Why any entrepreneur would try to make a living for themselves in a state like New York or Illinois is beyond me. Maybe it’s just because I’ve never really gotten the allure of big cities, but why would anyone subject themselves to the rule of such petty bureaucratic tyrants? The big government regulatory states have no respect for those seeking to earn a living, so not find somewhere that does? Take this story:
…”They told us we had to move or we’d be towed,” Loera explained as the cops rigged the food truck to the tow truck.
They gave Paty’s truck a $55 summons saying it was not allowed to sell merchandise from a metered spot, Loera said. His mother, Patricia Monroy, who does not speak English, made the ultimate decision to stay put once her family translated what the cops were saying.
“My mother felt like she was not breaking the law,” Loera said. “We still had 45 minutes on the meter.”
…Loera had reached out to the Street Vendor Project after his Nov. 30 arrest, and members of the organization joined Paty’s for Tuesday’s return to raise awareness on issues vendors face: harassment from law enforcement and city offices, a harsh ticketing system and excessive punishment and regulations confusing to vendors and cops alike.
But no one anticipated the towing.
“Even if they were breaking parking rules — and I don’t think they were because I don’t think food is merchandise — that’s why they get a ticket. But that’s not a worth a tow,” Basinski said.
…The food truck was careful to follow parking rules, Loera said. It arrived on the Upper East Side about 10:15 a.m., changing spots about 11 a.m. and again an hour later.
Loera and his mother, who was tearing as the truck was being towed, hopped in a cab to follow it. They did not want a repeat of the last towing, when all of their perishables and other items — including its generator — had been removed from the truck, Loera said.
After they paid the $370 to get their truck back in November, they had to take out a $5,000 loan so they could restart the business that provides the livelihood for six families, Loera said.
And what was the basis of the complaints against the truck?
Paty’s had faced the ire of several residents on Community Board 8, who complain about food trucks in the area. They worry the trucks are illegally hogging metered parking spots and that they are unfairly competing with struggling brick-and-mortar stores.
Hogging metered spots? I’m sorry, but weren’t they paying for them just like anyone else? If the prices aren’t reflecting market value, then raise them. But there’s no basis to complain about people who are paying those prices. Unfair competition? Unfair that they made products that people wanted more than other products? How dare they!
Silly immigrants, they thought they were coming to America because it was free, but there’s no place in America for earning an honest living by providing services that people want. If you aren’t working for the government, your work isn’t legitimate.
Other states, like Illinois, are content to just tax their business into leaving. Some states understand the incentives created by tax and spend policies run amok. Take this statement by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker:
Wisconsin is open for business. In these challenging economic times while Illinois is raising taxes, we are lowering them. On my first day in office I called a special session of the legislature, not in order to raise taxes, but to open Wisconsin for business. Already the legislature is taking up bills to provide tax relief to small businesses, to create a job-friendly legal environment, to lessen the regulations that stifle growth and to expand tax credits for companies that relocate here and grow here. Years ago Wisconsin had a tourism advertising campaign targeted to Illinois with the motto, ‘Escape to Wisconsin.’ Today we renew that call to Illinois businesses, ‘Escape to Wisconsin.’ You are welcome here. Our talented workforce stands ready to help you grow and prosper.
The Associated Press, on the other hand, sneers at the idea that high taxes will drive anyone out of Illinois (Hat-tip: Tax Foundation):
But economic experts scoffed at images of highways packed with moving vans as businesses leave Illinois. Income taxes are just one piece of the puzzle when businesses decide where to locate or expand, they said, and states should be cooperating instead trying to poach jobs from one another.
It’s true that taxes are just one piece of the puzzle, but it’s not like Illinois has paired its high tax policies with a business-friendly regulatory regime. Nor is this a small change, as Illinois has moved from the 21st to the 46th highest corporate tax rates among states. I’ll ignore for now the assertion that states should not be competing to produce good policy, and point out instead this story (Hat-tip: Reason):
The founder of Jimmy John’s said he has applied for Florida residency and may recommend that his corporate headquarters move out-of-state as a result of the Illinois tax increases enacted last week.
Jimmy John Liautaud told The News-Gazette on Tuesday that he is angry about the moves, which boosted the individual income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent and the corporate income tax from 7.3 percent to 9.5 percent.
“All they do is stick it to us,” he said, adding that the Legislature and governor showed “a clear lack of understanding.”
A lack of understanding apparently shared by the alleged economists unearthed by AP.
Is it any wonder why these states are economic and fiscal basket cases?