As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Florida's High-Tax Population Flight?

Via Joe Mathews, here's yet another powerful piece of evidence that the Yacht Party scaremongering over how high taxes force people to leave California is a load of fertilizer.

TALLAHASSEE -- For the first time since the end of World War II, the growth state of Florida lost population, researchers say, in a sign that the economic recession is even worse than many had feared.

In all, the state lost about 58,000 people from April 2008 to April 2009, according to a new estimate from the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research.

"It's such a dramatic shift from what we've seen in the past,'' said Stan Smith, the bureau's director.

"Florida's economy is, in a lot of ways, driven by population growth,'' he said. "Perhaps more importantly, population growth is a reflection of how the economy is doing both in Florida and in the nation.''

It goes without saying here that Florida has no state income tax.

Attributing population shifts to taxes is about as rational as attributing student test scores to rain. If you want to correlate populations and the economy, the Occam's razor explanation would be that people go where the jobs are. And I would add that people who cannot find a job probably won't stay around a place long if the social safety net is vaporized.

The lack of political media in the state allows urban legends like this to take hold through the only outlets left, right-wing radio and persistent rumor. You get the falsehoods you pay for listening to such garbage. If we had 100 Peter Schrags in the media and twice that in the Democratic Party leadership forcefully rebutting such misinformation and making the value-based case for the kind of progressive government they'd like to see, at least there would be a counterweight. But it's hard to argue something with nothing.

Labels: , , , ,