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In an Economic Freedom Super Bowl, How Would Your State Have Fared?

A loss in economic freedom signifies more than just a loss in bragging rights

If the final score of Super Bowl XLVI between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots had been determined by the economic freedom rankings of New York and Massachusetts, who do you think would have won?

With around 80-90 million Americans watching each year, the Super Bowl is obviously an important event for many loyal, dedicated fans across the U.S. In contrast, economic freedom doesn’t get nearly as much attention and, yet, it affects all 312 million Americans.

Studies, such as the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World Report and the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, illustrate how prosperity and well-being are closely linked to economic freedom.

So if New York state and Massachusetts had gone head-to-head in an Economic Freedom Super Bowl, what would have been the outcome? Drawing from different indexes that rank individual states in the U.S. on factors that affect economic freedom, we’ve provided a brief match-up below:

   New York                vs.       Massachusetts

Ranked 35th in Economic Freedom

Ranked 22nd in Economic Freedom

50th in Individual Income Tax

15th in Individual Income Tax

40th in Regulatory Freedom

49th in Regulatory Freedom

43rd in Property Tax

42nd in Property Tax

50th in Fiscal Freedom

28th in Fiscal Freedom

While Massachusetts would have had a slight edge over New York, it’s clear that both teams would have shown up for this game flat and out-of-shape. Indeed, they would have been a far-cry from the elite NFL teams that play in the Super Bowl every year.  In fact, these two states are indicative of what’s happening all across America. The United States is losing its status among the economically freest countries: once among the top three most economically free countries in the world, the U.S. recently barely made the top 10 and is projected to keep falling.

While the outcome last night may have ruined the evenings of some, the effects of losing in economic freedom impact all of society and lead to less opportunity, lower wages, and an overall decline in societal prosperity.  Sam Patterson has written earlier on why our economic freedom is in decline, and I invite you to take a look at it. Just remember, in football, one of the teams must lose; but with economic freedom, everybody wins.