Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Prosperity Comes, Prosperity Goes

The Wall St Journal today has a lead editorial (paywall) describing how, in addition to population shifts from one state to another, the bigger story may well be the shift in state GDP that moves along with it. It doesn't move directly with the population of course, if one rich entrepreneur moves out of a state and takes his business with him, it has a much greater effect on the states economy that having several hundred "refugees" with no notable talents beyond an ability to apply for assistance and vote Democratic.

Shining examples of how not to do it include the usual suspects, California and New York, with special mention of the way population flows reversed in Connecticut after they established an income tax, and then raised it annually to one of the highest on the east coast.

Mentioned on the other end as a net gainer, is Colorado, where I live. We've seen a modest increase in state GDP over the last few years as disgruntled Californians and Chicagoan's move here to escape the taxes and regulation that have made their former home states such garden spots. A word of warning to any more who might be considering the move: The legislature this year has several taxation bills on offer that would eliminate our TABOR law which allows the taxpayers a veto over taxation proposals and establishes a modest 4.2% state income tax rate.

The problem with TABOR is that the now democratic-controlled legislature has a lot of splendid and worthwhile projects they would like to impose on us, and has discovered that the state cash cows are not providing enough milk to fund them. At the same time, there is a strong party-based movement to penalize charter schools as they seem to have a way of making the public schools look bad. The solution to all these problems is: Higher Taxes and no accountability. The legislature has some 30 proposals slated for the upcoming ballot which would abolish Tabor, make the income tax progressive, drive the oil and gas industry (5.6%* of the states economy) out of the state, and impose crushing burdens on the charter schools. Oh and did I mention, give Colorado's electoral college votes to California and New York?

Locally the powers that be in Denver and some of the surrounding towns are trying to make themselves more tolerant of the homeless. We all know how that worked out in L.A. and Portland. It's heading that way here with 2 or 3 panhandlers on every significant surface intersection in town.

Colorado look like a nice place to move to? Don't worry, by the end of 2020, if the legislature gets its way, it will be just as desirable as California or Chicago.

*Revised down. real numbers seem to be hard to come by and if you want a second opinion, that's easy as 6 or 7 will pop up on any search.

1 comment:

Merle said...

I am sorry to hear all that - my sympathies....