Freedom to say ‘I’ve got mine’

One of the greatest freedoms you possess is the freedom to get the hell out of wherever you live. The freedom to move to where jobs are. And millions keep doing this in America. As did millions before them. From failing farms in the south to the auto and steel mills and tire factories in the north. From the dust bowl to lush California in the thirties.

Last week yet another study told us that states with high taxes and more regulations suffer lower economic growth. And produce fewer new jobs. And keep losing people.

The people they lose move to states with low taxes and fewer regulations. Because these states are producing more new jobs than the other states. These states are enjoying more economic growth.

Communist governments deny their people this freedom to move. Because they know folks will flee the oppression. They will flee the lack of opportunity. They will move to where the jobs and opportunities are.

Cuba and North Korea are bleak examples of this. Their governments rave that they have created workers’ paradises. So why do they keep the workers under lock and key? They know if they unchain the gates, most of their people will flee to genuine paradises.

Lots of Americans visit Cuba and come back with glowing praise. A number of movie stars do so. None of them will answer a simple question: If everything is so wonderful, why does the government lock the people in?

Cuba does allow a bit of travel by selected people these days. After decades of imprisoning them. However, when some don’t return, the government punishes their families. Some freedom.

Back to our states. And to another simple question: State leaders know that lower taxes and fewer regulations bring jobs and a healthier economy. They all say they want to bring more jobs to their states. So why don’t they cut the red tape and slash the taxes?

They fear that too many voters will punish them. Too many voters want to keep things as they are. It is not that they want the higher taxes. They want the benefits the taxes pay for. In order to cut the taxes, the pols need to cut the benefits. The spending. Too many voters reject that.

Basically they say “I’ve got mine.” “Mine” may be a good government job with a fat pension. It may be disability checks. It may be food stamps and other forms of welfare. It may be a stable job that pays well.

In other words, many voters say they don’t want more opportunities for others. Not if it will mean sacrifices for themselves.

California, for example, is in horrible shape economically. It could light a fire under its economy if it allowed drilling for oil and natural gas in its central region. Where there are vast reserves of both.

Ahh, but too many residents oppose the drilling. If they were out of work and got no benefits they might feel differently.

New York is in a similar position. High taxes and regulations over many years have brought a blight to many upstate cities. Too many entrepreneurs have moved from New York to low-tax states. Too many businesses have failed because operating in the state’s environment is too difficult. Too many young people have deserted the state.

More is the pity. The loss to the state’s economy is a gain to the economies of other states. The politicians talk, but do little about this. They know too many New York voters say “I’ve got mine. If you tamper with it, I will vote against you.”

From in Morgan.

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