New Hampshire's inspiring state motto is a tribute to individualism, but it shines a bit less brightly today after the state offered to guarantee part of a "loan" to an ailing newspaper. That's a mistake, and if residents of the "Live Free or Die" state have any doubt, they should look to the record of the Great Lakes state.

The state of Michigan routinely "invests" other peoples' money. Badly. Autoworld was a well-known state boondoggle that initially cost Michigan and federal taxpayers a combined $35 million. This state once put $1 million into a government-sponsored grocery store in Kalamazoo that lasted just six years. A state broadband initiative that was launched with a promise of 500,000 new jobs was shut down just a few years later with no new jobs, but with a $14.5 million taxpayer loss.

Thankfully, Michigan does not (yet) have a state-owned bank, or this mischief would expand manyfold.