by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
It is the best finish yet for the Mount Rushmore State, which has always been a quiet contender in our annual study, rarely finishing outside the Top 10. But more impressive, South Dakota’s point total this year—1,639 out of a possible 2,500—is the highest logged by any state since we began keeping score in 2007.
Now such a result would upset the local politics columnist in The News & Observer; after all, the ink is barely dry on his hollow mockery of South Dakota being among the Tax Foundation’s top five for low taxes on business. Few people would consider South Dakota an economic engine, he sneered.
In Rob Christensen’s defense, however, CNBC’s methodology excluded such obvious economy-driving categories as:
For what it’s worth, in CNBC’s results, crazy Wyoming ranked 9th, North Carolina 12th, and crazy Nevada 46th, while sensible New York, New Jersey, and California ranked 35th, 42nd, and 47th.