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HonestChieffan
03-27-2011, 07:07 AM
There is a lesson that many have yet to learn. You get less of what you penalize. Given options, people will choose to locate where they feel most welcome and conditions are favorable be it an individual or a business. When states or countries take it for granted that they can count on business staying put regardless of how they are treated they can learn a painful lesson.

Why isn't Jay Nixon going after Cat?


SPRINGFIELD — The chairman and CEO of Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. is raising the specter of moving the heavy equipment maker out of Illinois.

In a letter sent March 21 to Gov. Pat Quinn, Caterpillar chief executive officer Doug Oberhelman said officials in at least four other states have approached the company about relocating since Illinois raised its income tax in January.

“I want to stay here. But as the leader of this business, I have to do what’s right for Caterpillar when making decisions about where to invest,” Oberhelman wrote in the letter obtained Friday by the Lee Enterprises Springfield bureau. “The direction that this state is headed in is not favorable to business and I’d like to work with you to change that.”

Oberhelman said he’s being actively courted to move.

“I have been called, ‘cornered’ in meetings and ‘wined and dined’ — the heat is on,” Oberhelman wrote. “Before, I never really considered living anywhere else and certainly never considered the possibility of Caterpillar relocating. But I have to admit, the policymakers in Springfield seem to make it harder by the day.”

Cat spokesman Jim Dugan said the letter was designed to show Quinn that Oberhelman wants to be involved in finding solutions that benefit the company, which employs 23,000 people in Illinois.

“I view it as an olive branch to offer our help,” Dugan said.

Quinn plans on discussing the letter with Oberhelman April 5 when the two meet at a conference in Peoria. The governor also plans on touring Caterpillar facilities at that time, spokeswoman Brie Callahan said Friday.

“The governor welcomes frank and open exchanges between the business community and government, and we are always open to new ideas that can help our businesses grow, innovate and create jobs,” Callahan said.

Oberhelman didn’t single out any specific problem with the state’s policies in his one-page letter, but Dugan said the recent income tax increase — signed into law by Quinn in January — played a significant role in triggering the note.

The tax hike has led to attempts by other states, including Wisconsin, Indiana and New Jersey, to try and poach companies that don’t want to stay in the Land of Lincoln.

Oberhelman also sent along correspondence Cat has received from other states.

“I stand ready to help convince you to relocate or expand in the fiscally conservative, low-tax Lone Star State,” wrote Texas Gov. Rick Perry in a Jan. 24 letter.

“I encourage you to consider South Dakota as a place for your business to grow and prosper,” noted J. Pat Costello, secretary of the South Dakota governor’s economic development office.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman wrote in February to say, “In Nebraska, we balance our budget by controlling spending, not by raising taxes.”

Republican leaders, who unsuccessfully fought Quinn on the tax hike, say the letter confirms why they were opposed to the increase.

“These are the kinds of letters we fear,” said Patty Schuh, spokeswoman for Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont. “Even more worrisome are the hundreds of businesses being wooed that we don’t know about.”

Schuh said the tax hike and the state’s worker compensation costs on businesses “make Illinois a hostile environment, prime for the picking.”

http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/article_3c23590c-572a-11e0-afc0-001cc4c002e0.html

whatsmynameagain
03-27-2011, 07:43 AM
They must be really hurtin

www.businessinsider.com/caterpillar-earnings-2010-7

Saul Good
03-27-2011, 07:53 AM
They must be really hurtin

www.businessinsider.com/caterpillar-earnings-2010-7

That just proves that this isn't a desperate attempt by a failing CEO to shift the blame to a bogeyman. This is a well-run, successful company that is willing to make a MAJOR change while things are going well. You don't consider this type of risk unless you are getting a nice return.

petegz28
03-27-2011, 08:40 AM
That just proves that this isn't a desperate attempt by a failing CEO to shift the blame to a bogeyman. This is a well-run, successful company that is willing to make a MAJOR change while things are going well. You don't consider this type of risk unless you are getting a nice return.

Exactly. His job is to do what is best for the company and the shareholders. It would be appropo to move the company before things didn't go so good which would make the move more costly and painful. Illinois made their bed, now they have to lye in it.

