Conspiracy Theorist: 2/9

Goodbye, LexisNexis

By Mark Luedtke

I hate to be the bearer of more bad news, but it’s happened again. Contrary to propaganda misrepresenting bubble activity as economic growth, Dayton’s long collapse continues apace with the move of LexisNexis’s technical group to Raleigh, North Carolina.

I can’t help but laugh when propagandists claim Dayton is a technology hub. Most of the region’s tech is funded by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The primary employer in the region, it’s also the major source of tech in the region. In every way, that’s destructive, not productive, tech—Tech development spawned by Wright-Patt is funded by money stolen from taxpayers; therefore it destroys wealth, making us all poorer. Furthermore, Wright-Patt tech literally destroys people, infrastructure, buildings and vehicles, making everybody poorer still. Wright-Patt sucks tremendous resources from productive uses, starving productive tech companies like LexisNexis and previously NCR of resources. Wright-Patt’s tech development makes the world worse. That’s part of the reason LexisNexis moved its tech business—expect the rest of the company to follow—to a productive location like Raleigh.

But that’s not the only reason. Fulfilling its role as propagandist for and protector of coercive government, the Dayton Daily News published an article comparing Raleigh to Dayton designed to mislead people about the real reasons. The article is titled, “Raleigh is growing faster; Dayton’s cost-of-living is lower” even though neither of those things impacted the LexisNexis decision.

The article compares population growth, education levels, universities, median income and poverty levels for the two cities and finds Raleigh superior in every category except cost of living which is a reflection of Dayton’s long-depressed economy highlighted in the other categories.

But the article never mentions the word tax. You can’t tell a meaningful tale of two cities without comparing taxes since taxes directly impact a business’ bottom line. You can guess which city has more burdensome taxes.

North Carolina’s state income tax for businesses is offset by its lower property and state sales tax rates, but Raleigh has zero income tax compared to Dayton’s income tax rate of 2.25 percent. By moving the company from Dayton to Raleigh, LexisNexis gains an immediate reduction in city tax expense. That’s a major incentive to leave. That’s why so many businesses, jobs and workers have fled Dayton.

In addition, because Raleigh has no income tax, it has a significantly higher standard of living, growing population, a higher educated population, more businesses and more universities to support those businesses. Because it has no income tax, more students who graduate college stay in the area than locally.

The benefits of having no income tax don’t stop there. Despite being larger, Sperling’s Best Places reports Raleigh has significantly less violent and property crime. I guarantee it has better roads and schools. They couldn’t be worse. Lower taxes enable a stronger economy, and that produces better services.

Raleigh is everything Dayton wishes to become, and used to be, because it has no income tax. Cities with no income tax draw businesses, capital, entrepreneurs and workers to them. Those with income taxes push them away. If Daytonians want to stop the decline and begin growing like Raleigh, they must abolish the local income tax. The turnaround would begin instantly as investment flooded into the city from the suburbs and all over the state, improving the economy and city services with it. It would spark tax reductions across the region and maybe the state, benefitting everyone.

This hasn’t happened because it would reduce the amount of money politicians could loot from the people. Income taxes create a bargaining chip for looting. Politicians can promise tax incentives to crony business owners in the name of economic development. The cronies get more money, they funnel some of it back to the politicians, and both get richer while everybody else suffers.

If voters abolished the income tax, politicians would lose that corrupt bargaining chip. Every business and worker, not just cronies, would benefit. There would be no political losers to enrich winners and line the pockets of politicians.

The next big crash began last year, and it’s accelerating, like 2007 into 2008, but worse. The best thing people can do to mitigate the damage is reduce or, better yet, abolish politicans’ power to loot to enrich themselves and their cronies. Until that happens, more businesses will flee.

The more power we take back from government, the better our lives will be. The government with no coercive power governs best.

The views and opinions expressed in Conspiracy Theorist are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes.

Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Mark Luedtke
Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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