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vcczar

Making a Life, Liberty & Pursuit of Happiness Ranking of the States

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@admin_270 sort of inspired me to create a "Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness" ranking of the states. This is also in response to the Cato Institute's "Freedom" Ranking, which I think is both biased and nonconstructive. I guess my question to all of you is, what criteria should I not forget to investigate when determining "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" of every state?  I'll put a short list of what I can think of off the top of my head. Please, please attempt to be as fair-minded and balanced in this, considering what all Americans, even those we disagree with might consider necessary for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I will try to do the same. This is not an ideological ranking, this will be a ranking of universal definition. 

Here are some of the things I'm considering. I especially need help from those  who view life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness differently than I do:

Economics: purchasing power, thriving environment to open and maintain a small business, cost of living, state government spending, property value

Employment: wages, freedom to choose a range of jobs, low unemployment, ability to get good job with a degree, job security

Education: affordable education, access to education, ability to choose a school, high-ranking education

Personal life: privacy, religious freedom and freedom from religious bigotry, access to services, affording children, child services, freedom to own guns

Crime & Safety: crime rate, "safe" drug laws, accidental gun violence

Leisure & happiness: freedom of leisure, access to the arts and sciences, restaurants and entertainment per capita, access quality to wi-fi, 

Society: upward mobility, freedom of discrimination, 

Political representation: least gerrymandered states

Transportation: transportation for the handicapped and elderly, safe roads for drivers and commerce, less time stuck in traffic. 

Health: life expectancy, services for the elderly, freedom from the economic fears of old age, costs of healthcare, access to healthcare, number of hospitals per capita, health per capita

Misc: quality of life, ability for the state to handle natural disasters

 

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I am actually very impressed you added freedom of discrimination which I think is crucial, kudos!

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I would say the right to be apart of government without having to raise millions of dollars to run for office. So repealing Citizens United and also introducing term limits on congress.

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Many Americans seems to believe that the "right to bear arms" is a pillar of national freedom and a defining point thereof. But here's a counter-example. In Afghanistan, for literally centuries, there has been a powerful tradition that has practically gained the de facto status of a "constitutional right" it's so engrained in the people's and nation's mentality, of the tribal right to arms and defend themselves (thus, effectively, a right to bear arms). This is a definite part of the reason that no invading army since Alexander the Great has ever won complete victory in the country in it's history (including such world powers of their day as the Mongol Empire, the British Empire, the USSR, and the recent US-led coalition). As a matter of fact, a traditional wedding in parts of the country (Pashtun regions, I think, mostly) have a tradition of firing a bunch of rifles into the air as part of the wedding festivities. That being said, Afghanistan would likely do VERY poorly on almost all other areas of both your and Cato's freedom indices.

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5 minutes ago, Patine said:

Many Americans seems to believe that the "right to bear arms" is a pillar of national freedom and a defining point thereof. But here's a counter-example. In Afghanistan, for literally centuries, there has been a powerful tradition that has practically gained the de facto status of a "constitutional right" it's so engrained in the people's and nation's mentality, of the tribal right to arms and defend themselves (thus, effectively, a right to bear arms). This is a definite part of the reason that no invading army since Alexander the Great has ever won complete victory in the country in it's history (including such world powers of their day as the Mongol Empire, the British Empire, the USSR, and the recent US-led coalition). As a matter of fact, a traditional wedding in parts of the country (Pashtun regions, I think, mostly) have a tradition of firing a bunch of rifles into the air as part of the wedding festivities. That being said, Afghanistan would likely do VERY poorly on almost all other areas of both your and Cato's freedom indices.

 

Well tht means that they re extremely free in one measure and not the other, it's not really a counter-point.

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I've started compiling a list of state ranks in several categories. If someone wants to provide any links to rankings that you think I should like at, it would be great.  So far, New Hampshire and Massachusetts are doing really well and Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi are doing predictably poorly. 

