The Truth About Taxes and the Rich

Separating economic myth from economic fact

Editor’s Note: Reason columnist and Mercatus Center economist Veronique de Rugy appears weekly on Bloomberg TV to separate economic fact from economic myth.

Myth 1: Wealthy people pack up and move when their taxes increase.

Fact 1: High taxes generally do not cause the wealthy to move.

As governors and state legislatures consider tax increases to fix state fiscal issues, concern over the potential flight of wealthy residents has surfaced again. For a given state, wealthy residents provide both a greater proportion of that state’s income tax revenue and a disproportionate share of the charitable donations made within that state. According to the Survey of Consumer Finances, sponsored by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, on a national basis households with a net worth of at least $1 million, headed by a person age 60 or older, comprised 4 percent of all households but donated approximately 25 percent of all household charitable contributions made in 2007 (the most recent year for which data is available). It is obviously in each state’s interest to keep these wealthy residents around.

A number of studies in the economic literature explore the impact of taxes on the migration behavior of households in the United States. What these papers have generally shown is that taxes have little impact on cross-state migration. Instead, the migration impacts of unemployment are much greater. Overall, the results suggest that taxes do not cause out-migration, but they do influence the choice of destination for some migrating households, such as retirees.

The above chart uses data from a study by the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy to illustrate the effect of a tax increase on New Jersey residents making greater than $500,000 per year. Following the tax increase, the authors conservatively estimate that net out‐migration in this income bracket rose by about 350 out of 44,000 people, or by about 0.8 percent of New Jersey’s taxpayers making more than half a million dollars a year. This is a small, but noticeable effect. However, the study also claims that the rate of out-migration by higher income earners was in line with the out-migration rate of people who weren’t subject to the tax. In other words, the behavior of the rich is consistent with the behavior of the rest of the population.

According to a regional household survey conducted by the Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project at Temple University in 2004, just 27 percent of respondents in Philadelphia cited tax concerns as a reason they moved to their current location. Compare this to the 59 percent of survey respondents who said their residential choice was motivated by housing costs, the 47 percent who were motivated by good schools, and the 44 percent who wanted to be closer to family and friends. On the list of reasons for moving, tax concerns ranked ninth.

When respondents were asked whether they had ever considered moving in order to pay lower taxes, 73 percent of Philadelphia residents said no. Within the subsection of respondents living in affluent suburbs, the number climbed to 83 percent. (Interestingly, those who had considered moving because of tax concerns were more likely to move within the next two years than others in the group surveyed.) Similarly, a 2003 study in the Journal of Gerontology found that while tax burdens are the most important fiscal characteristic affecting the location choice of retirement-age individuals, factors such as climate, general economic conditions, and housing costs are still much more important.

Why? Because while location matters, taxes are one of the factors that define how desirable a location is. Among the factors that keep people in high-tax places are jobs, family, friends, and city amenities (few New Yorkers would agree to pack up and move to North Dakota no matter how low the taxes there might be).

In addition, there is the fact that moving is usually a costly hassle, and most people’s social lives are grounded in their community and their workplace. Relocating often results in a longer commute for those still employed, causes disruption to the children who are still in school, and often means giving up on your social network and friends.
Presumably there is a level of taxation that will prompt more high-income individuals to move or change their behavior radically. However, it is also likely that the wealthy already have fairly well-developed tax sheltering strategies in place.

The general conclusion is that moderate tax increases on the rich, even if no neighboring jurisdictions follow suit, is unlikely to lead to much in the way of emigration.

That being said there are other reasons not increase taxes on the very rich. Higher taxes do slow down the rate of business development and job growth. In turn, high taxes reduce the number of wealthy people a given state may attract.

Myth 2: Blue states are big government states and red states are small government states.

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  • Pip||

  • Max||

    Does Veronique swallow?

  • Pip||

    so·ci·o·path   /ˈsoʊsiəˌpæθ, ˈsoʊʃi-/ Show Spelled
    [soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-] Show IPA

    –noun Psychiatry .
    a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

  • Max||

    cre·tin   /ˈkritn or, especially Brit., ˈkrɛtn/ Show Spelled
    [kreet-n or, especially Brit., kret-n] Show IPA

    –noun
    1. a person suffering from cretinism.
    2. a stupid, obtuse, or mentally defective person.

  • rather||

    lol

  • A Serious Man||

    ^e.g

  • rather ||

    F.U.

  • ||

    > so·ci·o·path 
    > a person, as a psychopathic personality,
    > whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense
    > of moral responsibility or social conscience.

