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FREEDOM IN THE 50 STATES FREEDOM STATE BY STATE

CAROLINA
$
Population
4,679,230
Share of total US
population
1.5%
Population ranking
24th
Net migration rate
7.8%
State and local tax burden
8.3%
Government consumption
and subsidies
13.8%
State and local debt
burden
25.3%
Personal income per
capita
$33,673
Share of total US GDP
1.11%
State GDP ranking
27th
2001
ranking
2007
ranking
2009
ranking
2011
ranking
FISCAL 20 16 13 15
REGULATORY 28 26 29 23
PERSONAL 21 14 12 18
OVERALL 25 18 18 15
SCORE
p
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t
s

a
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b
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l
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w

2
0
1
1

a
v
e
r
a
g
e
2011
+24.9
2001
+18.1
0
25
2011 RANK
15th
50
50
25
POLITICS
D R
2009 2011 2013
Governor Sanford Haley Haley
Senate
House of
Representatives
LEGISLATIVE SESSION DATES:
Up to rst Thursday in June
(typically start in January)
SOUTH
FREEDOM IN THE 50 STATES FREEDOM STATE BY STATE
ANALYSIS
South Carolina comes in at 15th in overall
freedom, one of the best rankings for its
region.
In terms of fiscal policy, the tax burden is
low but government spending and therefore
debt are high. Government employment is
pretty high and could use cutting. Education
spending is also high and social service
spending (especially direct expenditures on
health and hospitals) could be more efficient.
In the regulatory realm, South Carolina
scores only slightly better than average.
Residential land-use regulations are relatively
light and eminent domain reform has been
quite respectable. South Carolina is a right-
to-work state and other labor regulations
are decent. For example, it does not require
short-term disability insurance. Health insur-
ance regulations are generally good, includ-
ing a low number of coverage mandates.
Telecom and cable have been deregulated.
Unfortunately, the state ranks below aver-
age on occupational freedom despite being
roughly average on the number of occupa-
tions licensed. Most significantly, it performs
quite poorly on tort abuse, coming in 39th.
South Carolina fares relatively well in
terms of personal freedom, coming in 18th.
Cigarette taxes were raised significantly
in 2010 but still remain among the lowest
in the country (they had previously been
lowest). Some restrictions on smoking on
private property have been enacted, but the
state still performs near the top in this cat-
egory. Gun control laws are a bit better than
average, but are the most restrictive in the
South. For instance, open carry is completely
banned, the state licenses gun dealers, and
design safety standards for handguns have
been imposed. However, South Carolina is
only mediocre on victimless crimes freedom,
alcohol freedom, travel freedom, and educa-
tion. It is roughly average on incarceration
rates but fares poorly when it comes to drug
enforcement. Moreover, South Carolinas
marijuana laws are unreformed. Beer taxes
are quite high but wine and spirits taxes are
better than average. The state authorizes
sobriety checkpoints but does not require
motorcyclists and bicyclists to wear helmets.
Kindergarten attendance is mandatory in
South Carolina. For homeschoolers, the state
has teacher qualifications and burdensome
standardized testing, recordkeeping, and
notification requirements. On the other hand,
it has light requirements for private schools.
The states asset forfeiture laws are nearly a
full standard deviation worse than average.
POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
Prune state employment and cut
spending on health and hospitals,
which is far above national norms.
Reform the liability system. South
Carolina would have moved to 12th in
overall freedom if it had simply been
average on tort abuse.
Revise the states asset forfeiture laws
to make it more difficult for the govern-
ment to seize assets, and reduce the
governments incentive to do so by
lowering the percentage of proceeds
that go to law enforcement. Ban equi-
table sharing with the Department of
Justice so that the federal government
does not ignore state law.
Separate spending
and tax committees?
Item reduction
veto?
Strict balanced budget
requirements?
Supermajority for
tax increases?
NO NO NO NO