Thursday, October 12, 2017
Voting With Their Feet
Gerard N. Magliocca
Advocates of states'-rights often point out that an advantage of federalism is that people can move from a state where they are dissatisfied with public policy to a state that they prefer. The prospect that people or businesses will relocate is often more effective at constraining majority opinion (say on tax rates or regulatory policy) than state constitutional provisions or internal political action.
NY Jets owner, Woody Johnson, is the current ambassador to the UK.
Hurricane Maria also has a certain "Jets" reference as well.
"You would think that the fear of such an exodus would provide an adequate incentive for the Trump Administration to provide assistance."
That is a rather shallow analysis.
Setting aside for the moment any consideration of the federal government's duties in this matter, and looking at it from a purely political standpoint, while the movement of Democrats from Puerto Rico to the mainland might sway the partisan balance in one or two states, even a small response among people already living on the mainland to what we do in Puerto Rico would swamp this effect.
The total population of Puerto Rico is only 3.4 million. It's unlikely that more than 10% or so of these would actually migrate, so we're talking perhaps 340k people. Who will not, of course, be representative of the people who stay behind, being the ones with resources to move, and initiative. Likely biased towards Republicans, IOW.
How much would public opinion in the US mainland have to be shifted to swamp this? Limiting our consideration to just voters, about 130 million, 340k would be about 0.26%. Would our policy in Puerto Rico shift 0.26% of the vote on the mainland? Quite possibly.
So, even on a purely political basis, Trump would be more concerned about the opinion of mainlanders than about the effects of migration.
In addition to FL, migration to PA, WI and MI could be effective. And maybe SC with the aid of its Filipino community.
PR is part of the U.S. This potential migration is not the same as the Mediterranean movement from Africa to southern Europe. Brett is wading in shallow waters.
Yes, Brett, those paper towels Trump provided are really assisting Puerto Ricans, a brawny move by Trump. Brett may be trolling as a spokesperson for the #non-Hispanic White Supremacy movement. (But beware machete justice.)
The paper towels thing was silly, I'll give you that. But there's currently an FBI investigation into diversion of relief supplies by local authorities, that could go a long way towards insulating Trump from complaints about the level of support.
But my main point is that the number of people likely to migrate is quite small compared to a nation of 330 million plus. Even a drop in the bucket can tilt things if it lands in just the right place, but you'd never know in advance which was just the right place. These numbers are down in the noise.
Brett's (9:00 AM0:
"These numbers are down in the noise."
might describe Brett's numbers in his 7:54 AM comment.
A mass migration from PR to the contiguous 48 as a means of basic survival might just intrigue Trump's real estate developer mentality on how Trump & Co. could redevelop PR along with President Trump waiving the Jones Act.
Brett's 7:55 AM comment:
"And, of course, that's ignoring the fact that he [Trump] IS providing assistance..."
calls for reading David Leonhardt's NYTimes "newsletter" feature today titled "Puerto Rico vs. Florida and Texas" for perspective.
Gerard's closing sentence:
"The President of the Jets, though, may simply not want to help the Sharks."
as well as Joe's comment, got me Googling but I'm missing something in what may be subtlety on Gerard's part. In terms of the new originalism, is the meaning of this sentence in the "construction zone" (or the Twilight Zone)?
I don't know how much such a population move would change things, but ...
If a fraction of the numbers Brett suggests went to Florida, it could have changed the 2016 election. The 2000 elections would need much less than that. Supposing that the 2020 election might be closer, might not even need the margin of 2016. Plus, there are 2018 elections, which might turn on thousands in such and such a place. Even if the numbers did not change the results, making it much closer would be significant. Finally, the people might change the nature of the election in certain area.
"Silly" is one way to explain the paper towels thing.
Maybe we can make everybody happy. We'll evacuate PR entirely, turn it into a national park or something. Move all the Dems to FL, GA, and NC. If there are any Rs left there after Trump, they can move to AL.