    Ayn Randians celebrate corporations as a thing of beauty because they have no moral obligations to anyone other than their shareholders.

    Since corporations are artificial "persons" with legal rights of personhood (life begins at incorporation?), are they sociopaths?

  • ||

    The Milton Friedman Choir rejoicing in corporations' amorality and lack of conscience:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3Seg0JE1PM

  • Bucky||

    where is Helen Thomas when you need her?

  • ||

    I was reading an interesting discussion about whether or not corporations are "legally obligated to maximize profits." The person on the thread claiming to be a legal expert made the argument that corporations are in now way obligated to maximize profit. The law that declares that the corporation has a duty to its shareholders was put in place to prevent larger shareholders from using the corporation for their own interests at the expense of smaller investors. I question the validity of any law that requires that small investors be "protected" in this way, as they could simply sell their stock if they are that unhappy, but the fact remains that it would be hard to sue a corporation simply for not "maximizing profit." If corporations were actually legally required to maximize profit, they would be changing their business models weekly in order to honestly chase the largest profits possible.

    For the billionth time, nobody has argued that corporations are people. I've never heard a single person argue that a corporation is "a person." Corporations are made up of people, all of whom retain their legal rights as a whole. Humans have the right to free speech. A corporation is made up of humans, therefore, a corporate commercial is still protected by freedom of speech.

    I'd really like somebody to show me where somebody has declared that a corporation is "a person."

  • Milton Friedman||

    "A corporation is an artificial person"

    The New York Times Magazine September 13, 1970

    re
    > For the billionth time, nobody has argued that corporations are people.
    > I'd really like somebody to show me where somebody has declared
    > that a corporation is "a person."

  • ||

    A corporation can be likened to a person. I believe that was what Friedman was doing here. Friedman was not speaking in a legal sense, and I don't believe that Friedman's expertise is in interpreting law.

    Nowhere in the piece does Friedman describe the corporation as separate from the group of people who have a right to control it. The corporation can never be a completely private actor, and a corporation does nothing without a person directing it.

    Furthermore, Friedman clarifies:

    -----"Of course, in some cases his employers may have a different objective. A group of persons might establish a corporation for an eleemosynary purpose–for exam­ple, a hospital or a school. The manager of such a corporation will not have money profit as his objective but the rendering of certain services.

    In either case, the key point is that, in his capacity as a corporate executive, the manager is the agent of the individuals who own the corporation or establish the eleemosynary institution, and his primary responsibility is to them."-----

    A corporation is responsible to its shareholders, and that is completely different than being "required to maximize profit by law." That would be like saying that my lamp is "legally" required to maximize its brightness. It's my lamp, and it will be just as bright as I want it to be.

    Nobody is describing a corporation as "a person" in a legal sense.

    This is the full quote that you cut short for the purpose of misrepresentation:

    ------"Only people can have responsibilities. A corporation is an artificial person and in this sense may have artificial responsibilities, but "business" as a whole cannot be said to have responsibilities, even in this vague sense. "-----

    Clearly Friedman does not believe that a corporation is a person. He uses the term "artificial person," but that is different. I can't say exactly what he meant by "artificial person," but it is clear that he makes a distinction between "people" and an "artificial person." It is also clear from the above sentence that Friedman believes that a corporation is only an "artificial person" in a "vague" sense.

  • ||

    None of which refutes the point that Friedman referred to a corporation as a person.

    > Nobody is describing a corporation as "a person" in a legal sense.

    Except for 1 U.S.C. §1

    The laws of the United States hold that a legal entity (like a corporation or non-profit organization) shall be treated under the law as a person except when otherwise noted. This rule of construction is specified in 1 U.S.C. §1,[10] which states:

    In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, unless the context indicates otherwise-- the words "person" and "whoever" include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals;

    Arguing corporate personhood with a libertarian is like arguing "choice" with a liberal/feminist who doesn't want to use the word "abortion".

    They don't want to admit what everyone knows they really mean.

  • Warty||

    Eat the Rich

    Bonus fucktarded comments:

    @CycleSeth Error doesn't compute, you talk about Stalistic style of communism which is isnt even close to socialism or communism. Socialism means you earn what you make and is your own boss, worker controlled means of production, no state is needed. Rules and laws is made by the local community which you belong to and direct democracy is what is used. It is the vision of communism most communist has.
  • Tony||

    True communism is actually interchangeable with libertarianism by some measures.

