That’s right! Its time for another “Flight of the Earls” story in the Rhode Island media! This time it is from Eddie Achorn Junior, AKA, Stephen Beale of GuLP (that’s GOLOCALPROV for those of you who don’t know. You really have to GuLP it down when you read something Beale writes). Anyway, EJ hits the Rhode Island economic theory trifecta today! He
He cherry picks data to claim rich people are leaving the state, aka the “the Flight of the Earls.”He refers to the OSPRI Study on Wealth Migration that even the Wall Street Journal lampooned as worthless and Projo’s “Politifact” has discredited.He quotes from Len Lardaro, the economic guru of the Carcieri years who brought us the wisdom behind the tax strategy that got us into the fiscal mess that we are in in this state.
And for honorable mention…John Hazen White? Now there is a go to guy for policy analysis. What, was Travis Rowley too busy raising money for Mr. Hinckley?
Here on RIFUTURE we have long railed against the Flight of the Earls simply because this fallacy that we need to base our tax policy decisions on keeping a handful of people in state so we keep their tax dollars is based on faulty assumptions.
Assumption #1: they are not leaving the state. The numbers change. Sometimes up, sometimes down, but fleeing they are not, especially as a class of wage earners, and especially not as an economic class.
Assumption #2: if we keep them in the state, we will keep and or create jobs ( look around!)
Assumption #3: by lowering taxes on the elite, we increase our overall revenue collection, thus benefiting all of Rhode Island.
None of these assumptions have worked, and in fact, have contributed mightily to the downfall of our economic system, both here in Rhode Island and nationally and internationally. This isn’t even an argument between capitalism and socialism or market economies and command economies (that last one is communism for you tea party folks…it’s very different than socialism. I know…. that blows your mind, right? Who knew?) Free Market Capitalism, for all of its flaws, has a certain logical science behind it. With this new economic philosophy that is emerging, there is no connection to economic activity and economic outcomes. It is the chief reason why wage growth, for example, has been decoupled from productivity gains. American workers are the most productive they have been in years….yet they see no way to wrestle wage gains based on their productivity. Adam Smith would blanch at such injustice.
But I digress……
The key thing here is despite all the evidence the rich guys in town keep pushing the Flight of the Earls mythology no matter what the evidence say. We live in a fact free world, and with reporters like EJ at places like GuLP ready and willing to simply do the bidding of the elite is it any wonder the banksters feel free do what they want, say what they want, and buy whomever they want? Who, after all, is going to stop them?