Monday, February 23, 2009

The Law of Comparative Shitholes

Pat Anderson, the new diva at the Minnesota Free Market Institute, writing in the Strib on Monday:

It is an iron law of economics that given a choice between two shitholes, the wealthy will always flee to the larger one.

Jeepers, Spot, did she really say that?

Well, Spot is paraphrasing:

Taxes on the "wealthy," like so many progressive policies, actually work against the stated objective. If the tax burden gets too high, the "wealthy" simply pick up and leave for warmer climates. Homes are cheap in Florida, and a dollar stretches a lot further when there are no state income taxes. When these people move, they take the jobs they provide and the taxes they pay along with them. And, ironically, to woo new high-earners with job mobility to the state, companies must offer higher wages to offset higher income taxes, in effect increasing, not decreasing, the wage gap that seems so "unfair." Mobility is much easier for citizens and businesses in the 21st century.

Pat’s law does explain why Somalia and Pakistan, for example, are such hotbeds of entrepreneurial activity. It also explains why Jason Lewis and Bill Cooper left the state.

Uh, Spot, they both moved back to Minnesota.

Really, grasshopper? Fancy that.

But Pat’s complaint about wages is clearly a powerful one. Median incomes in places like Texas and Florida and Alabama must be much higher than incomes in Massachusetts, Minnesota, or New York. Right?

Median incomes are way higher in the higher tax states, Spot.

Well, Spot’s a monkey’s uncle! [Spot like to give the grasshopper the good lines once in a while, too.]

Anyway, Pat ends her monograph on the Law of Comparative Shitholes with this fervent prayer:

I would hope that before any legislators consider a class-warfare offensive, they remember who pays for state programs. Punishing hard work and ingenuity does not bode well for the long-term health of our economy.

Spot’s first question, Pat, is why, if you “would hope” it, why don’t you just go ahead and hope it? Or does the Minnesota Free Market Institute pay you by the word for the tripe you get in print?

And Pat’s a cheeky little anti-tax trollop, too: the only class warfare in this country since about the day that Ronald Reagan was elected has been against the poor and the middle class, although many of the latter have become the former.

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