Free State Project Forum

Archive => Which State? => Topic started by: Solitar on January 15, 2003, 06:13:47 am

Title: Indicator tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Solitar on January 15, 2003, 06:13:47 am
State prohibitions of fireworks is an indicator of how much the state legislators and voters trust the average person with being responsible for handling of fireworks. Restrictive fireworks laws or outright prohibitions implies a severe level of state nannyism.

We libertarians on this council and especially I (even before the reinforcements arrived), fought very hard for repealing the local prohibition against sparklers, fountains, ground spinners, and novelties. We did win but may see Colorado prohibit everything like Delaware and Vermont have done. We can not be less restrictive than the state statute.

Most Free...(Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana)... Most Class C fireworks permitted (firecrackers, aerials, roman candles, sky rockets,etc.).  Fireworks sold primarily by licensed fireworks stores and temporary roadside stands.

Next Most Free...(Idaho, New Hampshire)
Family safe and sane fireworks. Sparklers, fountains, trick noisemakers, toy smoke devices and snakes. Fireworks sold by retailers - supermarkets, discount stores, drug stores, convenience stores and temporary roadside stands.

Next Least Free...(Maine)
Sparklers and/or trick noisemakers, toy smoke devices and snakes. Fireworks sold by retailers - supermarkets, discount stores, drug stores and convenience stores.

Total Prohibition (Delaware, Vermont)
Fireworks not permitted for sale to/or use by consumer.
Why does Vermont require no permit for carrying a gun concealed yet prohibit fireworks?

http://www.fireworks-safety.com/plate.main/newsroom/usfireworklaws.html

If they don't trust us with fireworks, they won't trust us with guns, knives, rat poison, ground-mole-bombs, road flares, etc.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on January 15, 2003, 03:44:36 pm
Quote
State prohibitions of fireworks is an indicator of how much the state legislators and voters trust the average person with being responsible for handling of fireworks. Restrictive fireworks laws or outright prohibitions implies a severe level of state nannyism.

I have to question this statement, Joe.

I imagine all it would take to pass restrictive laws on fireworks, is a couple of legislators with a bug up their a$$. A little lobbying and logrolling, a couple of hurt kids, a few alarmist letters from "soccer moms", and you are done. Other legislators who don't care much one way or another may vote for this because there's just not going to be a lot of opposition to it. Who is going to spend time going down and lobbying against fireworks restrictions?

So I wouldn't hang my hat on fireworks restrictions, as a very strong indicator of rampant nannyism.

On the other hand, firearms restrictions surely qualifies. If a state sees fit to "protect" us from ourselves this way, despite significant opposition from large segments of society, despite strong arguments against it for anyone who bothers to spend a few minutes looking, then that is a reliable indicator of rampant nannyism.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: George Reich on January 17, 2003, 11:16:30 am
How about looking at things like mandatory seat belt laws, motorcycle helmet laws, mandatory auto insurance laws, etc?
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Kelton on January 17, 2003, 11:44:18 am
New Hampshire has no helmet or seat belt laws.

All of our candidate states exempt adults from helmet laws except Vermont.

source:
http://usff.com/hldl/frames/50state.html
___
All other states have some form of seat belt law.
Here is a ranking of the Maximum 1st fine offense if caught without a belt:
Idaho =  $5
Vermont = $10
Alaska = $15
Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota = $20
Wyoming $25 (driver)/ $10 passenger -- is reduced by $10 for good behavior.  ;)
Maine $50

None of our states require standard enforcement on the road for non- use.

Source:
http://www.iihs.org/safety_facts/state_laws/restrain3.htm
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on January 17, 2003, 12:59:18 pm
Another possibility would be hunter orange requirements, and requirements for hunter training, and helmets for kids on bikes.

Hunter orange: only Alaska, Idaho, Vermont and New Hampshire do not require the use of hunter orange garments.
Hunter training: Montana is apparently the only state that does not require hunter training.
Source: http://www.ihea.com/infodb/

Bicycle Helmet Laws: I was very surprised to see that only Delaware and Maine have state laws, given the reduction in injuries from using helmets. Where's all that "for the children" sentiment?  ::)  BTW Billings, Montana has a city law.
Source: http://www.bhsi.org/mandator.htm

I think the motorcycle helmet issue is a good indicator because there is likely to be strenuous opposition to it. If it passes nonetheless, that's saying something. However there is probably not much motorcycle riding in these northern states!  :P

exitus, you make an excellent point about considering the fines for these "violations". A fine of $5 obviously is making a statement that "we'd rather you use seatbelts" more than "you'd better use seatbelts, or else". Certainly, having any fines at all is going over a qualitative threshold, though.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Kelton on January 17, 2003, 02:11:02 pm
I realize that this could say many subjective things, but interesting for this thread anyways--

Only three state legislatures took up the call by the conservative group, Americans for Tax Reform http://www.atr.org/maps/10.html (http://www.atr.org/maps/10.html)
and passed legislation "calling on their US congressmen and senators to pass the Bush tax relief package"

That was  Idaho, Montana and North Dakota
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Kelton on January 21, 2003, 01:20:10 pm
In the book, You May Not Tie an Alligator to a Fire Hydrant: 101 Real Dumb Laws (http://www.freestateproject.org/books.htm) by Jeff Koon, Andy Powell, Ward Schumaker, take a light-hearted look at "dumb laws" in the 50 states.  They have a sampling of the book on their website, here are links to our candidate state dumb-law pages:
 Alaska (http://www.dumblaws.com/states/states.php?State=Alaska)   Delaware (http://www.dumblaws.com/states/states.php?State=Delaware)    Idaho (http://www.dumblaws.com/states/states.php?State=Idaho)    Maine (http://www.dumblaws.com/states/states.php?State=Maine)    Montana (http://www.dumblaws.com/states/states.php?State=Montana)   New Hampshire (http://www.dumblaws.com/states/states.php?State=New%20Hampshire)    North Dakota (http://www.dumblaws.com/states/states.php?State=North%20Dakota)    South Dakota (http://www.dumblaws.com/states/states.php?State=South%20Dakota)    Vermont (http://www.dumblaws.com/states/states.php?State=Vermont)    Wyoming (http://www.dumblaws.com/states/states.php?State=Wyoming)
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Robert H. on January 22, 2003, 10:42:58 am
Another criteria I would add to a "litmus test" for a liberty-minded state would be the homeschooling issue.  Homeschooling is a such a personal, anti-conformity related issue that I would say a population's attitude toward it would be a supreme indicator of their general attitude toward personal liberty and individualism.

