#200 Vote with Your Feet

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Americans are moving from restrictive economies in California and New York to free economies in Texas and Florida, much like the Israelites escaped captivity in Egypt.

Let’s Vote!

I had five grandkids in the van recently, and we were trying to decide which park to visit. One of the ten-year-olds suggested energetically, “Let’s vote!” Where did an American ten-year-old get the idea that she had the power to determine the market? Well, FROM the market. And, that’s what people moving from one state to another are proving, they have the power to vote about where they live. People are voting with their feet, as they move from one state to another, as explained in a recent WSJ article titled, “The Great Blue to Red State Migration Continues.”

I discussed some of this topic in podcast #131 titled Abraham and Wealth Migration. And, the great economist Arthur Laffer explains state differences in his book, The Wealth of States.

The WSJ explains in their article that in the category “Migration to other states,” the loss leader was California which lost the most residents to other states, about 340,000, and New York, about 220,000. Texas gained almost 475,000 and Florida gained just under 375,000.

Quoting the WSJ article now, “You don’t need artificial intelligence to spot what the losing states have in common: High taxes, burdensome business regulation, and inflated energy and housing prices. Those states also have higher than average unemployment as a result of businesses moving out of state.”

The WSJ article quotes a chapter from the Old Testament, “A big problem for Democratic-run states is that their affluent residents are leading the EXODUS, and they pay the majority of income tax that supports their expansive welfare programs. This is a major reason California’s tax revenue over the last five months has come in $24.5 billion below projections despite a rebounding stock market.” Hmmm, kind of reminds you of the scene from the old movie The Ten Commandments, where the Israelites are leaving Egyptian bondage. And, in an economic sense, the folks leaving those states were in economic bondage.

You may have heard that Benjamin Franklin’s choice for the great seal of the US was those same Israelites fleeing Egypt, just as Americans are now fleeing California and New York. It’s a little difficult to read the image, but it reads “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.” The image shows the Israelites being pursued by Pharoh’s army.

People are moving to the Red States, and Moses parted the Red Sea… goodness, there are too many parallels that can’t be overlooked. In the Holy Land, I’ve heard the phrase “From the Med to the Red,” so we should expect a political cartoon soon, with Moses holding up his staff and parting “Red” and “Blue” seas, or the red and blue states.

 

Freedom

In my classroom at Dallas Baptist University, I have often crossed my arms and stated, “The Intersection of Christianity & Economics is freedom.” It’s such an important concept, that it’s the first of the ten Biblical Commandments of Economics that I found with Sergiy Saydometov, while writing the book Biblical Economic Policy. Well, that’s what we’re witnessing in the migration between states.

You don’t have to survey the estimated eight million people who illegally crossed the Southern border of the US in the last three years. They are seeking freedom. Gee, I wonder how many have crossed the border the opposite way?

Quoting the WSJ article again, “Democratic Governors such as California’s Gavin Newsom portray right-leaning states as benighted and undemocratic. But then how do they explain why so many of their states’ residents are moving there?”

People vote with their feet.

 

The End Game

Where does this all end? A good case study might be Yugoslavia, which after the fall of communism, split into six constituent republics. Each group has their own country. That’s the way the US was designed, with states’ rights. But the centralization of government – especially the presidency – under Woodrow Wilson, FDR, then LBJ, has made the centralized government, specifically the presidency, more important than the founders intended.

The United States is not a people, it is an idea. And, it’s an idea with two different interpretations. I’ve told my students at Dallas Baptist University, that, if they have voted, they voted for either of two ideas: Jefferson or Hamilton. Jefferson wanted a more decentralized government with more states’ rights. Hamilton wanted a more centralized federal government. It’s no coincidence that a liberal playwright authored the stage play Hamilton, and the actors sided with the Democrat party.

The level of centralization SHOULD be based on the value created by centralization, vs the concomitant loss of freedom, but the Hamilton idea, adopted now by the Democrat party, is to centralize as much as possible, simply for the sake of power.

Jan Jekielek of the Epoch Times has interviewed Christine Anderson of the EU. The video is titled, Is the EU Destroying Europe? She asks this fascinating question, “Why would immigrants assimilate into a society that hates itself?”

Here’s the economic analysis. I’ve used this three-part concentric circle to explain the relationship of three Unions in Europe: The European Union is an economic union of 27 nations, 20 of those countries belong to the financial union called the Eurozone, and none belong to “The United States of Europe.” However, folks in the UK would say Brexit caused their loss of national sovereignty, and they WERE a member of the United States of Europe.

 

Worldview

I was listening to a Catholic radio station a few years ago, during the right-to-life march in Washington DC, and a participant told the interviewer, “We’re going to out-produce them.” Meaning, that Christians are having children, atheists are not. Maybe that’s true of the states as well. Red states will draw the population away from blue states.

Economics is a social science, where we simply notice differences. This one is pretty obvious: People are moving to better land, as Abraham did, when he moved from Ur of the Chaldeans to the promised land, as I explained in more detail in podcast #131.

My podcast #72 Two Worlds is intended to convey the idea that we are dividing into two different societies in the same country. My observation is that it’s based on worldview. Just a couple examples today, because the idea is more fully developed in the aforementioned podcast. The Christian Worldview includes the concepts of Creation, Fall & Redemption. If humans were NOT created by God, abortion would be acceptable. If they are, it’s the greatest sin of my generation.

Worldview’s effect on economics is easy to see. If you don’t believe people are fallen, you want the government to have more control. Ginger and I were reading books on vacation recently, and just when she invited me to, “Read this page,” I said the same thing to her about my book. Her book was about how fallen people had taken advantage of the federal government program that serves kidney dialysis patients, and mine was about how the federal government’s Bureau of Indian Affairs was corrupt. Look, we could have been reading just about any book. Evidence of the fallen nature is all around us. To deny it is a denial of reality.

 

The Market Works

I often hear complaints about Wal-Mart paying low salaries, and selling cheap goods. Ok, the market does not ALWAYS work, but it generally does. My response to Wal-Mart critics is to go visit with your neighbors. Apparently, they are happy shopping at Wal-Mart, or they wouldn’t go there. They are voting with their feet.

The market works, almost all the time. If you buy Hunt’s ketchup in the 24-ounce bottle for $1.89, and the next time you visit the store, it’s been replaced by Heinz in the 32-ounce bottle for $2.29, don’t blame Wal-Mart. They are responding to the demands of your neighbors. Yes, Wal-Mart WANTS to affect the market, but in a free market, they have very little power.

You and I have the power. Let’s vote!

Fear God
Tell the Truth
Earn a Profit

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