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The Koch-funded, libertarian-minded Mercatus Center is out with their newest effusively silly pronouncement as to which of our states allows the most "freedom"—and this year, it even comes with a spiffy cartoon. Did past years have spiffy cartoons? I don't know, because when it comes right down to it I really, really don't give a flying damn.

As Alex Pareene rudely and shamefully observes (tsk), "Almost any Liberty issue that wouldn’t concern a straight, white, male capitalist is wholly ignored."

Mercatus doesn’t take reproductive rights into account at all. In fact, no issues specifically related to women’s rights are taken into account. Same-sex marriage is included, but not housing employment anti-discrimination rules. They do weigh “‘smoker protection’ in employment,” though.
You know, liberty! Rights for brown people and the like, forget about it, but if you're, say, a wealthy industrialist looking for a nice place dump a few million gallons of ebola-laced arsenic or arsenic-laced ebola or genetically modified ebola that spits arsenic, you're in luck, because these rankings are made for you, you fracker. And according to that ranking, it's American paradise North Dakota in the lead, with notable hellholes California and New York (i.e. the places where people actually live) bringing up the very rear.

I have nothing to say here other than libertarians are among the most willingly scammed people on earth. Nihilistic corporatism passing itself off as "freedom," and groups like the Koch brothers are keepers of the libertarian flame? Sure, libertarian movement, y'all knock yourselves out on that one. I'd think the free market would spring for better production values, but pfft. I guess we should be happy that supposed serious thinkers are bothering to produce creepy-ass cartoons about their supposed super-serious findings at all, right?

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Comment Preferences

  •  i foolishly thought this was snark (28+ / 0-)

    from one of the dK cartoon staff

    it's a crazy race.  RWNJ reality has lapped satire once again

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:33:55 AM PDT

  •  Koch: white-skin privilege is what built Liberty (9+ / 0-)

    don't hush my doobie vibe, yo and let me drill my co-star

    I have nothing to say here other than libertarians are among the most willingly scammed people on earth. Nihilistic corporatism passing itself off as "freedom," and groups like the Koch brothers are keepers of the libertarian flame? Sure, libertarian movement, y'all knock yourselves out on that one. I'd think the free market would spring for better production values, but pfft. I guess we should be happy that supposed serious thinkers are bothering to produce creepy-ass cartoons about their supposed super-serious findings at all, right?

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 Acedia is essentially a flight from the world that leads to not caring even that one does not care

    by annieli on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:37:30 AM PDT

  •  Ejecting choice is not Libertarian (4+ / 0-)

    I prefer the not-quite-immortal words of a former secretary of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire.  I realize some readers are about to suffer cognitive dissonance.  She said:

    "I'll protect my right to choice with my right to a gun, so keep your laws off my uterus if you value your own right to life."

    We can have change for the better.

    by phillies on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:41:23 AM PDT

    •  On second thought "Rejecting choice" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat

      is clearer.

      We can have change for the better.

      by phillies on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:41:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  libertarians think choice in general is stupid (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eps62, TacoPie

        Choice is for ignorant and/or insane people who don't know how or don't care to maximize value.  In every situation there is only one correct course of action - whatever puts the most money in your pocket - because there is only one rational goal: putting the most money in your pocket.

        It's like how fundies think: "Yeah, you have free will, but doing anything other than what God tells you to do will send you straight to Hell, so why would you want to do anything else?"

        •  Curiously (0+ / 0-)

          Notwithstanding your outre claim, most Libertarian parents offered $10 for their children will decline the offer.

          We can have change for the better.

          by phillies on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 12:50:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you're quite right, it doesn't make any sense (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Auburn Parks

            I think that an ideology that boils everything down to an absolutist conception of property rights married to the belief in the inherent virtue of personal gain would be hard pressed to explain holding onto a $100,000+ liability ... especially if you also believe that the child (once grown) has no moral obligation towards you, so the safety net argument doesn't hold water.  No doubt these same libertarians would have no problem with prostitutes selling themselves for $10, so the human dignity argument fails as well.

