Opinion by Charles Hugh Smith
People move from blue states because a lot of blue state cities have become shitty places to live for everyone but the uppermost economic strata. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:
Simply put, people are moving not just to escape unaffordable housing and high taxes. They’re moving to escape fiscally irresponsible, ineffective, unaccountable governance.
Defenders of high state taxes like to point out that surveys find few high-net-worth households move primarily to lower their tax bills. This may be so, but it misses the point: high-income, high-net-worth households don’t move away from high tax states if they’re getting fair value for their taxes. But if services and infrastructure are crumbling around them even as their taxes keep ratcheting higher, then the benefits of moving become much more compelling.
In other words, if you’re getting good value for your high taxes, then high taxes are not sufficient motivation to move. The problem is not high taxes per se, any more than a high cost of living is the reason to move from a world-class city with great amenities: world-class cities with great amenities have always cost more than less desirable locales, even in the 1600s.
The reason blue states are losing population isn’t just high taxes; it’s a lack of fiscal discipline and accountability, and insanely unaffordable housing costs. Immense floods of tax revenues sluice into the state coffers but the outcomes of all that spending diminish rather than improve. Problems don’t seem to get solved even as the permanent “solution”–throw more money at it–fail due to the decay of fiscal discipline and accountability, and the rise of a “stakeholders” mentality where dozens of entrenched interest groups each hold a veto in every decision.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Citizens Journal
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