Red State, Blue State, Independent State, Moocher State: I don’t know if Dr. Seuss would appreciate my borrowing from his children’s classic but given how I enjoy comparative rankings, I couldn’t help myself after perusing a new study from WalletHub that ranks states on their independence (or lack thereof).
Ranking the States
Being a policy wonk, what really caught my attention was the section on government dependency, which is based on four criteria.
As you can see, the four factors are not weighted equally. The “federally dependent states” variable is considered four times as important as any of the other variables.
That’s important, to be sure, but is it really more important (or that much more important) than the other categories?
Moreover, I’m not sure the “tax freedom day” variable is a measure of dependency. What’s really captured by this variable, given the way the tax code doesn’t tax low-income people and over-taxes high-income people, is the degree to which states have lots of rich people or poor people. But that’s not a measure of dependence (particularly if the rich people stole money instead of earning it).
But I’m quibbling. I might put together a different formula with some different variables, but WalletHub has done something very interesting.