Politicians in Utah frequently point to praise from independent institutions to suggest how well things are going in our state—and with good reason, since such praise continues to come.
For example, the American Legislative Exchange Council rated Utah as being the top state for economic outlook, for the fifth year in a row. For the second consecutive year, Forbes ranked Utah as being the best state for business and careers in its annual review. And in its last review conducted in 2008, the Pew Center on the States listed Utah as being the best managed state in the nation.
What these politicians fail to mention is that these reports are graded on a curve. While Utah may be the best managed state, or have the best economic climate for business, that does not mean there isn’t room for improvement. It simply means that it’s not as bad in Utah as it is elsewhere. In other words, Utah can and should still improve.
Utah’s successes, at least relative to the other states, are partially attributed to the political makeup of its government. Over 75% of the legislature is Republican, which means that the conservative political ideology permeates the legal code. 51% of Utahns self-identify as conservative, while many more are independent yet still vote Republican/conservative.
While conservatism has allowed Utah to rise to the surface relative to the other states, it still has far more potential. Ronald Reagan, considered an icon amongst conservatives, once stated that “the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.” Unfortunately, the past few years have produced an increasing hostility towards libertarians by those who claim to be conservatives. Just as a person who heavily smokes, drinks, and gorges on fatty foods will eventually develop heart complications and suppress the freedom of their soul, so too have conservatives supported policies and programs which have done damage to their ideological heart and soul.
The goal of Libertas Institute is to make that heart and soul become healthier and stronger. There is room to improve in the state of Utah, and an additional voice is needed to persuade people of all political beliefs to understand and adhere to the principles of individual liberty, private property, and free enterprise. Our mission will not be a success without your support. Join us!