Sunbelt Blues

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Yesterday, I noted of Texas that:

Our elected leaders enact policies -- obviously demanded by the body politic -- that destroy prosperity and yet people who have to live under such policies find that they cannot and leave. [minor edit]
Within the context of a story that described a huge disparity in price between renting a U-Haul truck to move to Austin, Texas from San Francisco versus the other way around, I was alluding in part to migrants from blue states tipping the scales towards more intrusive government here after wrecking their own states. (Not that the natives here are blameless.)

Immigration from big government blue states is not a big problem in Texas, but it's a huge one for the three Sunbelt states of Arizona, Nevada, and Florida, the first two of which have all but become appendages of California, as Nicole Gelinas of City Journal elaborates in gory detail:
The political culture of the three states seems to be transforming, too, making them friendlier to the "spending lobby," as [Byron Schlomach, director of the Center for Economic Prosperity at the Goldwater Institute] calls it. Arizona, the only one of the three states with an income tax, now seems to have plenty of supporters for raising that tax. One unscientific poll in the Arizona Daily Star found a majority of respondents in favor of such an increase, including an Albany-style tax hike on the "rich" -- those making more than $150,000 annually. And Florida has seen Albany-style organized protests against even modest education cuts.

Both [Geoffrey Lawrence, a fiscal-policy analyst at the Nevada Policy Research Institute] and Schlomach believe that demography has a lot to do with this shift. "The biggest risk is Californians moving here," says Schlomach. "They are fleeing California, but they don't have any notion of why it's expensive to live there." They don't realize that part of the reason it's still "not super-expensive here" is the relatively small extent of government services, he adds. Echoes Lawrence: much of the population increase into Nevada is from California, and "they're taking their voting culture with them." [bold added, minor edits]
Read the whole thing.

Our economic crisis will not end until most people begin to realize that their own wallets fund the government, that nothing is cost-free, and that there must be spending cuts before we will see a meaningful trend of economic improvement and greater personal freedom. This is both an issue of grasping simple economic facts and interpreting them according to rational economic, moral, and political principles.

-- CAV


Inspector said...

As a resident of Arizona, I can tell you first hand that this is very much a reality. The California people can't stand (or afford) California anymore, so they come here and proceed to do their level best to transform this state into the hell they fled.

Gus Van Horn said...

I'd heard about this, but never knew how bad it was. I'll feel your pain and raise you when I'm done moving to Massachusetts, I'm sure.

Kyle Haight said...

Speaking as a California native who actually has rational political principles, I find this frustrating for another reason. If and when I decide to flee this collectivist cesspit for saner pastures, I except to face hostility from people I actually agree with because of the statism of my fellow refugees.

Gus Van Horn said...

Heh! And I'll feel YOUR pain, too, down the road when I finally return to Texas!

Jim May said...

Funny thing: right around the time I was shooting down his attempt to become the next Barbara Branden, Lee Stranahan was doing the exact same thing -- leaving California to live in a state that isn't as far gone down his ideological road... because it's cheaper.

Anybody remember Gilbert Keith-Worthing from Atlas? There's not a Leftist I've met yet who wasn't dramatized in Atlas somewhere.

Kyle: I plan to swap out the license plate on my Cali car ASAP should I get the job offer I'm hoping for from Las Vegas, for that exact reason.

Gus Van Horn said...

Ayn Rand's description is as follows:

"Gilbert Keith-Worthing was Chalmers' guest, for no reason that either of them could discover. He was a British novelist of world fame, who had been popular thirty years ago; since then, nobody bothered to read what he wrote, but everybody accepted him as a walking classic. He had been considered profound for uttering such things as: 'Freedom? Do let's stop talking about freedom. Freedom is impossible. Man can never be free of hunger, of cold, of disease, of physical accidents. He can never be free of the tyranny of nature. So why should he object to the tyranny of a political dictatorship?' When all of Europe put into practice the ideas which he had preached, he came to live in America"


Hell, except that he pretended to favor capitalism once upon a time, this could describe your Governor!