A state with more stringent homeschooling laws would seem to be indicative of a more conformist-dominated population.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - No Hunting on Sunday
Post by: freedomroad on January 22, 2003, 02:05:44 pm

Hunter orange: only Alaska, Idaho, Vermont and New Hampshire do not require the use of hunter orange garments.
Hunter training: Montana is apparently the only state that does not require hunter training.
Source: http://www.ihea.com/infodb/


Talking about hunting...  There is something even more important than orange laws.  Some states have actually outlawed hunting.  They only outlaw hunting on one day but if they will outlaw hunting on one day what is to stop them from outlawing hunting on other days.  Two of the state, ME and DE, do not allow hunting on Sunday.  These laws do not allow you to use a gun for a whole 1/7th of the week.  I thought ME had a pro-gun culture but this law is very anti-gun.  DE does not have much hunting land, anyway.  However, all of the states near DE, such as, PA, NJ, and MD do not allow Sunday hunting.  So, if you are like most people and your days off are Saturday and Sunday....
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on January 22, 2003, 03:04:29 pm
That is really weird. It never would have occurred to me that "communing with God" was illegal on Sundays!  ::)

This might be a hang-over from the old days, what did they call them, blue laws, or something like that? Lots of things used to be illegal on Sunday. I wouldn't necessarily throw it into the "anti-gun" category.

Really strange not to have hunting on one of your days off, though. In a lot of states, deer hunting season is a religious holiday!  ;)
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - No Hunting on Sunday
Post by: Kelton on January 24, 2003, 09:18:17 am

 These laws do not allow you to use a gun for a whole 1/7th of the week.  I thought ME had a pro-gun culture but this law is very anti-gun.
I would not call this kind of law anti-gun.  You are talking about hunting, not necessarily gun rights. Nowadays hunting is largely a state- sponsored activity.  State agents help with the management of wild herds, the cost of a license goes towards this and to help pay for anti-poaching measures, enforcement, feeding stranded herds, hunter training.  
To stop hunting on Sunday is equivalent to closing a state- maintained roadway on Sunday, which might restrict your travel but certainly isn't like getting your car towed, both measures are far less eggregious than actually saying, "on Sundays you may not even handle a gun".
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Kelton on January 24, 2003, 10:05:30 am
The following is some of my notes and summaries of relevant smoking laws that I created while researching laws on smoking,  edited so that most of the following information is that which is not covered on the American Lung Association web-page.
Quote
Alaska- prohibited workplace smoking by law and penalty by fine, penalty or civil tort action. Smoking in any form is a nuisance and a public health hazard and is prohibited in the following vehicles and indoor places, except as allowed under AS 18.35.310 :
 Delaware= effective November 27, 2002, " Violators will be subject to a fine of $100 for the first violation and a minimum of $250 for each additional infraction.
--Idaho- Indoor clean air act. Smoking prohibited on elevators, unchartered buses and other forms of  conveyance open to the public,entry areas, exit areas, ticket and registration areas (where a line may form), grocery stores,and within areas as applicable to food safety and sanitation hazards for food establishment, places where smoking could cause explosion hazard, and designated smoking area decided by proprietor with restrictions on area and amount of seclusion for non-smoking patrons and must provide non-smoking area except by application for smoking waiver costing $10. Proper sized signs to designate non-smoking areas.  Signs must be posted in non-smoking areas. Fine=yes penalty provided in Section 39-5507 (for proprietor violations), Any violation may be reported to a law enforcement officer. 18-5906. PENALTY FOR VIOLATION. A violation of section 18-5904 Idaho Code, is punishable by a fine of not less than five dollars ($5) nor more than ten dollars ($10), apparently, this is penalty to the smoker.

Maine- provision of smoke-free work spaces for employees who request them mechanisms by which employees may complain about violations of smoking rules assurances that employees will not be retaliated against for enforcing workplace smoking policy. and punishable by penalty or fine or civil tort action.  
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says Maine improved its rating from No. 3 a year ago to No. 1. in smoking prevention spending.
--
Montana- prohibited workplace smoking by law and penalty by fine, penalty or civil tort action.  Employers are free, by statute to charge smokers higher health insurance premiums.
--
New Hampshire- provision of smoke-free work spaces for employees who request them mechanisms by which employees may complain about violations of smoking rules. assurances that employees will not be retaliated against for enforcing workplace smoking policy. prohibited workplace smoking by law and punishable by penalty or fine or civil tort action.126-K:7 Use of Tobacco Products on Public Educational Facility Grounds Prohibited. – I. No person shall use any tobacco product in any public educational facility or on the grounds of any public educational facility. II. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a violation and, notwithstanding RSA 651:2, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $100 for each offense. Source. 1997, 338:8, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.
--
South Dakota S.D. (2002) Employers are, by statue, free to charge smokers higher health insurance premiums.
---
Vermont- provision of smoke-free work spaces for employees who request them,mechanisms by which employees may complain about violations of smoking rules assurances that employees will not be retaliated against for enforcing workplace smoking policy. Punishable by penalty or fine or civil tort action. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 18, § 1742 restricts smoking in public places, including restaurants. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 18, § 1744 only allows restaurants issued a "cabaret" license to permit smoking.
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 16, § 140 prohibits any person from using tobacco products on public school grounds and prohibits students from using tobacco at public school sponsored functions.
--Wyoming- 1999 Employers are free, by statute to charge smokers higher health insurance premiums.
--
Lawful product laws (pro-smoker, not free-market):
The state mandates that employers are not able to make employment decisions based on whether someone uses tobacco or not (some exceptions such as for religious organizations apply):  Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota.

Of the above states, WY,MT,SD have lenient provisions that allow employers to require a non-smoking employee if hiring a smoker would be contrary to the mission of the business, such as employees working in an anti-smoking taskforce.

States that participated among 29 states that participated in tabacco lawsuit were:
(All)

Existence of "nicotine dependence treatment programs" contingent upon accepting money are in place in all of the candidate states.
What follows is perhaps more useful in analyzing the states . . .
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Kelton on January 24, 2003, 10:30:18 am
From the American Lung Association:
State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues (http://slati.lungusa.org/states.asp)
(There is not enough room to copy all of those laws onto this page)

For a reasoned perspective on organizations such as American Lung Association, please visit Stephen Milloy's web-page, Junkscience (http://www.junkscience.com) From a libertarian perspective, one should rate whatever the precautionary-principled junk-scientists rate high as low.

Some more info on How Prohibition Increases the Harm It Tries to Reduce (http://i2i.org/Publications/IP/PersonalFreedom/ForbiddenFruit.htm)


American Lung Association Report card:
 (http://lungaction.org/reports/rank-states.html)  Worse grade = more freedom. . .ranking based on "an analysis of state laws" based on efforts to control public smoking.  The assignment of grades is somewhat independant of the state ranking.

From most free to least free:

   WY(Ranks #50 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  D  
Cigarette Taxes  F
   ID (Ranks #28 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  B  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  F
   ND (Ranks #27 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  D
   MT (Ranks #25 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  F
   SD (Ranks #17 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  D
   NH (Ranks #13 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  C    
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  D
   AK (Ranks #8 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  B  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  C  
Cigarette Taxes  B  
   VT (Ranks #4 in nation)
Smokefree Air  B  
Youth Access  A  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  B  
Cigarette Taxes  B
   DE (Ranks #2 in nation) --based on
Smokefree Air  A  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  D  
Cigarette Taxes  F
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on January 24, 2003, 12:53:16 pm
exitus, that's an excellent find. There is hardly a better measure of rampant nanny-statism than anti-smoking laws. I just spent some (losing) effort trying to head off "no smoking in public places and work places" laws in my town. It is irritating how this junk science gets such strong play.

