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written by Chad Beatty

Are you a happy New Yorker?

I didn’t ask if you like the region in which we live, I asked if you are happy to be a New Yorker? Based on recent census figures, the answer seems clear.

The Empire State continues to lead the country in population loss, losing another 180,000 people last year. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the 12 months ending June 30, 2022, approximately 300,000 more people left New York than moved in. New York was also one of seven states to lose a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives last year due to population loss.

Yet, as residents continue to flee NY in search of a better quality of life, the current administration continues to double down on its edicts, mandates, and taxes.

“For us, Florida became the shiny city on a hill, so we made a tough choice,” said Florida transplant Joe Kakaty. In 2021, the Kakaty family packed their bags, their business, sold their house, and moved to Southwest Florida. “Millions like us are fleeing the great Empire State for lower taxes, for less government, and for more economic freedom,” Kakaty added. “We will visit NY. We miss our friends and family but hope to spend more quality time with them in the freedom of the Sunshine State.”

Kakaty’s frustration with NY government is reflective of the sentiment of many New York families and business owners.

Let’s look at some recent NY decisions stoking this frustration, which will undoubtedly play a role in future migrations:

  • As New Yorkers struggle to pay their bills, heat their homes, and buy groceries, the administration just signed legislation granting state lawmakers a 29% pay raise, making them the highest paid legislators in the nation! They went from $110,000 to $142,000 per year. This vote went strictly down party lines.

  • New York state is among the 5 highest minimum wages in the. country, increasing 35% in the past 5 years (see above grid), which carries a large burden for small employers.

  • In her State of the State address, Gov. Hochul prohibited the use of fossil fuels in smaller buildings by 2025, and by 2028 in larger structures. Under the plan, New York would also ban the sale of any new fossil-fuel heating systems beginning in 2030. To get a better understanding of the absurdity of this plan, check out my July 28, 2022 Editorial in Saratoga TODAY newspaper: Electricity, Fossil Fuels, & The Green New Scam.

  • The administration followed that edict with a proposal of building 800,000 new housing units over a decade. In this proposal, the state would set a mandate, saying “every single locality will have a target for new housing.” Based on the administration’s history, fears of budget overruns and increased costs to taxpayers are increasingly likely.

  • State regulators have been directed to make the necessary changes to require all new passenger cars, pickup trucks and SUVs sold in the state to be zero emissions by 2035. These are costly changes to manufacturers, suppliers, and dealers despite their projected environmental benefits. 

  • And if you’re a business owner, get ready for this—the administration has called on the state Department of Environmental Conservation and NYSERDA to create the framework to require businesses to buy permits for their greenhouse gas emissions.

So, where does this leave us? While I love upstate NY, specifically the Capital and Adirondack region, I can’t help but wonder when the government overreach will stop.

Kudos to the state for attracting big business (I.e. Global Foundries), but the backbone of America is the community of small to medium size businesses. I speak with these business owners daily, and they aren’t looking for government handouts, but they would appreciate a hand-up.

As with Rome, will the great state of NY eventually destroy itself from within?

Not if I have anything to say about it. I write these editorials to express my displeasure, and to hopefully spark thought and discussion which will lead to positive change.

Just remember, elections have consequences!