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New York’s Empty Feeling

by on October 28, 2009

Having fewer bad congressional representatives isn’t worth it.  And, while it’s nice to enjoy shorter waiting times at restaurants and cope with less traffic, it’s ultimately not fun to have a broke ghost town to yourself.  The remaining residents of New York State are coping with this lonely reality, as they get more elbow room by the minute:


New York suffered the largest loss of residents to other states in the nation from 2000 to 2008, with more than 1.5 million people leaving, a report Monday found.


Our ex-neighbors chose to either cross about eight state borders or just the one:


The report, commissioned by the conservative Empire Center for New York State Policy, found 8 percent of New York’s population at the start of the decade has left to other states.  Thirty percent of them moved to Florida; another third moved to neighboring New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.


Oh, and they took their money with them, too:


In 2006-07 alone, the migration flow out of New York resulted in a $4.3 billion loss in taxpayer income.  New Yorkers moving to other states had average incomes between 2006 and 2007 of $57,144, while the average income of households moving into New York was $50,533. 


So, higher taxes could actually cause successful people to take their incomes and leave the state?  That should only surprise people who have never interacted with other human beings before now.  In certain rapidly emptying sections of New York, that might actually be possible.


Will things get better soon?  The short answer is no.  It’s actually also the long answer, at least for now.  Despite weak calls by a feckless governor to decrease spending, this state likes being intimate with its citizens.  It’s not a compliment: they just want money and the chance to boss around people.


The lone chance for improvement is to look for leaders who might consider leaving residents alone.  But waiting for the next major statewide election and then hoping for a possible constructive impact means the hemorrhaging will only be stopped down the road, if at all.  How many more will skip town in lieu of seeing if things might get better?


Or, we could wait for everyone outside our borders to become as miserable as us.  Perversely, New York will face less competition from relatively prosperous competing states if the national economy remains submerged, or even if unemployment refuses to plummet.  It’s a sick way of achieving national unity, although it’s not entirely unexpected: after all, the president only cares about states’ rights when it comes to pot.


On the other hand, New York’s leaders have a way of drilling holes in the lifeboat’s hull.  They may figure how to make the Empire State downright rotten for commerce compared to areas that are merely gloomy.  Even worse, Western New York will specifically lose its thriving MRI industry if any form of Obamacare passes: what Canadian will cross the bridge to dine at a lousy restaurant when he can eat the same slop at a greasy spoon down the block?


Coping with an extra level of onerous regulations is a steady reality for those who haven’t yet abandoned a state that’s already doing worse than bad.  Sadly, when it comes to taxing, spending, and regulating, New York is at the forefront.  As a result, there are far fewer people who can provide firsthand accounts of the misery.

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