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State of the Unfree

by on April 2, 2013

New York is in first place for protecting its citizens from the burdens of making too much money or having too many decisions to make. Having to think about ways to get ahead is the sad fate of those poor souls who face the horror of excessive freedom. It’s a relief to sit home waiting for a pittance instead of going out into that spooky world seeking the vagaries connected to opportunity.

The country is using New York’s restrictions on life itself as an example. Sadly, the erstwhile Empire State’s ample restrictions may represent the nation’s bleak future. The feds are working hard to keep pace with battling crazy notions about people keeping the money they earn and doing what they want with it. A new study shows why federalism only works when governments follow good examples (h/t Jon Gabriel):

And the lowest branch on the liberty tree?

“New York is by far the least free state in the Union. It is therefore no surprise that New York residents have been heading for the exits: 9.0 percent of the state’s 2000 population, on net, left the state for another state between 2000 and 2011, the highest such figure in the nation. New York has, by a wide margin, the highest taxes in the country…[and] is also the most indebted state.”

But even the home of Cuomo and Bloomberg can unchain their citizens by reducing spending, paying down debt, abolishing rent control, and… well the list is too long to reprint here.

The depressing stagnation is the price of living in a most miserable utopia, which sort of defeats the point. But we’re trying to invent a workers’ paradise here, so taxpayers are just going to have to suck it up and start covering the costs. Hopefully, they won’t realize that they can stop trying or just move:

New York’s legislature approved a budget that hikes the state’s minimum wage to $9 per hour. But taxpayers, not businesses, could actually be the responsible party for paying those extra wage costs, if a closed-door tax credit agreement among politicos made the final budget cut.

At least there’s a reminder of which side hurts the poor no matter the swell intentions. Blame not maliciousness but rather tremendous delusion: minimum wage hikes designed to give instant raises actually price out entry-level workers, which is the inadvertently meanest thing a government can do to the poor.

But don’t worry if you think employers will be unable to afford workers making more than the value they generate, as everyone else will be paying the salaries. Addition by subtraction doesn’t always work:

Once the minimum wage rises by $1.75- to its full $9-per-hour mandate, employers will only be paying 40 cents of that difference, AP reports. The remaining $1.35 will be paid by taxpayers, in the form of a reimbursement credit that goes back to employers.

Money belongs to the state, anyway, so just consider this a more equitable way of sharing communal property. Your bourgeoisie notions about keeping what’s earned hold us back! Still, there are lingering notions that the only thing worse than trying to confiscate more from earners is failing to recognize that such mandatory sharing won’t work. It’s too bad we can’t monetize killing motivation.

If you think New York will find financial redemption through yet another welfare payment, then the Democrats would like to thank you ahead of time for your vote. The alternative, which would involve letting people earn, might teach the public to learn to rely on themselves and not Albany. There’s nothing your rulers fear more.

Or maybe the restrictions and taxes will pay off, provided you have evidence that Andrew Cuomo is smarter than you. Bearing in mind the endless hassles and levies as a reward for being a New Yorker, it’s almost as if there’s a reason the state’s economy has indefinitely sucked.

But we must preserve what we have. The way to get more people from leaving is to make the minimum wage 50 dollars per hour, as it will finally make everyone rich. New York’s politicians just need to keep up the restrictions.

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