People have short memories when it comes to big government. We forget the lessons of central planning failure in the USSR. So I'm grateful to states like California and Illinois! Because they spend and regulate so much--they remind us how we DON'T want to live.
In my syndicated column this week, I look at population shifts:
In the last decade, 2 million people left California.
Many of them moved to Alaska, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington or Wyoming... It's no surprise they produce more jobs. Without an income tax, those states were forced to limit the growth of their governments, so they did. Every state has schools, social service programs, prisons, etc., but those states find a way to fund those things for less. Then they reap benefits.
Last decade, those nine states gained population and increased jobs by 4.9 percent; jobs in the rest of the states declined by 2.6 percent.
It's good that we have places like Texas and New Hampshire to which fed-up citizens can escape. In Europe, you'd have to leave your country to escape its worst laws.
French actor Gerard Depardieu just moved to Belgium to escape France's proposed 75 percent tax on the rich. Years ago, high taxes in Britain drove Rod Stewart to move to Los Angeles. But by 2010, California's taxes had risen, and Stewart moved back to England. (He doesn't claim the reason was taxes; he said his child could get a better education in England.)
Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute summed up California's situation for me. "The politicians want to get re-elected, and the state government workers want to get as much as they can before the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. California is Greece -- the Greece of America."
The rest of my column here.