HonestChieffan
03-27-2011, 09:12 AM
Cat has a long history of labor issues in the Peoria area going back to the early 70's. They had a lot of planned expansion that they took elsewhere due to strikes and issues with the state. Allis had similar issues in Springfield and moved about the same time. Put a lot of folks on the street but there was no good reason to stay.

mikey23545
03-27-2011, 09:21 AM
Go Dems, go!

whatsmynameagain
03-27-2011, 09:35 AM
Exactly. His job is to do what is best for the company and the shareholders. It would be appropo to move the company before things didn't go so good which would make the move more costly and painful. Illinois made their bed, now they have to lye in it.

I could understand if it was going to kill their business but gmafb. It's nothing more than an attempt at screaming give me my way. The fact is, if these megarich corps keep continuing to control things, then soon they will control us. We don't vote on company's, they buy and pay for candidates we vote for. Payback to the biz in government contracts. Our government goes broke and then where are these businesses going to go?

I own and run two businesses and would be fine if I had to all of a sudden pay 15% more in taxes. If everyone had to, so be it. If it was all relative but its not and never will be. Corporate profits taxed at what %? I can hear the straw, slurpee is almost finished:thumb:

HonestChieffan
03-27-2011, 09:40 AM
Exactly. His job is to do what is best for the company and the shareholders. It would be appropo to move the company before things didn't go so good which would make the move more costly and painful. Illinois made their bed, now they have to lye in it.


For all the stakeholders....the employee base may welcome a move as well at this point. The factory folks there are pretty high tech and if Cat moved at that level it may be a good thing for a lot of people. Cats business has been strong and this issue may be more one of expansion, just not in Illinois. If you were Cat would you build a factory there? Or look to states with a more sound economy and better workforce availability?

alnorth
03-27-2011, 10:41 AM
Our government goes broke and then where are these businesses going to go?

They go to state governments which are not going broke because they spent money they didn't have on stupid crap that should not have been funded.

When it comes to businesses and state governments, its not like these big companies are trapped in the state and have no choice but to comply with tax law. They can leave for other states, or even other countries. Some stupid (and mostly young and naive) dems who always yell about taxing corporations don't realize that the companies don't have to put up with it, and they are only driving away jobs.

mlyonsd
03-27-2011, 10:47 AM
Yeah baby, South Dakota would welcome them with open arms. I'd even invite the CEO over for pulled pork.

FD
03-27-2011, 10:50 AM
Only 1/5 of Caterpiller workers is in Illinois. I'd say they left years ago.

Stinger
03-27-2011, 11:09 AM
Only 1/5 of Caterpiller workers is in Illinois. I'd say they left years ago.

Maybe but this would still leave a mark...

Caterpillar ..... which employs 23,000 people in Illinois.

FD
03-27-2011, 11:20 AM
Maybe but this would still leave a mark...

I agree. I wasn't disputing the premise of the thread, just making an unrelated observation.

HonestChieffan
03-27-2011, 11:22 AM
concentrated in Peoria....would be huge. Galesburg died when Maytag left...Its not a good thing at all

Brock
03-27-2011, 11:27 AM
Our government goes broke and then where are these businesses going to go?

I own and run two businesses and would be fine if I had to all of a sudden pay 15% more in taxes. If everyone had to, so be it. If it was all relative but its not and never will be. Corporate profits taxed at what %? I can hear the straw, slurpee is almost finished:thumb:

Mexico. And I congratulate you on being able to give up 15 percent of your revenue without caring.

Over-Head
03-27-2011, 04:42 PM
WOW, how many loads did I haul outa Peoria over the years....

mikey23545
03-27-2011, 04:47 PM
I own and run two businesses and would be fine if I had to all of a sudden pay 15% more in taxes.

lol wut?

ClevelandBronco
03-27-2011, 05:14 PM
lol wut?

I think he's saying that he could cut a few of the jobs he provides and pass the rest of his tax burden on to the consumer.

petegz28
03-27-2011, 06:26 PM
I find it most interesting that Illinois and the Left continually want to place more burden on the very engine we depend on to create jobs. They want more jobs, but they want companies to pay more in taxes. Seems pretty oxymoronic to me.

banyon
03-27-2011, 07:13 PM
There is a lesson that many have yet to learn. You get less of what you penalize. Given options, people will choose to locate where they feel most welcome and conditions are favorable be it an individual or a business. When states or countries take it for granted that they can count on business staying put regardless of how they are treated they can learn a painful lesson.

Why isn't Jay Nixon going after Cat?

