Voting with Their Feet

By Just The Numbers

It was said of the Oregon Trail The cowards never started and the weak died along the way. 

We are in another, equally or more significant, migration – driven by the disastrous policies of the Obama administration and those of states of his socialist ilk. This migration is a testament to the American spirit!  Looking at those who are not migrating gives insight into the human tragedy that is socialism.

This migration is a little confusing if one tries to count the movement of people. States who are losing people are receiving immigrants, many illegal, so the population numbers are skewed – likewise states who are gaining people.

CityLab.com gives a good, graphic look in Two Very Different Types of Migrations Are Driving Growth in U.S. Cities Even with the skew, it’s clear that people who’ve called these cities home are leaving.

What’s even more interesting is that about a third of all large metros saw a net outflow of domestic migrants. These metros are a diverse bunch, including America’s three largest city-regions, New York, L.A., and Chicago; expensive, high-tech powerhouses like San Jose and San Diego; and unsurprisingly, large swaths of the Rustbelt, including Detroit, St. Louis, and Milwaukee.

An even better metric would be the movement of people by income, skills, productivity, … if those statistics were kept.

One useful metric that has been kept tells the story very well – the movement of taxpaying citizens.

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) published a study based on IRS data Taxpayers Fleeing Democrat-Run States for Republican Ones 

“People move away from high tax states to low tax states. Every tax refugee is sending a powerful message to politicians,” said ATR President Grover Norquist. “They are voting with their feet. Leaders in Texas and Florida are listening. New York and California are not.”

That year, Democrat-run states lost a net 226,763 taxpayers, bringing with them nearly $15.7 billion in adjusted gross income (AGI). That same year, states with Republican governors gained nearly 220,000 new taxpayers, who brought more than $14.1 billion in AGI with them.

Only one-third of states with Democrat governors gained taxpayers, compared to three-fifths of states with Republican governors.  

Note: These are 2013 IRS numbers, the most recent available. It is believed that the rate of migration has increased since.

The Heritage Foundation commented on the ATR report Study: Taxpayers Are Leaving Democrat-Run States for States Controlled by Republicans 

America’s “Biggest Loser,” in Americans for Tax Reform’s (ATR) terms, is New York. It lost the most amount of taxpayers compared to any other state.Governed by Democrat Andrew Cuomo, New York saw a loss of almost 115,000 people.

Taxpayers leaving New York took with them $5.65 billion in adjusted gross income.

“The phenomenal failure of New York to retain taxpayers and businesses is directly related to its uncompetitive tax and business climates,” wrote ATF.

Another metric is the movement of businesses. A Tax Foundation report Location Matters: Effective Tax Rates on Manufacturers by State looks at tax rates driving business movement or new site selection.

The country’s manufacturing sector is in decline. In 1979, about 19.6 million Americans were employed in manufacturing. Today the number stands at 12.3 million. Despite—or perhaps because of—this economic shift, manufacturing firms tend to be the recipients of substantial state incentives. That’s one takeaway from our new Location Matters study, which calculates the tax bills of seven model firms. We calculate their tax liability in all fifty states, first as mature firms and then again as new firms more likely to be eligible for state incentives, allowing for an apples-to-apples comparison of how state taxes fall on distinct business types.

Two of our seven model firms were manufacturers: a capital-intensive manufacturing facility and a labor-intensive manufacturing facility, given their distinct tax exposure. Predictably, unemployment insurance tax burdens tend to be more significant to labor-intensive manufacturing, but the impact of other taxes varies across the two firm types as well.

If you go to the Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom, you won’t find America in the top 10. This index is another metric – the rule of law – the foundation of civilization.

Opportunity LIves reports a look at a broader measure of freedom by the Cato Institue‘s Human Freedom Index in THERE’S A NEW WAY TO MEASURE GLOBAL FREEDOMHere, you’ll find America coming in at number 20.

From the report The United States fell from 17th place in 2008 to 20th place in 2012. The decline reflects a long-term drop in every category of economic freedom and in its rule of law indicators. The U.S. performance is worrisome and shows that the United States can no longer claim to be the leading bastion of liberty in the world. In addition to the expansion of the regulatory state and drop in economic freedom, the war on terror, the war on drugs, and the erosion of property rights due to greater use of eminent domain all likely have contributed to the U.S. decline.

It’s easy to see where all the above is leading.

Zero Hedge reports an  Economic Policy Journal study in 32 States Now Officially Bankrupt: $37.8 Billion Borrowed From Treasury To Fund Unemployment; CA, MI, NY Worst. 

Governing reports on cities in Bankrupt Cities, Municipalities List and Map

States and cities are facing bankruptcy because their policies have driven away productive people, leaving, mostly, only those who are government dependents. A decades-long combination of fools and knaves have created third-world-like cancers across our nation. The migration discussed above is the true Americans fleeing from those pustulating abscesses on on the face of our nation.

Two things are clear from the above:

First, the American spirit is alive and well. Americans are still willing to load up the wagons and set out on a frightening journey to make a better life for themselves and their children

Second, our political system is badly broken. Unless 2016 sees a house cleaning (White House, House of Representatives, Senate and State Houses) our nation which a been called, rightly, the shining city on a hill will soon be a historical footnote.

[This article was originally published on JustTheNumbersMam.com]

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