  •  Mustn't forget North Dakota's fetal freedoms (9+ / 0-)

    "Free the sperm" is bound to be next.

    How do you stop someone who will stop at nothing?

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:42:10 AM PDT

    •  Alex Wagner did a pretty good job last night (9+ / 0-)

      taking on these guys about what they left out (they were on her show). She specifically mentioned North Dakota and repeatedly brought up women's reproductive rights. Their justification was that some people think the fetus is a person so you can't ignore the freedom of the fetus! (I swear to god, that was their argument).
      She also made fun of their weighting -- how they gave higher weights to things lots of us don't think have much to do with freedom and left out other things or under-weighted them.
      They were smug, self-satisfied -- one of them in particular had a smirking style that was really grating.

      While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

      by Tamar on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:50:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And did you see . . . (7+ / 0-)

        Right after Alex Wagner's show, Rachel had her own report about NC Governor Pat McCrory closing down the Latino Affairs Office.  Rachel observed that the Hispanics comprise the fastest growing sector of the North Carolina population.

        Put two and two together.  

        The Mercatus Center links population growth with GOP white male knuckle-dragger stuff, because freedom. Rachel links population growth in North Carolina to immigrant populations (hispanics are the fastest growing sector of the NC population).  

        In North Dakota, by contrast, the population growth mostly correlates with fracking.  Good luck with that as well.  

        Mercatus used false measurements of liberty (guns and taxes) to correlate with false measurements of happiness (population increase) to arrive at a false conclusion (New York sucks).  

        I believe social scientists have a word for this kind of research.  FAIL.  

        •  I gave you a tip for using "comprise" correctly! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eikyu Saha, Tamar

          I also like what you said.

          Jon Husted is a dick.

          by anastasia p on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 12:12:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm a social scientist and you're right. What they (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eikyu Saha

          did, no matter how much they claimed to be "academic," was set up their methods so as to come to a particular conclusion. That's not science, it's propaganda.
          Reminds me greatly of the old Murray book on the supposed genetic inferiority of low income people (The Bell Curve). It was supposed to be "research," but the assumptions and the methods were so flawed that no legitimate researcher thought it had any merit at all.

          While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

          by Tamar on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:45:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Freedom for corporations (10+ / 0-)

    indentured servitude for people.

    There are a couple of bills in Congress now related to the H1B visas.  These are the visas that allow corporations to easily hire from outside the country rather than let a free market dynamic work for American STEM workers and allow their salaries to rise because of demand.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:42:30 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Hunter nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat
  •  Among the Best Sellers in Freedom-y FreedomLand (9+ / 0-)

    are:
    (1) A Handmaids Tale
    (2) The Turner Diaries
    (3) Atlas Shrugged
    (4) Some Robert Heinlein stuff (but not all)
    Feel free to add others, of course

    Can ya Grok it?

    After all, in Freedom-y FreedomLand where all the men are self-sufficient Aryans and the womenses are Nordic Beauties with icy blue eyes and perfect smiles there's little room for the mooching recipients of SSDI and Welfare.

    And definitely no cars up on cinder blocks either.

    A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

    by jo fish on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:46:05 AM PDT

  •  it's every american's fundamental right (12+ / 0-)

    to be ignorant and/or stupid. and the republicans depend on that for their waning years of existence.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:46:53 AM PDT

  •  This study was Fox Nation's top story yesterday (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MeToo, Siri, Aunt Pat, raincrow, ChemBob

    Here's their most recent comment on their thread titled : Report: Americans Are Migrating to More Free Republican States:

    MrHowe

    Capitalism creates hope, independence and prosperity; socialism creates apathy, dependency and poverty.

    @ Fox Nation

    "Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement" ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:47:16 AM PDT

    •  Because dying impoverished in the streets (8+ / 0-)

      is what that Welfare Queen Ayn Rand was all about.  From her perch in Galt's Gulch it was all good as long as the social security checks arrived every month.  

