Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Good Article, Bad Headline

From (cross posted at NoShitSherlock.duh):

'Live Free or Move'

More on that later.

Voters will elect governors in 36 states this year. And as they decide who to send to the governor's mansion, they will also be shaping the economic future of their state. On taxes, the gubernatorial candidates fall into one of two camps. Either they believe that the best way to close a budget gap is to raise taxes. Or, like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have done from the Oval Office, they believe in raising revenue by growing the state's economy with tax cuts.

Now new data is out and it shows that the states that embraced supply-side tax cuts are not only financially more sound and enjoy stronger economies, but they are draining residents away from the states that opted for high taxes. The Pacific Research Institute has crunched the tax numbers in all 50 states and published the "U.S. Economic Freedom Index" ranking all states according to how friendly or unfriendly their policies were toward free enterprise and consumer choice in 2004--the most recent year that comparative data is available for each state. It's clear that the economic policies of 2004 determined where each state fell in the rankings, and shaped 2005 economic performance.

Shocking, I know.

In 2005, per capita personal income grew 31% faster in the 15 most economically free states than it did in the 15 states at the bottom of the list. And employment growth was a staggering 216% higher in the most free states. It hasn't been a "jobless recovery" in states that have adopted pro-growth tax and regulatory policies.

Though typically tax cuts are opposed with the argument that slashing rates will force state revenue to fall, new data from the Nelson Rockefeller Institute shatters the myth that budget deficits are caused by supply-side policies. In 2005, the 15 states with the most economic freedom saw their general fund tax revenues grow at a rate more than 6% higher than the 15 least free states, despite their lower effective tax rate. Instead of blowing a hole in state budgets, lower tax rates rewarded productivity and risk-taking and allowed the economy to grow. As the economy expanded it also generated more revenue for the state Treasury as capital and people flowed in. Census data shows an astounding 245% difference in net state-to-state migration rates in 2005 between the freest states (net inflow) and least-free states (net outflow).

As they say - read the whole thing.

"Live Free or Move" is fast becoming the national motto.

OK, back to that crappy headline now. It's all wrong. If you're already "living free", why would you want to move, or need any incentive to do so? Who would choose to live less free?

"Live Free. Move." would be a little better.

Hey, how about "Live Free or Here"? That's pretty snappy-sounding. Someone should market that.

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(link via bostonshepherd, posting at Blue Mass. Group)