Thursday, October 30, 2008

No Exit


Whenever I drive back into New York from another state, I always think that instead of signs saying "Welcome to New York" they should say, "You are now leaving the American sector," like the signs in Berlin during the Cold War.

It's because in the area of public policy, there are 49 states that do things within a reasonable range of options ... and then there's New York. Always the outlier. Always at the top of lists of bad things, like the highest taxes, most government employees, biggest population loss, most jobs lost. Always lowest on the lists of good things, like the inverse of all of the above.

New York got this way by becoming a living museum of the policies of the Democratic Party: high taxes, hostile business climate, expensive mandates, powerful unions. With all the predictable consequences of those policies, most notably a dead economy and and a mass exodus of population.

All of those run-down small towns across the vast expanse of upstate New York, that look like nothing new has been built in 50 years, are our equivalent to those '55 Chevys still on the road in Havana. Where socialism lives, progress dies.

And now New York, whose chapter in a Book of the States would be titled, "Don't Let This Happen To You," is about to become the template for the rest of the country, under the regime poised to take over next Tuesday.

The one good thing New Yorkers had going for us was an escape route, to other states, when we finally had enough. Our children had a future, even if it was someplace else. That disappears if the rest of the country now goes the route of The Vampire State.

It looks like the next thing leaving the American sector will be . . . the rest of America.

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