Voting With One's Feet

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is crying foul over the exodus of population and thus, taxpayers, from his near socialist hell hole state of New York.  Redstate front page writer T.A LaDuke covered this in their article here.  Of course, to your average run-of-the-mill Leftist Democrat, it is all the fault of President Trump and his pesky tax reform package.  However, long before the Trump tax cuts, New York and other liberal states had been bleeding population, wealth, and taxpayers.

Instead of adjusting their mindset, they- the liberals that control liberal states- have doubled down on their policies and tax schemes.  And there is no reason for hope that this will change.  Have 50 people define or describe socialism and you are likely to get 50 different definitions or descriptions.  A recent Gallup poll noted that 45% of Americans age 18-29 view capitalism in a negative light.  As recently as 2010, 61% of that age group viewed capitalism in a favorable light.

Yet, if socialism and the exorbitant taxes necessary to subsidize it were so great, you would naturally expect people migrating to it.  That is not what a host of statistics and reports show.  Moving companies like United Van Lines report that the top four states for outward migration are, in order, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut and New York.  Atlas Van Lines also ranks New York 4th.  Further, IRS data reveal that in the past quarter century, New York has lost a net $99.5 billion in adjusted gross income.  The situation is similar in most blue states like California, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The problem can be even localized using the IRS data.  Most of the loss of wealth, if not population, is seen in the major metropolitan areas of these blue states.  In New York, it is the New York City metropolitan area bleeding wealth.  In Illinois, it is Cook County; in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and surrounding counties.  Yet, many of these metropolitan areas have either stable or increasing population growth.  It therefore becomes obvious that if the population remains stable, shows small relative declines, or actually increases while wealth leaves, what is left is people who are the recipients in the socialist welfare state.  It is also no secret that these metropolitan areas welcome immigrants- illegal and legal- with open arms.  In effect, you have people migrating to these areas in search of free stuff essentially being subsidized by a declining wealth/tax base through the middle man- the government.

Furthermore, birth rates among the wealthy (i.e., the producers in society and the economy) are declining.  It is estimated that the birth rate among the poor (i.e., the non-producers) is 33% higher than the producers.  So, what happens when those getting free stuff can outvote those paying for it?  It is a well known fact that once an entitlement is granted, it is damn near impossible to rescind that grant.   Ruling forever is the goal of every political party and politicians focus on those who can vote them into power.  If those getting the free stuff are the voting majority, that is where the politician will focus and go.

Yet you have socialist mayors like Bill De Blasio in New York City doubling down on failed policies, and Governors like Andrew Coumo doing likewise from Albany.  In his state of the city address in 2019, de Blasio declared that there is plenty of wealth in New York City, it was just in the wrong hands.  Hence, he cast himself as a modern day Robin Hood aiming to take from the remaining already over-taxed rich and redistributing that wealth to the poor.  Dressing up the language in social welfare garbage, De Blasio is even gone full blown communist.

He is rolling out a plan to actually seize properties from landlords.  Says De Blasio:

When a landlord tries to push out a tenant by making their home unlivable, a team of inspectors and law enforcement agents will be on the ground to stop it in time…If the fines and the penalties don’t cut it, we will seize their buildings and we will put them in the hands of a community nonprofit that will treat tenants with the respect they deserve.

How exactly does one identify a “problem landlord?”  The one who makes the smallest political donation to the Democratic Party?

Obviously, the IRS data also shows that the population and wealth are moving into traditionally low tax, red states like Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas.  Before voters in those states become concerned that these internal migrants will bring their liberal views with them, that is likely to happen in some circumstances.  However, that IRS data shows that 51.7% of the outward moves from blue states to red states are over the age of 55 and the older one is, the more likely they are to be more conservative.  On the other hand, about 30% of the inbound people to blue states are under the age of 34, an age group that tends to be more liberal.

This movement or sorting of voters comes with a price that is often overlooked.  In San Francisco, there is well-documented tension regarding the gentrification of neighborhoods traditionally populated by either minorities or the poor.  The same can be seen in major cities like New York and Philadelphia.  The New York Times has documented the degree of segregation in the New York City public school system.  The younger liberal may be migrating to liberal metropolitan oases, but they are educating their kids in all-white schools and living in cloistered all-white neighborhoods.

As all the evidence indicates, politicians pander to their base which in large metropolitan areas is the increasing number of the non-producers.  The producers, meanwhile, have been squeezed and shaken down to such a degree they have given up on a political solution.  If they cannot reverse the socialist trends at the ballot box, they use their feet and United Van Lines.  Even the working class people do not buy the 1% nonsense that much anymore.  They know that any new social program ends up costing them money.  And they too are voting with their feet.