Shaun Flanagan: U.S. Prosperity Index

COVID-19 continues to dominate the conversation as Norm Leahy, columnist for The Washington Post, joins J.R. to discuss Virginia impacts. Topics include closing schools for the remainder of the year, Liberty University reopening, the mixed messages between state and federal government, herd immunity v. quarantine, the potential for “shelter in place” rule in Virginia, and boldly spending to prop up the economy.

For the interview, J.R. is joined by Shaun Flanagan – Director, Center for Metrics for the Legatum Institute. In the show, Flanagan explains why statistics matter, the purpose of the Legatum Institute, why a think-tank in England is looking at global and U.S. prosperity, what constitutes their prosperity index – especially their “Pillars of Prosperity”, the regional differences between the states, and the performance of Virginia.

Virginia, home of the “Virginia Declaration of Rights”, today ranks 30th among the states in personal freedom. And, even though CNBC ranks the state 1st for business, Legatum found that we are 30th in economic quality. Flanagan helps us understand what exactly these scores mean.

We also explore recent legislation passed by the General Assembly, especially the budget that increases state spending by 20%, more mandates, a higher minimum wage, and higher taxes. In general, he helps un understand the effect of such policies on the pillars of prosperity.

We also look at the potential impact of COVID-19 on scores both at the Global and U.S. level.

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Skip to 20:30 in the player for the interview with Shaun Flanagan