It may seem to be the most obvious thing on earth – an attractive economic climate will attract people, but some people, we call them the “bitter clingers” just won’t give up the command and control ideas that are SO last century.
A nice article by Michael Barone via the Rasmussen Report describes what happens when state governments get greedy. In a nutshell:
[In California] high housing costs, exacerbated by no-growth policies and environmental restrictions, have made modest homes unaffordable to middle class families who don’t want to live in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods or commute 50 miles to work.
California for the first time in its history grew only microscopically faster than the nation as a whole (10% to 9.7%). Metro Los Angeles and San Francisco increasingly resemble Mexico City and Sao Paulo, with a large affluent upper class, a vast proletariat and a huge income gap in between.
* The lesson is that high taxes and strong public employee unions tend to stifle growth and produce a two-tier society like coastal California’s.
* The eight states with no state income tax grew 18% in the last decade. The other states (including the District of Columbia) grew just 8%
* The 22 states with right-to-work laws grew 15% in the last decade. The other states grew just 6%.
* The 16 states where collective bargaining with public employees is not required grew 15% in the last decade. The other states grew 7%.
Barone notes that some people don’t mind population stability or even decline. IFO thinks they, being of the zero-sum game mindset, may think fewer people means more (land, servants, etc.) for them. And so, Oregon, like the rest of the West Coast and the North Atlantic states, marches resolutely backward to the Middle Ages.