example, attempted to outlaw the sale of sodas larger than 16 ounces as a response.
The authors also cited the tax burden of New Yorkers and Californians, which is largely due to the demands of their large economies as well as the popularities of the states — California with its sandy beaches and entertainment industry and New York as a crossroads of domestic and international culture and trade.
The study’s authors claim New York, which ranked dead last, specifically suffered in terms of personal freedoms such as gun rights and large sodas. California’s biggest issue, according to the authors, was its regulations on business and tax rates on its highest earners.
California is home to more billionaires than any other state, according to Forbes.