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Something to Think About: The Difference Between Growth and Decline

Op/Ed By Michael Vaughn –


new michael vaughnThis past week, my wife and I had the opportunity to take our son to visit some schools in Nashville, Tennessee.

Other than the weather, which was great while we were there, I noticed a huge difference between New York state, the state in which I was born and the state in which I continue to live, and the state of Tennessee.

Nashville is said to be the fastest growing city in America.

And, when you’re there, you can sense the expectancy which goes along with that growth, as well as the vibrance and life that is associated with the city.

There is no perfect utopia, and, while I’m sure Tennessee has many of its own problems, there is a real difference between the growth we could see in Tennessee, and the lack of growth we’ve continued to see in New York state.

The state of New York is in decline, for all the money Gov. Andrew Cuomo has spent on the “I Love New York” campaign.

The fact that we are losing population, and even on the verge of losing congressional seats, is proof of that point.

The weather, which has always been the way it is, is not the reason.

I would like to submit that the reason is because New York has become a bloated welfare state.

The companies which have done business in the state have been heavily taxed, and, if they do well and if they make a profit, they are taxed even more.

Hard-working New Yorkers are amongst the highest-taxed people in the country!

And, unfortunately, when companies are so heavily taxed in order to support a welfare state, the companies – and therefore jobs and individuals – will leave the state.

This type of exodus does not encourage the same sort of vibrancy we saw and felt in Nashville.

When people are “demonized,” and heavily taxed for making an honest living, it causes them to feel frustrated, and they feel the desire to get out of New York!

We also do not have a legislature full of Democrats and Republicans who care to do anything about the decline that is happening here.

It reminds me of when Eastman Kodak refused to see that film was no longer king, and that digital photography was growing.

The change was slow, which allowed the company’s management time to change, but Kodak’s adherence to the status quo also caused the once-vibrant company to become a mere shadow of itself.

One reason that happened was due to Kodak’s reluctance to change.

Similarly, that is what is also happening in New York.

Companies and families are leaving this state because they do not want to work for someone else.

They are willing to pay their fair share, but, when the tax burden becomes too much, companies have continued to say enough is enough, and they’ve left for places like Nashville.

States like Tennessee have opened the door for companies to come in and set up shop, free from enormous taxes and regulations.

As a result, those individuals feel they can work hard for a living, while still keeping a large portion of their income.

This has generated excitement in the Nashville community, as well as sense of expectancy, and therefore growth.

In New York, we cannot continue to tax and spend, or else the only people who will be left will be those who are getting welfare benefits.

And, at that point, it may be too late.

Nashville, Tennessee has a strong heartbeat, which I believe people can also feel in other parts of the state.

On the contrary, in New York, the pulse is slow, and the state is like a patient in need of emergency care.

The difference is real between these two states.

We must turn the tide on taxing and spending if we expect to see the great state of New York grow.

We must also reduce the tax burden on companies and individuals, and put more of a demand on those who are expecting to receive a hand-out, instead of a hand-up.

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