Sat, 15 Mar 2008

Too many poor

There are too many poor people in New York State. We could try to increase their wealth through the same old same old methods of income redistribution, or economic development. Or we could try some innovative new scheme, like ... paying them to leave. Why not? Let's make New York State a better place to live by getting rid of its poor people.

So, the plan works like this: poor people register their intention to leave with New York State. The first tax year that they file taxes in another state, we pay them some reasonably large sum of money, like $5,000. If they stay away another year, we pay them $2,000, and then $1,000 and then $500.

Shocked? Does this sound like a horribly cruel scheme, designed to rip asunder the communities of poor people?

Consider, instead, getting rid of a different set of people: the rich. Let's do as the Working Families Party wishes. Only, instead of paying the rich to leave, we'll tax them if they stay. Let's increase the taxes of everyone earning over $250K by 1%, over $500K by 2%, and over $1M by 3%.

The Working Families Party calls this "fair". Yet they would undoubtedly howl in outrage if the exact same scheme was seriously proposed as I did in the first two paragraphs. Why is one thing fair when proposed for the rich, and yet outrageous when proposed for the poor?

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