TRENTON, N.J. — The Garden State has notched another dubious distinction.
The libertarian think tank Cato Institute has ranked all 50 states and determined that New Jersey is America’s 4th least “free” state in 2018.
Only New York (50th), Hawaii (#49), and California (#48) finished worse overall.
“We score all 50 states on over 200 policies encompassing fiscal policy, regulatory policy, and personal freedom. We weight public policies according to the estimated costs that government restrictions on freedom impose on their victims,” explained the analysts.
New Jersey performed particularly poorly in the categories of regulatory policy, economic freedom, and occupational liberty.
“About 60 years ago, New Jersey was considered a tax haven. It grew wealthy under that regime, but over the last decade it has dwelt in the bottom five for economic freedom. As long as it is better than New York, it will probably continue to get tax refugees from that state, but more New Yorkers now move to Florida than to New Jersey,” the analysts concluded.
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