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Old 11-01-2013, 05:26 PM  
Taco John Taco John is offline
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Americans Keep Moving to States With Low Taxes and Housing Costs

Americans Keep Moving to States With Low Taxes and Housing Costs

Where are Americans moving, and why? Timothy Noah, writing in the Washington Monthly, professes to be puzzled. He points out that people have been moving out of states with high per capita incomes -- Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland -- to states with lower income levels.

"Why are Americans by and large moving away from economic opportunity rather than toward it?" he asks.

Actually, it's not puzzling at all. The movement from high-tax, high-housing-cost states to low-tax, low-housing-cost states has been going on for more than 40 years, as I note in my new book Shaping Our Nation: How Surges of Migration Transformed America and Its Politics.

Between 1970 and 2010, the population of New York state increased from 18 million to 19 million. In that same period, the population of Texas increased from 11 million to 25 million.

The picture is even starker if you look at major metro areas. The New York metropolitan area, including counties in New Jersey and Connecticut, increased from 17.8 million in 1970 to 19.2 million in 2010 -- up 8 percent. During that time, the nation grew 52 percent.

In the same period, the four big metro areas in Texas -- Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin -- grew from 6 million to 15.6 million, a 160 percent increase.

Contrary to Noah's inference, people don't move away from opportunity. They move partly in response to economic incentives, but also to pursue dreams and escape nightmares.

Opportunity does exist in the Northeastern states and in California -- for people with very high skill levels and for low-skill immigrants, without whom those metro areas would have lost, rather than gained, population over the last three decades.

But there's not much opportunity there for people with midlevel skills who want to raise families. Housing costs are exceedingly high, partly, as Noah notes, because of restrictive land use and zoning regulations.

And central city public schools, with a few exceptions, repel most middle-class parents.

High taxes produce revenues to finance handsome benefits and pensions for public employee union members in the high-cost states. It's hard to see how this benefits middle-class people making their livings in the private sector.

Moreover, Noah's use of per capita incomes is misleading, since children typically have no income and many in the Northeast and coastal California are childless. If you look at household incomes, these states are far closer to the national average.

As economist Tyler Cowen points out in a Time magazine cover story, when you adjust incomes for tax rates and cost of living, Texas comes out ahead of California and New York and ranks behind only Virginia and Washington state (which, like Texas, has no state income tax).

Critics charge that Texas's growth depends on the oil and gas industries and is weighted toward low-wage jobs. But in fact, Texas's low-tax, light-regulation policies have produced a highly diversified economy that from 2002 to 2011 created nearly one-third of the nation's highest-paying jobs. In those years, its number of upper- and middle-income jobs grew 24 percent.

Liberals like Noah often decry income inequality. But the states with the most unequal incomes and highest poverty levels these days are California and New York. That's what happens when high taxes and housing costs squeeze out the middle class.

As Noah notes, "Few working-class people earn enough money to live anywhere near San Francisco."

This leaves a highly visible and articulate upper class willing, in line with their liberal beliefs, to shoulder high tax burdens and a very much larger lower class -- many of them immigrants -- available to serve them in restaurants, landscape their gardens and valet-park their cars.

There's nothing wrong with living in a high-rise, restaurant-studded, subway-served neighborhood (I do). It's great that America offers more such options than one and two generations ago.

But it's foolish to try to cram everyone into such surroundings, as the Obama Department of Housing and Urban Development (as Terry Eastland reports in the Weekly Standard) and California Governor, Jerry Brown, are trying to do.

Noah notes correctly that fewer Americans have been moving recently. That's always true in times of economic distress (the Okies' trek along U.S. Route 66 to California's Central Valley in the 1930s was a memorable exception, not the rule).

But they continue to move to the low-tax states that are providing jobs and living space where they can pursue their dreams and escape places that burden them with high costs and provide few middle-class amenities in return.



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Old 11-01-2013, 09:49 PM   #16
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Having moved from the Maryland suburbs of DC, to the outskirts of Indianapolis, back to Maryland, and planning to move back to Indiana, these are the two areas I know about, and I can say that there are a lot more reasons besides money to move out there. Lower population density, for one, leads to much, much less traffic, which is positively heaven sent. The air is cleaner. The crime is lower. The east coast - where much of our most dense areas are - have horrible, muggy summers. I could go on.

But as we are talking about money, let's look at this link comparing the cost of living between the two cities. Indy costs 89.8 of the national average; move to DC, and that becomes 142.8. Looking at housing alone, that stretches out to 74.4 vs. a staggering 235.2. Think of that as meaning that the $74,400 single-family home in Indianapolis will put you back $235,200 in DC. In simplest terms, your mortgage payment will more than triple. It takes a lot of higher-paying job to make up for that, and the average per capita income difference of $23,800 vs. $43,500 isn't enough to make up for that. The short answer: Yes, jobs in DC pay more, but not that much more, and that's why people like me are moving out.

