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Old 11-01-2013, 05:26 PM  
Taco John Taco John is offline
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Americans Keep Moving to States With Low Taxes and Housing Costs

Americans Keep Moving to States With Low Taxes and Housing Costs

Where are Americans moving, and why? Timothy Noah, writing in the Washington Monthly, professes to be puzzled. He points out that people have been moving out of states with high per capita incomes -- Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland -- to states with lower income levels.

"Why are Americans by and large moving away from economic opportunity rather than toward it?" he asks.

Actually, it's not puzzling at all. The movement from high-tax, high-housing-cost states to low-tax, low-housing-cost states has been going on for more than 40 years, as I note in my new book Shaping Our Nation: How Surges of Migration Transformed America and Its Politics.

Between 1970 and 2010, the population of New York state increased from 18 million to 19 million. In that same period, the population of Texas increased from 11 million to 25 million.

The picture is even starker if you look at major metro areas. The New York metropolitan area, including counties in New Jersey and Connecticut, increased from 17.8 million in 1970 to 19.2 million in 2010 -- up 8 percent. During that time, the nation grew 52 percent.

In the same period, the four big metro areas in Texas -- Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin -- grew from 6 million to 15.6 million, a 160 percent increase.

Contrary to Noah's inference, people don't move away from opportunity. They move partly in response to economic incentives, but also to pursue dreams and escape nightmares.

Opportunity does exist in the Northeastern states and in California -- for people with very high skill levels and for low-skill immigrants, without whom those metro areas would have lost, rather than gained, population over the last three decades.

But there's not much opportunity there for people with midlevel skills who want to raise families. Housing costs are exceedingly high, partly, as Noah notes, because of restrictive land use and zoning regulations.

And central city public schools, with a few exceptions, repel most middle-class parents.

High taxes produce revenues to finance handsome benefits and pensions for public employee union members in the high-cost states. It's hard to see how this benefits middle-class people making their livings in the private sector.

Moreover, Noah's use of per capita incomes is misleading, since children typically have no income and many in the Northeast and coastal California are childless. If you look at household incomes, these states are far closer to the national average.

As economist Tyler Cowen points out in a Time magazine cover story, when you adjust incomes for tax rates and cost of living, Texas comes out ahead of California and New York and ranks behind only Virginia and Washington state (which, like Texas, has no state income tax).

Critics charge that Texas's growth depends on the oil and gas industries and is weighted toward low-wage jobs. But in fact, Texas's low-tax, light-regulation policies have produced a highly diversified economy that from 2002 to 2011 created nearly one-third of the nation's highest-paying jobs. In those years, its number of upper- and middle-income jobs grew 24 percent.

Liberals like Noah often decry income inequality. But the states with the most unequal incomes and highest poverty levels these days are California and New York. That's what happens when high taxes and housing costs squeeze out the middle class.

As Noah notes, "Few working-class people earn enough money to live anywhere near San Francisco."

This leaves a highly visible and articulate upper class willing, in line with their liberal beliefs, to shoulder high tax burdens and a very much larger lower class -- many of them immigrants -- available to serve them in restaurants, landscape their gardens and valet-park their cars.

There's nothing wrong with living in a high-rise, restaurant-studded, subway-served neighborhood (I do). It's great that America offers more such options than one and two generations ago.

But it's foolish to try to cram everyone into such surroundings, as the Obama Department of Housing and Urban Development (as Terry Eastland reports in the Weekly Standard) and California Governor, Jerry Brown, are trying to do.

Noah notes correctly that fewer Americans have been moving recently. That's always true in times of economic distress (the Okies' trek along U.S. Route 66 to California's Central Valley in the 1930s was a memorable exception, not the rule).

But they continue to move to the low-tax states that are providing jobs and living space where they can pursue their dreams and escape places that burden them with high costs and provide few middle-class amenities in return.



