John R. Smith: No Doubt About it-Florida’s Governance is Better Than New York
If politicians and educators were truly smart and serious about wanting children to learn concepts useful to their lives and the lives of all citizens in a society, they would demand courses of study in a concept known as Comparative Governance.
These courses would study the general structure of governments throughout the world and the U.S. and analyze the similarities and differences between those political units. This would include studying the legal powers of political institutions existing in various U.S. states on a comparative basis. The teachings would help people understand the nature and workings of political frameworks around America and the world and which ones produce more favorable results.
Let’s bring this in for a landing by considering what causes such a huge migration from cities in the Northeast to Florida. In 2022, 18 states lost population, led by New York, losing 0.9%. Of all states, Florida had the largest population gain at +1.9%. This means Florida gained a net of 444,000 people or about 1,216 per day. Palm Beach County received roughly 10% of that number.
Let’s remember that it wasn’t long ago that Florida and New York had similar populations. Now, Florida has 22+ million people, and N.Y. has 19+ million people. How did this shift happen? What is Florida doing that N.Y. isn’t? Applying the concepts and measurements of Comparative Governance gives us the answer.
Lesson #1 involves comparing the two state governments: when we do, we learn that Florida’s latest state budget proposal is about half the size of New York’s. This is mostly because of N.Y.’s tax burdens which are huge compared to Florida’s, which are far lower. If the Legislature votes to spend more in Florida, Florida’s economy has to grow more. It doesn’t work that way in N.Y., where they automatically increase income taxes. The top income tax rate in N.Y. is 10.9%, but in New York City, the top rate is 14.8%. There’s no state income tax in Florida.
Florida spends $8.95 billion on Medicaid, but the tab in N.Y. is $26.5 billion. GDP growth in real estate in Florida is 17%, while the growth in N.Y. is 8%. The jobless rate in Florida in December was 2.5%, compared to N.Y. at 4.3%; N.Y. is tied with two other states for having the fifth worst jobless rate in the USA.
There were other differences as well during the COVID pandemic when governmental and medical differences were starkly evident. The National Bureau of Economic Research calls to our attention the differences between Florida and New York in the three areas of education loss, economic performance, and mortality. All states were ranked based on a combined score of those three variables as they relate to COVID outcomes. Florida was ranked 6th overall among all states. New York ranked 49th in education, 48th in the economy, and 47th in mortality. It has been the best of times for Florida, and it has been the worst of times for New York.
The overall lesson to be learned from these comparative statistics is that if a state is governed better, it has greater economic and fiscal results. That’s why people are flocking to Florida and our better climate. Most Floridians are hopeful they don’t bring warped politics with them.
Other stories you may want to read:
- John R. Smith: The Decline and Fall of the Palm Beach Post - August 17, 2023
- John R. Smith: CNBC Ranks Florida #1 in ‘America’s Top States for Business’ - July 27, 2023
- If We Don’t Maintain Our Forests Properly, Nature Will, With Fire - July 19, 2023