Monday, March 09, 2009

Add to my list of worries 

On fiscal freedom Minnesota is actually about average, with the most striking flaw the dependence of local governments on higher-level governments for about half of their revenues. However, the state ends up 31st on economic freedom, 31st on personal freedom, and 35th overall. Some striking facts about Minnesota include the following: Wine is taxed quite heavily ($4.85 per gallon effective rate) but beer and spirits are not; the state still has blue laws for alcohol; low-level marijuana possession is decriminalized; the state lacks helmet laws and prohibits sobriety checkpoints but requires personal injury auto insurance coverage; labor laws are extensive; health insurance mandates are the most costly in the country; asset forfeiture does not require owner knowledge of criminal activity; and cigarette taxes are high.
From the new Freedom in the 50 States index created by the Mercatus Center. It is only 1/8 taxes, 50% paternalism. The last sentence lists some things I don't spend enough time thinking about for Minnesota.

You can find critiques of these types of indices in my book.

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