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Old 11-01-2013, 05:29 PM   #2
Taco John Taco John is offline
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Gotta love the Federalist style of government. The market always gets the last say when people vote with their actions. Imagine if we had 50 different healthcare models to choose from, or push our own states to adopt.

But then, this "let's tie us all to the same railroad track" approach to everything is fun too, right?
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:41 PM   #3
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Call me narrow minded but I don't trust Michael Barone and I don't trust you. Firstly you're a donkey fan. Second to ninth you're a donkey fan. Tenth you're a pretentious dickhead.
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:44 PM   #4
Xanathol Xanathol is offline
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The worse part about this is, the dumbasses up north vote their dumbass ways for their dumbass politicians that promote their dumbass views, see shit go to hell in a handbasket, move, then vote the same damned way, all the time too stupid to realize they are the reason things were ****ed up where they came from, never once questioning their views. Instead, they corrupt new locations with their stupidity. They are a cancer, spreading, infecting healthy tissue, and we have no cure because we have nothing to work with ( ie. they are too damned stubborn and stupid to understand ).
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:49 PM   #5
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They are a cancer, spreading, infecting healthy tissue, and we have no cure because we have nothing to work with ( ie. they are too damned stubborn and stupid to understand ).
Yep, this. A lot of Californians have moved up here to Washington state. It's only a matter of time until we have a state income tax - idiots...
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
Gotta love the Federalist style of government. The market always gets the last say when people vote with their actions. Imagine if we had 50 different healthcare models to choose from, or push our own states to adopt.

But then, this "let's tie us all to the same railroad track" approach to everything is fun too, right?
Precisely.

We don't have a right to decide for ourselves.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:00 PM   #7
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Tell me about it. The county I live in is great. Great schools, low crime, jobs, growth.
But now I see more and more Obama fans moving in. I'm sure it'll turn into a dump in no time. Then everyone will have to move a county further out.
Eventually they'll just ruin the whole state.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:56 PM   #8
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
Americans Keep Moving to States With Low Taxes and Housing Costs
Just a guess, but I bet it has A LOT more to do with lower housing costs in less-densely populated places than lower state taxes.
There's a lot less incentive to move somewhere with lower state taxes when your income is lower. Plus lower state taxes usually is made up for by higher sales tax, property and real estate taxes, etc.

In the case of Texas, how much of that population increase is due to an increase in [gasp!] the Hispanic population?
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by blaise View Post
Tell me about it. The county I live in is great. Great schools, low crime, jobs, growth.
But now I see more and more Obama fans moving in. I'm sure it'll turn into a dump in no time. Then everyone will have to move a county further out.
Eventually they'll just ruin the whole state.


Moochers, freeloaders, bums and riff-raff the whole lot of them.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:08 PM   #10
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Just a guess, but I bet it has A LOT more to do with lower housing costs in less-densely populated places than lower state taxes.
There's a lot less incentive to move somewhere with lower state taxes when your income is lower. Plus lower state taxes usually is made up for by higher sales tax, property and real estate taxes, etc.

In the case of Texas, how much of that population increase is due to an increase in [gasp!] the Hispanic population?
Soon they'll figure it out and move up to places where the good jobs are, like the rust belt cities.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:29 PM   #12
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I am hoping that in the next few years I will be able to vacate the dumassery of Calif. My reasoning will be taxes, cost of living, and the political climate.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:35 PM   #13
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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I am hoping that in the next few years I will be able to vacate the dumassery of Calif. My reasoning will be taxes, cost of living, and the political climate.
So why not leave now?
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:39 PM   #14
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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My sister is talking about getting our of Silicon to Healdsburg which is of course still CA. I suspect she could end up in Oregon though although WA might be a better choice for her job skills . Gramma isnt happy about the possibility the grandkids are going to be so far away . Another curve ball.
Your sister might move. Within California. Interesting. Please, keep us informed of future developments.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:44 PM   #15
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So why not leave now?
Waiting for retirement, I love my job, I just don't want to work at it until I die. I also need a few years for a couple investments to payoff.
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