Study: Wisconsin less free 
than most states
Taxes, spending, personal choices 
put state well into bottom half of U.S.

By JOE PETRIE - GM Today Staff

May 8, 2009

WAUKESHA - For University of Wisconsin-Waukesha student Paul Hackbarth, a potential smoking ban isnít something heís looking forward to seeing enacted.

"Dude, that sucks," he said. "I think itís intrusive, and bars are going to lose business if people canít smoke while they drink. Iím not going to go to a bar if I canít smoke while I drink."

One of the main issues at hand with the smoking ban is whether or not it intrudes on peopleís freedom. And according to a new study on freedom, Wisconsin is not the best place for it.

Wisconsin is ranked 37th in the nation in terms of the freedom it allows to residents, according to the Freedom in the 50 States study performed by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

The study ranks various personal and financial freedom laws in each state, such as smoking bans and tax laws in order to judge how many choices residents have.

According to the study, Wisconsin ranked high in spending and taxes, leading to an overall rank of 35th in the nation in economic freedom. The study says oversight on home schooling is pretty lax and local smoking bans have numerous exemptions, but overall Wisconsin ranked 37th in personal freedom.

The only neighboring state to score lower than Wisconsin was Illinois, which had an overall ranking of 42.

For full story, go to the electronic version of The Freeman. Click here to access the electronic version.   


This story appeared in The Freeman on May 8, 2009.