Adam Smith says: “Before You Take that Out-of-State Job….”

Adam smith

Adam Smith (1723 – 1790) was a pioneer of political economy and a Scottish philosopher. He is best known as the author of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), which is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. Smith, who laid the foundations of classical free market economic theory, is cited as the father of modern economics and is still considered among the most influential minds in the field of economics today. In The Wealth of Nations and other works, he expounded upon how rational self-interest and competition can lead to economic prosperity.

A well-designed career strategy can likewise accomplish the same.

Every now and then, one of the online job sites publishes a list entitled something like “The 10 Best Cities for Getting a Job.” The list is then retweeted by countless career coaches, recruiters, résumé writers, and other career professionals because such an enticing title and list draws in everyone looking for a new job, a new career, a fresh start somewhere else. Most people will compare various aspects of the costs of living before making a move to another state because any difference from their current residence will either put more money in the bank for them – or take it out of their pockets. A 25% pay raise for a job in California may disappear immediately when such costs of living are considered.

But there’s another far-reaching factor that slips most people’s awareness when evaluating job opportunities in another state: local and state tax policy.

An Inquiry into Wealth of States_

Titled after Adam Smith’s tome but focused on the tax policies of the 50 states, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States should be required reading for anyone considering packing up the family to move from one state of the Union to another in search of better job or career opportunities. Individual state and local tax policies can either be a boon or bust to a state’s economic growth and wealth creation. The volume of data (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census, IRS, and private enterprise) on the consequences of state and local tax policy is not only immense but speaks louder than any populist rhetoric and political promises we hear from some presidential candidates.

The Wealth of States (short title) compares numerical and statistical data among the 50 states – with special attention to comparisons among the states with the highest taxation and those with the lowest taxation.

Wealth doesn’t stay put. Businesses and individuals in upper economic strata go where their interests are protected. The result? As this book demonstrates, almost every measure of economic prosperity at the state level – population, employment, and beyond – is linked to taxation. Low-tax states in every region of the country are outperforming their neighbors. (from the book jacket)

One thing the data in this book makes crystal clear: Taxing the wealthy to distribute to the poor encourages an exodus of the wealthy (along with their tax dollars and their businesses) across state lines. Regardless of the size of the state, high state and local tax policies can put a lid on individual and corporate prosperity.

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Former Fortune 500 hiring manager Donn LeVie Jr. is the author of the newly released Strategic Career Engagement (September 2015), and the book that reset the rules for successful job and career strategies:  Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev. 2.0 (June 2012, Winner of the 2012 Global eBook Award and Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Jobs/Careers).

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