Has California Priced Itself Out of the Market?
William Voegeli's op-ed piece "The Golden State isn't worth it" is a must read for people who believe in government.
Voegeli's condemnation of California is damning. Taxes are high, and public services are poor or mediocre. Meanwhile, in Texas, taxes are low, and public services are better-than-average.
As much as I love the weather and like being near my friends, I, too, have been contemplating for months about leaving California. What, exactly, do I get for my tax payments that I can't obtain elsewhere at lower cost?
Other states and countries have pleasant weather. There are decent universities -- the main public resource I use -- all over the world, and most academic publications are now a mouse click away. The cost of housing is lower in the red states, and the cost of servants is quite reasonable in the developing world.
When I look at California government, I see a bloated welfare state captured by public sector employees and the archipelago of "public interest" organizations and trade unions which subsist on government contracts. The Legislature exists for these entrenched people -- not for entrepreneurs, not for middle-income working people, not for small business people.
There's a point where I have to wonder if it's worth it. State income tax is 9.55%, while the sales tax in Los Angeles County is 9.75%. That's almost 20% before I factor in federal income taxes, federal payroll taxes, state payroll taxes, property taxes, etc.
How much longer is it worth it?
Labels: California Uber Alles