Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Truth-O-Meter And Brain Drain

People vote with their tail lights. Nobody is leaving Memphis. Which claim do you think deserves the scrutiny of a hard-hitting journalist? For the latter, city councilman Joe Brown gets a "Pants on Fire". As for the former, budget chairman Jim Strickland would seem to be vindicated:

Brown defends his desire to raise taxes and increase spending in Memphis by saying it's "a myth" that residents are leaving Memphis. But he need only look at the mayor's budget document, which says the city has suffered "years of population decline." And numbers from the Census Bureau show a more detailed story of the steady out-migration. It has been masked by annexations and yearly births outnumbering deaths, but it's a very real trend.

The issue is taxes. The higher they go, the greater the exodus. The folks at The Commercial Appeal get an "Epic Fail" for completely overlooking the controversy.  Of course people are leaving the city. That's the case everywhere. People are also moving into the City of Memphis. I guess they like higher taxes.

From where I sit, Jim Strickland has his Pants on Fire. Net outmigration is not proof that people vote with their tail lights. I don't know what Joe Brown meant by his statement. I recognize Strickland's gambit. Too bad an intrepid newspaper reporter couldn't tease that out.

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