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3 minutes ago, vcczar said:

I've started compiling a list of state ranks in several categories. If someone wants to provide any links to rankings that you think I should like at, it would be great.  So far, New Hampshire and Massachusetts are doing really well and Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi are doing predictably poorly. 

 
 

Ok just please don't use your bias to throw away religious freedom and the right to discriminate, also remember Mississippi has legalized marijuana. Also, don't throw away freedom for taxation.

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The right of businesses to "discriminate" has a seesaw effect of de facto (if not de jure) limiting consumers' rights, remember.

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Just now, Patine said:

The right of businesses to "discriminate" has a seesaw effect of de facto (if not de jure) limiting consumers' rights, remember.

Well I wouldn't say so, because it's not really a right of consumers to go anywhere they want as they are getting  privilege from a business.

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The seesaw effects of one group's "rights" to freely, without any legal consequence, infringe on another's. is NEVER (or at least rarely) considered by rights' activists on both sides of the political spectrum for those rights they advocate. Let me ask you, for the sake of argument, how "free" would you feel if every business in the whole town you lived in shuttered their doors to you, without you actually committing a criminal offense of any sort, or personally making enemies with every business owner, and having no legal recourse, regardless of whatever status (or alleged status, I might add) the town's business owners all found odious by their "sincerely-held" religious beliefs? Be honest here...

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@Reagan04

I'll have a religious freedom column, which will take care of people that think it's okay to discriminate, since the discrimination is generally comes from those Christians that act unchristian. I'll definitely have a freedom FROM discrimination, since those discriminating are generally not the ones being deprived of service, upward mobility, etc. In this, it's not a bias, it's matter of evaluating the strength of the two restricted freedoms. I could also just tag it under a freedom of speech section. I will include a freedom from taxation. It may be part of an economic freedom category. I'm not sure how specific each section will be, since I'm the only person putting this together. 

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@vcczar alright, I trust you!:D

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Ok, I just thought of something you mention a lot of "freedom from things"  but what about the battle between liberty and equality.

@vcczar

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@Reagan04

I'm not quite sure what you mean. Liberty and equality are pretty tied together. This ranking, which I'm still working on, is fairly Jeffersonian, since it uses his "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" as the title. It also implies using his "all men are created equal." Inequality is definitely a total negative in this ranking, as it should be. 

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Just now, vcczar said:

@Reagan04

I'm not quite sure what you mean. Liberty and equality are pretty tied together. This ranking, which I'm still working on, is fairly Jeffersonian, since it uses his "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" as the title. It also implies using his "all men are created equal." Inequality is definitely a total negative in this ranking, as it should be. 

 

I know but are you familiar with the scholar's debate of liberty v. equality? It is basically saying that freedom from something can be detrimental to liberty overall while fueling equality as a side effect.

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@Reagan04

Give me specific examples of what you are thinking about. At least three. 

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Oh, apologies it seems I made a mistake I was not coming across as clear and I read your list wrong Liberty v. Equality doesn't apply here I was trying to get across the debate over what is a freedom? So to say is freedom from discrimination really freedom, freedom had traditionally meant "the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint." or "The State of not being imprisoned or enslaved" and so I don't see freedom from something (except government tyranny or other rules and regulations obviously, you are smart and I know you know this just thought I might point it out) as freedom, especially if it is something from your fellow citizen at that point it is more a privilege or an added bonus or something that is just a luxury and is beneficial is to your state of mind.

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That's a great, well rounded list of qualities. I look forward to a list of states. Reminds me of a more comprehensive Heritage Foundation list, the one they do with economic freedom and countries.

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44 minutes ago, NYrepublican said:

Don't have time to do this. At the time, I did, but I couldn't get enough people to help in this at the time, as is usually the case. Sometimes I think people want me to be a one-person machine. 

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What's wrong with the southern states? This project should definitely have multiple people working on it. (My top votes go to New Hampshire, Nevada and Vermont)

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