Something for Nothing

Don Brunnel’s opinion piece on feeding the government monster is likely dead wrong about our elected officials being oblivious to taxes and other burdens weighing upon the masses. He fails to provide an instance where our government specifically imposes an unreasonable expense on the masses. Of course, reasonable is in the mind of the beholder.

Don relies on the California population decrease and Florida population increase to rationalize how the expense of government can cause people to move. First, housing costs in California are simply insane; your children have to move out of state because they cannot afford to buy locally. Next, Florida is the recipient of rich old Noreasters. Who wants to shovel snow when you can move to Florida and watch the rising seas roll down the street while sipping a drink with a cute little miniature umbrella in it? Florida is a very poor long-term real estate investment anyway unless you can do anything while swimming.

Let’s zoom out from the microeconomic model to the big picture. If government expenses biting into paychecks were critical to living location, our borders would be full of rich well-educated people from Scandinavia and Old Europe trying to climb Donald’s fence. Worse! Many of those paycheck robbing countries practice socialism! Unthinkable! Why are they staying home?

The difference is return on investment. Don, being a business analyst knows this is what attracts anyone: are you getting your money’s worth? The cost of living may be lower in southern states, but your Mississippi state tax dollar doesn’t do much for you except keep the state propped up and your Washington federal tax dollar underwrites failed economies in southern states. I feel I get my money’s worth on state tax dollars.

The cost of living is driving population shifts, not the cost of government. Supply and demand economics. Taxes and fees are usually set forth in response to a public need, but in general, the public expects something for nothing.

Douglas Terry,