What a narrow-minded and simplistic post. And we're supposed to "learn a lesson" from you?

The expression comes to mind "you give a fool an inch and he'll take a mile."
And that's what "Honest" Chieffan advocates, that the American middle and working class just "trust them" (the corporate barons, that is), and somehow everything will work out better. Just keep giving them mile after mile. We've been creating tax loopholes and deregulating for about 30 years now. The effect? The first time American median wages have been stagnant for 20 years in our history.

There's only so much incremental tax lowering you can do before it becomes a race to the bottom and beggar thy neighbor strategy that the corporations use to have their tax attorneys milk us for everything they can. Very few, if any of the Fortune 500 companies pay anything remotely close to the 35% corporate tax rate. There was a thread last month (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?p=7458193) about how many were well under 10% (including GE at >= 0%).

As companies tax revenue collections have continued to shrink, states are asking regular people to shoulder more and more of the burden through ordinary sales and income taxes, which isn't fair to anyone.

Companies are getting unprecedented deals to stay and try to save jobs, tax increment financing, tax abatements, or just outright theft/subsidies like the Boeing blackmail in Kansas this year. (http://cjonline.com/opinion/2011-03-02/editorial-boeing-deal-lifts-entire-state)

As 60 Minutes did a decent job of covering tonight, companies like Weatherford, Inc, Transocean, and others can just relocate their assets on paper, rent a mailbox, and evade their fair share of taxation in places like Zug, Switzerland.


<embed src="http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/cbsnews_player_embed.swf" scale="noscale" salign="lt" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" background="#333333" width="425" height="279" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" FlashVars="si=254&uvpc=http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/uvp_cbsnews.xml&contentType=videoId&contentValue=50102390&ccEnabled=false&amp;hdEnabled=false&fsEnabled=true&shareEnabled=false&dlEnabled=false&subEnabled=false&playlistDisplay=none&playlistType=none&playerWidth=425&playerHeight=239&vidWidth=425&vidHeight=239&autoplay=false&bbuttonDisplay=none&playOverlayText=PLAY%20CBS%20NEWS%20VIDEO&refreshMpuEnabled=true&shareUrl=http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7360932n&adEngine=dart&adPreroll=true&adPrerollType=PreContent&adPrerollValue=1" />

HonestChieffan
03-27-2011, 07:32 PM
What a narrow-minded and simplistic post. And we're supposed to "learn a lesson" from you?

The expression comes to mind "you give a fool an inch and he'll take a mile."
And that's what "Honest" Chieffan advocates, that the American middle and working class just "trust them" (the corporate barons, that is), and somehow everything will work out better. Just keep giving them mile after mile. We've been creating tax loopholes and deregulating for about 30 years now. The effect? The first time American median wages have been stagnant for 20 years in our history.

There's only so much incremental tax lowering you can do before it becomes a race to the bottom and beggar thy neighbor strategy that the corporations use to have their tax attorneys milk us for everything they can. Very few, if any of the Fortune 500 companies pay anything remotely close to the 35% corporate tax rate. There was a thread last month (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?p=7458193) about how many were well under 10% (including GE at >= 0%).

As companies tax revenue collections have continued to shrink, states are asking regular people to shoulder more and more of the burden through ordinary sales and income taxes, which isn't fair to anyone.

Companies are getting unprecedented deals to stay and try to save jobs, tax increment financing, tax abatements, or just outright theft/subsidies like the Boeing blackmail in Kansas this year. (http://cjonline.com/opinion/2011-03-02/editorial-boeing-deal-lifts-entire-state)

As 60 Minutes did a decent job of covering tonight, companies like Weatherford, Inc, Transocean, and others can just relocate their assets on paper, rent a mailbox, and evade their fair share of taxation in places like Zug, Switzerland.


<embed src="http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/cbsnews_player_embed.swf" scale="noscale" salign="lt" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" background="#333333" width="425" height="279" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" FlashVars="si=254&uvpc=http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/uvp_cbsnews.xml&contentType=videoId&contentValue=50102390&ccEnabled=false&amp;hdEnabled=false&fsEnabled=true&shareEnabled=false&dlEnabled=false&subEnabled=false&playlistDisplay=none&playlistType=none&playerWidth=425&playerHeight=239&vidWidth=425&vidHeight=239&autoplay=false&bbuttonDisplay=none&playOverlayText=PLAY%20CBS%20NEWS%20VIDEO&refreshMpuEnabled=true&shareUrl=http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7360932n&adEngine=dart&adPreroll=true&adPrerollType=PreContent&adPrerollValue=1" />

Interesting. Of course it has nothing to do with the Cat situation. And Where you come up with these broad assertions is always a mystery. Entertaining, just very random.

