The Johnson Center is proud to announce Improving Lives in Alabama: A Vision for Economic Freedom and Prosperity. This comprehensive study examines current policy approaches to some of the most important issues facing Alabama to identify policies that help build a better Alabama for generations to come.

The study’s 12 chapters document the research findings and important policy lessons drawn from in-depth studies on topics including tax and healthcare policy, labor and legal regulations, as well as pension, education and economic development policies. These issues have a significant impact on the health of Alabama’s economy and the well-being of its citizens now, and in the future.

Getting Alabama’s economic policies right is crucial to improving the lives of Alabamians. This study compilation aims to put Alabama on a path for growth, and greater prosperity and opportunity.

The study recommends both immediate policy initiatives, and offers long-term policy goals to increase freedom and prosperity in Alabama. 

Core Findings:

  • Economic freedom and individual liberty are not only fundamental human rights, but play a crucial role in economic growth, well-being, opportunity and prosperity; and are the foundations of a strong economy built to last.
  • Competition leads to a strong, growing economy that offers individuals greater opportunities and can lower the cost and improve the quality of government provided services. 
  • Regulations and licenses impede business formation and growth, pose barriers to individuals to enter the workforce and to career mobility, and raise costs on consumers. 
  • High levels of state spending and a complicated web of state agencies raise the costs of doing business in our state and make it difficult to attract new businesses to Alabama.
  • Failing schools and a failing health system are unfair to our children and to all Alabamians. Furthermore, it compromises our labor force and, again, makes Alabama a less attractive place for businesses.

Full Book



Each study draws on the latest and best research on state policy issues to identify trends and determine what policies lead to a strong economy and greater well-being.

The studies, therefore, use research available about Alabama including policies that impact its economy, its economic freedom ranking, its unemployment numbers, and the state of its schools, among other measurements of economic health and societal well-being, to recommend policy reforms that will enhance freedom and prosperity in Alabama.

Last Updated: 4/22/2015