I recently renewed my membership in the Hoboken Historical Museum. When doing so you are entitled to a book up to $20 offered by the museum. This year I chose “Elizabeth Street” authored by Hoboken native Laurie Fabiano and published by Fig Books which was recommended to me by my friend Melissa Abernathy. The book is based on a true story involving her 4 year old grandmother being kidnapped by the “Black Hand” Italian mob gang over a century ago. While still in Italy she speaks of a reason why so many emigrated. The new unity government imposed high taxes and in the once prosperous community jobs disappeared.
The passage on pages13 and 14 are quite interesting: “The other villains were not as dramatic or forthright as cholera; they were more insidious and masked. Since the government started taxing goats, the mountain peasants had to reduce their herds. Soon there wasn't enough milk and cheese to trade, and they had to reduce the herds further. For a while they ate a lot of goat meat. Now there was no milk, cheese, and no goats. Now they taxed mules, so farmers had to plow the lands themselves. One year the crops were eaten by parasites and next they died of drought. When there wasn't enough food from the farms and people were forced to grow what they could in their yards, they taxed the gardens. Only the padroni, the large landowners who were mainly foreigners or northerners, had farms and animals anymore. The goat herders and the farmers were reduced to serfdom on the manors of the padroni.
When the people rebelled with sticks, the northern police mowed them down with guns. The only option for many men was to become a brigand. First the sons and then sometimes the fathers left for the mountains to make their living robbing rich landowners and travelers who traversed the region's few roads. In the dead of night, they would scramble down the cliff paths to leave money or food with their families, never staying more than minutes. When they stopped coming in dead of night their families knew that the police had killed them.”
With the jobs disappearing those who did not want to become robbers emigrated en masse to America. With very few men available many women followed suit. The town was eventually destroyed by a tsunami. This is exactly what Ronald Reagan predicted when he said "people will vote with their feet".
In Britain taxes were raised on millionaires. The former 16,000 have dwindled to 6,000 as the millionaires fled to lower tax havens. In France a top rate of 75% was placed on the same group. Immediately 30% of them put their homes up for sale in order to move mostly to Belgium where taxes were more reasonable. The famous French actor Gerard Depardieu is now one of 50% (according to my cousin who works in France) who have or will use their feet to avoid repressive taxes. In both cases by raising taxes the countries will collect fewer revenue than before.
In America Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin renounced his citizenship. President Obama is correct that if taxes return to Clinton era levels it would only affect 2-3% of small businesses. What he doesn't tell you is they are typically the larger companies who provided 50% of the job growth under Obama's term.
Where were most jobs created? 70% of new jobs were created under states with Republican governors. 72% of jobs were created in right to work states with Michigan recently joining that group. States like NJ with both legislative houses controlled by Democrats generally underperformed those that had at least one house in Republican control.
Which state in America has the lowest unemployment? The answer is North Dakota where most land with natural resources is under state or local control. Good paying middle class and professional jobs are there for the taking. Which states have underperformed the greatest? New York, California and Illinois. Here 8 1/2 of the 9 state levels are controlled by Democrats (the NY Senate operates on a rotating basis. None of these states are right to work and all three (NJ included) has the taxpayer unfriendly Bacon-Davis laws which greatly increase the cost of infrastructure projects.
Luckily for Hoboken taxpayers under Kids First and Mayor Zimmer's reform majority overall taxes have been reduced for 3 consecutive budget cycles. I wish that other Democrats would learn from Mayor Zimmer but it doesn't seem likely.
Note: I apologize for the email glitch which inadvertently sent out the top portion of this post incorrectly.