- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 14, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1118921224
- ISBN-13: 978-1118921227
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 35 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #568,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States: How Taxes, Energy, and Worker Freedom Change Everything Hardcover – April 14, 2014
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"This is a book full of evidence, compelling in the way itreveals differences among states and clear consequences. Read,learn, and weep in some constituencies or give three cheers inothers."
—George Shultz, distinguished fellow at the HooverInstitution at Stanford University, former United States Secretaryof Labor, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of State, Directorof the Office of Management and Budget and professor of economicsat MIT and the University of Chicago
"Left wing, right wing, liberal, conservative, Democrat orRepublican, Arthur Laffer's book, The Wealth of States hasthe facts and the framework for policymakers and citizens alike.Tapping decades of research and experience in state economics,Laffer, Moore, Sinquefield and Brown communicate clearly theguiding principles to elevate their states-and thus the nation as awhole-to levels of prosperity never before seen. State andlocal legislators should base their economic policies on thisbook-it's a game changer."
—Dick Cheney, 46th Vice President of the UnitedStates, former Secretary of Defense, member of the U.S. House ofRepresentatives representing Wyoming and Chairman and CEO ofHalliburton Company
"Wow! This compelling, comprehensive book will be the bible forstate and local leaders who truly want rapid economic growth. Itwill profoundly, positively change politics and economics inAmerica."
—Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of ForbesMedia
"Arthur Laffer is justly known as the father of Supply SideEconomics whose pro-growth tax cuts combined with Reagan's policiesof limited government, free enterprise and strong defense usheredin a twenty five year economic renaissance. He is not as wellknown for his work on the States, but this book will changethat. With Stephen Moore, Rex Sinquefield and Travis Brown,Laffer uses the marvelous laboratory of the fifty States-set in theenvironment of free trade, population mobility and a commonunderlying federal structure-to demonstrate conclusively thateconomic policy matters. Where taxes are low, private propertyrights are strong and free enterprise prevails, prosperitygrows. High taxes, big government and special interestdomination may work politically to win elections, but they fail tobring home the bacon. Prosperity is not an accident or a fate, itis a choice-a freedom choice."
—Phil Gramm, former U.S. Representative and Senatorrepresenting Texas and professor of economics at Texas A&MUniversity
"Arthur Laffer's latest book on the states makes it clear thatrunning a state is a lot like running a business. The goals are thesame: making our businesses and states more prosperous,competitive, and attractive to investors and citizens. Withimportant lessons identified, The Wealth of States will makeits mark."
—Jack Welch, Chairman and CEO of General Electric,1981-2001
“The widening gap in policies and prosperity among the stateshas been a source of increasing controversy. The migration ofpeople and businesses from high-tax states such as California andIllinois to fast-rising rivals Texas, Nevada, and Florida iscreating a divide that, to some observers, mirrors the battlebetween emerging markets and aging economies in decline. . . . Animportant new book identifies a major factor that, the authorsclaim, separates the winners from the laggards: state income taxes. . . . Given the authors' pedigree, the conclusions arepredictable: Imposing income taxes inevitably leads to economicdecline and enriches the competing states that don't have them.What gives their arguments credence is the staggering wealth ofdata summoned to support their claims.”
—Shawn Tully, senior editor-at-large, Fortune,April 18, 2014.
“For the economist, the relocation decision offers afascinating insight into the differences between attractive andrepellent environments. If every state were exactly thesame—same economy, same laws, same weather—therelocation decision wouldn’t tell us anything of interest.People would still move, but there wouldn’t be anydiscernible trends. We’d see the same number of people movingfrom Cuba to Florida as vice versa. But what if peoplesystematically prefer one kind of jurisdiction over another whenthey move? . . . as a partial explanation for relocation decisionsit’s a fascinating insight, one that informs an important newbook by Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore, Rex Sinquefield, and TravisBrown, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth ofStates. The title, borrowed from Adam Smith’s Wealthof Nations, promises a revolutionary reinterpretation of whatmakes American states wealthy and, remarkably, the authors deliveron their promise. What they find, in brief, is that low-tax statesdeliver more wealth without sacrificing the social services thattax revenues are supposed to fund. They also find that people movein massive numbers from high- to low-tax states.”
—F.H. Buckley, The American Spectator, May 14,2014
From the Inside Flap
Poor people can't spend themselves into wealth. Similarly, ashuge segments of the population have long suspected, a higher taxburden doesn't lead to prosperity at the state level. Seems simpleenough to many, but this little piece of wisdom has been thesubject of loud debate. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes ofthe Wealth of States is putting that debate to rest with acogently presented, meticulous analysis of the facts.
By looking at quantitative data from all 50 U.S. states, theauthors have put together a solid case for lower state income taxesand decreased tax burdens. Wealth doesn't stay put. Businesses andindividuals in upper economic strata go where their interests areprotected. The result? As this book demonstrates, almost everymeasure of economic prosperity at the state levelpopulation,employment, and beyondis linked to taxation. Low-tax statesin every region of the country are outperforming theirneighbors.
In all kinds of economic weather, states need to becomecompetitive or risk urban dilapidation, population shrinkage,decreases in quality of living, and worse. In An Inquiry intothe Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States, lucidquantitative analysis supports the argument that wealth-friendlypolicies at state and local levels are the key to maintainingprosperity for everyone. These policies extend far beyond thepersonal income tax rate to include corporate income taxes, estatetaxes, the overall tax burden, right-to-work laws, and much more.Add it all up, and states won't be able to ignore this airtightcase for tax reform.
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The bad news is there's a lot of pages devoted to charts, nearly half the book. Sometimes I thought a broader presentation of the history of the no-income tax vs. highest income tax states would be in order. He did contrast Texas and California but stuck to an analysis of the numbers too much, for example why do people migrate to low tax states? To follow the jobs might be one answer.