In a recent speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, spoke about competition among the states.
"It is extraordinary to look at U-Haul data. I do it all the time," Youngkin said. "What you will see is that Virginia was ranked 32st in 2021, with one-way moves out of Virginia. And one year later, in 2022, we are ranked 5th with one-way moves into Virginia."
"I love competition and I bring it to governing," Youngkin said. "If you are resting, someone else is working. If you are raising taxes and putting criminals first and neglecting education, people are going to leave for states with lower cost, better safety, and better opportunity."
Youngkin spoke of "American families making the choice every day as to where they want to build their lives."
"The road to prosperity runs straight through economic freedom," he said.
The U-Haul list is pretty remarkable, with Texas, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia at the top as destinations, and New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois and California at the bottom.
The Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, a Boston-based think tank, recently noted IRS data showing taxpayers moving out of Massachusetts to states such as Florida and New Hampshire that have no income tax. "In 2021, Massachusetts had a net loss of income tax filers of over 25,000, with over half going to two states with no income tax: 6,199 to Florida and 6,527 to New Hampshire," the Pioneer Institute said.
In a post for the Empire Center, E.J. McMahon found a net loss of 261,785 filers and dependents from New York to other states. Florida was the leading destination.
It is a reminder of Albert Hirschman's "Exit, Voice, and Loyalty" framework. The "exit" choice is easier for individuals and families to exercise at the city and state level than it is at the national level, though certain politicians want to make it harder for Americans to leave.