About my only concern would be the part about youth access. I might have to agree with the American Lung Association on that one, even though that shows I don't follow the libertarian dogma!

I think I will add this row to my big spreadsheet. Especially since Wyoming does so well on it.  ;)  In fact, I probably ought to add some of these other items as well.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 24, 2003, 01:00:48 pm
Actually, I agree with you, Zxcv: the government does have a role to play in preventing minors from having access to tobacco, alcohol, drugs, pornography, etc.  I wonder what goes into their grades on that dimension, though.  Could involve a bunch of feel-good, do-nothing advertising paid for by public dollars.  Also, I'm still scratching my head over the rankings, which don't seem to match the grades well at all.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on January 24, 2003, 01:38:29 pm
It might be worth while reworking their summaries by heaving out the youth access stuff, and seeing what the resulting score would be then.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Kelton on January 24, 2003, 01:44:50 pm
In support of the preceeding rankings on smoking freedoms that I just posted, I will add that I began a studious investigation into this topic independently of this ALA report -- before it occurred to me to search the ALA website-- and I can attest to this ranking being very similar to how I would have ranked the states using somewhat different criteria.  I came up with WY-#1, ID-#2, with those middle states being  muddled in the middle so much that I was having to resort to subjective analysis in ranking between them until I got to Alaska, then Vermont then lastly, Delaware.  

As usual in so many laws we have looked at, DE would have been one of the more free states a few years ago but has recently been outlawing freedom by leaps and bounds in recent legislative sessions  It will be interesting to observe the degree of public outrage or apathy in this decline to decide how much statism Delawareans can tolerate so quickly.

 If I understand the ALA's statement of methodology correctly, they ranked the states mostly based on the degree of nanny-statism in each state.  I heartily endorse using these rankings of the states, although, like I said, some of the middle states are actually quite similar.    

It may be of no surprise to those who understand the true value of prohibition laws, that there was very little real correlation between prevalence of smokers and cigarette taxes.  Neither did ratio of smokers to non-smokers have any discernible impact on the severity of smoking laws as reported by the ALA.  For instance, Idaho which ranked second only to Wyoming among our candidate states, had the smallest percentage of mothers who smoked during pregnancy, while Wyoming had the highest percentage; but looking further at all of the data shows that the percentage of smokers in each state has had no significant change over the years from year to year despite the implementation of draconian laws to curb smoking.  Much of the incidence of smoking among adults seems to have more to do with other factors than implementation of laws.  For instance, Utah has the lowest smoking rates but is more middle-of-the road in smoking law severity, although they were second to implement any sort of "indoor clean air act"  while Alaska is easily a higher- smoking state with a more strict set of laws.

Zxcv, I agree that there needs to be controls on smoking for those who have not attained the age of majority without parental consent.  This is one trend where there is a slight bit more correlation between laws and behavior.    --For instance, North Dakota has the highest number of teenage smokers and one of the least amount of controls for under-age access.  I read where over 40% of North Dakota high-schoolers smoked, which is about double the median percentage nationwide.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Kelton on January 24, 2003, 05:45:23 pm



American Lung Association Report card:
 (http://lungaction.org/reports/rank-states.html)  
From most free to least free:

   WY(Ranks #50 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  D  
Cigarette Taxes  F
   ID (Ranks #28 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  B  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  F
   ND (Ranks #27 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  D
   MT (Ranks #25 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  F
   SD (Ranks #17 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  D
   NH (Ranks #13 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  C    
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  D
   AK (Ranks #8 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  B  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  C  
Cigarette Taxes  B  
   VT (Ranks #4 in nation)
Smokefree Air  B  
Youth Access  A  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  B  
Cigarette Taxes  B
   DE (Ranks #2 in nation) --based on
Smokefree Air  A  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  D  
Cigarette Taxes  F

I think that if we are going to <<"rework the summaries">> as Zxcv suggests, we ought to use the scoring methodology that ALA used and try to find out what the raw number obtained was that went into the grade (or better yet, try to find-out the actual numbers that ALA used).   On that same page they have a link to the summaries which are 'yes or no' answers to the scoring questions, so you wouldn't have to read the whole law.

When I attempted this independently, I tried to use the $ amount of fines as a factor, for instance, Idaho fines the smoker $5-$10, but Delaware fines the offending smoker $100-$250.  The problem is, I came up short trying to find all of this information, since not all states have their laws on-line.

If someone would like to try to find this raw number that went into the grade, that would be great.  If someone would like to actually do the scoring, wow!  If not, I will pick it up, since this project has been my baby for so long.  I probably won't get a chance to do so until Saturday night or even Monday, however.  If anybody has an extra hour on their hands this weekend. . . .

From the web page on methodology (http://lungaction.org/reports/methodology.html) of how this report was scored:  (smokefree air was based on Delaware and California laws being 100% perfect)
 The grades break down to the following scores:
       A = 33 to 36
       B = 29 to 32
       C = 26 to 28
       D = 22 to 25
       F = 21 and below
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on January 24, 2003, 06:36:11 pm
Why don't we just simplify this problem.

There are 4 categories,

1) Smokefree air
2) Youth access
3) Tobacco prevention and control spending
4) Cigarette taxes

We and probably a lot of FSPers agree with ALA on #2. The prevention stuff, #3, is probably just the typical government rathole for tax dollars, more than any good litmus test or indication of nannyism. The taxes, #4, are probably just another way to loot the public pocketbook, again having little to do with nannyism (I think the money usually goes into the general fund - it does in my state, anyway).

That leaves #1, Smoke free air. This is surely the most egregious example of nannyism, based on junk science. The issue is not clouded by revenue generation or spending on bureaucrats; it is just plain old force. So I'm proposing we just use this measure.

I couldn't find the raw scores anywhere (except that DE and CA got perfect scores of 36!) so I have emailed them for these scores. If they don't give them to me, then I will just use the cruder letter scores in my big spreadsheet.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: DadELK68 on January 24, 2003, 08:04:55 pm
I think the motorcycle helmet issue is a good indicator because there is likely to be strenuous opposition to it. If it passes nonetheless, that's saying something. However there is probably not much motorcycle riding in these northern states!  :P

Ahem - NH is really looking good on this topic, eh?

BTW, NH hosts the annual huge motorcycle rally in Laconia - if you haven't been here, you can't imagine the numbers of motorcycles on the roads all summer. It's pretty amusing to see large numbers of Harleys pulled off the side of the freeway at the MA border, removing helmets (coming into NH) or putting them on (going into MA).
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: DadELK68 on January 24, 2003, 08:22:41 pm
Palindrome mentioned something in another forum which is interesting to consider: How many of these states include many towns with a town-meeting format in which residents actually participate?

