Mayor Bloomberg voiced a warning recently. He cautioned New Yorkers about forever raising taxes on the rich. Whether you like it or not, he said, the rich are mobile.
And when they move, they hurt the government that has badgered them with the higher taxes.
This is true in France. The new socialist leader there wants to raise taxes a lot on the biggest earners. And those big earners are lining up to flee to Switzerland and Belgium and other countries.
This is predictable because the rich have done this for centuries. All over the world. Movin’ on out is one of the privileges rich people enjoy. They don’t have to grin it and bear it. They don’t have to worry if they can sell their house or find new work.
Britain made a sport out of gouging the rich in the 1960’s and 70’s. By the time Margaret Thatcher arrived on the scene the UK was starved of investment. The rich refused to invest in much in the UK because the taxes on their returns were insulting. So they shipped untold billions out of the country and invested it elsewhere.
And big earners simply moved out. To avoid the income taxes on their big earnings. For instance, virtually all of Britain’s major authors fled to Europe. Because Britain was sucking up so much of their royalties.
Lots of haters of the rich grow smug when they see the rich get whacked with heavier taxes. Smug doesn’t buy the groceries. When the rich depart, the cities and states and countries that took in tax money from them lose out. The smug rich-haters end up paying more. Or receiving less. Because the rich ain’t around to gouge any longer.
Can’t happen here? Look at California. It is bleeding high-earners. They are leaving by the thousands. The state is losing businesses by the thousands. Lots of them are moving to Texas for the lower taxes there.
Mayor Bloomberg is worried because New York City has been losing thousands of big earners. They are being replaced with people who earn a lot less. And who will pay a lot less to the city in taxes. The mayor tried to sober up the rich-haters with a simple fact. He pointed to the top 500 super-rich folks of the city. They cough up 15 percent of the tax money the city takes in...