Would you vote with your feet? | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Would you vote with your feet?

If economic conditions got bad enough, would you choose to live elsewhere?

That’s a recurring theme in the most recent edition of Rich States, Poor States, the ALEC-Laffer state economic competitiveness index written by Jonathan Williams, vice president of the American Legislative Exchange Council Center for State Fiscal Reform, and White House advisers and economists Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore.

The report examines trends in economic growth, then ranks the economic outlook of the 50 states using 15 different weighted policy variables, from tax rates to labor policies.

For the 12th year in a row, Utah is ranked first overall, reflecting its commitment to pro-growth policies, including low income tax rates, a low sales tax and a business-friendly approach to labor.

New York, on the other hand, was 50th for the sixth year in a row. The state has a high tax burden, high minimum wage and a high proportion public employees. New York has also lost — in a category called “absolute domestic migration — more than 1.3 million residents over the past 10 years. Illinois, ranked 48th, has lost about 783,000 residents, and California, ranked 47th, has lost more than 800,000.

Utah, in contrast, has gained about 78,000 new residents. In other words, people do vote with their feet. They may not be consciously voting for specific policies, but they go where there is opportunity and prosperity. They go to the “rich states,” which have embraced lower taxes and business-friendly policies.

So what about Hawaii? Are we moving closer to Utah or to New York in the rankings?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yes. Claire and I must live elsewhere. The cost of living here in Hawaii has grown too high. Maybe people like Mark Zuckerberg can survive here, but not ordinary people. We are headed to Indiana.