New England has a strong tradition in this area. It has been weakening somewhat over time, but may be stronger here than any other region.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Robert H. on January 25, 2003, 12:31:47 am
The taxes, #4, are probably just another way to loot the public pocketbook, again having little to do with nannyism (I think the money usually goes into the general fund - it does in my state, anyway).

It might still be a useful measure in terms of redistributed funds garnered from "sin taxes" though, since this amounts to a form of behavior control or "punishment."  

And, interestingly enough, some states are now beginning to use portions of sin taxes to fund children's programs.  There was a recent debate on raising the cigarette tax here in South Carolina for just that purpose.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on January 26, 2003, 01:23:23 am
Quote
And, interestingly enough, some states are now beginning to use portions of sin taxes to fund children's programs.  There was a recent debate on raising the cigarette tax here in South Carolina for just that purpose.

"Money is fungible", as they say. Unless I'm mistaken, there really is no so thing as dedicated funding of programs. It's just a PR ploy. Just like the notion that corporations pay taxes, or half of your Socialist Security "contribution".

I'm trying to simplify things, Robert. If you want to generate a more comprehensive anti-smoking index, you're welcome to it.  ;)
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Robert H. on January 26, 2003, 03:08:48 am
"Money is fungible", as they say. Unless I'm mistaken, there really is no so thing as dedicated funding of programs. It's just a PR ploy. Just like the notion that corporations pay taxes, or half of your Socialist Security "contribution".

Very true.  My point was just that the "sin tax" itself is a form of punishment for a certain behavior.  Ultimately, it's all just transferred into one big pot and they write checks on the balance as they will.

Quote
I'm trying to simplify things, Robert. If you want to generate a more comprehensive anti-smoking index, you're welcome to it.  ;)

Oh, no.  Simplicity is good.   :D
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Kelton on January 26, 2003, 11:17:32 pm
Quote from: Zxcv on January 17, 2003,  DadELK68  January 24, 2003, et al . . . .
 [. . . the motorcycle helmet issue is a good indicator . . .]

  There really is only one way to look at the helmet issue:

All our candidate states score highly on this personal liberty issue except Vermont. Period.

 Since New Hampshire has no law, that does seem best, however, since all of the other states' laws (except Vermont) essentially only apply to children, from the information presented here so far,  they are essentially as free as New Hampshire for adults. Sorry if I sound too 'politician' , but does anybody out there, except maybe 3 teenage dare-devils in a sand-lot, think that we should waste any worry over children having to wear helmets when on the road?  Maybe?  I would be interested in finding out the fines for minors for this violation in each state.  I also would like to know which states will be sending the CPS cops to your door to take your children away to foster-care for allowing your child to ride a motorcycle on the street without a helmet, this is something that I am sure not even the "live free or die" state scores excellent marks in, but I would like to know.

Seat belt laws, OTOH, that is interesting, here is a recent contribution on this matter:    


New Hampshire has no helmet or seat belt laws.

All of our candidate states exempt adults from helmet laws except Vermont.

source:
http://usff.com/hldl/frames/50state.html
___
All other states have some form of seat belt law.
Here is a ranking of the Maximum 1st fine offense if caught without a belt:
Idaho =  $5
Vermont = $10
Alaska = $15
Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota = $20
Wyoming $25 (driver)/ $10 passenger -- is reduced by $10 for good behavior.  ;)
Maine $50

None of our states require standard enforcement on the road for non- use.

Source:
http://www.iihs.org/safety_facts/state_laws/restrain3.htm
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on January 27, 2003, 12:13:40 am
Exitus, you are right about helmet laws. I added this row to my big spreadsheet and gave Vermont 0, NH 10, and the rest 8. Maybe that should be 9, who knows?  :)

I also added seatbelt laws, giving 10 where no law and anything from 5 down to 1 depending on the fine, in the other states.

BTW I just thought of a good one - child care regulations. However I was unable to find any kind of state ranking based on the regulations and licensure, probably reflecting that that is hard to quantify. If anyone has any ideas let me know. This site points to the various state regulations, but nothing I can put in a spread sheet:
http://nrc.uchsc.edu/states.html
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: mtPete on January 27, 2003, 01:59:11 am
Hunter training: Montana is apparently the only state that does not require hunter training.
Source: http://www.ihea.com/infodb/

You might want to look into that a little closer. To the best of my knowledge (as a resident hunter in MT who had to take a Hunter Safety Class) MT does require hunter training.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Kelton on January 27, 2003, 10:40:00 am
Why don't we just simplify this problem.

There are 4 categories,

1) Smokefree air
2) Youth access
3) Tobacco prevention and control spending
4) Cigarette taxes

We and probably a lot of FSPers agree with ALA on #2. The prevention stuff, #3, is probably just the typical government rathole for tax dollars, more than any good litmus test or indication of nannyism. The taxes, #4, are probably just another way to loot the public pocketbook, again having little to do with nannyism (I think the money usually goes into the general fund - it does in my state, anyway).

That leaves #1, Smoke free air. This is surely the most egregious example of nannyism, based on junk science. The issue is not clouded by revenue generation or spending on bureaucrats; it is just plain old force. So I'm proposing we just use this measure.

I couldn't find the raw scores anywhere (except that DE and CA got perfect scores of 36!) so I have emailed them for these scores. If they don't give them to me, then I will just use the cruder letter scores in my big spreadsheet.
I Agree.  
Even though most FSP'ers probably agree that measures under the ALA's criteria for #2 go too far, they agree in principle that underage smoking is not desireable, so we toss out #2.

Since # 3 has to do somewhat with the terms of the settlement of the suit against "Big Tabacco" that all 10 of our states participated in, and how each handles the money, it is an irrelevant factor in comparison, and also since money is so fungible.

Since #4 is already a part of the total revenue item on the state comparison matrix, and to avoid redundant factoring, we throw it out, for now, though RoberH makes a good point that it is an important way that states attempt to regulate tobacco consumption. That leaves us with just #1, "smokefree air" .  

The factors that make up #1 as discussed in the ALA methodology (http://lungaction.org/reports/methodology.html), are making smoking a criminal act in: (1)government workplaces,(2)Private Workplaces,(3)schools, (4)childcare facilities, (5)Restaurants, (6)Retail Stores, (7) Recreational/Cultural Facilities, (8)penalties, (9) Enforcement.  
Each of these are assigned an equal value of 4 points.  Delaware received a perfect score of 36 by getting 4 points for all 9 criteria.  There was points assigned for meeting the basic criteria then bonus points added for additional degrees of regulation up to the total of 4 points.  Some points were subtracted if the law was weakened for exceptions or relaxed provisions.

