In a recent study conducted by the CATO Institute, it was determined that out of all 50 states, New York is considered to be the least free state in the union. Of course, for those of us who pay attention, we knew a lot of northern states, including New York were the most tyrannical.
The study says some of the reasons are high taxes, a heavy debt load and rent controls.
“New York has been the least free state in the country for a long time,” the study said.
“Economic freedom is the most significant weakness, but the state has not kept up with the rest of the country on personal freedom either,” the reports suggested.
According to the study, New York ranks at 50 among the freest states, mainly due to fiscal irresponsibility and regulations. The Empire State ranks 40 when it comes to personal freedom.
According to the report:
The only fiscal policy area where New York is not below average is the ratio of government to private employment, where the state has actually improved significantly since the early 2000s. The government GDP ratio has scarcely fallen over that same time period, suggesting that New York pairs relatively low government employment with high salaries and benefits for public employees. New York’s local tax burden is twice that of the average state: 8.5 percent of income in FY 2015. This is a dramatic rise from the early 2000s, when it was 7 percent. However, New Yorkers have ample choice in local government: 2.9 competing jurisdictions per 100 square miles. The state tax burden, at a projected 6.8 percent of income in FY 2017, is also higher than the national average. Debt is the highest in the country at 31.2 percent of income, and liquid assets are less than half that, at 14.2 percent of income.
New York is also the worst state on regulatory policy, although here it is at least within striking distance of number 49. Land-use freedom is very low, primarily because of the economically devastating rent control law in New York City. Local zoning is actually fairly moderate compared with surrounding states not named “Pennsylvania.” Renewable portfolio standards are high. The state enacted a minimum wage in 2013–14 and also has a short-term disability insurance mandate. Cable and telecommunications are unreformed. Occupational freedom is a bit subpar, but nurse practitioners did gain some independence in 2013–14. Insurance freedom is a mixed bag (the state has stayed out of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact), but property and casualty insurers gained some freedom to set rates in 2013–14. The civil liability system looks poor, but we may underrate it slightly because of the state’s large legal sector.
New York’s criminal justice policies are reasonably decent. While drug arrests are about average, nondrug victimless crime arrests are quite low. Incarceration rates are below average. Unfortunately, the state is one of only a few to impose loss of a driver’s license as a punishment for non-driving-related drug crimes. Local law enforcement enthusiastically participates in equitable sharing, even though the state law imposes only modest limits in the first place. Tobacco freedom is the worst in the country because of smoking bans and stratospheric taxes ($4.30 a pack in 2015 dollars in 2016). Since 2014, localities have actually enacted total prohibition for 18-to 20-year-olds. New York is perhaps the worst state for homeschoolers, and it has no private or public school choice programs. Sparklers were legalized in 2015 and mixed martial arts competitions in 2016. Gambling freedom is better than average; casinos were introduced in 2005. Cannabis freedom is now slightly above average, as the state enacted a limited medical law in 2014. Alcohol freedom is a bit above average, but grocery stores can’t sell wine. Gun rights are hedged about with all kinds of restrictions, but it is possible with some effort to get a concealed-carry license in some parts of the state.
However, what’s not that surprising is that CATO offers policy changes, but none of them actually deal with pushing back tyrannical laws and enforcing moral ones that the state historically held.
CATO offered three policy changes:
- Fiscal: Cut spending on hospitals, housing, public buildings, public welfare, education, corrections, police and fire, sanitation and sewerage, employee retirement, and “miscellaneous,” which are all above national averages. Cut all taxes, and pay down debt.
- Regulatory: Abolish rent control. This move could have raised New York to 45th, ahead of Vermont and New Jersey, on regulatory policy.
- Personal: Slash cigarette taxes, which are so high as to be almost tantamount to prohibition.
Of course, Governor Andrew “America was never that great” Cuomo suggests this is nothing but right wing propaganda.
Cuomo spokeman Tyrone Stevens said, “Regardless of what this right-wing think tank says, under this administration, New York became the first big state to give the LBGTQ community the freedom to marry, gave workers the freedom to be with their families during times of crisis with the strongest paid family leave program in the nation, and helped provide freedom from poverty with a $15 minimum wage and free public college tuition for middle and working class New Yorkers.”
“During the same time, middle class taxes were cut and a property tax cap was put in place, while unemployment was slashed in half and private sector jobs grew to a record high,” he added.
That’s not saying much. Look how far New York has come in their tyranny and depravity. At our founding, they would put sodomites to death for their crimes based upon the biblical law that was the foundation of their state law. Now, they have jettisoned that in favor of not only celebrating the debauchery of sodomy, but also perverted the definition of marriage to sound as if they are permitting freedom, when what they are endorsing is slavery to sin and crime. The rest is nonsense from the governor.
All of the things CATO suggested for policy changes are good things, of course. I’m not arguing against them. However, those things do not guard liberty and freedom. Justice does. Sadly, that doesn’t even show up on the radar for CATO, not only in New York but in all of their report.
For example, The Times Union reported nearly a year ago in September 2017 the following:
More than 51,000 people are behind bars in New York’s state prisons. Here is what that population looks like, by the numbers:
- The state prison population is 95.5 percent male. The average age is 38.
- About 46 percent of state inmates are from upstate communities.
- Roughly 40 percent of inmates do not have a high school education.
- Sixty percent of inmates have children, and 66 percent have never been married.
- The average minimum sentence is six years. The average maximum sentence is 10 years, four months and two weeks.
- Two-thirds of inmates have been convicted of a violent felony.
- Nearly 56 percent of inmates are first-time felony offenders. Four percent have been convicted of a felony three or more times.
What about recidivism? Almost 23,500 inmates were released in 2012 and roughly 10,000 returned to state custody within three years. Here is a statistical look at why they were recommitted:
- A third of those 10,000 people returned to prison on parole violations and 9 percent were recommitted with a new felony conviction.
- Newly released inmates who committed a new crime were most often returned for drug-related offenses.
- Inmates who had not yet turned 21 were 10 percent more likely to return to prison than their older counterparts.
- People from urban communities in upstate New York were anywhere between 4 and 10 percent more likely to return to prison than people from other counties.
This data is based on the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s most recent Under Custody Report, released on Jan. 1, 2016, and the agency’s three-year post-release follow-up on inmates released in 2012, a report published in 2017.
No justice is actually dealt out, just incarceration at taxpayer expense, which is an injustice both to the inmate, the victims, the victims’ families and the taxpayers.
If that were not enough, in October 2017, a report from NYUP.com documented 235 murderers who were released from prison and among them were four who had been convicted of killing children. That report was based on convicted murderers who were set free back into the population in 2016, no doubt, with many of them hell-bent on committing more crimes and murders.
Here’s the list from Syracuse.com.
Source: NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
For questions, comments or suggestions on this data report, please send a note to Michelle Breidenbach or call 315-470-3186.