Watch How We Vote With Our Feet
We move for better opportunities. Sometimes the difference is between a good job and a great job. Sometimes the difference is between a mediocre job and no job at all. The difference between good and better is hard to measure, but picking up and moving to a better situation is easy to notice. It also scares politicians to death.
Socialist politicians ignored the economic message of Detroit. Detroit once had the highest average wage of any city in the US. The average was higher than New York. It was higher than Los Angeles. Unions and Democratic politicians killed Detroit. The car companies were driven out of town. The auto industry took their jobs with them. Workers left to find work instead of permanently going on unemployment. Detroit is an empty shell today. Its factories and train stations are abandoned. Now the city can’t pay its debts. Socialist politicians ignored the economic message of Detroit, but they learned Detroit’s political message.
California politicians paid off their green donors by shutting off the water used for farming in the California central valley. The excuse was to save fish. Cutting off the water destroyed agriculture. Farmers wrote off groves that had taken a decade to develop. Unemployment soared. Rather than face ghost towns, the California welfare agencies flooded the area with both welfare benefits and illegal immigrant welfare recipients. That kept the political gravy train on the tracks. It also ballooned state spending and California’s debts.
Chicago’s political corruption and high taxes did the same thing. I used to live and work in the “Windy City”. Chicago used to be the city that worked.. the city with broad shoulders. There were thousands of small manufacturers in the Chicago suburbs. These manufacturers and the middle class they supported are mostly gone today. Down state, there were also huge manufacturers like Caterpillar who contributed to the Illinois budget. Caterpillar moved production to other states and to smaller sub-contractors rather than be held for ransom by the unions and Illinois politicians. Companies can vote with their feet too.
Chicago learned the political lessons from Detroit. Chicago imported new immigrants to replace the middle class minorities who left in search of work and a future. Illinois government can’t pay its bills, but Chicago politicians say they are in great shape.
California is in debt as well. Like Illinois, California once had vibrant manufacturing sector. Now the state’s budget is buoyed by a few tech firms like Google and Facebook. Governor Jerry Brown says California is a model for the rest of these United States. I know how to lie with statistics too, Governor. The Silicon Valley economy is great for the luxury car salesmen, but the lottery economy doesn’t buy new shoes for many growing families. Note that these politicians are eager to let illegal immigrants vote in order to pad their wilting political power.
Who should we believe? Watch their feet! Carefully contrived economic reports don’t cut it. People follow real opportunity and perform the real test of wages versus costs. Notice how people move. We saw the middle class leave California and Illinois in order to build their future. Those dying bureaucracies have to bait their welfare rolls with expanding benefits. They have to pad their voter rolls with illegal immigrants. Politicians say all is well.
Watch what people do, not what politicians say.