  • OO||

    not communism tony, rather actual marxism not leninism, stalinism, nor maoism/

  • ||

    OO, Marxism is a proposed method for achieving socialism and eventually communism, in which the working class takes over government and uses it in order to further its interests by confiscating all private property. How is this interchangeable with libertarianism?

    And before answering, make sure to not say anything stupid, which I know is very difficult for you.

  • ||

    "make sure to not say anything stupid, which I know is very difficult for you."

    Pot, meet kettle.

  • Bucky||

    wow, that's settled...

  • ||

    Tony, you're an idiot:

    Communism is a sociopolitical movement that aims for a classless and stateless society structured upon common ownership of the means of production, free access to articles of consumption, and the end of wage labour and private property in the means of production and real estate.

    It's fundamentally antithetical to libertarianism.

  • ||

    It's not antithetical if people join the commune voluntarily. It's antithetical if it is applied by force to the entire society via the state.

  • ||

    Left libertarianism, you mean.

    Anyway, even right libertarians don't object to the formation of communes. We only object if the commune tries to force people to join.

  • Tony||

    Right, real communism, exactly like libertarianism, is about the elimination of all authority. That it always seems to come with an authoritarian leader is just one of those curiosities.

  • tarran||

    Tony, this is one of the dumbest things you've written in a long time.

    The premise of Libertarianism is the elimination of violent coersion. It says nothing about people voluntarily following some leader or auhtority figure. It merely means that the authority figure, in a libertarian order, lacks the moral right or legal power to compel people to follow his rule.

    By definition, this is antithetical to the rise of an authoritarian leader, since authoritarianism is, by definition, dependent on coercion.

    Real communists, like Lenin, discovered that when they tried to impose a communist order, people persisted in engaging in trade and resorted to the guns to forbid them from such evil acts.

    Now, why don't you tell me what analogous act would be prohibited in a libertarian order?

    Joining a hutterite commune? Nope
    Getting together with your friends to recreate Social Security? Nope
    Entering itno an agreement with some of your friends to redistribute money from high income earners to those who have low/nonexistant incomes? Nope.

    So, Tony, what does your putative authoritarian dictator ramming libertarianism down people's throats have to shoot people for?

  • Tony||

    Because you can't just hand-wave away the fact that authority means compulsion. We do, in a sense, voluntarily submit to various authorities. That voluntariness takes the form of automatic enrollment upon birth with the ability to freely move to another jurisdiction. How does voluntariness work on the scale of large populations any other way?

  • ||

    "That voluntariness takes the form of automatic enrollment upon birth"

    How is that "voluntariness?"

    The fact is that children are subject to the system that their parents accepted. However, should the child turn 18 and choose to leave catholic school and start his/her own non-catholic life, that should be their choice and they should be free from compulsion to obey.

    "How does voluntariness work on the scale of large populations any other way?"

    Do you literally have so little imagination and creativity that you cannot imagine a society without widespread, violent coercion? I'm sure that people have explained to you in these forums just how a voluntaristic society would work, and I'm not going to write a college thesis educating you on the subject right now.

    Nobody can freely move anywhere outside of the US. I agree that the ability to leave one set of rule behind in order to join another jurisdiction with different rules is necessary for freedom, which is why I prefer the idea of stronger, more independent local governments with no restrictions on who comes and goes. I just don't see that level of freedom of mobility in today's society. Getting away from the reach of the US Federal government is just about impossible. I don't even think that you could truly walk out and buy a piece of land and start a commune without being hampered by federal laws, even if you were to move out into the middle of nowhere and cut yourself off from the rest of society. If you did, I'm sure that once word got around, the Feds would find some reason to serve you with warrants for disobeying a laundry list of their laws. The idea that we can freely move to a whole other country is also a complete fiction.

  • tarran||

    tkwedge.

    You sound like an apologist for those whiny Jews who, having voted with their feet to stay in Germany in the 1930's, tried to renege on their consent to go up the chimneys.

    Note well also how Tony couldn't come up with a single example of how a libertarian social order would be imposed by an authoritarian.

  • Tony||

    However, should the child turn 18 and choose to leave catholic school and start his/her own non-catholic life, that should be their choice and they should be free from compulsion to obey.

    Don't they have that freedom? Kids can be emancipated earlier if the circumstances are right. At the very least, though, you have to have some universal rules about when custodianship of parents is relinquished.

