A little bit of followup on the Mercatus Center study that says Californian have drastically less freedom than South Dakotans courtesy of a reader:
I wanted to see if their index of freedom was actually linked to any positive outcomes (e.g., life expectancy, per capita GDP, industry R&D) or negative outcomes (e.g., suicides per capita, income inequality) based on Census data.
In a nutshell, the results were not good for the libertarian cause. The Mercatus Institute’s freedom score was significantly linked to (by state)- lower educational attainment (measured by percent of Bachelor degrees or higher), lower population density, lower per capita GDP, increased infant mortality, increased accident mortality, increased incidence of suicide, increased firearm mortality, decreased industrial R&D, and increased income inequality.
You can see the data here. Now of course I wouldn’t put too much stock in that result, either. It’s just important to keep in mind that while public policy is important, it’s not the be-all and end-all of human existence. New York City has a lot of regulations in place (it’s generally illegal to dance in a bar, for example) but there’s lots of stuff you can do there that you can’t do in Indiana.