And then we can note, yet again, that the "vote with your feet" argument for states rights works solely and exclusively because the federal government guarantees the right to travel.*
*Guarantee is a limited warranty only and may not apply in cases of the wrong skin color.
Has anyone seen a report that the real reason Trump is pissed at Puerto Rico is that despite the poor restoration of power loss and other essentials, Puerto Rico's casinos are up and running, while Trump has lingering memories of his being a loser with his casinos that were not hit by hurricanes or other acts of God but only by Trump's foolish art of his deals.
Traditionally, the "vote with your feet" principle has worked to some degree, including the mass migration of blacks to the North in the early 1900s. But, there are limits to the idea, even with modern constitutional law protecting the right to travel in part by striking down treating newcomers differently in various respects. To tie everything together, the right to travel was seen as tied to both privileges/immunities clauses.
Anyway, let's not forget the Virgin Islands, who were hit too. And, with them threatened by North Korea, maybe Guam too. Or, maybe we can just (ha ha) be sane and give people a full right to vote.
" Or, maybe we can just (ha ha) be sane and give people a full right to vote."
just might be the lesser of two evils in Brett's role as a spokesperson for the #non-Hispanic White Supremacy movement.
Meantime, the Mayor of San Juan has appropriately responded to Puerto-Potty-Mouth Trump's threats to pull out.
Has anyone seen a report that if Trump were to operate casinos again, they would feature "Russia Roulette" tables and laundry services?
I don't think you can really blame Puerto Rican corruption on Trump. Though I'm sure you'd try anyway.
Personally I think they should be given their independence; It's not proper to keep them as a dependent territory, and their economy isn't nearly at the level necessary for them to be a proper state. They'd be so dependent on the federal government for handouts that their state sovereignty would be a joke.
Of course, that probably would set off a mass migration. They're US citizens now, they can't be denied the right to move to the mainland. But we ought to do it anyway.
Let me understand the implied threat here...
If you do not spend billions rebuilding the nation/possession we corruptly bankrupted, we will migrate into CONUS and help bankrupt your country by jumping on its welfare system and voting Democrat?
"dependent on the federal government for handouts that their state sovereignty"
Doesn't stop other states. Being a state would give their population the the right to vote for President, have two senators and about five voting members of Congress. That alone is far from a "joke" including as a matter of influence.
Likewise, if dependency will be a problem for being a state, not sure how the greater independence tied to being a nation would not be even worse in that department. Again, dependence because of debt and I'd add reliance on international markets (a separate matter) and other things doesn't stop nationhood from having bite in other cases.
Many states are quite restrained by the help they need from the national government & that was the case from the Founding. Why Puerto Rico statehood in particular should turn on that is unclear to me.
I also point out that the RIGHT to move and the FINANCIAL WHEREWHITHAL to move (leaving aside responsibility for members of extended families) are two entirely different considerations. The former is fantasyland federalism, because in the timeless words of a certain 1980s comedian, "It could happen!" The latter is reality, and in a rather ironic counterpoint reflects the social class of "Yankee carpetbaggers" pretty accurately. Having been active-duty military, I have a better idea than most about the costs of moving... and that was when much of the expense was being picked up by the government and there was no disruption in income from the "day job."
Bert and Brat, our dynamic dyslexic Muffets, once again show their true colors with their #non-Hispanic White Supremacy movement under various guises. I'm not aware of anyone pre-Trump's presidency blaming Trump for PR's economic circumstances. Bert used the word "corruption" presumably on the part of Puerto Ricans; while that may be partly true, one should focus more on the history of PR over many decades and the policies of the US government towards PR that significantly contributed to PR's economic situation pre-Maria. While Bert recognizes the right of Puerto Ricans as US citizens to come to the mainland if Bert's preferred PR independence were to result, Brat is concerned that such migration would " ... help bankrupt your country by jumping on its welfare system and voting Democrat?" Brat tries to be careful with his words, but his use of "your" instead of "our" suggesting that America would no longer be Brat's country. But Brat does seem to be speaking as a mainland American with his "we," America, corruptly bankrupted PR. Brat blows both hot and cold, but he could have mentioned Trump's experience with bankruptcies, so perhaps there are bankruptcy fears associated with how Trump has handled his presidency to date. But Brat's high decibel dog whistle about the migration jumping on America's welfare system supports Brat's involvement in the #non-Hispanic White Supremacy movement. Both Bert and Brat are being anti-migrant just as over the years America Firsters were anti-immigrant.
