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Surprise, Surprise

This is why New Jersey needs me in the Assembly.

From today’s Asbury Park Press:

Report: N.J. not free state

Written by Jason Method

A professor who wrote a report by a libertarian think tank said Monday that New Jersey is one of the least free of the 50 states, but qualified his remarks by saying, “We’re not talking about Zimbabwe here.”

The report by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University described New Jersey as having the second-worst record for personal and economic freedoms, second only to New York.
The report rated states based not only taxes and business regulation, but also by what the authors called intrusion into personal lives through licensing of professions, motorcycle and bicycle helmet laws, smoking bans and regulation of same-sex marriage.
The report’s co-author, William Ruger, assistant professor of political science at Texas State University – San Marcos, criticized the Garden State for requiring licenses for contractors, claims adjusters, librarians and others.
But Ruger did note that home schooling regulations were fairly light, an example, he said, of why New Jersey could not really be compared with a country in Africa, like Zimbabwe, with an extended history of dictatorial governance.
The other co-author, Jason Sorens, assistant professor of political science, University of Buffalo (SUNY), said California, New Jersey and New York qualified as “nanny states” because of such regulations as a ban on trans fats in restaurants, public smoking and high tobacco taxes.
Sorens cited New Jersey’s spending on low-income school districts and said it was part of an “an extensive redistributive pattern” of wealth. That school spending was ordered by a long-running series of state Supreme Court decisions.
The report, and its authors, said New Jersey should adopt a more widespread public school choice program and trim licensing requirements on professions.
New Jersey should also roll back spending on low-income school districts and use the savings to roll back income, property and cigarette taxes, the report said.
Industrialist Charles G. Koch, who press reports have connected to the financing of the Tea Party and other arch-conservative or libertarian efforts, sits on the board of the center, according to the nonprofit’s tax filing. Richard Fink, executive vice president of Koch Industries, also sits on the board.

Actually I happen to know Jason Sorens.  He is the founder and former president of The Free State Project, in which I am a participant.

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