State wealth is the topic of this McCuistion Program. Join host, Dennis McCuistion, and guests Stephen Moore and Dr. Bernard Weinstein, for a lively discussion on economics and the increased wealth of some states at the cost of others who are rapidly declining in population and overall growth. What are the contributing factors to state wealth?
State Wealth Panelists Include:
Stephen Moore: Chief Economist at the Heritage Foundation and co-author of An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of The Wealth of States, claims businesses as well as high income individuals migrate to where their economic interests are protected. He believes lowering the state income tax and decreasing tax burdens invite more business and build a state’s economy.
Bernard Weinstein PhD: Economist and Associate Director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University, discusses the issue of natural resources and how this has also contributed to state wealth or the increased migration of residents to those states that have fewer regulations regarding these resources, so they are more readily available.
Arthur B. Laffer, PhD: Stephen Moore’s co-author, joins us via a prior pre-taped interview. He says, “taxes redistribute people not wealth”. The authors’ studies review the last 53 years and examine the 11 states which had introduced income taxes (the first being West Virginia, in 1961, the last, Connecticut in 1991). The authors looked at population, employment rates, and the work force, output and tax revenue, from 3 years prior to the tax being instituted to the last 2-3 years. They found that every single state had declined; after instituting tax, in every single one of the metrics as a share of the US economic picture.
Stephen Moore says, “You can’t balance the budget on the backs of people who immigrated.” Nor can you balance the budget on the backs of those who are unemployed. While each state government thought it was worth raising taxes for more schools, highways and infrastructure, the result was the opposite of what was expected. If a public sector and agency does not perform, we give them more money! In the private sector we cut costs to be more efficient. Yet as Weinstein says, “In Texas, maybe we could spend a little more- we can afford it. We’ve dropped from 34th to 49th in education.”
The outcome of the discussion on state wealth… policies matter. Our guests make a solid case for states themselves to become more competitive or risk population shrinkage and urban dilapidation; before they become ghost towns as several of our cities have- from Detroit to Cleveland, and states mortgage their future as California and New York have.
Thank you for joining us as we continue talking about things that matter… and today, it’s about state wealth.
Niki N. McCuistion
Engaging employees, consultant and
speaker on Organizational Culture,
Governance and Strategic Planning
10.26.14 – 2206