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Voting With Their Wallets

February 13, 2013 by Robert Asahina

We hear a lot about workers “voting with their feet” and relocating for jobs, but what really counts in their decision-making? “Affordability and education come right at the top, then taxes,” David Booth said on Tuesday, in an interview conducted by James K. Glassman at the Bush Institute’s conference in Chicago on “Tax Competition and 4% Growth.” But of course “affordability and taxes are intertwined,” Booth pointed out. The co-chief executive officer and chairman of Dimensional Fund Advisors, for whom the University of Chicago Booth School of Business was named, Booth said that the offices of his firm were originally split between Santa Monica, California, and Austin, Texas. But over time, more than two-thirds of his employees relocated to Austin, almost all of them voluntarily (and many of them native Californians). As he noted, someone making $200,000 a year can cover the annual mortgage payments on a house in Austin with the amount saved in taxes by not living in Santa Monica. If you made $200,000 in Brentwood, an affluent neighborhood of Los Angeles where his daughter went to high school, “you’d be eligible for financial aid,” Booth said.

 

Author

Robert Asahina

Robert Asahina has been a newspaper and magazine editor and writer, a book publishing executive and editor, and a data management consultant. He was editor in chief and deputy publisher of Broadway Books, president and publisher of the adult publishing group of Golden Books, and vice president and senior editor of Simon and Schuster; deputy managing editor of The New York Sun and an editor at The New York Times Book Review, Harper's, George, and The Public Interest; and a consultant at Freddie Mac. He is the author of "Just Americans" and of numerous articles and reviews for The Wall Street Journal, Harper's, The New York Times Book Review, and elsewhere.

 

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