Maybe the government should prohibit businesses from moving. That would fix it.



We are in agreement I think on one of your random thoughts however regarding tax deals given by municipalities I have said before that these are long term very bad for cities and towns and its a shame they were ever started and a shame they continue.

The Mad Crapper
03-27-2011, 07:34 PM
The expression comes to mind "you give a fool an inch and he'll take a mile."


Describes you slipping your tongue up Obama's asshole.

whatsmynameagain
03-27-2011, 07:50 PM
Mexico. And I congratulate you on being able to give up 15 percent of your revenue without caring.

your life could be so much worse. People adapt, we just don't let the process take place. It's inevitable we will pay more taxes, even if spending completely stopped.

whatsmynameagain
03-27-2011, 07:54 PM
lol wut?

I'm just saying I'd have to change things, it would suck, but we have to pay this debt down. It's not going to pay itself. Sad but true

alnorth
03-27-2011, 07:55 PM
What a narrow-minded and simplistic post. And we're supposed to "learn a lesson" from you?

The expression comes to mind "you give a fool an inch and he'll take a mile."
And that's what "Honest" Chieffan advocates, that the American middle and working class just "trust them" (the corporate barons, that is), and somehow everything will work out better. Just keep giving them mile after mile. We've been creating tax loopholes and deregulating for about 30 years now. The effect? The first time American median wages have been stagnant for 20 years in our history.

There's only so much incremental tax lowering you can do before it becomes a race to the bottom and beggar thy neighbor strategy that the corporations use to have their tax attorneys milk us for everything they can. Very few, if any of the Fortune 500 companies pay anything remotely close to the 35% corporate tax rate. There was a thread last month (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?p=7458193) about how many were well under 10% (including GE at >= 0%).

As companies tax revenue collections have continued to shrink, states are asking regular people to shoulder more and more of the burden through ordinary sales and income taxes, which isn't fair to anyone.

Companies are getting unprecedented deals to stay and try to save jobs, tax increment financing, tax abatements, or just outright theft/subsidies like the Boeing blackmail in Kansas this year. (http://cjonline.com/opinion/2011-03-02/editorial-boeing-deal-lifts-entire-state)

As 60 Minutes did a decent job of covering tonight, companies like Weatherford, Inc, Transocean, and others can just relocate their assets on paper, rent a mailbox, and evade their fair share of taxation in places like Zug, Switzerland.


<embed src="http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/cbsnews_player_embed.swf" scale="noscale" salign="lt" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" background="#333333" width="425" height="279" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" FlashVars="si=254&uvpc=http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/uvp_cbsnews.xml&contentType=videoId&contentValue=50102390&ccEnabled=false&amp;hdEnabled=false&fsEnabled=true&shareEnabled=false&dlEnabled=false&subEnabled=false&playlistDisplay=none&playlistType=none&playerWidth=425&playerHeight=239&vidWidth=425&vidHeight=239&autoplay=false&bbuttonDisplay=none&playOverlayText=PLAY%20CBS%20NEWS%20VIDEO&refreshMpuEnabled=true&shareUrl=http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7360932n&adEngine=dart&adPreroll=true&adPrerollType=PreContent&adPrerollValue=1" />

The GE bogeyman was created because of our incredibly stupid tax system where our 35% tax rate encourages companies to keep profits offshore and lobby congress for special deals. Simplify the system and lower the tax rate. Done.

That has no relevance to the bidding war at the state level. Even if a state offers to essentially let a company do business for free, taxing enough just to pay for the services they use, if they attract thousands of high-wage executives and white-collar employees, would the state not benefit? Income tax, sales tax, property tax, etc? Anything the state can take beyond that directly from the company without encouraging them to leave seems like gravy to me.

petegz28
03-27-2011, 07:57 PM
your life could be so much worse. People adapt, we just don't let the process take place. It's inevitable we will pay more taxes, even if spending completely stopped.