In trying to re-create how the ALA assigned those scores, it is easy to use the state summaries found in the link off of each state's report card profile and see whether there was no regulation, regulation, or outright ban.  Trying to assign a scoring system of four points to determint the degree of compliance proves much more difficult without a strong background in interpretation of the law.  I took two business law classes at the university, and worked for a financial company assisting lawyers read cases on bankruptcy and various property laws and I still find myself unqualified to adequately compare the state laws.  As I said in my first post in this thread on the subject of smoking, I tried to rank the states independantly before discovering this report.  Some states, such as South Dakota essentially outlaw all smoking in public and then make so many exemptions that the law is unclear.  Other states, such as Idaho basically only attempt to regulate non-smoking areas, and leave much of the smoking areas to be determined by the proprietor, with a few exceptions such as buses and elevators.  How to interpret the law?  I suggest we just use a scoring of 0 points for no provision, 1 point for regulation, and two points for a ban, as in the state summaries on the ALA page.

     
Title: Smoking laws
Post by: Kelton on January 27, 2003, 11:12:04 am
Here is the break-down of how the states scored by assigning them one point for regulation, two points for outright ban; and one point for 'yes' 0 points for 'no' on enforcement and penalties while leaving out preemption as it only applies to South Dakota.  (as determined by the state summaries, found on the link from the state grade report on the ALA web-page (http://lungaction.org/reports/rank-states.html) ). This is without any concern for degree of regulation, just whether it was determined to regulate or ban (Since all of our states at least regulate smoking in government workplaces and most of us care less how government regulates government property than private property, I assigned a binary 0 point for regulation, 1 point for a ban):
WY=0   :)
ID = 7
MT = 8 +
ND = 9
AK = 9 +
NH = 10
ME = 12
SD = 12 ++
VT = 12
DE = perfect 15
 :(
______________
I added a '+' to MT and AK because the ALA recognized those two states for making "great strides in protecting people from secondhand smoke by passing strong local smokefree ordinances".  

++ALA also recognizes SD as a special case in that it has many strong local laws that are preempted by state law in the exemption of various places as already discussed previously.  ALA stated that "If preemption were repealed South Dakota's grade would be a "B"

If we give AK and MT an extra point for having "strong local ordinances" it would put North Dakota ahead and make AK and NH tie.

I would point out some of my notes, if they are readable on the first page of this thread for additional information not covered by ALA.  I would also like to bring up some trivial state-ranking info I came across related to smoking:
PERCENT OF MOTHERS WHO SMOKED DURING PREGNANCY BY STATE, 1999
 :( WY 21.5-->ND 19.2-->ME 18.3-->AK 18.0-->MT 17.5-->VT 16.5-->NH 15.2-->DE 12.8-->ID 12.7  :)

SD n/a
SOURCE: NATIONAL VITAL STATISTICS REPORT. SMOKING DURING PREGNANCY IN THE 1990S. VOL. 49(7); AUG. 2001. as reported in American Lung Association's report Trends in Tobacco Use, 2002.

CURRENT CIGARETTE SMOKING PREVALENCE (%) AMONG ADULTS AGED 18 AND OLDER
Most % of adults who smoke= AK 25.2 -->ME 23.8 -->WY 23.8 -->ND 23.2 -->DE 22.9 -->ID 22.3 -->SD 21.9 -->VT 21.5  -->MT 18.8 = least % of adults who smoke

Source: 45; MMWR VOL. 49 NO. 43 as reported in American Lung Association's report Trends in Tobacco Use, 2002

_________________________________________________
If we used the simple scoring criteria above, and score each state on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the best, and since we are seeking for a culture of liberty reflected in the laws, I suggest adding an arbitrary point to MT and AK on the scale of 0-15 for being recognized by the ALA for having strong local laws, as discussed above, and since local laws are in theory, even closer to the control of the people).  We would assign Wyoming a perfect 10 and Delaware a perfect 0.
In between these two extremes we would have
(ID=5.3)>(ND=4.0)=(MT=4.0)=(AK=3.3)=(NH=3.3)>(ME=2.0)=(SD=2.0)=(VT=2.0)

This corresponds beautifully with the ALA rankings on the first four states and the last three states using all the other criteria already thrown out, only NH,AK and SD come out differently, but still in the middle:
WY#50 in the nation, ID#28, ND#27, MT#25, SD#17, NH#13, AK#8,ME#5,VT#4,DE#2
_________________________________________________
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on January 27, 2003, 12:11:42 pm
Quote
You might want to look into that a little closer. To the best of my knowledge (as a resident hunter in MT who had to take a Hunter Safety Class) MT does require hunter training.

mtPete, if you can check this I'd appreciate it. The site I cited showed no training for MT. I went and looked through the MT dept of wildlife (or whatever it was called), and could find no evidence a class was required, although classes are offered. But I could have missed something. Maybe if you can call or email them to ask, or look through the state statues on this, it would be a help.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on January 27, 2003, 12:27:19 pm
exitus, thanks for your work on this. I will use your rating if ALA does not come through. So as a final number (eliminating the pluses for my spreadsheet) you recommend this?

WY=0  
ID = 7
MT = 9
ND = 9
AK = 10
NH = 10
ME = 12
SD = 12
VT = 12
DE = 15  

So, normalizing on a basis of 10=best, 0=worst, we'd have

WY=10  
ID = 5.3
MT = 4
ND = 4
AK = 3.3
NH = 3.3
ME = 2
SD = 2
VT = 2
DE = 0  

Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Kelton on January 27, 2003, 01:49:38 pm

BTW I just thought of a good one - child care regulations. However I was unable to find any kind of state ranking based on the regulations and licensure, probably reflecting that that is hard to quantify. If anyone has any ideas let me know. This site points to the various state regulations, but nothing I can put in a spread sheet:
http://nrc.uchsc.edu/states.html
Child Care Regulations themselves are too complex of an issue, what I would do is the following:

Look in the classified ads section of a major newspaper in each state and see what if any notice or warning the newspaper is required to post regarding advertisements for unlicensed childcare and see if that gives you any leads to follow as to how to examine this issue.

More importantly, perhaps is an examination of Child Protective Services caseload and see if the state rewards those bureaucrats for having a large number of children in the system, or if it is a strict law- based and means tested.  I would look into parental rights issues and see how far the state respects the right of parents to raise their children.

Is there already data on the FSP state research page dealing with interference from Child Protective Services caseloads?
_______________________________


I am already heavily involved in a couple of research projects, one of which I call "Respect for Motherhood in the States".  I already have about 9 full pages of notes on the subjects of breastfeeding- public breastfeeding and breastfeeding ages,  licensing of doulas and midwives, and pregnancy issues.
 
The breastfeeding issue has already spun-off a public decency- laws research project which I would invite someone else to look into.

The preganancy issue has already spun-off an examination of contraceptive regulations, which I would also invite someone else to research.

The contraceptive regulations issue spun-off an interesting look into liquor importation laws (long story) Montana is notably against people ordering liquor through the mail and I have a newspaper clipping on the struggles of one man who drove to Napa Valley, California to stock-up on wine since he was tired of having to comply with a permit just to order a bottle of wine over the Internet.

