Ohio performs poorly in nearly every conceptual area. Spending and taxation are higher than average, with administration, education, and social-service spending especially high as a percentage of personal income. On the plus side, government debt is below average. Ohio, like three other states, does not allow private workers' compensation insurers. However, unlike North Dakota and Wyoming, it does allow employer self-insurance for workers'-compensation. The state's occupational-licensing regime and level of health-insurance coverage mandates are decent. Ohio has improved its eminent-domain regime, but further reform is warranted. Its liability system is only average. On the other hand, Ohio's asset forfeiture laws are quite good, with the state more than a standard deviation better than average. It could improve even further, though, by shifting the burden of proof to the government. Gun-control laws are relatively poor, though not extreme as in the case of states like Illinois or California. In fact, Ohio allows open carry without permit. The state authorizes sobriety checkpoints but does not mandate motorcycle helmets. Marijuana laws are liberal overall, but cultivation and sale sentencing could be reformed. Most gambling is illegal. Homeschooling regulations are unreasonable, including teacher licensure and mandatory state approval of homeschool curricula. However, private-school regulations are lighter. Draconian smoking bans are in place and cigarette taxes are above average. Beer and wine taxes are reasonably good but the spirits tax is fairly high.
Three recommendations are listed:
It comes as little consolation that the few states which are less free than Ohio include:
The bluer the state, the less freedoms its citizens enjoy. Hardly surprising. But it bears mention that the George Mason analysis favors liberal fancies such as gay marriage and the de-criminalization of drugs - so the test rewards liberal social policies, and the most liberal states are still the least free.
On the other hand, the most free states include:
The links may be blue, but the states are overwhelmingly red (and Wisconsin only recently joined the top 25 - thanks to Gov. Walker and the GOP).
If you're surprised by any of this, you just haven't been paying attention. If rhetoric equaled results, progressive states would be heavens on Earth - but, in reality, those fly-over states so often ridiculed from the ivory towers of the eastern seaboard are the true lands of milk and honey.