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Escape to Wisconsin


"Government power must be dispersed. If government is to exercise power, better in the county than in the state, better in the state than in Washington. If I do not like what my local community does, be it in sewage disposal, or zoning, or schools, I can move to another local community, and though few may take this step, the mere possibility acts as a check. If I do not like what Washington imposes, I have few alternatives in this world of jealous nations."

Milton Friedman
Capitalism and Freedom

 Escape to Wisconsin

The philosophy and performance of governing greatly affects the freedom and vitality of the citizens.  Recently, lawmakers and the governor of Illinois increased income taxes 66 percent with a 50 percent tax increase on businesses.  The new governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has launched a media blitzkrieg inviting people and businesses from Illinois to “Escape to Wisconsin.”

Already, the dysfunctional and corrupt governance in Illinois has helped fiscally-sound, adjacent states.  Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has effectively governed with the motto to “increase the disposal income of every Hoosier.”  He jokes that living next to Illinois is like “living next to the Simpsons.”  And recently the business friendly climate of Indiana convinced Illinois-based Caterpillar to make a major investment in Muncie, Indiana.

Advantageously, America has competition between the states.  Interstate competition is a safeguard to every American’s freedom and prosperity.  Noticeably, people and their businesses vote with their feet, and move to friendlier jurisdictions.  Hence, Wisconsin is inviting people to “Escape to Wisconsin.”

Significantly, new governors in Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico, South Carolina, and maybe Pennsylvania and New York are dedicated to reducing spending and curtailing harmful regulations.  Big government states – California, Oregon, Washington and Illinois are in competition with the limited government states.  Americans are awaking to the corruption, incompetence and inefficiency of government.  Americans will be watching which states best promote freedom and economic vitality. 

Additionally, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker understands that more than lowering state taxes it includes reforming federally mandated programs like Medicaid.  Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal reports:

Mr. Walker sees reform affecting more than state or regional unemployment rates. He rewinds to the late 1980s and 1990s, when Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson and Michigan Gov. John Engler led the way nationally on welfare and tort reform. He sees an opportunity for today's governors to be "even more aggressive"—this time on public-employee pensions, budget reform and Medicaid—and to turn these into national debates in Washington.

Yes, this is a national debate and, fortunately, Americans have awakened.  Many governors and legislators intend to revitalize their bureaucratic and incompetent states.  Those who excel will be examples for other state governments as well as our federal system.