Friday, October 19, 2007

How Michigan can learn from New Jersey!

A news item on informs us that a whopping 49% of adult residents of New Jersey would rather live somewhere else; furthermore, 51% of those folks actually plan on doing it. Is it because New Jersey's reputation for political corruption or environmental pollution (was it the Pulaski River that once caught fire? Or was it a different body of water?)? Do people not like the climate or the shoreline?

No. Far and away the most common reason given by those desiring to leave was high taxes. High housing/cost of living was second.

Clearly, the economic forces at work that produce high housing costs and high costs of living are not in the full control of the NJ Legislature. But taxes are. New Jersey's taxes on income, sales, and property are among the highest in the country—and this is why so many people want to leave. Note this quote from the article:

"But a Rutgers University report released last week found that New Jersey, with nearly 9 million people, is experiencing a population loss and said the number of residents who had left the state more than tripled from 2002 to 2006, with 231,565 people moving elsewhere.

The Rutgers Regional Report, which examined U.S. Census Bureau and Internal Revenue Service data, noted 72,547 people left in 2006, ranking New Jersey fourth — behind California, Louisiana and New York — among states with the highest population losses in the nation."

What can Gov. Granholm and the leaders of Michigan learn from this? First of all, tax hikes like the ones foisted upon us eighteen days ago are not going to have desirable economic effects. In case you haven't noticed, New Jersey is anything but a hotbed for new and expanding companies. Second, tax hikes are not going to have desirable demograhic effects. People are already leaving Michigan in increasing numbers—United Van Lines can provide you with evidence should you require it.

And for those who choose to remain and suffer...there are not going to be desirable morale effects, either.

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