    So you want the ability to go claim a plot of land and express sovereignty over it, even though that right already belongs to someone else. You can't really complain about that--land is finite. I just think the system we have allows for the maximum of voluntariness given that a) children are born b) the world is finite and c) there are billions of people in it.

  • ||

    ------ Don't they have that freedom? Kids can be emancipated earlier if the circumstances are right. At the very least, though, you have to have some universal rules about when custodianship of parents is relinquished.----

    I was not trying to bring up a debate about the "age of majority" issue. I was trying to point out that simply because you are born into a system, you are not doomed to permanently obey it. You make this strange argument that being born into a system somehow compels acceptance of that system. You never even try to support your logic, you simply announce it to be so.

    -----So you want the ability to go claim a plot of land and express sovereignty over it, even though that right already belongs to someone else.-----

    When did I say this? Are you continuing to read after I've stopped typing again?

    ---a) children are born b) the world is finite and c) there are billions of people in it.---

    None of this has any baring on anything. Children are born? Are you saying that Children must be born into a coercive society...just cuz? The world is finite? Yeah, which is why we need property rights, but that doesn't presuppose the initiation of force at all. There are billions of people? I agree with the statement, but once again, how does this mean that the initiation of force is required? I post high off my ass a lot, but you aren't making any sense here.

  • ola||

    Cmon, that red state blue state analysis has to be the dumbest thing I've seen Veronica describe. Is she implying that a vote for Obama in California or New York was because they wanted to send money to Mississippi? What did the analysis look like in 1984 when Reagan won 49 states? I bet that was an interesting chart. Veronica says something like "Let's see it looks like we have 18 red state net payers and 31 red state net recipients and just one blue state net payer. Boy that is an interesting chart. It just gives us all kinds of interesting things to talk about tonight at the beltway snob soiree." NOT, it just means Reagan smashed.

  • Tony||

    It means liberals are supporting conservatives' fat asses with free money, and the conservatives are turning around and bitching that their money is going the other way, because--ah, Reagan told them so.

  • Juice||

    It all comes down to high tax states and low tax states. When a state has low taxes its politicians tend to beg more from the federal government.

    To alleviate the differential, high tax states could tax less and beg the feds more or low tax states could tax more and piss off their residents.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    It means liberals are supporting conservatives' fat asses with free money, and the conservatives are turning around and bitching that their money is going the other way

    "LIBERALS ARE FUNDING WHITE TRASH WELFARE A BLOO BLOO BLOO!!!"

    Let's check out another chart:

    http://thesocietypages.org/soc.....ct2010.jpg

    Doesn't look quite so cut-and-dried now, does it?

  • Tony||

    Black people aren't the ones bitching. And they've got it much worse on average.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Black people aren't the ones bitching.

    "HOW DARE YOU DESTROY MY SWPL NARRATIVE WITH YOUR HATEFUL FACTS, YOU LOVING BIGOT A BLOO BLOO BLOO!"

  • DLM||

    It means liberals are supporting conservatives' fat asses with free money,

    It means liberals are so stupid they are voting against their own best economic interests.

  • Malcolm Excellent||

    "This chart uses data from the Tax Foundation documenting the amount of federal spending in each state per dollar of federal taxes paid with states classified as red or blue..."

    Can we get some clarification on "federal spending" and "federal taxes paid"?

    1. How are corporate income taxes considered? If I am a retail organization which operates nationwide, thus generating revenue and profit in 50 states, but I am a Chicago based/HQ'd/filing address organization, how is that reflected in this study? Does Blue Illinois get "credit" for 100% of the "federal taxes paid" by an organization that generates them nationwide?

    2. What about payroll/medicare taxes? I grow up, live and work in cold, miserable Buffalo, paying, along with my employer into the Social Security system. Do those contributions get "credited" to Blue New York as "federal taxes paid" in the analysis? What about when I retire at 65 to sunny Phoenix, and start getting collecting Social Security checks and using Medicare? Is that now charged as "federal spending" to Red Arizona?

    3. What about the impact of military spending, which tends towards rural areas, which tend to be Red states? This spending benefits the nation as a whole. Is there an adjustment made for this in the analysis?

    4. What about the vast tracts of land owned by the Federal Government, primarily is western, Red states? Is there spending associated with this ownership?

  • ||

    All excellent questions.

    Another one: Are Federal highway funds included in this study. Naturally the red states, most of them being HUGE, are going to require more money for that. The whole nation benefits from highways through these states (think cheaper shipping, trucking).

  • ||

    I wonder what "net recipient" really means.

