Survey Showing New Yorkers Eager to Leave Means Big-Govt. Policies Aren’t Producing Opportunities

A new Gallup Survey showing that more than four in 10 New Yorkers want to move should force policymakers in Albany to rethink what they’re doing.

“New York has a government program for every problem, a regulation for every business, a trial lawyer on every corner and the highest taxes in America,” said NFIB State Director Mike Durant. “The result is that more New Yorkers than Alaskans plan to relocate. Something is wrong with this picture.”

According to the survey, 41 percent of residents would leave New York if they could. A plurality of those would leave for work or business-related reasons, according to Gallup.

“That tells us that the Big Government Model isn’t working,” said Durant. “New York isn’t producing enough opportunities to keep New Yorkers here. We’ve had more out-migration over the last 10 years than any state in America and this survey indicates that the exodus isn’t close to slowing down.”

Durant said that while Governor Cuomo has nudged the state in the right direction with targeted tax breaks for certain businesses, there’s a lot more that needs to be done to keep New Yorkers home.

“The natural gas industry is creating unprecedented prosperity in some states and New York has made a policy decision to let our own resources remain underground,” he said. “New York’s Scaffold Law is a one-of-a-kind racket for trial lawyers that is killing construction and robbing taxpayers, and nobody in Albany has the stomach for reform.”

Durant said that on taxes, New York should stop nibbling around the edges and make it possible for everyone who earns a paycheck to keep more of their money.

“Most small business owners pay income taxes, not corporate taxes and New York has one of the highest income taxes in the country. The best way to make New York more attractive for middle class families and middle class entrepreneurs is to let them keep the money they earn.”

Durant noted that in addition to economic opportunities, people in the Gallup survey listed various other reasons for wanting to relocate, including family, weather, quality of life and change. No one, apparently, is yearning for the cradle-to-grave, Nanny State government that slurps up so much money and prevents economic growth.

“If big government were popular New York would have to build a wall to keep people out,” said Durant. “But the truth is that New Yorkers have a different vision, and they’re leaving to find it somewhere else.”

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About Mike Durant

Mike Durant was named New York State Director of NFIB in May 2011. Prior to joining NFIB as the Assistant State Director in May 2010, Durant began his career in the New York Senate working in the Office of Member Services. From there, he served in a number of positions during former New York Governor George E. Pataki’s administration. As a Research Specialist in the New York State Office of Demographic Policy, Mike was responsible for drafting a redistricting proposal for Governor Pataki. In addition, Mike served as a Research Specialist for the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Associate Commissioner of Human Resource Management with the New York Department of Labor. Durant also spent four years working at the Questar III BOCES as a specialist focusing on the complex formulas that drive aid to school districts across the state while also taking a lead role in the state legislative/budget process as it related to education policy. These past positions have given Mike a deep understanding of the complex political economics of the State of New York. Active in the community, Durant has served on a number of boards in both the village of Ballston Spa and Town of Milton. Durant received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, New York and resides in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.
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