Most people get it when it comes to taxing and regulating business.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

They understand that profit-driven private enterprises are the engine of our nation’s prosperity, the bedrock of our most fundamental strength: economic power.

You can’t tax businesses blue, and regulate them to a fare-thee-well, without endangering our prosperity and squandering our power.

But if you need a fresh reminder of that fact, check out Victor Davis Hanson’s recent City Journal piece, "The Destiny of Cities."

City Journal is a New York publication, and Hansen focuses much of his attention on the strengths of this greatest ever city and the various threats to its success and its pre-eminence as a financial center -- now that it is no longer “an industrial powerhouse, agricultural center, or nexus for state or federal government.”

Commercial failure, brought on by confiscatory taxes and wealth-redistribution policies, is the biggest threat to the Big Apple, he concludes, especially because it is easier than ever for companies to pull up stakes and move to another state or country.

“There is nothing to prevent Charlotte from taking over New York’s pre-eminent banking role, or Dallas-Forth Worth – America’s fastest-growing urban center – from becoming the nation’s corporate capital,” Hansen writes.

All over the world, cities continue to grow.

The fate of our state and nation is tied to the health and dynamism of our cities. Where would Massachusetts be, for example, if Boston lost its luster, if in ten years’ time, it looked more like Detroit than Montreal?

If John F. Kennedy were alive today, perhaps he’d be challenging the regulators and legislators:

Ask not what our cities can do for you. Ask what you can do for our cities?

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