The Land of the Semi-Free and Home of the Brave

Image credit: Cato Institute

Image credit: Cato Institute

The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, has compiled a basket of some 200 metrics of fiscal, regulatory and personal freedom policies to produce an index of “Freedom in the Fifty States.”

If you lean libertarian, as I do, then a Virginia score of 21 is not terribly impressive. Could be worse, but not nothing to brag about. The state fares best by fiscal measures, 12th in the country, and worst on personal measures, 34th. Our regulatory score, 23rd, is in the middle of the pack.

If there’s any consolation, the overall score has improved three notches since 2012. Fascinating: In the four years between Republican Governor Bob McDonnell and Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia has become more libertarian…. at least by Cato’s reckoning.

If you don’t like Cato’s scoring methodology, a customization feature allows you to personalize your own.

Hat tip: Tim Wise


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2 responses to “The Land of the Semi-Free and Home of the Brave

  1. It would be interesting to see the line items of the scoring. But it seems significant that CATO’s primary recommendation is to reduce Virginia’s level of incarceration.

  2. Good LORD – you should look at the scoring metrics – dozens and dozens!

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