Wednesday, October 28, 2009

BEAUTIFUL EXILES. The New York Post does a Goin' Galt story (with reliably rightwing sourcing and a thumbs-up from the Ole Perfesser) about "tax refugees" who seek to "escape from New York."
Overall, the ex-New Yorkers earn about 13 percent more than those who moved into the state, the study found...

While New York City and the state were the losers, the Sunshine and Garden States were winners. more than 250,000 New Yorkers who lived in and around the city fled to Florida. Another 172,000 city taxpayers ended up in New Jersey.
Rich chunkheads have been moving to Joisey since time immemorial, and well-fixed New Yorkers moving to Florida is equally a stereotype. But let's see how things are doing in those tax Valhallas to which they're moving (in both of which conservatives have of late been calling for new management):
"Florida's unemployment rate jumps to 11 percent; Tampa Bay area hits 11.7." -- St. Petersburg Times.

"The most recent banks to fail were Partners Bank, Hillcrest Bank Florida, and Flagship National Bank, all of Florida..." -- AllGov.

"Overall, the [University of Florida] survey found [state] consumer confidence flat at 72 in October... With decreasing revenues and increasing costs, the state could see a $2.6 billion budget deficit, [survey director Chris] McCarty projected..." -- St. Petersburg Times.

"Property taxes will increase about $300 for the typical homeowner in northeastern New Jersey over the coming year, despite a recession that has crimped the ability of taxpayers to foot the bill... tax increases are down from prior years, when levies were rising 5 percent to 8 percent per year. But they come amid a recession that has stalled economic growth, cost New Jersey 173,000 jobs and produced regional inflation in the first half of 2009 of less than 1 percent." --
These well-off citizens aren't heading to these places because they're economic powerhouses, but to take advantage of suburban sprawl, southern sunshine, and perhaps lower personal and business tax rates, and the prospect of paying lower wages, as may be common in the depressed economies of their new homes (though I note with interest that the National Right to Work Committee considers Jersey a "forced-unionism" state). In other words they're looking for pleasanter environs after a stint in the Big City, and to keep more of what they've got.

God go with them. But I doubt they'll bring much entrepreneural energy to their adopted homelands. New York's tax burden has been onerous for decades, and outflow has kept pace with it, as the study finds -- the exodus was no worse in 2004. Yet those refugees don't seem to have done much for Jersey and Florida so far, though I'm sure they've done pretty well for themselves.

The Go Galt idea is that disaffected "producers" take their magical power to create wealth with them. But more often than not, what they take is their money, and then they sit on it (and, of course, demand more breaks) -- else their long-favored destinations would now be paradises rather than recession-wracked sinkholes.

New York's not doing so hot itself, but at least we've got people coming here who are willing to do some goddamned work.

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