I am looking for two answers actually…the most libertarian country, and the most libertarian US state.
I would nominate Alaska for most libertarian state. Not libertopia by any means, but closer than any other state. Many areas have no building codes, so you are free to build what ever kind of structure you want to live in. Lots of blue tarps and Tyvek.
While I understand that this does indeed more it more libertarian, it also makes it much less desireable, as does the several months of bone-chilling cold and pure darkness.
Check out this site it is about the most libertarian state in the US and has the stats to back it up…
That’s a rather limited set of stats; almost all of the categories are economic, and most issues of personal rights thus aren’t addressed.
Yes: other issues that I would think need to be addressed would be drug laws (and their enforcement) and gay marriage.
In addition, it is very US-centric, since it includes issues like state income taxes and state sales taxes, so the measures only work in the US. If you wanted an international comparison, you’d want to measure the whole bundle of sales and income taxes, at all levels of government, and include the social security tax as an income tax
My Libertarian Party friends have bristled at the suggestion, but I would suggest it would be somewhere rather underdeveloped in the Third World. Most things aren’t regulated and most regulations aren’t enforced, and a lot of the ones that are bribe-able into oblivion, thereby making things by mutual consent between private parties.
No one’s going to write you a ticket for riding a motorbike without a helmet in Monrovia… no nasty taxes for guardrails in Nepal … nobody flouridating up your water in Vientiane … “Wheeee!”
Desirability really isn’t an issue when judging libertarian qualities. Some would argue libertarianism itself is undesirable.
Another point for Alaska as libertopia is the absence of any state income or sales tax, though there are local sales taxes in some boroughs (counties).
Montana? No speed limits, no sales tax, armed militias running around. It seems like a libertarian’s dream!
And if you don’t like the winters the same statements apply to Mogadishu… no income tax either! Plus you can homeschool the kids, discipline the wife without those nasty domestic violence cop visits and take the muffler off your jeep. Libertarian paradise!
Hey now, we do too have a speed limit. It was re-instituted several years ago. And most of our militia-men (except for our National Guardsmen who are the REAL militia men and women) are rounded up and put away. I don’t know about it being a libertarian’s dream place to live, but I sure do like it!
No income tax? How do these states support their budgets (assuming they have the same calls on the public purse as all the others) and why doesn’t everybody live there?
Most without an income tax have a sales tax (Texas for one) and vice versa, as well as property taxes (which is apparently how New Hampshire gets by without income or sales tax, besides being thrifty), etc. Alaska has oil revenue, which funds the state budget and provides a surplus, which is distributed to residents annually.
The states also all get federal funds for highways and such.
As far as my candidates for most libertarian states, I would consider Alaska to be one of the leaders, as well as New Hampshire, chosen as the site of the Free State Project. I would also include the upper Rocky Mountain states (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming), and perhaps the Dakotas.
Crandolph, I see where you are coming from with suggesting 3rd world countries, and agree to some extent, but I also think you are conflating libertarianism and anarchism. I think that you will find that all but the most radical libertarians agree that some government is necessary to preserve the people’s rights (eg police, fire, military), while in countries like Somalia, with a complete absence of organized government, there is little to stop one’s rights from being infringed by others.
I was told by a woman in Ketchikan that dwellings were not taxed until complete, and so many people never “finish” building their homes.
It is like that in Peru. Virtually every building is unfinished.
It used to be Kowloon Walled City. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you view these things) they tore it down a few years ago.
Are you defining libertarianism by maximum personal liberty or minimum government involvement? Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana all rank high by the first measure, low by the second meaure. In fact there was an editorial in the Washington Post a few months ago, documenting how Alaska has the second highest rate of federal spending per capita. It’s also worth nothing that in Alaska and the big western states, a larger share of the land is owned by the federal government than in the eastern states.
:dubious: That site has the Minnesota Family Council listed as a “think tank”. That’s quite the anti-libertarian organization.