The decline in the purchasing power of the dollar has finally caught up with the U.S. Mint, which is planning to remove pennies and nickels from circulation. Also, the GAO wants the United States to stop printing paper one-dollar bills and to switch instead to one-dollar coins.

Each year 24/7 Wall St. publishes the results of its survey of all 50 states and then ranks them from top to bottom — from “best run” to “worst run.” CNBC does the same, only with a more concentrated focus on the business environment in each state, and then ranks the states on their overall “measure of competitiveness.” The Mercatus Center at George Mason University looks at all 50 states from the perspective of individual freedom and then ranks the states based on its Index of Personal and Economic Freedom.

The parallels and correlations between economic and business performance and personal freedom are clear and persuasive: When state governments stay within their limits of protecting lives and enforcing contracts, the states thrive. And vice versa.

All of official Washington and their media lapdogs are shaking in fear of the so-called “fiscal cliff” that is looming January 1, counseling that the economy needs to continue its wild trillion-dollar deficit spending habits into the indefinite future.

One of the best indicators of a state’s economic health, according to John Merline, writing in Investor’s Business Daily, is the “U-Haul Index” (first publicized by economist Mark Perry) to see what people are paying to move into, or out of, the state. Renting a 20-foot truck one way from San Francisco to San Antonio, Texas, for example, costs $1,693. Going in the other direction, however, costs only $983 for the same truck.

As Perry explains, "The American people and businesses are voting with their feet and their one-way truck rentals to escape California and its forced unionism, high taxes, and high unemployment rate for a better life in low-tax, business-friendly, right-to-work states like Texas."

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union has threatened 1,000 protests against Walmart on Black Friday, while the giant retailer has filed a complaint against such actions by the union with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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