Incidentally, Kansas City, Missouri, is 94.2% of the national average overall, with housing at only 70%, so you guys can get houses for less than even the Hoosiers can. Income per capita is $24,900.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:04 PM   #17
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She hasnt thought it through and I suspect she will probably move out of state. Having time to figure out what to so while an employer is wearing you down isnt east. Your a bitter man arent you Cosmo ? Kinda remind me of Astro on the KC star.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:05 PM   #18
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Some freinds just listed their 3 bedroom here in the Berkeely Hills . 1 ,190,000 I am going to drop by and see where they plan on moving to.
Great. Keep us informed.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:41 PM   #19
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:46 PM   #20
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How much is your house worth ?
Ummm...why?
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:52 PM   #21
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This study did not appear to control for other variables very well

For instance, it has been known for decades that people are moving from the rust belt to the sun belt for a combination of reasons, but mainly due to the decline in our industrial employment base. But thats also likely a high tax to low tax move, for other reasons. How dbaseid the study factor that in?

Also, as cosmo pointed out, the mass of hispanic immigration has swelled the ranks of lower tax southern/border states who have been gaining migrant populations.

If there was significant movement from higher tax border states or higher tax sun belt states, then youd have a possible correlation with an actual causal connection.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:27 AM   #22
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But there's not much opportunity there for people with midlevel skills who want to raise families. Housing costs are exceedingly high...
This was a huge determining factor for me.

Wages for my trade in Montana are equal to and sometimes higher than in New York, California, etc...

My 4 bedroom/3 bath/double garage house on a corner lot cost me $157,000. Watching the HGTV channel, I see young couples in bigger cities buying less home for 2x-3x as much.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:31 AM   #23
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People are pretty much moving where (a.) their families are, and (b.) jobs they can get are.

I'm willing to bet the number of people who move to a state simply because it fits their political preference is somewhere around zero.

Ask everybody on this board: why do you live where you live now?

90% would probably say "because my family's here" or "because my job's here."
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:46 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
People are pretty much moving where (a.) their families are, and (b.) jobs they can get are.

I'm willing to bet the number of people who move to a state simply because it fits their political preference is somewhere around zero.

Ask everybody on this board: why do you live where you live now?

90% would probably say "because my family's here" or "because my job's here."
Duh.
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Last edited by Taco John; 11-02-2013 at 03:35 PM..
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:57 AM   #25
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* duh.
An overlord sees that, they're going to thump your ass.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:28 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
People are pretty much moving where (a.) their families are, and (b.) jobs they can get are.

I'm willing to bet the number of people who move to a state simply because it fits their political preference is somewhere around zero.

Ask everybody on this board: why do you live where you live now?

90% would probably say "because my family's here" or "because my job's here."
Bob Dole's has no family in Texas or Nevada, the two states he has lived in since leaving Missouri.

Guess what those 2 states have in common?
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:17 PM   #27
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Bob Dole's has no family in Texas or Nevada, the two states he has lived in since leaving Missouri.

Guess what those 2 states have in common?
Legal prostitution and abundant gun ranges?
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:55 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by rockymtnchief View Post
This was a huge determining factor for me.

Wages for my trade in Montana are equal to and sometimes higher than in New York, California, etc...

My 4 bedroom/3 bath/double garage house on a corner lot cost me $157,000. Watching the HGTV channel, I see young couples in bigger cities buying less home for 2x-3x as much.
It's insane what people pay for housing in the heavily populated areas. I see those shows and it boggles my mind how little house you get for dang near a million dollars in those "desirable" locations.

My house would be well over a million in many areas of the country, but here in Overland Park it cost us just over 200K.
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Old 11-02-2013, 02:04 PM   #29
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It's insane what people pay for housing in the heavily populated areas. I see those shows and it boggles my mind how little house you get for dang near a million dollars in those "desirable" locations.

My house would be well over a million in many areas of the country, but here in Overland Park it cost us just over 200K.
No kidding! I saw one with a couple paying $450,000 for a townhouse, no yard and half the size of my house. Plus, no garage.

I'll stick to cheaper Montana and spend the rest on toys and traveling...and beer.
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Old 11-02-2013, 03:39 PM   #30
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Democracy has two mechanisms that have to function in order for it to be a legitimate democracy at all: voice and exit.

The reason why Democrats are so bad at democracy is because they are champions of quashing exit. It's not a true liberal party at all when you get down to its economic heart. It's a totalitarian party.

The only way to combat this march towards totalitarianism is through the support of the 10th amendment. As the saying goes: good fences make good neighbors.
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