Voting With Their Feet

Arthur Laffer and the ALEC have a report out with lots of economic, tax, and regulatory data about the individual states.   This chart caught my eye:

states

They have a hundred pages explaining why these trends might be, but you and I already know, don't we,  just from looking at the names of the states.  It is fairly clear that the current Administration is emulating the policies of the bottom 10 in its recovery plans.  Which brings me back to the question I have asked before:  Where do we all migrate to for freedom when we have screwed up this country?

  • Jason

    Any chance we could get around the population bias by finding a chart that presents changes as a percentage of each state's starting population, as opposed to aggregate numbers? This makes IL, CA and NY appear even worse than they are -- and they are bad -- and gives FL a bit of a boost, though that state's numbers are still striking. It also means that, good policies or bad policies, small states will virtually never show up on either chart.

  • http://www.bsodmyself.com Rev. Johnny Crawford

    Thanks for this information. My first thought was that people were moving toward warmer climates (other than Colorado and Washington, of course). You are correct about the political and business environments though. I guess you couldn't pay people to live in California, and people aren't content with liberal bastions like Taxachusetts.

    Where do we go? That's a good question. My first thought -- somewhere warm. As a current resident of North Carolina, I would seriously consider South Carolina. Nevada sounds nice, but I've never been there so I wouldn't know. I always liked the thought of living on an island. Is there an excessively freedom-loving island somewhere in the world? ;-)

  • http://that-xmas.livejournal.com Xmas

    For Florida, grotesquely under-priced hurricane insurance?

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    It's worth mentioning that they're only discussing "domestic" migration. I belive California, due to foreign immigration, is actually growing on net. While some of those immigrants are low-skilled and undereducated manual laborers, we also attract a lot of foreign technology workers on H-1B visas.

    This doesn't mean, in any way, that the California legislature makes things easy here, especially for those of us who want to actually, you know, work for our success. But showing a table like the one above without the caveat of foreign immigration is only part of the picture.

  • http://www.hodakvalue.com/blog MHodak

    Actually, Brad, domestic migration is far more informative for this discussion. You could say that the huge Hispanic influx to California, driven largely by proximity and family ties, is used by the state to disguise how terrible their policies really are at keeping people in the state.

  • J R Frey

    Florida and Arizona could be caveated with the understanding that a portion of that influx is retirement populations; having said that, along with the year-round golfing opportunities also comes a far lower cost of living which stretches the retirement dollar. Cost of living is of course impacted by the anti-freedom policies in the "liberal" states listed. Also, Louisiana and Texas have some portion of their inflow/outflow due directly to Katrina. Granted, had there been better government in Louisiana the emigration from New Orleans might not have been necessary.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    MHodak,

    No disagreement here... I don't think it invalidates the point. I simply think it bears mention. California is seeing domestic migration out of the state, but it's not a net loss as in places like Michigan.

    It sickens me that a state with such natural reason to attract people is so badly run that folks are rushing out. I even tried to do so myself in 2005, but [due to family ties] returned in 2007. There are lots of things I love about California (such as going to the beach in shorts in January), but the government absolutely infuriates me.

  • Anon

    There seems to be a very high correlation between state income tax levels and domestic migration.

    I second seeing this number adjusted per capita, I would think that would better illustrate this correlation.

  • John Dewey

    The jobs have been leaving the high tax, business unfriendly states for quite a while. $8 billion Tenet Healthcare and $25 billion Fluor both relocated from southern California to Dallas in recent years. Exxon left New York for Dallas 20 years ago. So did J.C. Penney. Comerica Bank moved from Michigan to Texas in 2008. Except for Honda, growth in the auto industry has not occurred the high tax, union friendly states of the rustbelt, but rather in business-friendly states - Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Alabama.

    I remember reading that Senator John Kennedy protested the massive migration of jobs from the northeast to the south in the 1950's. Kennedy was arguing for a higher national minimum wage to overcome the unfairness of the Sun Belt's lower costs.

    I don't think they'll ever learn.

  • Jim Collins

    You have to wonder how many of these people are Liberals who are leaving because they don't want to live in the mess that they created?

  • chris

    "Where do we all migrate to for freedom when we have screwed up this country?"

    I have given this a lot of thought, and I believe we remaining libertarians need to raise a privately funded army and take over Madagascar and start over.

  • John Dewey

    J.R. Frey: "Florida and Arizona could be caveated with the understanding that a portion of that influx is retirement populations; having said that, along with the year-round golfing opportunities also comes a far lower cost of living which stretches the retirement dollar."

    Is there a reason other than cost that retirees would favor Arizona over southern California?

  • markm

    John, when your reflexes slow down or your eyesight deteriorates, getting around in southern CA becomes pretty difficult. Aside from Phoenix, AZ has a much lower population density and much easier traffic.

    Not that cost is a minor consideration, either. A house in southern CA costs more than most retirement accounts are worth - or it did a year ago...

  • John Dewey

    markm: "when your reflexes slow down or your eyesight deteriorates, getting around in southern CA becomes pretty difficult."

    Just curious, markm: where do you live? Have you ever lived or worked in Phoenix, San Antonio, Austin, or Miami? The traffic in those metro areas is no piece of cake, but that doesn't prevent retirees from moving there.

  • Edgewise.Sigma

    “Where do we all migrate to for freedom when we have screwed up this country?”

    "I have given this a lot of thought, and I believe we remaining libertarians need to raise a privately funded army and take over Madagascar and start over."

    We remaining whatevers better hurry-up before the South Korean mega-corporations beat up to it:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=korea+madagascar&aq=0&oq=Korea+Madag

    (Guess they'll need somewhere to flee should their Northern cousins succeed in making their country *even* less-free than our's is threatening to become.)

    Anyone here know of the [vaguely-Leftish] "ODESSA 4th Reich myth"? Might be something in their worth imitating... (WTF--we're always being smeared as "Nazis" or "fascists" anyway...)

    Speaking of which, doesn't Costa Rica already have a large ex-pat community that had "fled" the Clinton administration?