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Virginia is not for lovers!

October 15, 2019

Richmond, Virginia was the seat of the Confederate States of America. But, even before 1861, the economy of Virginia and the Southern States was based on the labor of slaves and good money was invested in their purchase.  Slave holders had an economic interest in defending their property!  Virginia had a tradition of strong  government and the Constitution of the Confederate States did not reflect the classical liberalism of Adam Smith and David Ricardo.

Even in mid-19th century Virginia believed in strong government.

For that reason, I am amused by promotion of the Commonwealth of Virginia today with the slogan “Virginia is for Lovers.”

The meaning of that phrase lies only in the imagination of the marketing firm retained to promote Virginia as a place where “lovers” should what?

Copulate?  One activity they cannot do is wager on thoroughbred horses at Colonial Downs.

Thirty years ago when I moved to Virginia, personal income taxes were low, relative to taxes in the District of Columbia.  That was when a tradition of limited government was dominant in the State.

In 2014, Virginia with a population of 8,132,000 million residents had 107,885 public employees. New York with a population of 19,660,000 million residents had 222,965 public employees.  Virginia’s population is 41% less than New York’s but has 82 public employees per 10,000 in population compared to 92 per resident as New York State.

Do the comparisons yourself, based on this list published by the U.S. Census Bureau for 2014 or this  independent analysis.

Public Employees by State:

AL Total 78,120

AK Total 25,068

AZ Total 65,846

AR Total 57,095

CA Total 333,083

CO Total 57,780

CT Total 53,662

DE Total 23,249

FL Total 159,008

GA Total 116,251

HI Total 52,434

ID Total 20,270

IL Total 102,078

IN Total 74,507

IA Total 40,053

KS Total 44,041

KY Total 74,615

LA Total 68,801

ME Total 18,602

MD Total 78,023

MA Total 88,601

MI Total 113,140

MN Total 68,042

MS Total 51,670

MO Total 78,298

MT Total 16,877

NE Total 26,733

NV Total 24,524

NH Total 14,694

NJ Total 130,261

NM Total 41,263

NY Total 222,965

NC Total 126,735

ND Total 15,747

OH Total 109,085

OK Total 88,527

OR Total 57,826

PA Total 140,760

RI Total 17,073

SC Total 70,754

SD Total 12,774

TN Total 70,425

TX Total 278,324

UT Total 46,059

VA Total 107,885

WA Total 99,079

WV Total 36,579

WI Total 58,052

WY Total 12,361

From Harry Byrd (1925) to George Allen (1994), Virginia’s Governors restrained the tendency to grow the administrative state and raise Virginia State taxes. From Jim Gilmore (1998) and forward, however, citizens of Virginia experienced increases in taxes to the degree that it is now clear, Virginia is not for lovers.

Virginia is for Americans who love government.

If you agree, and want to let your neighbors know that taxation in Virginia is becoming as bad as taxes in the big governments in DC and Maryland, then purchase a  bumper sticker from American Academy of Distance Learning by clicking here.  Each purchase conveys a tax deduction of $5.00 each.  Buy ten and claim a $50 tax deduction in 2020.


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