Um, people are adapting. They are finding it easier and easier to hit the unemployment roles.

petegz28
03-27-2011, 08:00 PM
I'm just saying I'd have to change things, it would suck, but we have to pay this debt down. It's not going to pay itself. Sad but true

You're absolutely right. Except where we should be making it easier for people to get jobs so those who currently pay dick in taxes actually pay some taxes instead of bitching about those who do not paying enough, you and others would rather raise taxes on corporations and put even more people out of work thus reducing the base of tax payers and increasing the base of entitlement recipients.

banyon
03-27-2011, 08:01 PM
The GE bogeyman was created because of our incredibly stupid tax system where our 35% tax rate encourages companies to keep profits offshore and lobby congress for special deals. Simplify the system and lower the tax rate. Done.

How low should it be?

That has no relevance to the bidding war at the state level. Even if a state offers to essentially let a company do business for free, taxing enough just to pay for the services they use, if they attract thousands of high-wage executives and white-collar employees, would the state not benefit? Income tax, sales tax, property tax, etc? Anything the state can take beyond that directly from the company without encouraging them to leave seems like gravy to me.

It's the same concept, of course it has relevance. Its leveraging jobs against tax holidays for businesses. Hell, it's the same concept Lamar Hunt used against KC to get all the tax breaks for Arrowhead when he didn't need them at all. But there was always the veiled threat that they'd move the royals to Fayetteville or the Chiefs to LA, or whatever.

ClevelandBronco
03-27-2011, 08:05 PM
How low should it be?

0.0%

petegz28
03-27-2011, 08:05 PM
How low should it be?



It's the same concept, of course it has relevance. Its leveraging jobs against tax holidays for businesses. Hell, it's the same concept Lamar Hunt used against KC to get all the tax breaks for Arrowhead when he didn't need them at all. But there was always the veiled threat that they'd move the royals to Fayetteville or the Chiefs to LA, or whatever.

I think you misquoted me there, banyon. I did not post that.

banyon
03-27-2011, 08:08 PM
0.0%

Well that will only lose us 2 trillion in tax revenues (according to the 60 minutes piece). Now we replace that revenue with what exactly?

What happens when Zug, Switzerland (or others) offers them negative rates to keep them?

banyon
03-27-2011, 08:09 PM
I think you misquoted me there, banyon. I did not post that.

Sorry about that, I think I subliminally expected to be arguing with you and just threw your name in the html, sorry bout that. :)

ClevelandBronco
03-27-2011, 08:10 PM
Well that will only lose us 2 trillion in tax revenues (according to the 60 minutes piece). Now we replace that revenue with what exactly?

As long as I'm pissing in the wind, I'd have us revamp the entire system and force us to collect every penny we spend. I'd make sure my system allows every income earner to pay income tax.

alnorth
03-27-2011, 08:11 PM
How low should it be?

I'd think it should at least be lower than most of the highest rates in Europe. Even Obama admits the corporate tax rates are too high, assuming that its a given that we close some of the big loopholes. France is a bit of an outlier at almost 35%, but Germany is at about 30%, and the UK is at about 28%. Or if we want to really be aggressive we could try to shoot closer to those Irish rates with maybe a 15% or 20% tax.

What rate it should be is a difficult question, but its hard to argue that, in the absence of international accounting gimmicks and special deals that can be fixed, our rate is too high.

petegz28
03-27-2011, 08:11 PM
Sorry about that, I think I subliminally expected to be arguing with you and just threw your name in the html, sorry bout that. :)

Well, gee...thank you very litte :p

banyon
03-27-2011, 08:24 PM
I'd think it should at least be lower than most of the highest rates in Europe. Even Obama admits the corporate tax rates are too high, assuming that its a given that we close some of the big loopholes. France is a bit of an outlier at almost 35%, but Germany is at about 30%, and the UK is at about 28%. Or if we want to really be aggressive we could try to shoot closer to those Irish rates with maybe a 15% or 20% rates.

What rate it should be is a difficult question, but its hard to argue that, in the absence of international accounting gimmicks and special deals that can be fixed, our rate is too high.

I guess my point was, if GE and Bank of America's tax gimmicks were so thorough that they escaped with a 0% tax rate, why would they shift money back here at 20%?

The great thing about this debate is that we don't have to wonder what the effect will be of the type of "tax holiday" being proposed by Cisco and others. We already tried it in 2004 under Bush with the American Jobs Creation Act (P.L. 108-357) back in 2003-4.

