Saturday, December 20, 2008

Escape, American Style

One interesting demographic trend that was ignored in this past election cycle is the outmigration from California and the northeast by retirees and others who are trying to escape the oppressive burden of taxes in their home states.

When you look at the highest combined tax burdens among all fifty states the numbers are staggering. Connecticut: Number 1. New York: Number 2. New Jersey: Number 3.

In fact, the only state in the northeast that's not in the infamous Top Ten is New Hampshire which ranks 29th in combined taxes and has no state sales tax. Maybe that's why New Hampshire is seeing an increase in population compared with it's neighbors.

But there's a festering problem on the horizon and the evidence is clear in the state-by-state election returns of last November. New Yorkers, and others from liberal enclaves move out to escape the oppressive burden of taxation.

Then they get to their new home and pull the lever on election day for the same scolds, bloodsuckers and losers who have made life unlivable in their former hometowns.

So, how do the rest of us avoid this tragic fate?

It turns out that we’re looking to make a move in the next few years to escape from sales taxes, state income taxes, five-figure property taxes, increases in tolls and fees, along with confiscations we cannot even imagine now as New York's deficit grows and its population dwindles.

In analyzing our choices we determined that our destination will have to fulfil several criteria.

It must be in the Bottom Ten in combined tax burden.

There must be no major cities.

It must have little or no migration from the northeast or any other liberal mecca.

This last factor is critical.

We were at a recent going-away party for friends who were moving to North Carolina because they could no longer afford New York. When I told Ben that we were looking to relocate and were considering North Carolina he raised his glass and said:

“Good. We’ll turn that red state blue in no time.”

I walked away shaking my head while making a mental note to cross North Carolina off of our prospective destination list.

Right now, our leading choices are Biloxi, Mississippi and Gulf Shores, Alabama.

When I mention these two destinations to friends here in Fun City they gag and become physically ill.

I think we're on the right track.

UPDATE: December 26th, 2008.

This morning, while browsing through the New York Times, I choked on my porridge when I got to the "Escapes" section. Seems that the Manhattan intelligentsia have discovered Gulf Shores, Alabama. Looks like we'll have to cross this one off the list as well. Costa Rica is looking pretty attractive.