But independence may lead to partnering with another sovereignty that might be upsetting to America's national security interests. Perhaps this is not a problem to our Muffets who might rely on the Monroe Doctrine. If that's no longer effective, then we may get the Trump Doctrine on North Korea.
You're remarkably tiresome, shag, what with your reflexive charges of "white supremacy" against anyone who doesn't share your politics.
Joe, there are states that are, regrettably, dependent on federal funding. None even half as dependent as P.R. would be if it became a state. After all, once it became a state it would lose much of it's special status as a tax haven. Could it hack it in direct competition with the rest of the country, on an even playing field?
Shag: Bert used the word "corruption" presumably on the part of Puerto Ricans; while that may be partly true, one should focus more on the history of PR over many decades and the policies of the US government towards PR that significantly contributed to PR's economic situation pre-Maria."
The best resolution for a bad shotgun marriage is a divorce. Give PR its independence so we can no longer abuse them.
But Brat's high decibel dog whistle about the migration jumping on America's welfare system supports Brat's involvement in the #non-Hispanic White Supremacy movement.
Do you realize "Hispanic" is not a race and Puerto Ricans come in a variety of colors from white to black? Hispanic is a nonsense category into which progressives dump people from or with ancestors from former Spanish and Portuguese colonies, people who often have nothing much else in common with one another.
People who migrate from a nation with an average income of $22,000 with limited language and labor skills marketable in the United States will more than likely qualify for a wide variety of US welfare state benefits - regardless of their skin pigmentation.
Both Bert and Brat are being anti-migrant just as over the years America Firsters were anti-immigrant.
As I have noted here before, I support a return to our 18th century immigration rules (you enter so long as you are not diseased, a criminal or a wartime enemy) so long as we also return our 18th century free economy and limited welfare state. If you immigrate here, you work in one of the plentiful jobs created by a booming economy and become an American.
Brett spoke about some "necessary" level of independence necessary to be a state.
Mark Field made a list of some states dependent on federal largess. States need not merely be in debt there. If the federal government is a major employer, that too would lead the state to be less independent than others, their very economy largely based on federal operations. Ditto if the state relies on federal land rights, such as grazing. It is unclear to me how Puerto Rico is so much different here that statehood is problematic. Again, if so, as a nation they STILL would have that problem.
At any rate, one figures they would be dependent as a state or territory, either way, and as I said being a state brings with it various rights and power.
The special tax haven matter is a new argument and those expert on tax matters probably can find a way to address it. At the very least, those in PR who want it to be a state themselves very well are aware of it & they still want it to be a state.
For context on PR's situation economically pre-Maria and its circumstances post-Maria, check out Paul Krugman's NYTimes 10/11/17 Blog post "Puerto Rico, Trump and Taxes" (with interesting links) and his regular column today "Let them Eat Paper Towels."
By the Bybee [expletives deleted], there was a huge migration northward in the first half of the 20th century, particularly just prior to WW II, of Blacks from the former slave states, including to the Detroit area for jobs in the auto industry. In Northern Michigan there were racist communities who after WW II felt that a result of this migration was taking away job potentials for White Michiganders. Brett may have some thoughts on this migration as his early years were in northern Michigan, long before Brett voted with his feet by migrating to the former Confederate state in which he now resides. Those who have been exposed to Brett's comments over the years at this and other blogs should be aware of his whistling Dixie. Check the Archives of this Blog. I recall comments by Brett on Mexicans at this Blog, in one of which he referenced as a child he competed with Mexican farm laborers in "pulling radishes," complaining that his small hands did not help. There's a lot more in his role as a troll at this and certain other legal blogs. Reflex, if any, results from Brett's cumulative comments on racial issues. And of course there is Brett's open support for Trump during the 2016 campaign as part of Trump's base of Forgottens. And it is no secret that Trump's campaign had racial overtones from the day Trump announced his candidacy. And it's no secret that such overtones have continued during Trump's presidency. As to Puerto Ricans, check out the NYTImes David Leonhardt column referenced in my 9:47 AM comment in this thread.