      A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

      by jo fish on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:50:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  poverty creates apathy, dependency, and socialism (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Coaster, eps62, Minnesota Deb

      Socialism was explicitly invented as a reaction to the horrific conditions of 19th Century laissez-faire capitalism in which even children worked 14 hour days in unsafe and unsanitary conditions with no safety net, no leverage against their feudal lord-like employers or the state that protected them, lived whole families to a room in dark and dirty tenements, and made barely enough to keep themselves alive.  Some contrarian historians argue that people were actually shorter and sicker and died earlier in the 19th Century than during the Middle Ages, which anyone can tell you were plenty dirty, hungry, and back-breaking.

      Hope, freedom, and prosperity might well create capitalism, in that people who actually have money!!! will generally want to do things with it.  People who don't have money as well as people who don't have hope or freedom (i.e. the poor) don't waste their time thinking about things that can never be.

    •  That's why North Dakota is ranked 48th (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eps62, mmacdDE, Lefty Coaster

      in population of all the states. People are flocking there!

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 12:16:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bang! (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nattiq, Siri, Aunt Pat, MeToo, edrie, eps62

    Shark-jumpingly surreal cartoon.

    I think they've officially lost it. Gone over the edge. There are no medications currently in development that can even begin to treat this brand of crazy.

    How do you stop someone who will stop at nothing?

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:48:17 AM PDT

  •  This mindset seems to have infected (6+ / 0-)

    the entire conservative base, not just the libertarians.

    Nihilistic corporatism passing itself off as "freedom
    Anything that interferes with their regulation free utopia is a crime against the constitution. But when it comes to controlling your own medical decisions or who you sleep with they want a law against that.

    They're just not that into freedom for flesh and blood people except when it comes to letting them own whatever weaponry the gun industry wants to sell them.

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

    by Siri on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:50:04 AM PDT

    •  China is a libertarian paradise (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Siri

      If you're a corporation, you can hire people for cheap wages. You put many workers in a dormitory room and set up safety nets to prevent suicides from jumping off the building. You can put poison in human food and in dog food. You can burn as much coal as you want.

      "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

      by Dbug on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 05:40:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was supposed to find that funny, right? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    Jeez...  Comedy requires an actual joke.

    Not talking points spewed with a voiceover parody.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:51:40 AM PDT

  •  Oh Noes! Health Insurance! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, MeToo, Eikyu Saha, raincrow, eps62

    If you look closely you'll see it on one of NY's weights. What a disaster health insurance is!

  •  Oh yeah cause I totally live for the gambling (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, raincrow, eps62

    and the happy hour hurdles!

    Woot!

    Waiting for the presidential/ vp bully pulpit to realize that libertarian/ conservative/ rw ideations are bunk... and say something about it!

    The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

    by MeToo on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:57:00 AM PDT

  •  Libertarians In a Time of Globally Saturated Air. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, Minnesota Deb, Words In Action

    If it had ever been a sensible philosophy, there is no longer a place for it on this planet.

    Since every human act, even opening your eyes in the morning, adds net carbon to the already-oversaturated atmosphere, every human act harms people and property everywhere.

    And that means that government now has an interest in every human act of every kind in every place.

    Even a libertarian --if they were honest about accepting regulation to prevent harm-- would demand a far more regulatory government than much of the left calls for.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:58:53 AM PDT

  •  they probably stole the idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62

    from the Heritage Foundation's "index of economic freedom" comparing countries.

  •  The whole idea that "freedom" means you are (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, MeToo, eps62, mmacdDE, Minnesota Deb

    completely on your own....it a crazy meme that somehow we must change.  

    Other countries have way less "freedom" and yet enjoy the actual and real freedom to live a happy, productive life with adequate, protective safety nets in place from a collective society.

  •  My nail salon is owned (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brooklynbadboy, raincrow

    by a one woman, Chinese born, naturalized citizen. She recently told me that the problem with America is we have too much freedom. I wasn't sure how to interpret that.

  •  They only mean "freedom from responsibilities" (4+ / 0-)

    They are rich, white wimps who hide behind their billions to purposefully about how poorly they are treating the rest of the world that they touch, directly and indirectly.

