Friday, February 8, 2013

Leaving California

One of the examples of the complete lack of numeracy on the part of the population is the assertion that high-income people will leave California to escape our tax code.  They'll move to Nevada or Texas or Florida.  There's no evidence of this, and quite a lot against it, but people argue this all the time.  And people believe it--because they can't count.  I mean, we're looking at people who have adjusted gross incomes of $1 million or more.  The tax increase passed by voters in November would raise their taxes one percent.

Now let's do the arithmetic.  What is one percent of a million dollars?  Let's do this the easy way.  Ten percent of a million dollars is $100,000, which you get by simply dropping one of the zeroes.  You're getting the idea, right?  One percent of that is (hint: drop off another zero), yup, $10,000.  That's a lot of money if you make the median income here, about $50,000.  In fact, that's twenty percent of your income.  But if you make $1 million, it's chump change.  You certainly aren't going to starve to death.  Or not be able to buy another yacht.

So if you want to move to Nevada or Texas or Florida over $10,000, well, have a good life.

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