12-19-13 – Fraser Institute Tags Vermont As One of the “Least Free” Places in North America

The Canadian free market think tank, Fraser Institute, just released its annual report on The Economic Freedom of NorthAmerica. Vermont, they assert, is one of the least free places on the continent.

Fraser cover

The study considers a number of factors, including the size of government, discriminatory taxation, general regulation, property rights, labor laws, and trade, and scores them on a scale of one to ten. To quote the report:

Individuals have economic freedom when (a) property they acquire without the use of force, fraud, or theft is protected from physical invasions by others and (b) they are free to use, exchange, or give their property as long as their actions do not violate the identical rights of others. Thus, an index of economic freedom should measure the extent to which rightly acquired property is protected and individuals are engaged in voluntary transactions.

Forcing somebody to purchase health insurance they don’t want based on a sales pitch of lies, for example, is frowned upon. Vermont’s overall score was a 5.5. Only New York, with a 5.4, had a worse score from the United States. A handful of Canadian provinces filled out the tail end of the list.

What does this mean and why should we care? Again quoting from the report:

This research has found that economic freedom is positively correlated with per-capita income, economic growth, greater life expectancy, lower child mortality, the development of democratic institutions, civil and political freedoms, and other desirable social and economic outcomes.

So, what it comes down to is that our political class is, on the whole, working against our prosperity, well being, and happiness.

– Rob Roper, president of the Ethan Allen Institute


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jim bulmer December 21, 2013 at 2:24 pm

On and on, and on and on, and on and on. The same old story and so what? Nothing changes. Time to move out!!


Brian Van Horn December 30, 2013 at 10:41 pm

sad but true….since Act 60 it’s been all downhill !!!!


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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