    They wouldn't be able to live with themselves after being exposed to the hell on earth conditions which they have fomented and even created among the working classes.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:10:33 AM PDT

  •  Poor New York and California... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, MeToo, Minnesota Deb, TacoPie

    burdened down with all those major populations of affluent, well educated people who are driving the biggest industries in the country, technology and media. Those places must be desolate with almost no people at all.

  •  Paradise? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat
    "And according to that ranking, it's American paradise North Dakota in the lead, with notable hellholes California and New York (i.e. the places where people actually live) bringing up the very rear.
     I have nothing to say here other than libertarians are among the most willingly scammed people on earth."
    Libertarian existence must be akin to reading Genesis and never getting to the part about the serpent, "the serpent," in this case, being lots of people.
    Still, I wouldn't count to much on not having multitudes around. Eden had two (count 'em) people and they still managed to get themselves evicted.

    The Great Awakening Is Afire! Think outside the box.

    by franklyn on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:15:39 AM PDT

    •  24 degrees: avg high temp Minot, ND Dec/Jan/Feb (0+ / 0-)

      I doubt I'll be living or vacationing in that "garden spot" anytime soon. No offense intended to our good kos members from ND.

      Can I get a Grey Goose on the rocks over here?!

      by G Contractor on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:41:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My son in law (0+ / 0-)

        Has been stationed in Minot. Right now, they're in California but will be moving soon.

        We were so sure he'd wind up back at Minot. He's had the good assignments in his specialty, and is at a level where he should be getting a command level assignment, and that would be a logical place to send him.

        He was THRILLED to get orders to Guam. Champagne toasting THRILLED.

        That is how attractive ND is to most people. They'd rather be 5000 miles from everything, on a tiny island in the middle of the pacific, than be stuck in ND.

  •  well, THAT made me nauseous! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    not something to watch when first opening eyes and before coffee.  

    these are the "liabilities" the freedumbs are concerned agout?  

    ugh...

    think i'm gonna go throw up now....

    EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

    by edrie on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:17:35 AM PDT

  •  North Dakota must be teeming with GDP! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, MeToo, raincrow

    North Dakota GDP:$34.7 Billion

    NYC...(not state...just the city): $1.3 TRILLION

    Boy, those liberals and minorities there, combined with all their heavy regulations, high taxes, and unbridled social permissiveness must be doing something that North Dakotans just don't get.

    •  I'll bet ND is all oil money. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brooklynbadboy, raincrow

      and about 12% agriculture. I'm too lazy to look this up- but I've been through both NYC and ND. I'll bet Little Italy has a GDP over ND- and Harlem- forget about it- Harlem best them ten times til Sunday.

      The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

      by MeToo on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:27:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Libertarians make for an interesting mix ... (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, they start with the usual right-wing "Cut taxes, cut spending, cut gun regs" push.

    But they also criticize some of the heavy-handed government regulations that many Republicans are so fond of.

    This group ranks Wyoming, Mississippi, and Louisiana, for example, among the 15 "least-free" states. Those states apparently get downgraded for high incarceration rates (for non-violent offenses), for harsh drug laws, and for banning same-sex marriage.

  •  The simple test to see if something is liberty: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blukat, Minnesota Deb

    If it's something that, ideally with respect to the law, everyone has equally, it's a liberty.  

    If not, it's probably an economic policy argument with class implications.

    Sometimes I can't believe it; I'm movin' past the feelin'...

    by Leftcandid on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:35:50 AM PDT

  •  OK... (0+ / 0-)

    ...here's how things rank:

    WINNING STATES:
    Alaska - population 771,449
    Tennessee - population 6,456,243
    Indiana - population 6,537,334
    South Dakota - population 833,354
    New Hampshire - population 1,320,718
    Total - 15,919,098

    Total Population, 50 States - 313,281,717

    % of Total Population - 5.1%

    OR, single states bigger than the total Winners:
    California    Population - 38,041,430
    Texas Population - 26,059,203
    New York Population - 19,570,261
    Florida Population - 19,317,568

    OR, the losingest states in that race up above:
    New York population - 19,570,261
    New Jersey population - 8,864,590
    California population - 38,041,430
    Total - 66,476,281

    Not sure what all this means, except wayyyyyyyyy more people live in the "LOSING" states than the "WINNING" states.

