City Journal Spring 2014

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Spring 2014
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Scott Beyer
Live Free or Move « Back to Story

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Democrats are very comfortable with people moving away - they use impoverishment as a tool to consoidate power - everything Democrats do is toward the goal of creating a three tiered society of a few rich, lots of poor, and party affiliates and gov't workers. But, it's an unworkable arrangement since it depends on sucking the life out of people in other areas.

Cities used to be centers of prosperity - now, here in New Jersey most of our major cities live off the largesse of their neighbors as those running the cities suck the life out of the populace through poverty manipulation schemes. Democrats have had a half century to perfect this system, and perfect it they have. But in California, poverty manipulation is being done on a state wide basis, and that model is coming everywhere.

So Pat's solution makes perfect sense, and it is something whose time has come - otherwise there won't be any place left to run to. A breakup of the country is inevitable - you see any other solution to where we are heading? The federal government is a monster and the only way to escape is separation, at least for discussion.

Put it another way - if someone had suggested something like a breakup of the union 20 years ago, those making that suggestion would have been packed off to an asylum. Now, there are more and more people thinking about it - and how it might work. If some state did elect to go off on its own, it wouldn't be long before the whole union dissolved.

This is where our leaders have taken us - it is all so...unnecessary.
Lake Worth, your comments about Galt Gulch show just how much you miss the point and how one sided your views are. Investing in infrastructure is most definitely not evil. Wasting taxpayer dollars, on the other hand, is wrong. And the waste that exists is real. Is California's or New York's infrastructure any better than the rest of the states? No. Yet how much money do they take from their citizens in taxes? And how about Illinois? Crime and corruption seem to be the rule in Lincoln's home state. And its leaders don't blink at taking more tax money from the citizenry. More taxes can help pay for better infrastructure provided that the taxes are used for this purpose. But they're not, and even you know that. Your cry in the wilderness postings ring hollow.
Agreed, David Brown. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes cost of living indexes for states and localities. By their index, the cost of living in Los Angeles-Long Beach is double the cost of living in Brazoria County, Texas, in the vicinity of Houston. That index seems to match the components of the Consumer Price Index, e.g., weighing housing expenses as 29% of the total and health care 4%. It's inexact since spending patters vary from place to place and between households, but it is the best interstate comparison I found.
Jack - I don't dispute your logic regarding preference for higher income but simply point out there are other factors. For example an income of $49K with family health insurance is probably better than an income of $57K with no health insurance. Similarly a job in Texas at $49K, with no income taxes and a average house cost of $176K is probably a better lifestyle than a job in California with a tax rate of 9.3% and an average house price of $299K.
When Jed Clampett’s neighbors formerly advised him to “move away from here” the destination of choice for many Americans was California – movie stars, palm trees, etc. About that same time in our history, the Mamas and Papas were ‘California Dreamin’ - and it was the same dream shared by many Americans. So, what happened in a mere 40 to 50 years? After a mass migration of millions from the eastern United States, why is California now losing residents and how does that square with this author’s observations? As in the European Union’s domains, mass migration within a federated territory isn’t seen as a problem affecting the overall growth of modern statist governments but it can become very uncomfortable for residents of the host states.

This discomforting problem occurs when these migrating hordes bring their wacky ideas and confused political philosophies into their new neighborhoods, right along with the family dog and the BBQ grill. The host locales are mildly flattered initially, people want to move to our state or EU member nation, we must be doing something right here. Quickly, however, patriotic pride turns to concern and then to outright loathing. London and to a lesser extent greater Britain is concerned about the pending mass migration of citizens from Eastern Europe, particularly impoverished southeastern nations. With the normal generous welfare benefits of an advanced EU country, a sizable portion of those new immigrants will be yearning to go on the dole and eager to live off their adopted nation and its long term taxpayers.

Here in America, we see the same problem occurring within the Undocumented American Community, hordes of people who come for a free ride provided by their host country and its generous taxpayers. Native born Americans will also leave New Jersey, Michigan and Vermont for our southern and western states but they never leave their liberal ideas concerning big government back in the old neighborhood. And our federal government has no reason to object to free migration among the states, taxpayers able to actually pay federal income taxes are very necessary to retard our country’s slow decline into bankruptcy.

The solution, of course, is the eventual break-up of an ungovernable country into smaller nations of like-minded people. Such a move would allow the newly formed nations of the old United States to control immigration into their domains and preserve their hard won economic prosperity from being gradually confiscated by a voracious national government. A startlingly radical idea of nation building for many Americans living today, including this article's author, but actually a very old idea which has been successfully employed for centuries throughout the world – every 4th of July we Americans give it formal recognition so this old, but still useful, idea hasn’t been entirely forgotten.
Lake Worth, it is inconceivable that a worker would prefer a lower income to a higher one. Then, how is it that California, with a median household income of $57,000 a year (U.S. Census, 2011) would lose population while Texas, with a median household income of $49,000, would gain more than California lost? I suggest that many people prefer lower pay in Texas to no job at all in California. Unemployment last month in California was 9.0% vs. 6.4% in Texas (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Quality of life and breadth of cultures are hard to define, but it must be hard to appreciate either one when the unemployment runs out.
"breadth of cultures"? Is this supposed to be something we sacrifice well-being for?
All? A good chunk of us knew better that to vote for the stuffed shirt.
It is absolutely incredible to me that, given the two choices Americans had in the last election - Obama and Romney - you all could have chosen Obama! Romney, who makes everything he touches turn to gold, and Obama, who has never made a penny outside of a gov't job and makes everything he comes near turn into masive losses (just one example - Solyndra) and into trillions more in public debt. Clearly, the best "investment" your country could make is to educate your voters.
Lower taxes == more freedom ?????????

The man thinks America should be Galt Gulch and that investing in infrastructure is evil?

Compare quality of life, education, and the breadth of cultures for these cities. Not just this:

"A Cato Institute study analyzing tax burdens for America’s 100 largest metros reported that the ten lowest-taxed regions saw triple the population increases of the ten highest-taxed from 1980 to 2007."

Low wage jobs migrated to low tax cities. And with the likes of Mississippi giving away $278,000-a-job to get a car assembly plant, who wouldn't move a plant there? The end result is characterless sprawl and ticky-tack housing. A social disaster.
To think that Obama, or anybody who shares his mindset, will ever figure any of this out is delusional. The economic-freedom index is not something that the people running Washington, or states like California, Illinois, and New York, care one bit about. Their willful ignorance of the results produced by their policies and regulations arises out of a continued need to feed off of businesses and individual taxpayers, raising barriers to economic growth and higher employment in an effort to make this country dependent on the rest of the world for goods and services. Perhaps it could once be said that "the chief business of the American people is business". Americans, however, no longer produce much of anything (useful, that is). So today, a more accurate statement about the chief business of the American people is that it is concerned with "other people's business". Like it or not, this will continue so long as people like Obama, Jerry Brown, and those of their ilk are put in office. Their arrogance persuades them that they need no primer on how to proceed. And the rest of America be damned.