Wikipedia provides handy charts of (a) federal tax revenue per capita for each state https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_tax_revenue_by_state#Fiscal_Year_2012 and (2) federal spending per capita for each state https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_taxation_and_spending_by_state#Per_capita_federal_spending.2C_by_state.2C_federal_fiscal_2013
Unfortunately, the spending chart doesn't show Puerto Rico, though the revenue chart does. But it's easy to see that states like AK are very heavily dependent on the federal government. Tax revenue from AK is 6697, while spending there is 14375 (note that I had to use 2 different tax years because that's what Wiki gave me). Seward's Folly, indeed.
Paul Krugman's 10/11/17 NYTimes blog post I referred to in my 4:47 PM comment begins with this:
"Brad Setser has a really interesting post on Puerto Rico’s balance of payments – unlike states, the territory keeps track of exports and imports both to the U.S. mainland and the rest of the world. As it happens, his analysis bears pretty much directly on Howard Gleckman’s critique of Kevin Hassett’s disgraceful performance at the Tax Policy Center."
The blog post provides links to Setser's post and Gleckman's comments at the Tax Policy Center. (I don't know how to provide the links.) But both provide significant information on PR imports/exports, which may be surprising.
SPAM responded earlier:
"The best resolution for a bad shotgun marriage is a divorce. Give PR its independence so we can no longer abuse them."
In the relationship of the US and PR, seen as such a marriage, which was the abuser, PR or the US? SPAM's context suggests it was the US. Shouldn't PR get fairly compensated for all that abuse? Is this sort of like slavery followed by emancipation? This is one of SPAM's strangest comments. Puerto Ricans are US citizens. SPAM would favor a return to 18th century immigration. Economically he would revert to the original The Gilded Age of the late 19th century. Perhaps SPAM's rural hibernation spurs him to think of the past as he has obvious problems with the present and the future. SPAM is a political Luddite.
I'd be more concerned about the 5 million people already dwelling on the mainland shifting parties as a result of this disrespect.
I'd also be worried about the lawful right, given the penchant of our current president to disparage or violate the constitutional principles our country holds dear. Threatening the press, violating the spirit of the Establishment clause, planning to go to war without Congress---and that's just two days in the week.
I wouldn't be afraid of people voting with their feet. I'd be afraid of people voting with their conscience.
My response was dripping with sarcasm. We conquered PR from Spain. Feel free to compare US rule to Spanish rule.
Most Americans would gladly return to 5% GDP growth and doubling wages every generation over the current depression. BTW, the NYT just noted our GDP growth is now officially below the Great Depression over the same period of time.
Imagine, SPAM, the top dog DUI criminal defense attorney in his rural small mountaintop community in the Mile Hight State (of mind), "dripping with sarcasm" in his 4:24 PM comment. A reread of that comment suggests SPAM knows nothing of sarcasm, perhaps dripping on second-hand DUI fumes or high on CO's legal recreational ganja. SPAM attempts to cover up his inane earlier comment with a reference to comparatives of US versus Spanish rule. Wasn't that a time of American imperialism on display? It's more than a century since the Spanish-American War. Should we today get into the details of that time, perhaps via Mark Twain, who knew a tad about sarcasm.
SPAM then shifts to his economics mode with daydreams of 5% GDP growth from from a past time. What might be the inflationary aspects of that? Return to yesteryear's GDP stats but not how life was like back then compared to now? SPAM refers to "the current depression." Is this a new effort at sarcasm by SPAM? The Great Recession of 2007/8 of SPAM's lockstep Bush/Cheney Administration, a deep hole left for President Obama, has been recovered from despite the efforts of Republicans in Congress to limit Obama to a single term. How did that work out? It took the Constitution to limit Obama to two terms. (Sarcasm).