The law worked as follows:

The repatriated earnings provision included in the American Jobs Creation Act (P.L. 108-357)
reduced the taxes due on repatriated earnings. In particular, the provision provided a deduction
equal to 85% of the increase in foreign-source earnings repatriated. For a firm paying taxes at the
35% corporate tax rate, this reduced the tax rate on repatriated earnings to the equivalent of
5.25%.

http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/supporting/2009/CRS.RepatriationAnalysis.013009.pdf

The Congressional Research Service analyzed the effects of that legislation and found as follows:


While empirical evidence is clear that this provision resulted in a significant increase in repatriated earnings, empirical evidence is unable to show a corresponding increase in domestic investment or employment.

Instead, the report concludes, it was used to shore up balance sheets and stock repurchasing plans while continuing their main investments overseas.

HonestChieffan
03-28-2011, 08:31 PM
Home Is Where the Growth Is
Why Texas and the Rocky Mountain states are outpacing the others.

The Census Bureau last week released county and city populations for the last of the 50 states from the 2010 Census last week, ahead of schedule. Behind the columns of numbers are many vivid stories of how our nation has been changing — and some lessons for public policy, as well.

Geographically, our population is moving to the south and west, to the point that the center of the nation’s population has moved to Texas County, Missouri.

That sounds like the familiar story of people moving from the Snow Belt to the Sun Belt, but that’s not exactly what’s happening. Instead, the fastest growth rates in the 2000–10 decade have been in Texas, the Rocky Mountain states, and the South Atlantic states.


We’re familiar with the phenomenon of people moving to the West Coast. But the three Pacific Coast states — California, Oregon, and Washington — grew by 11 percent in the last decade, just 1 percent above the national average, while the South Atlantic states from Virginia through the Carolinas and Georgia to Florida grew by 17 percent.
In 2000, the South Atlantic states had 121,000 more people than the Pacific Coast states. In 2010 they had 2.8 million more.

What’s been happening is that people from the Northeast and the Midwest have been flocking to the South Atlantic states, not to retirement communities but to Tampa and Jacksonville, Atlanta and Charlotte and Raleigh, which are among the nation’s fastest-growing metro areas. The South Atlantic has been attracting smaller numbers of immigrants, as well.

Coastal California, in contrast, has had a vast inflow of immigrants and a similarly vast outflow of Americans. 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 percent to 9.7 percent). Metro Los Angeles and San Francisco increasingly resemble Mexico City and São Paulo, with a large affluent upper class, a vast proletariat, and a huge income gap in between.

Public policy plays an important role here — one that’s especially relevant as state governments seek to cut spending and reduce the power of the public-employee unions that seek to raise spending and prevent accountability.

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 percent in the last decade. The other states (including the District of Columbia) grew just 8 percent.

The 22 states with right-to-work laws grew 15 percent in the last decade. The other states grew just 6 percent.

The 16 states where collective bargaining with public employees is not required grew 15 percent in the last decade. The other states grew 7 percent.

Now some people say that low population growth is desirable. The argument goes that it reduces environmental damage and prevents the visual blight of sprawl.

But states and nations with slow growth end up with aging populations and not enough people of working age to generate an economy capable of supporting them in the style to which they’ve grown accustomed.

Slow growth is nice if you’ve got a good-sized trust fund and some nice acreage in a place like Aspen. But it reduces opportunity for those who don’t start off with such advantages to move upward on the economic ladder.

The most rapid growth in 2000–10, 21 percent, was in the Rocky Mountain states and in Texas. The Rocky Mountain states tend to have low taxes, weak unions, and light regulation. Texas has no state income tax, no public-employee union bargaining, and light regulation.

Texas’s economy has diversified far beyond petroleum, with booming high-tech centers, major corporate headquarters, and thriving small businesses. It has attracted hundreds of thousands of Americans and immigrants, high-skill as well as low-skill. Its wide-open spaces made for low housing costs, which protected it against the housing bubble and bust that have slowed growth in Phoenix and Las Vegas.

The states, said Justice Brandeis, are laboratories of reform. The 2010 Census tells us whose experiment worked best. It’s the state with the same name as the county that’s the center of the nation’s population: Texas.

—Michael Barone, senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

The Mad Crapper
03-29-2011, 04:30 PM
http://www.moonbattery.com/seiu-union-heavy.jpg