For as much turmoil as the GOP may be experiencing on the national level, on the state level conservatism is proving to be a magnet for businesses and economic growth.
According to a new study published by George Mason University's Mercatus Center, “Americans are migrating from less-free liberal states to more-free conservative states, where they are doing better economically.” States with more freedom also saw greater economic growth, particularly in states with more regulatory freedom. States with the biggest gains in freedom were Oklahoma, North Dakota, Idaho, Utah and New Mexico, while the biggest decline in freedom took place in states like Illinois, New Jersey and New York. So liberal bastions like New York in California actually rank dead last in individual freedom.
As Investor's Business Daily points out, if we apply this to a national scale, this calls into question the claims made by Barack Obama that we cannot have economic prosperity by cutting taxes and regulations. Instead, we must focus on higher taxes, more government and redistributing the wealth.
In a recent op-ed in the WSJ, Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore echo this sentiment: Blue states with high taxes are struggling to compete for businesses and workers as Red states prosper. They point out the following: “Among the 10 fastest-growing metro areas last year were Raleigh, Austin, Las Vegas, Orlando, Charlotte, Phoenix, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. All of these are in low-tax, business-friendly red states. Blue-state areas such as Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, Providence and Rochester were among the biggest population losers.” In fact, there was an article in the New York Daily News over the weekend which points out the alarming migration of young New Yorkers to Florida. In fact, “Between 2000 and 2010, New York saw 1.7 million of its residents move to other states. While the births of new New Yorkers and the arrival of new immigrants kept the Empire State’s overall population from dropping, that means nearly 9% of the state’s 2000 population moved elsewhere.”
There are a few main reasons why Red states are growing economically:
Within the next decade, five out of the six states in the South could be without an income tax. The appeal of no state income taxes can already be seen by the influx of people into states like Florida and Texas, which already do not have income taxes. Meanwhile, blue states like California and New York are raising income taxes.
America is sitting on the ability to become energy independent and the only thing getting in the way are liberal agendas, beholden to environmentalists. Red states like Texas and North Dakota are reaping the economic benefits of oil and gas drilling, and our country is better off for it. Meanwhile, states like California are prohibiting drilling altogether! That to me is just about the dumbest thing I can imagine. Drilling would create jobs, generate revenues and help our country become energy independent and not be beholden to our enemies. The Red states seem to get that, and as a result they will be rewarded with jobs and economic growth.
Forced unionization is ultimately hurting workers and businesses and nobody is better off for it. Instead, businesses are establishing themselves in right-to-work states, creating decent paying jobs and thriving. Thinking as a business owner, why would you subject yourself to the shackles of a forced-unionization state when you could have the freedom to prosper under right-to-work laws?
The trends are real and they prove that ultimately Americans seek freedom. Americans want jobs. They want to prosper. They want to work hard and keep the money that they earn. Unfortunately, Democrats on a national level are making this more difficult to do, even in the freest of states.