    Many times, I see the Interstate named as a subsidy. This is, of course, BS. It's a long way across Wyoming, and the people of Iowa are using that interstate when they eat a burger and fries -- just as Oregonians are when they're eating the bun. The small number of people living along the highway can be used to make it appear that Wyoming is receiving more of a "subsidy" then California because I-80 goes through Wyoming as well as Northern California. Sure, the SF Bay Area pays more in Federal taxes than the state of Wyoming. That region alone, to say nothing of the whole state, has about 15 times the population.

    However, if you're enjoying a bottle of Napa wine in New York City, there's a good chance it came via I-80.

    I'm all for, at the very least, the BLM charging market rates for what is now called "welfare ranching". All agricultural subsidies should be eliminated, IMO.

    However, even in "red states" one has to remember that only a small part of the population is a farmer or rancher, any more. Some people are certainly sucking the government teat. That doesn't mean that any given individual is, nor does it mean that "conservatives" necessarily are.

  • ||

    Even Veronique falls for the common misconception that with Social Security one is "paying into a system" and that they will "get something back" from it.

    That is all a false construction, but even policy wonks often don't get it.

  • Tony||

    Good up until the point where you play this game of calling SS not regressive because people get benefits. Just because the money isn't dumped into general funds but is earmarked doesn't mean it isn't taken from people's paychecks in the here and now in a regressive way. Not all benefits are monetary, and the money you pay in is not the same money you get back later (assuming you live long enough--higher incomes correlate to more longevity too, adding to the regressivity).

  • heh heh||

    Since the wealthy don't really need social security in the first place, and as you said, they tend to live longer anyways, they probably just shouldn't be required to pay it all (outside of their obligation as employers, that is). I'm sure the boys at the CBO would love that.

  • actually||

    The point is that while it may be "regressive", since social security is an income-holding-then-giving-back scheme, the rich end up paying in more than they will get back. Even controlling for their longer age, they will still ultimately give more than they get back.

  • Tony||

    Good thing they're rich so they aren't bothered by this fact.

  • actually||

    Whether they're bothered by it is beside the point. It may be "regressive" in its taking in, but it is progressive in its giving out. It's still a form of wealth re-distribution, just not as blatant as the income tax.

  • Tony||

    Good. When failed CEOs can "earn" seven-figure bonuses, it's clear that the distribution in the absence of the welfare state has nothing to do with fairness.

  • actually||

    Once again, completely aside the point de Rugy is making. The wealthy do put in more than their share in Social Security, since they won't see that money again. This is meant to serve the general point that high-income earners do contribute disproportionate amounts to government revenue; and this is meant to counter the left-narrative that wealthy people don't pay taxes.

    Looking at de Rugy's data, the "fair" thing to do would be to have the middle class pay less since they're getting boned pretty hard. Since the whole point of Social Security was to have a place for lower-incomes to put savings outside of volatile banks and investments, they actually should be the ones to carry the burden.

  • some guy||

    So its not fair when a private company willingly gives its worthless CEO a seven-figure bonus and that CEO willingly accepts it? Please explain.

  • tarran||

    Some Guy,
    We figured Tony out some time ago.

    Being thoroughly consumed by envy, Tony will accept no society where some people can amass wealth and give it to their relatives.

    I strongly suspect that much of the weird and unfactual assertions he makes are the product of his attempts to cope witht the cognitive dissonance caused by claiming to be following a universally applicable moral code that permits robbing some people while simultaneously being opposed to robbing other people.

    I think his frustration arises out of the fact that he is blind to how thoroughly envy directs his thoughts, and thus cannot understand why people refuse to accept the rightness of his cause.

  • Bucky||

    is was thinking of a another "ive" instead of "progressive".
    as in "it is destructive in its giving out".

  • ||

    "we know that the fourth quintile is made up of households whose income is above $55,000 per year. "

    Here's a link to that. It's really lazy to say "we know" and not give the source of those data.

    $55,000 is the very first sliver of that quintile. It would be more intellectually honest to give the median income for that quintile, which should be roughly $71,680.
    One could just as honestly give the very last sliver of that quintile ($88,029) and claim that it is representative.

    And it's not like a $71,680 household income is wealthy. (Although it's good in all 50 states if you're a single earner.)

    I essentially agree with everything she's saying, just not how it's said. To me, laziness and cherry-picking show weakness in one's argument.

  • ||

    Here's a radical idea.

