Tax Foundation's Self-Debunking Map   

A blog about business and economics.
Oct. 9 2013 9:55 AM

Tax Foundation Reveals Scant Link Between Taxes And Prosperity   

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Fred Richard and Prince Albert I of Monaco pose after bagging a bear on a hunt outside Yellowstone National Park in September 1913.

Photo by Jack Richard Photograph Collection/Buffalo Bill Center of the West via Getty Images

Another day, another weird map from a libertarian group that seems designed to debunk libertarianism. Last time it was strange assertions about freedom, today it's the Tax Foundation explaining why there are no successful businesses in California or New York:

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Now it would be a little silly to say that relatively high business tax rates are the cause of California and New York's success as the pillars of America's very successful high-tech, finance, and media industries. But this map seems to provide strong support for the hypothesis that policymakers seeking to create a prosperous local economy shouldn't sweat the business tax rate too much.

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Note that it's not just sunny California or hip New York that end up in the bottom 10 here—low-unemployment, high-wage Minnesota is almost as "bad" as those states. Maryland, New Jersey, and Connecticut are three out of the four states with the highest median household income. The fourth is Alaska, whose "discover tons of oil" economic development strategy is hard to replicate.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.