Over the past decade New York State has lost 3.4 million residents, with incomes totaling $119 billion, according to the Tax Foundation . This loss more than offsets the 2.1 million who moved into the state between 2000 and 2009.
A chief reason for fleeing is high taxes. For decades the Empire State has usually ranked Number One in the amount it extracts from its own citizens. So it’s no surprise that it now ranks Number One in the number of citizens extracting themselves from their roles as cash cows for spendaholic politicians.
It also is no surprise that in 2009 " Cost of Government Day"— the date to which citizens must work to foot the bill for state as well federal expenditures—for New Yorkers was August 31. Only citizens of California and New Jersey had to work longer to slake the thirst of elected officials for the fruits of their labor.
Those who leave high-tax states like New York for lower-tax states are refugees fleeing an army of despoilers in America’s current civil war between the producers and expropriators. As the burden on those remaining in such states increases, pressures build for more to shrug or for political change. In New Jersey in 2009 Chris Christie was elected governor promising to cut spending and taxes. And he did!
When will such change occur in places like New York or California is hard to say. But in the meantime the population of such states will change as people move to where they’re not punished with high taxes and strangling regulations for the virtue of being productive.
Hudgins is director of advocacy at The Atlas Society.
For further reading:
*Edward Hudgins, " Producers vs. Expropriators: America’s Coming Civil War? " April 13, 2010.
*Edward Hudgins, " Protest of the Producers ." September 20, 2009.
Edward Hudgins is research director at the Heartland Institute and former director of advocacy and senior scholar at The Atlas Society.