    FWIW.

    source: Wikipedia, population estimates 7/1/2012

    •  As in all real.estate (0+ / 0-)

      Location, location, location.

      All the winning states are either tiny, or isolated, except for Indiana and Tennessee. Both those have likely lost population due to older, declining industries.

  •  This study is a joke (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blukat, Minnesota Deb

    What about the freedom to breathe clean air?

    The freedom to eat untainted food?

    Honestly, who wants to live in a community that has no regulations on trash in the yards or pesky stop signs?

    How about the freedom to have high property values?

    Clearly, one person's "freedom" is another person's curtailment of freedom.

    •  Darn those pesky regulations (0+ / 0-)

      I'm still wondering what "smoker protections" are. Is it they protect people from breathing second hand smoke since it causes major health problems or is it allowing smokers to smoke irregardless if it affects others?

  •  Click on the YouTube icon and vote this (0+ / 0-)

    sucker down.

    What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

    by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:49:13 AM PDT

  •  Ancient Rome Mercatus means "commerce" (0+ / 0-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Mercatus

    The noun mercatus (plural mercatūs) means "commerce" or "the market" generally, but it also refers to fairs or markets held immediately after certain ludi. Cicero said[24] that Numa Pompilius, the semi-legendary second king of Rome, established mercatus in conjunction with religious festivals to facilitate trade, since people had already gathered in great numbers. In early times, these mercatus may have played a role in wholesale trade, but as commerce in Rome became more sophisticated, by the late Republic they seem to have become retail fairs specialized for the holiday market. The Sigillaria attached to the Saturnalia may have been a mercatus in this sense. Surviving fasti[25] record Mercatus Apollinares, July 14–19; Mercatus Romani, September 20–23; and Mercatus Plebeii, November 18–20. Others may have existed. The English word "fair" derives from Latin feria.[26]

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:42:30 AM PDT

  •  "where people actually live" (0+ / 0-)

    I think you meant, "where people about whom I care actually live".

  •  As all con-men/con-women know--the easiest mark (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999

    is the conceited self-important mark.

    Fiscal conservative: a Republican ready to spend $5 to save a dime--especially if that dime is helping a non-donor.

    by Mayfly on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:44:19 AM PDT

  •  The "cartoon" gives it all away (0+ / 0-)

    Come on...the announcers are two white dudes...and look at the arm color of those states..some are a little grey.......even the starting gun "arm" is white.

    The lack of mention of womens self sovereignty over their own bodies as respects to medical decisions "speaks" loudly..

  •  Hunter, once I dated a Libertarian. I admit it! He (0+ / 0-)

    was kind of sexy in his way, but after the second date I realized he knew nothing of the real world. I had much more experience of life than he (although we were the same age) . I had lived in "3rd world countries" etc.  under primitive conditions and has worked at jobs up and down the sociological pay scale.

    But he was a Libertarian white male engineer type , so any info or opinions from me ( a mere fem/liberal) counted for nothing.

    Good that we broke up before I smacked him up side of the head.

    Fiscal conservative: a Republican ready to spend $5 to save a dime--especially if that dime is helping a non-donor.

    by Mayfly on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 01:04:30 PM PDT

  •  Damn them all! (0+ / 0-)

    How can you make fun of these guys when what they actually produce for themselves is funnier than anything we could possibly make up?

    "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

    by Notthemayor on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 01:05:38 PM PDT

  •  Anyone else notice how conservative utopias... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Tend to be sparsely populated?

    And those evil liberal utopias tend to be heavily populated, and have the highest standards of living in the nation.

    Just sayin'.

    "We see things not as they are, but as we are." - John Milton

    by Jasonhouse on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 05:42:43 PM PDT

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