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.Read the whole thing.
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]
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.