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When the Levy Breaks

by on October 16, 2012

Doing something properly will convince more people than telling people you’re doing something properly. The downside is that actual performance is hard.

There is bound to be more effort exerted in accomplishment than bragging about it, and sweat is as icky as a taxed brain. With not overusing one’s mind in mind, shrewdly shifty people may even try boasting about a successful endeavor that never occurred, as hollow words might convince enough marks if they’re delivered with as much amoral bravado that can be mustered.

Then again, the scheme might be tricky to enact if the shyster’s reputation has already been sullied beyond repair. To wit, New York has to convince skeptics that its confines are welcoming to merchants despite things like facts and the news. This dead-last state needs to tax residents mercilessly for the crime of residing within it, or else it wouldn’t be able to afford things like programs that advertise how high taxes don’t hurt those who dare to pursue profits: 

In the midst of a $50 million campaign to change its business image, New York comes up last in a state-by-state ranking by the Tax Foundation.

In 2012, the Washing, D.C.-based non-partisan tax research group ranked New York 49th and New Jersey 50th. This year, the state’s flip-flopped those positions. The entire ranking can be found here.

Below Jersey: we can’t sink lower. Except for the miserable economy and return on results, all the levies have been one heck of an investment:

“Despite moderate corporate taxes, New York scores at the bottom this year by having the worst individual income tax, the sixth-worst unemployment insurance taxes, and the sixth-worst property taxes.

Moderate corporate taxes? How did that happen? Let’s stick it to those thieving bastards who bring nothing more than products, services, and jobs. We should make Wall Street pay for their output, namely keep this capsizing state afloat, because companies totally won’t bail if their rates raise. It’s too bad that poorly-performing states don’t share common miserable characteristics so we can determine what’s going wrong, aside from universally oppressive financial burdens:

The states in the bottom 10 suffer from the same afflictions: complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates,” the Tax Foundation said.

Simple can’t work. Seeing the world in black and white terms is for cavemen who don’t understand the sophistication of a bloated monopoly seizing what people earned so it can be spent on big and important projects instead of things the earners would like to buy. That’s why all that federal spending reduced both debt and unemployment, right?

What this state really needs is to blow through even more tax collections on an ad campaign explaining why all the money they take doesn’t hurt the economy. On the other hand, maybe a diminished star who’s coasting on reputation isn’t the best spokesman for a state facing similar circumstances:

In June, New York kicked off a media campaign, “The New New York Works For Business,” enlisting celebrity endorsers such as Robert DeNiro.

While the inadvertently amusing ads offer a reminder that Mister De Niro is perhaps a tad overrated, he doesn’t have much to work with considering the product he’s pitching. On the other hand, he took the checks, so he can thank New York’s taxpayers with complimentary sake at Nobu.

Residents can and should feel glad that Albany doesn’t skunk everything. We can all be thankful for good economic news, especially when it comes despite the civilization-reversing efforts of brutally childish environmentalists who apparently are uninterested in why the light switch works. Regardless, such promising developments remain exceptions and are newsworthy precisely as a result of their rarity.

It’s not as if there’s a lack of room for improvement. People have been noticing for the past few decades that upstate cities are not precisely teeming with commercial activity.

Every entrepreneur that dares plant seeds in the Empire State is trying to force blooming in a contaminated environment. Now, there’s just more evidence that the topsoil is the nation’s most toxic. The only thing worse than the price of New York’s onerous taxes is the cost.

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