Florida is the number one state in the U.S. for economic freedom

The state governed by Republican Ron DeSantis also ranks first in fiscal policy and second in educational freedom and overall index of freedoms in the U.S.

Governor Ron DeSantis has succeeded in keeping Florida ranked first in economic freedom and second in educational freedom. (Twitter)

When Donald Trump left the presidency of the United States in January of last year, he decided to move to Florida and not to his native New York, where he had his residence. The reason is very simple. Among the 50 U.S. states, Florida ranks first in economic freedom and New York last.

These data correspond to the Cato Institute's index on personal and economic freedom in the 50 states, which Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, shared on his social networks. In this ranking, the behavior between the years 2000 and 2019 is observed, where Florida, a traditionally conservative state, has remained in first place for six consecutive years since 2014, while New York, dedicated to the progressive ideology, has been for 20 years in a row the state with the worst score.

In the most recent measurement of economic freedom, corresponding to 2019, in addition to New York (50) complete the last places Hawaii (49) and California (48). It is striking that these three states have something in common: they are governed by the Democratic Party.

In terms of the general freedom index - which, in addition to the economy, includes personal, fiscal, judicial, labor and educational freedom, among others - the first place is occupied by New Hampshire, followed by Florida in second place and Nevada in third place. In the last three rungs are California in 48th place, Hawaii in 49th place and New York in 50th place.

Number one in tax policy and cable service

Hand in hand with openness to trade is the tax flexibility provided by the Sunshine State. This has attracted new residents who have contributed positively to the economy. In particular, affluent retirees.

Florida also stands out in first place in tax policy and cable and telecommunications service. This state is attractive because it has no individual income tax. It also enjoys in the south - the most populated region - a warm beach climate that attracts residents from areas that get very cold during the winter.

Florida's tax collection is more than 1.5 standard deviations below the national average. At the same time, local tax collections are slightly below average.

Education, Labor, and Health

Educational freedom in Florida takes second place in the nation. Governor Ron DeSantis, who began his term in 2019, has been noted for his stewardship against indoctrination and ideologization in schools. Although homeschooling remains heavily regulated in Florida, it exists and is on the rise.

In terms of labor freedom, it is above average, ranking 13th, thanks, among other things, to a beneficial labor law. However, by 2021 the minimum wage was still at $10 an hour.

An important data point is the fact that fewer and fewer people are working in the public sector; also known as the unproductive sector. For it produces nothing; it only distributes. This fell from 11.2% of private employment in 2010 to 8.3% in 2019.

However, there are still variables to improve. Regulations on managed care plans are among the worst in the country, with standing referrals, direct access to specialists and a ban on financial incentives for providers.

Miami could be the next Silicon Valley

Just as a new Silicon Valley was once created in Texas, Florida is building its tech hub. Miami's mayor, Francis Suarez, intends to turn the city into a new hub for entrepreneurship.

Once achieved, Miami would become part of the Three Ms (emes): Madrid, Montevideo, and Miami. Behind the "Three Ms" is Isabel Díaz Ayuso. The president of the Community of Madrid has managed to improve the economy of her city, while the rest of the country has gone in the opposite direction due to the socialist policies of the central government led by Pedro Sánchez. So, in both Madrid and Florida, economic freedom has proven to work.

This piece originally appeared in Spanish in the Panam Post.

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