But I'm already waist-deep into the issue on motherhood and I don't know how long it will be before I have something worth sharing on that one as its complexity only increases as I try to gather meaningful data.  
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on January 27, 2003, 02:59:58 pm
Quote
More importantly, perhaps is an examination of Child Protective Services caseload and see if the state rewards those bureaucrats for having a large number of children in the system, or if it is a strict law- based and means tested.  I would look into parental rights issues and see how far the state respects the right of parents to raise their children.

Is there already data on the FSP state research page dealing with interference from Child Protective Services caseloads?
I don't see anything.

Ahh, exitus, you've reminded me of yet another important issue. That is the unwarranted adoption of children by state protection agencies (I call them "state kidnapping agencies") to harvest federal block grants for adoption. Here is a quote from one site I found:
Quote
Different federal funding streams financing child welfare, Title IV-E, and Title IV-B result in the perverse incentive to remove children from their homes rather than preserve families.
http://www.aphsa.org/reauthor/executive.asp

I understand things got so bad in Massachusetts that more than one enraged father killed a social worker there for kidnapping his children.  :o

What would be interesting would be to find how much money, per capita, our states harvest of this funding stream, to give us an idea how abusive these states are in this area. My cursory google search did not yield anything but I may look some more. If you have any pointers that would be great!
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 27, 2003, 03:12:42 pm
There is a partially quantitative Child Protective Services report:

http://www.freestateproject.org/cps.htm
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on January 27, 2003, 05:02:58 pm
Thanks, Jason, I have added 2 more rows to the big spreadsheet, "KidsKidnapped" and "KidsSold". I kinda extrapolated the two missing values, using the other states combined to find a proportion of sorts. Good enough I suppose, for a variable that has to have a small weight.

Joe, wanna take a shot at quantizing that insurance information?  :P

I noticed the state data page has links to other interesting variables like obscenity, gambling and vaccination laws. Those will be worth adding too, if a way can be found to quantify them...
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Kelton on January 28, 2003, 01:52:08 am
Assigning numerical values to the State Compulsory Auto Insurance. . .
Alaska = 2.0

Chalk- up another point for the statists,
Alaska Motor Vehicle Proof Of Insurance Requirements Change (September 30, 2002)
 (http://www.alaska-sights.com/akdigestemailnew93002v.htm)"Alaskans must start carrying proof of motor vehicle liability insurance in their automobile or on their person while driving or risk being charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or a jail sentence of not more than 90 days, or both. The privilege to drive or registration of vehicles may also be suspended or revoked".
 
The report that Joe has brought to our attention from the Insurance Information Institute was issued in July of last year.  I did a cursory check online to see if there was news of any change in all 10 states and found only the above article.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty State compulsory Insurance laws
Post by: Kelton on January 28, 2003, 12:01:55 pm
Here is another way of looking at state compulsory insurance laws; how justice is served when someone drives without insurance and thus another way to rank the states based upon the economic impact of restitution when the states interests supercede that of injured parties:


Let's create a scenario where you are driving in state X and suddenly, you are rear-ended by a driver of an pick-up truck.  The police immediately come to the scene and see that you appear to be in good condition except for the air- bag marks on your forehead.  The police get information from the other driver and begin writing a report. Your car looks totaled while the old pick-up of the guy who hit you looks like it may have lost some rusted chrome off the front bumper. Being the self-reliant kind of person that you are, you are legally self-insured up to $13,000 with a surety bond that acts as a deductible rider on your insurance policy and you begin hoping that this guy has good insurance, because the damage to your car is going to be at least $13,000.  The police come back and give you the bad news: the guy has no insurance.  He is a construction contractor on his way home from work, he said he forgot to send-in his last deductible payment but he was on his way to do it right now.  Now, let's say that this guy has a few points on his record and he is more than a little quarelsome and contentious with the judge and gets on the judge's bad side and incurs the maximum penalty.

Let me sum-up the scenario above as such: you incur losses of 13,000 in an accident because of this guy's negligence and he has no insurance.  This will come out of your pocket unless you can get something from him.  

If this scenario happened in New Hampshire, the state would work with you to get this guy to pay you, and that is pretty-much the extent of the state's involvement if he quickly works something out and starts making restitution to avoid losing his driving priveleges. :)


If this scenario happened in Idaho, the state would be there to take this guy to court to help you get some money, much like in New Hampshire, only not until after they had first extracted $75 from him as a first priority and forced him to file proof of insurance with the state.

If this scenario happened in Vermont, the state would do about the same as Idaho except demand $100 from the guy first.

If this scenario happened in Wyoming, the state would do about the same as in Vermont except demand a whopping $750 from the guy first.

If this scenario happened in Delaware, the state would do about the same as Wyoming except demand a mere $120 from the guy first.  One problem in no-fault Delaware is that you, as the harmed party would have to go to the state first to find out how much the state allows you to reclaim from the guy and not just your actual damages.

If this scenario happened in North Dakota, the state would first take $150 from the guy then take away his license and registration until the state determined that he was worthy to drive again by his filing his proof of insurance with the state and getting some insurance that is now even more unaffordable, forcing the guy to have to find another way to get to work in order to begin paying you off.  If you wanted to sue the guy, you would also have to do what North Dakota requires and you would not be able to sue under regular tort laws allowed in other states.


If this scenario happened in Maine, the state would first skim $500 from him and then punish him for 30 days by taking away his license and registration forcing him to have to get a ride with his buddies, but for only a month.
 

If this scenario happened in South Dakota, the state would make this punishment last for a whole year, hopefully he has a good network of responsible friends with wheels to help him get to jobsites for a whole year so he can pay you off.  They would also assess a fine, unknown how much, but having to pay to re-register his car is about the same as a fine.

If this scenario happened in Montana, the state which the insurance association, NAIC ranked as the 4th least profitable no-fault state in the nation due to an abundance of insurance fraud, there is a little hell to pay: not only would our beligerent little man get the full insults from the state that the other states asess, including a $250 fine,  he might forget about his primary responsibility to you the injured party as he sits in jail for 10 days.  The chance of this man getting insurance again, meeting all of his regular bills including his mortgage payment is getting smaller.  He is not thinking about your problems right now, in fact, having to pay you $13,000 is the least of his concerns right now as he sits next to a man named Howard in his stinking jail cell.

If this scenario happened in Alaska, you had better just forget about trying to get any money from this guy at all.  He just lost his license, his vehicle registration, $500 and now he sits in jail for 90 days.  He is going to lose his clients, who are probably going to sue him for breaking his contracts with them.  His home is quickly going into foreclosure, and his family will be forced into a trailer on the edge of town, his wife is going to have to walk through the blizzards, leaving the children unattended so she can make it to her meeting to receive food stamps while the family waits for the man who used to provide for them to get out of jail.   :'(


Also, from the stated mandatory minimum amount of insurance that insurance providers have to offer, the theoretical chance of being able to afford insurance, (assuming all other factors being equal) would be less with Bodily injury and & Pproperty damage minimums being  split 50,000/100,000/25,000 in Alaska.  In maine, the theoretical chance of people being able to afford insurance is the worst with the minimum policy you can purchase being BI & PD +UM, +UIM; 50/100/25.  All the other states that require insurance minimums are quite similar in affordability, based on insurance requirements.

Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on January 28, 2003, 01:58:17 pm
If this were (unconstitutionally) implemented at the federal level, they'd pick Alaska's method, and throw in a felony conviction.  >:(


Thanks for explaining the real-world consequences of these different government policies, exitus. Maybe I will bump the insurance weight up a bit!

I will change my sheet for that; in the meantime you can fix it in the spreadsheet I sent you, on the Raw Data sheet. Also please note MT and ME in the Gun variable now go to 9.7, according to Jason.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: freedomroad on January 29, 2003, 11:12:24 pm
As to hunting laws, See this thread.
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=1091
my subjective ratings (putting myself in the boots of a youngster of 8, 10 or 12 again)

WY = 10
VT = 10
MT = 9
AK = 8
ID = 7
ME = 5
ND = 3
NH = 2
SD = 1
DE = 0
I would lower ME and DE (if that is possible) because they do not allow hunting on Sunday.  Unless, you already did that.  Sunday is one of the two big hunting days so for some people that cuts their hunting time by almost 50%.  I would make DE last and ME second to last.

Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Solitar on January 30, 2003, 07:08:03 pm
Freedom Road,
You are correct. No Sunday hunting is a real hardship for folks who only have one day off -- Sunday.
Yet I bet that could easily be changed -- but then what do I know of how many non-hunting religious fanatics will scream that Sunday is sacred and ambush an otherwise slam dunk repeal.
I must look at that thread referred to above to see what else would be easy to change, versus what would be hard. Lowering ages would be real tough I bet -- much harder than allowing Sunday hunting.

Maybe lower Maine a notch or two.
If Delaware would only allow Sunday hunting and allow rifles, even 22's or a decent light deer rifle like a .243.

WY = 10
VT = 10
MT = 9
AK = 8
ID = 7
ME = 3
ND = 3
NH = 2
SD = 1
DE = 0
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: DadELK68 on January 30, 2003, 07:23:05 pm
I'd like to see a breakdown of the states based on current estimates of the number of actual porcupines per square miles.

New England should come out strongly due to the heavy forestation.

This is actually a valid point when it comes to wanting privacy - out West where I grew up you'd have to own many acres if you wanted to have a little privacy on your own land. Here in NH we live on 3 acres and can barely see our neighbors, including the 4 houses which are within a hundred yards.
Title: Booze, gambling, obscenity laws
Post by: JasonPSorens on February 19, 2003, 02:12:42 pm
If anyone knows where to find out about laws on alcohol, gambling, and obscenity, that would be great.  I'm also interested in finding a cost of living index that could be applied objectively across states.
Title: Gambling laws
Post by: Walk For Liberty on February 19, 2003, 07:06:25 pm
I don't know how helpful this will be, since it's not a table, but:

http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/ngisc/reports/statutes.html (http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/ngisc/reports/statutes.html)
Title: alcohol, driving, etc
Post by: Walk For Liberty on February 19, 2003, 07:11:45 pm
This is also not quite what you're looking for, but it's interesting nonetheless.  It also covers other driving related laws.

http://www.hwysafety.org/safety_facts/state_laws/measure_up.htm (http://www.hwysafety.org/safety_facts/state_laws/measure_up.htm)
Title: state alcohol laws
Post by: Walk For Liberty on February 19, 2003, 07:16:57 pm
Gives summaries of all the bills.

http://www.epi.umn.edu/enacted/ (http://www.epi.umn.edu/enacted/)

Seems it only goes back as far as legislation enacted in 1998-2000
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: JasonPSorens on February 19, 2003, 07:47:46 pm
These statutes sure are a bore to read through.  I'll do liquor laws if someone else wants to do gambling & obscenity.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: JasonPSorens on February 19, 2003, 09:03:40 pm
 In Alaska, "social gambling" is legal as well, though the only other kind of gambling that is legal is that undertaken by charitable non-profit organizations (and local communities have the right to ban charitable gambling).  It looks as if Montana may be the only candidate state with legal for-profit gambling...

So far what I've found on liquor laws has been interesting.  Maine, New Hampshire, Idaho, and Vermont have state-run liquor stores (some of the others may as well, but I haven't gotten to them).  Delaware has a state law banning liquor sales on Sundays (except in restaurants & bars).  Maine, Delaware, South Dakota, and Vermont ban all direct delivery of wine from out of state: in other words, if you order from wine.com, you could go to jail in these states.  Idaho is the only candidate state that does not discriminate in some way against out-of-state wine sellers.  Montana requires the buyer to obtain a license from the state, which is effectively a ban on all but the most committed connoisseurs.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: JasonPSorens on February 19, 2003, 10:17:13 pm
It looks as if there's limited for-profit gambling in Delaware as well: slot machines at horse-racing tracks only.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on February 19, 2003, 11:14:06 pm
I'm not a gambling sort of guy, but if anyone wants to take a shot at quantifying this mess I'll include it in the big spreadsheet. Looks awful hard to do, though.

My personal take on gambling is that it is no big deal. Government encroachment on freedom does not come via gambling very much. Everybody seems to be a scofflaw on it, and nobody goes to jail about it (maybe I'm wrong?). I doubt it has any where the negative impact of drug laws. It's probably a lot like fireworks in that respect, worth not even .5% weight in the spreadsheet. My advice: let's spend our time somewhere else.
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: freedomroad on February 20, 2003, 12:21:56 am
SD allows gambling.  SD has casinos all over the state and a casino resort center in the Black Hills (about 30 miles east of Wyoming).  

Here is more information on all of SD's casinos and the Black Hills Casino Resort Center:

http://www.sdcasinos.com/
http://www.deadwoodgambling.com/

MT has '20 machine' casinos all over the states.  

CO is not one of the states but it does border WY and it has a state lottery which many people from WY use.  Cheyenne is just 10 miles (Orchard Valley is just 5 miles) from the CO border.

Note:  All 3 of these states border WY.  Wyoming allows you to play cards in your own house.  
Title: Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: cathleeninsc on February 20, 2003, 08:24:02 am
 Wyoming allows you to play cards in your own house.  


That's a neat trick. Then you only lose money to your own spouse and kids. Or do you phone or e-mail your buddies playing in their own homes and try to convince them that you have better cards?
Title: Re:Indicator tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: exitus on March 28, 2003, 08:26:15 pm
National Organization fot the Reform of Marijuana Laws

US totals (by arrest rate)

http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=5070&wtm_format=wide

State-by State
Marijuana Arrests 1995 - 1997 (by arrest rate)
Rank among 50 states
AK #1  +19.47%
WY #16 +34.25%
ME #23 +19.10%
ID #26 - 9.26%
SD #31 - 6.72%
DE #38 +41.87%
MT #43 info unavailable
NH #46 info unavailable
VT #47 info unavailable, report mentioned that some data for VT had to be estimated.
ND #49 +57.89%






Prison populations
http://www.cji-inc.com/cyb/download/00AD1-2.PDF

AK 4044
DE 6101
ID 4608
ME 1653
MT 2954
NH 2329
ND  957
SD 2502
VT 2325
WY 1689
Title: Re:Indicator tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: exitus on March 28, 2003, 10:14:32 pm


. . . The more that this can be privatized (or decreased or done at a local level), perhaps the better since it is at least a start. But some private facilities do have major problems because cost cutting is priority one. Some just “warehouse” prisoners.



