New Jersey now has a population problem. The state’s high taxes, strict gun laws, and likely its push for tough mandatory vaccine laws, are driving citizens out. Everyone from the rich to the middle class is hitting the highways hoping to find improved lives that offer much less government oversight in numerous states.
It is no longer just the retirees escaping winter’s annual wrath, instead, it is everyone who is tired of paying absurd taxes and living under what now feels like a big brother state.
“The out-migration of money from our state is so high,” morning-driveNJ 101.5 host Bill Spadea told listeners last Monday.
Back in 2017, 225,000 New Jersey residents fled the state. Most of them, at least 18,000, headed for Florida’s sunny weather and lack of a state tax. Both North Carolina and South Carolina got a fair share of former Jersey residents, as well. And we can’t rule out a jump over to Pennsylvania where taxes are lower and gun laws are much more relaxed.
The biggest issue, which you can see in the below Census Bureau chart from the same year, is that only 152,000 people moved into New Jersey. That’s an unimpressive 73,000 net loss.
“I ran the piece because people need to feel the rage. It’s real, and it’s justified,” Former resident Matt Rooney said. “New Jersey is still a great place to live. But with the punishing, regressive property taxes, and business taxes, it’s just not a place where people can prosper. It’s not a place that people can afford. There’s a squeeze on those in the middle of the economic ladder.”
Gov. Phil Murphy is a huge blame for the state’s mass exodus, but it is unfair to rule out former Gov. Chris Christie’s contribution to citizen disdain. The state’s leadership has a history of disappointing and overreaching. The thing is, however, it’s swelling to a point that even hardline democrats are uneasy over their politicians.
The gun laws are becoming increasingly more and more strict. Beginning at the start of 2019, NJ gun laws ban magazines of more than 10 rounds. While that might not sound egregious, most gun owners will tell you that modern handguns often have magazines with more capacity innately built in them. And just like clockwork, Murphy is now calling for even more restrictions.
Potential mandatory vaccine laws are also causing many parents to rethink their relationship with New Jersey. New Jersey Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi has long fought the state’s move towards mandatory vaccinations, even citing she’s not an “anti-vaxxer” herself. She’s gone as far as to state that her children are fully vaccinated.
“I tested negative for Hep B. My husband tested negative. Why does my son, who would not engage in any sort of behaviors at that age, why do we need to give him that vaccination now?” she said. “There was no medical reason to give it to him. On that particular one, I felt strongly that of all the vaccinations we give at an early age, that is a no brainer.”
New Jersey even wants to tax tap water. In the Garden state, taxation never truly ends.
If you ask some Garden state supporters, they will tell you that the New Jersey apocalypse is little more than myth and conservative propaganda.
“Special-interest [groups] are taking advantage of New Jersey’s insecurity about being an underdog,” Senior policy analyst Sheila Reynertson said. “There is no crisis among millionaires, and there is no crisis among millennials.”
But it is difficult to sweep a Census Bureau census under the rug. But for New Jersey, that might be the only play in hopes of countering the massive PR fallout that’s beginning to take hold.
The bigger question for states such as Florida are, will these new residents repeat the mistakes of past in their voting behaviors? Only time will tell.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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