Cato’s Freedom in the 50 States “shocker”: New Mexico lousy on economic freedom, strong on personal freedom

The latest state freedom rankings from the Cato Institute are out. Uniquely among state ratings, Cato ranks both economic and personal freedom issues. The results are not surprising. New Mexico performs poorly on most economic and education issues but is among the freest on personal freedom of any US state. The full report is here, but some of the most interesting charts are below. A few key policy takeaways from the report precede the charts:

“If it would get a serious grip on government spending, New Mexico could be among the freest states in the country.”

“New Mexico’s big problems are government consumption and employment, each of which is two standard deviations higher than national norms.”

“The civil liability system is much worse than average, and the state has done little to address the problem.”

“The state’s asset forfeiture law is the best in the country, since 2015 putting limits on equitable sharing.”

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