Economic prosperity is strongly correlated with economic freedom, which is why the 2004 report on the Economic Freedom of North America makes for such interesting reading. My adopted state of Colorado is #2, while my home state of Maine is #49 (out of 60 states and provinces). This isn't just academic: according to the report, "while the average increase in per-capita GDP across U.S. states was $8,600 between 1981 and 2001, in the top third of states it increased by $11,600"; that extra $3,000 or more could mean quite a bit, especially if such differences are sustained over longer periods of time.

Peter Saint-Andre > Journal