As to SPAM's comment on what the "NYT just noted," that was from NYTimes columnist David Leonhardt, who is not an economist, although he used to write regularly on economics. While there is income/asset inequality that increased beginning with the sainted Ronald Reagan presidency, better to compare what life was like during the Great Depression with what life is like today. Just ask President Trump. Now that's sarcasm.
Reference was made to the practical limitations on moving & that is an important point. One reality here is that the government provides some assistance, including to newcomers who are just starting out and don't have resources to do well on their own. Rights in a society includes things in place to help to make them meaningful.
The inability to simply move, the burdens in place in doing so and some basic understanding that certain things should be true wherever you are also leads citizens and in many cases persons in general to have certain rights wherever they might be. So, there are certain privileges or immunities of national citizenship.
A basic understanding, somewhat ironically stated in the various opinions of Dred Scott v. Sandford, was that we would not have a permanent territorial class. At the very least, those in the territories would have basic rights. The breadth of this is still not totally unclear (the "Insular Cases" have not be totally overruled).
And, there was an understanding that at some point territories would become states. Colonies, as seen by our own experience, led to problems and threatened basic rights. Historical understanding aside, this is a basic truth. Tainted by racism, the lands obtained at the turn of the last century (and later as to the Virgin Islands, again also affected by current events), went down a different path.
It is over a hundred years now, and the people still cannot vote for President (finally dealt with separately in DC; it could here too) and don't have voting membership in Congress. They do have significant home rule. There is also the problem of non-citizenship for residents of American Samoa.
As I said in the past, home rule and voting rights are my main concern. It might take a constitutional amendment to provide the latter without statehood (especially for places like the Virgin Islands, with its 100K or whatever people) but it is still a travesty that a basic right of citizenship is denied there.
Shag: SPAM then shifts to his economics mode with daydreams of 5% GDP growth from from a past time. What might be the inflationary aspects of that?
Most of this era experienced a slow deflation because productivity growth outstripped money growth under a gold standard. We paid our workers more than any other industrializing nation in the world and the money kept buying more and more goods and services.
Return to yesteryear's GDP stats but not how life was like back then compared to now?
Constantly improving by leaps and bounds in all areas of life. Every generation had a far better standard of living than the generation before, something we cannot currently say.
Your suggestion that we need to go back to the standard of living of 1885 to enjoy the freedom and economic growth of the time is nonsense.
SPAM refers to "the current depression." Is this a new effort at sarcasm by SPAM?
A depression is a recession without a normal business cycle recovery. Before 2008, the archetype in the United States was the progressive Great Depression. Today, we are in a second progressive depression in less than a century. Your suggestion that we need to go back to the standard of living of 1935 to suffer a real depression is nonsense.
Totalitarian political economies where government bureaucracies misdirect the economy and misdistribute wealth have been failing for over a century. It is now the turn of the progressive variation on this theme all across of the OECD.
PMS_Chicago said.. I'd be more concerned about the 5 million people already dwelling on the mainland shifting parties as a result of this disrespect.
What disrespect? The five million who left PR for the US are well aware of the failings of PR which Trump is noting. Why do you think they left?
SPAM doesn't challenge my claim of his not knowing what's sarcasm. Perhaps his comparison of a "shotgun wedding" was 2nd A sarcasm?
SPAM's claims of the good old economic days in America is reflected in his: " ... so long as we also return our 18th century free economy and limited welfare ...." What does SPAM know about how life was lived over 200 years ago in the early days of America?
SPAM's "Your suggestion that we need to go back to the standard of living of 1885 to enjoy the freedom and economic growth of the time is nonsense." was not a suggestion of mine. Rather, I referenced the original The Gilded Age of the late 19th century as a time he would revert to as SPAM has frequently stated those were America's best days. The Gilded Age ended in corruption, political and financial.