I'd like to know to what extent prisons in each of our states participate in torture, "diesel treatment", inter-prison transfers, holding of political-prisoners, etc.

Speaking of political prisoners, we all have a lot to be thankful for George Hansen, Republican Congressman from Idaho  (http://www.constitution.org/ghansen/hansen9-97.html) and his work trying to put the IRS in its place.


Some other 'celebrity' political prisoners include:

Leonard Peltier  (http://www.aimovement.org/peltier/)

James Traficant (http://www.impeachreno.org/foxtrans080700.shtml), Democratic Congressman from Ohio
 
Dr Mazen al-Najjar (http://www.muslimedia.com/archives/world00/us-najjar.htm)

James Sanders (http://www.twa800.com/pages/missilesearch.htm)
Title: Re:Indicator tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Robert H. on March 28, 2003, 11:32:24 pm
Percent in Private Facilities (Table 3)
33.5%   Alaska
23.9%   Idaho
21.3%   Wyoming
05.1%   North Dakota

It's interesting to see that three states that consistently score best among our candidates are also leaders in something like prison privatization.  This possibly means that they may be more open to other forms of privatization as well.

And notice how sharply that number drops off after Wyoming!
Title: Re:Indicator tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on March 29, 2003, 01:15:57 am
I'm not sure how useful this prison population and prison admission stuff is for us. After all, some people deserve to be in jail. They aren't all political prisoners!

I already have marijuana arrests in the big spreadsheet.

That article about Hansen was damn scary. Well probably see more of that sort of thing with all the hysteria and bad laws lately.
Title: Re:Indicator tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Robert H. on March 30, 2003, 04:27:56 am
I'm not sure how useful this prison population and prison admission stuff is for us. After all, some people deserve to be in jail. They aren't all political prisoners!

The privatization issue is what jumped out at me from this information.  That's definitely something we could use as being reflective of a state's possible willingness to embrace de-regulation and libertarian reform.
Title: Re:Indicator tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: exitus on March 31, 2003, 07:57:20 am

The privatization issue is what jumped out at me from this information.  That's definitely something we could use as being reflective of a state's possible willingness to embrace de-regulation and libertarian reform.
Well, yes and no.  Necessity can also be a strong impetus for reform.  I am particularly concerned about Alaska:

#1 Marijuana arrests in the country

Highest prison population per capita, by far and above, among our candidate states

By far the highest per-capita prison admissions far more than next-place Delaware

Cheers to Idaho and Wyoming for trying to save money through warehousing prisoners in private facilities, but for Alaska, just by looking at the numbers, I think Alaska may have had no choice.
 
Title: Re:Indicator tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Robert H. on April 01, 2003, 02:40:07 am

The privatization issue is what jumped out at me from this information.  That's definitely something we could use as being reflective of a state's possible willingness to embrace de-regulation and libertarian reform.
Well, yes and no.  Necessity can also be a strong impetus for reform.  I am particularly concerned about Alaska:

You do have a point about that.  Although I would also hope that being forced to adopt some sort of privatization as a result of hardship might tend to open people's minds a bit more when it comes to the issue of whether the state can or should cast its shadow over everything.

And those numbers in Alaska really surprised me as well.
Title: Re:Prisons (some new numbers)
Post by: exitus on April 07, 2003, 12:52:31 pm
From the Associated Press,
 (http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,480034064,00.html?)
Prison populations listed state by state
[/url]


Also an interesting Press Release from the Bureau of Justice Statistics,
NATION’S PRISON AND JAIL POPULATION EXCEEDS 2 MILLION INMATES FOR FIRST TIME (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/press/pjim02pr.htm)


I'm not sure how useful this prison population and prison admission stuff is for us. After all, some people deserve to be in jail. They aren't all political prisoners!


Are bad laws to blame for high prison populations or is bad behavior to blame for bad laws?  Maybe it is a little of both.

The size of prison populations is just one piece of the puzzle, arrest rates are probably more telling.   Anyways, many questions to be asked in all of this.  But however it is calculated, It seems that a society with less real crime is also a society that is more self-governing and more prepared to accept greater freedom.  Of course, it can also be argued that a government that is particularly oppressive and is 'creating' lots criminals is also ripe for revolution.  Though it doesn't look like any of our states is anywhere near that point yet.
Title: Re:Indicator tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Joe on April 07, 2003, 02:01:19 pm
Below is a table of statewide adoption of construction codes. The source site is the publisher of these codes (which the adopters then must buy from the publisher). Nevertheless, it is best to check the specific state statutes. For states that give local control it is best to check city, town, or county ordinances.

International Codes - Adoption by Jurisdiction - Revised on 03/27/03
A= Adopted, but may not yet be effective
X= Effective Statewide
L = Adopted by Local Governments

STATEIBCICCECIECCIFCIFGCIMCIPCIPMCIRCIPSDCIZC
VTLLLLLLLLLL
MELLLLLLLLLLL
DELLLXLL
SDX*LLLLL
WYXLLLLLL
MTXX
NDXLXXLX
NHXXLLXXL
AKXXLXLL
IDXXXXXXX
* South Dakota Municipalities may adopt either 1997 UBC or 2000 IBC
Wyoming effective 07/01/2003
Notes: Abbreviations stand for the International Building Code (IBC), ICC Electrical Code (ICCEC), International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), International Fire Code (IFC), International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC), International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC), International Mechanical Code (IMC), International Plumbing Code (IPC), International Code (IPMC), International Residential Code (IRC), International Private Sewage Disposal Code (IPSDC), International Zoning Code (IZC)
Source:
http://www.iccsafe.org/government/adoptions.htm

P.S. for a numerical ranking from 0 to 10
10   VT
10   ME
9   DE
6   SD
6   WY
4   MT
2   ND
2   NH
2   AK
0   ID
Title: Re:Indicator tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Zxcv on April 08, 2003, 09:10:23 pm
Joe, how did you come up with these numbers? Looks like MT is a little low, given it only has the two codes. Is IRC a big, intrusive one?

Also, when you say L means "adopted by local governments", does this mean even if a single backwater adopts a particular code, then the whole state gets marked with an "L"?

I suppose I could go look at the site!   :)
Title: Re:Indicator tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
Post by: Hank on August 27, 2003, 05:56:27 pm
We don't need any of these darn bloody codes!

I notice that only Vermont and Maine leave ALL the codes to local governments to have or not to have.

Any state with an X in that table should be dismissed.