Why Americans Are Moving from Blue to Red States
The earlier Census Bureau findings reported here showed the movement to predominantly politically red (Republican) states from blue (Democratic) states. Laffer, a member of President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board for both of his two terms (1981-1989) and chairman of Laffer Associates, and Moore of the Wall Street Journal's editorial board, attribute the economic attraction of the red states to three reasons:
- Low or zero income taxes: "We predict that within a decade five or six states in Dixie could entirely eliminate their income taxes. This would mean that the region stretching from Florida through Texas and Louisiana could become a vast state income-tax free zone", they write.
- Business-friendly, as in the restrictiveness of regulations that could stifle business growth. The fracking moratorium in New York is held up as a model for "business-unfriendly" and point to neighboring Pennsylvania where the natural gas industry is flourishing. In energy-intensive Texas, four of the top ten metro areas (in growth) were located.
- Having "right-to-work" laws that make it more difficult to unionize workers. In addition, they blame high minimum wage laws that "price low-income workers out of the job market."
Laffer and Moore see domestic migration as vindication that the low tax and business friendly policies of red states are succeeding while high tax and business unfriendly policies in the blue states are failing.
Readers responded - offering additional reasons for the domestic migration.
See the 15 fastest growing large metros in this Washington Post article.
Correspondent's note: Access to Wall Street Journal articles for non-subscribers may be limited after April 11.