The Oklahoman Editorial
In the teeter-totter of city and state rankings, what goes up must see-saw something else down. Case in point: Rankings for personal freedom versus rankings for greenhood.
Five of the 10 cities on sustainlane.com’s list of attractive cities are on Reason magazine’s 2008 list of unattractive cities. One ranking relates to “sustainability” and such amenities as bike paths, farmer’s markets and mass transit. The more of these you have, the higher you are on the see-saw.
The other ranking, done by a libertarian publication, relates to personal freedom and such perceived drawbacks as smoking bans, trans-fat bans and restrictions on buying alcohol and tobacco and procuring a prostitute.
Oklahoma City is on sustainlane’s list in next-to-last place of the 50 cities ranked. Our teeter-totter can’t get off the ground, according to a group that places maximum emphasis on the environment and minimum emphasis on personal freedom.
Oklahoma City didn’t make Reason’s freedom-loving list, but Oklahoma is on The Pacific Research Institute’s Economic Freedom Index, released late last week. Only five states were found to offer more economic freedom than does Oklahoma.
The most “free” state is South Dakota, but Colorado is third — and we all know Colorado gets high marks for its greenliness. Still, the inverse relationship between environmentalism and freedom seems clear. Raising the bar on one lowers it on the other.