States that have the lowest level of government financial intrusion — e.g., taxes and regulatory obstructions — also tend to have the highest economic growth rates, a new "economic freedom index" shows.
According to data of America’s 51 largest metropolitan regions from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 10 areas in job growth included mostly cities in Sunbelt states, such as Houston, Dallas, Austin, Raleigh and Charlotte, while the bottom 10 featured mostly Rust Belt areas, such as St. Louis, Milwaukee and Buffalo, City Journal reported.
While employment numbers nationwide remain bleak when the underemployed or those outside the work force are factored in, some areas of America are thriving.
How to account for the disparity? According to City Journal, answer is contained in "Freedom in the 50 States," a new report from the George Washington University's Mercatus Center, which suggests geographic shifts in job growth are the result not only of policy, but also of "broader governing philosophies."
The Mercatus "economic freedom index" takes into account tax levels, government spending, tort laws, permits and licensing, labor rights and healthcare choices, among other factors.
"The results seem to imply that Americans value freedom and are willing to vote with their feet for it," said Jason Sorens, one of the authors of the Mercatus report.
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