    How about we stop categorizing states as only "red" or "blue" and add some other colors.
    As it is the red/blue divide strikes me as largely social-issue focused. That make some sense since poor, rural people tend to be socially conservative, and tend to get more in farm subsidies and welfare.

    But I'd like to know how the tax/subsidy breaks down on purely economic-policy orientation lines. Can we find some states that are "libertarian" and compare those with the "blue" states, or find some "authoritarian" states and compare those with the red states, so we can isolate the economic liberty axis.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    The annoying thing to me is that the Dems were represented by the color red on the map in the 1976 election. They pitched a bitch that they weren't socialists, dammit, they were Progressives. They were then given the color blue.

    So whenever I read about someone talking about Team Red or Team Blue I always have to do the translation in my head:

    Blue = Red
    Red = not Red

    And, as libertarians are without color, shouldn't the representation be black (lack of all color)?

    ... Hobbit

  • Otto||

    And, as libertarians are without color, shouldn't the representation be black (lack of all color)?

    Gold, Hobbit. Gold.

  • Rrabbit||

    I have a better idea: just use "red" for any state that elects either the Democrats or the Republicans. Both are almost identical big government parties.

  • ||

    I'd like to see more about how those numbers were computed before I believe them. In particular, do the Social Security numbers account for the fact that the poor both spend longer in the workforce (starting earlier, retiring later) and have shorter life expectancies afterward, as explained in David Friedman's "The Machinery of Freedom"?

    There is also some good data from Britain in 1960-80 to show that rich people do flee very high taxation when they can. Then again, Britain had marginal tax rates of over 100% during that period, so maybe the author could have told us something useful about just how high tax rates can go without triggering the problem (if you consider it to be a problem).

  • Rrabbit||

    I disagree on Myth #1. In Europe it can be observed that many rich people move to countries with a much lower tax rate. Say, Monaco with its 3% income tax.

    That approach would not work for rich Americans simply because they would still have to pay Federal income tax.

  • Not Red or Blue||

    Veronique, not your best work on #1. Your conclusion is based on a limited study and fails to adjust for the most import factor, scale of the increase. If I were to raise your state income tax from 2% to 2.2%, a 10% increase, I would agree the percentage of wealthy fleeing a state would be small. But lets say the numbers were more significant. Maybe a change of 6% to 9%, for a 50% increase. Then you would have a mass exodus of the extremely wealthy.

    This is exactly what happened to Maryland a few years ago. The state legislature decided to levy a special tax on all income over $1M. The new tax was an additional 3% and pushed the rate to just shy of 9.5%. According to the Maryland report, approximate 1/3 of the targeted wage earners left the state or their income dropped to below the $1M limit. The new tax originally was estimated to bring in an additional $249M in revenue, it ended up with a $100M reduction, compared to the previous year.
    I personally know a man who left, bought a very impressive house in an income tax free state and still had close to a million dollars in tax savings.
    This man did not have a second home, but as one wealthy individual pointed out to me, most of the really wealthy already have a second home and spending 6 months and 1 day in the Florida house is not a huge inconvenience.

  • ||

    At the top of my head, there are more smaller, rural red states compared to the metropolis blue states that packs 15-20% of the nation's population. Alabama or Mississipi probably can't be more of a "net payer" than California, which can suck lots of revenue from the tech and entertainment industry, as well as wealthy coastal communities. Plus, all those ports.

    Blue states that are net payers can still favor big government (the myth the author tried to debunk was about big government states). I live in California, and..... well isn't that self explanatory?

    Libertarians (I'm not one necesarily) don't like welfare and farm subsidies to red states any more than like bailing out faile auto industries in blue bastions. That's probably the difference between them and liberals.

  • Dan Lavatan||

    The problem isn't that established wealthy people will move -they are often basically stuck there because of their staff- it is that young people who want to become wealthy will move, and create greater employment in other states.

    Asking people in PA if they moved for low taxes is silly - people who don't like taxes won't live on the East coast. Ask people in Alaska, and you may get a different answer.

    However, I agree there are other factors, or we would all be in Anguilla.

  • tortia||

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  • NotSure||

    Tony you prove your buffoonery every day, how exactly does a new born baby voluntarily submit to anything, let alone to your mystical "social contract" ???

  • cheap designer shoes||

    One is always on a strange road, watching strange scenery and listeningto strange music. Then one day, you will find that the things you tryhard to forget are already gone.

  • gucci shop||

    In my opinion it's just one step short of the "one party democracies" many dictators and so-called communist countries employ.

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  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
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