NJ Fiscal Folly

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

(b) We're Number 42

In November 2004, the Pacific Research Institute published another comparison of states, the US Economic Freedom Index 2004 . The report focused on state and local government actions as they relate to "the right of individuals to pursue their interests through voluntary exchange of private property under a rule of law".

In this study, New Jersey ranked #42 overall.

Similar to the BHI analysis below, PRI used 143 variables grouped into five sectors:

-- fiscal (eg, taxes, state/local government expenditures)
-- regulatory (eg, labor laws, environmental laws)
-- judicial (eg, tort reform indicators, elected or appointed judges)
-- government size (eg, number of government employees)
-- welfare spending (eg, amounts redistributed through direct transfers)

Within each sector, states were sorted into groups of ten. The highest rank group received 5 stars; the next group, 4 stars; and so on.

NJ's sector scores were as follows: fiscal (1 star), regulatory (2 stars), judicial (3 stars), government size (4 stars), and welfare spending (3 stars).

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