And SPAM's "Your suggestion that we need to go back to the standard of living of 1935 to suffer a real depression is nonsense." was not suggested by me. And he slips in " ... the progressive Great Depression." But the Great Depression arose as a result of the three consecutive terms of Republicn presidents, to wit, Harding, Coolidge & Hoover, dumping it on FDR. And SPAM follows this with " ... we are in a second progressive depression in less than a century." The Bush/Cheney Great Recession of 2007/8 came about as the second term of that administration was ending. In the eyes of SPAM, apparently Republican presidents Harding, Coolidge, Hoover and George w. Bush were progressives? A Democrat, FDR, got America out the Great Depression and a Democrat, Obama, got America out of the Great Recession.
SPAM once again demonstrates his ignorance of history and economics. Add to this SPAM's ignorance of political science regarding his totalitarian comment that closes his comment responding to me.
SPAM obviously misunderstands what constitutes "disrespect" in PMS's comment. I'm not speaking for PMS, but in the context of this post/thread, the 5 million have been disrespected by President Trump of family and friends, US citizens, on Puerto Rico. The 5 million may have more direct knowledge than SPAM of the history of PR as part of America and its policies that contributed to the financial circumstances of PR pre-Marie.
I hope PMS responds. But this thread may soon go into moderation and I felt obliged to comment on SPAM's 11:41 AM comment.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The potential for and existence of corruption is exponentially higher today than during the laissez faire era. It is no accident DC has become one of the wealthiest areas in the world and tge Clintons made a nine figure fortune selling influence.
"Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
was provided at 3:40 PM without quotes. How original. Perhaps SPAM coined this as a tribute to the original The Gilded Age of the late 19th century to honor the current Second Gilded Age.
By the Bybee [expletives deleted), I assume that SPAM, being a careful lawyer, has proof of his attempt at a defamatory statement about the Clintons. Maybe if the Clintons moved from NY to DC, they could go well beyond a nine figure fortune.
But let's give credit when it's due for SPAM's originality. Maybe Absolut Vodka will pick it up for a commercial.
Shag de Brookline dijo ...
Respuesta del SPAM
"El poder corrompe, y el poder absoluto corrompe absolutamente."
Se proporcionó a las 3:40 PM sin comillas. Cuan original. Quizás SPAM acuñó esto como un homenaje a la Edad Dorada original de finales del siglo XIX para honrar la Segunda Edad Dorada actual.
Por el Bybee [los improperios eliminados], supongo que SPAM, que es un abogado cuidadoso, tiene pruebas de su intento de una declaración difamatoria sobre los Clinton. Tal vez si los Clinton se mudaron de NY a DC, podrían ir más allá de una fortuna de nueve cifras.
Pero demos crédito cuando se debe a la originalidad de SPAM. Tal vez Absolut Vodka lo recoja para un comercial.
Putting aside the nasty elision of colonial abuse with a blanket corruption charge, the national government should be responsible for ensuring infrastructure for all Americans--this isn't a criticism, it is a plank in the platform of the current president.
After the hurricane in Texas and Louisiana, he swore that the government would be there every day until recovery was complete. In the case of PR--an American territory--within a week he publicly bemoaned the fact that the national budget would be hurt. He followed it up later by tweeting that we can't support PR forever--that luxury only being allowed for Texan Americans, apparently.
That is disrespectful enough. Making fun of the island's name, shooting hoops with paper towels, engaging in a tweet war with a person in a disaster zone--all that is just extra disrespect. None of it is "true", none of it is likely appreciated by those with PR heritage, and none of it does anything to help the US or its interests. If a person in your employ acted like that in public on your behalf, you would fire them--a rare point where I think government really should be run like a business.
Disrespect--and we should be ashamed for having elected this oaf.
Well, at least CA (and NY) had a chance to vote against him.
That along with the voice of their representatives in Congress matters some.
They definitely should have the right to vote and representation in Congress. I'd be ok with making PR and the VI a state, but if that wouldn't work for some reason, make them both part of FL.Post a Comment