How did the 2022 elections work out for Florida?

Americans generally affirmed the idea that the country will be better with bigger government and higher taxes. Whether this is true or false, Florida’s prosperity primarily depends on the differential between Florida and other states, not the absolute quality of life in Florida. It is a bit like the ancient story of two non-binary campers:

Kendall and Arden are camping when a thin-looking brown bear approaches they/them and them/they, growling.

Kendall starts putting on their running shoes.

Arden says, “What are you doing? We don’t need to bring in Ketanji’s panel of biologists to know that, regardless of your pronouns, you can’t outrun a bear!”

Kendall says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear—I just have to outrun you!”

“The Flight of New York City’s Wealthy Was a Once-in-a-Century Shock” (NYT) did not happen because Florida v2020 and v2021 was better than Florida v2019, but because NYC v2020/2021 was so much worse than NYC v2019.

State governments became vastly more powerful in 2020, e.g., deciding whether residents of a state would be able to leave their homes, send children to school, work for a living, avoid the injection of their children with an experimental medicine designed to help 80-year-olds. An interstate move to switch overlords is therefore much more likely than when the state-to-state difference was a few dollars in tax.

Democrats kept control of New York State. Kathy Hochul would need to order a lockdown or two in order match what Florida Realtor of the Year 2020 Andrew Cuomo achieved, but her victory is an important precondition in keeping people who value liberty pointed south on Interstate 95 to their new homes in the Florida Free State (TM). I also appreciate her teaching young Puerto Ricans that rules established by elites may not apply to elites…

Massachusetts elected a Lockdown Democrat governor and passed a new higher tax rate on those who are rich enough to afford Florida waterfront (see Why did 1 million poor people vote against a higher tax rate for rich people in Massachusetts?). That should be great for residents of Palm Beach County. Even a handful of families moving into $20-100 million houses down here provide a big boost in revenue.

Colorado moved away from its flat tax by limiting deductions for those earning more than $300,000 per year. That’s not a huge nudge toward Florida, but it is a nudge. San Francisco added a tax on condos owned by rich people who leave them vacant for 183 days per year or more (53/47 vote; a mystery that it could have been that close given that hardly any voters own a condo that would be subject to this tax).

The governor’s race in Texas was the biggest disappointment for realtors in Florida. A Beto victory carried with it the prospect of rich Californians choosing Florida rather than Texas as their escape-from-Newsom destination. The silver living is that Greg Abbott’s victory was only 55/44 (compare to 56/42 in 2018 and 59/39 in 2014). Given the propensity of today’s young people to support progressive politics and the overall national trend towards bigger government, it seems likely that Texas will eventually be governed by Democrats, a huge boost to Florida’s chances of capturing fleeing successful Californians. Maybe Texas is safe from California-style government today, but people who go to the effort of moving are also interested in what a state will be like in 10-20 years.

An exchange on Facebook with one of those successful Californias who praised a college that doesn’t discriminate on the basis of skin color:

I wish my own kids were brave, and principled, and original thinking enough to consider applying instead of conforming to conventional wisdom and stupid rankings. I’ll keep trying to teach them.

But your kids have watched you conform. California politicians took away your liberties one by one starting in March 2020 and you simply stayed in California, right? And, in fact, your kids watch you pay taxes to fund all of it.

I have 2 kids I can’t move away from [California family law gave his wife millions of reason to sue him…]. But in 2 years when #2 goes to college I’ll have a lot more altitude to go elsewhere. FL is too far away and TX is too close to purple. UT is the current front runner.

The guy believes that Texas is just a few young voters away from Following the Science into lockdowns, mask orders, vaccine papers checks, etc., and maybe a new personal income tax to pay for it all! (Beto promised to use Science to protect Texans from viral threats. In fairness, so did Abbott, but he interpreted Science’s whispers differently.)

There was great news in Michigan. Lockdown Democrat Gretchen Whitmer was reelected 54/44, a clear indication that nothing is going to change in Michigan. People who don’t love the government there should move away. Wisconsin (a paradise for child support profiteers) similar reelected a Democrat governor. Pennsylvania is a great source of new residents with money for Florida. A Democrat won there by a large margin (56/42). Again, people who don’t want to be ruled by Democrats have only one realistic option: move. And once the decision to move is made, Florida is there and ready with jobs, low taxes, all-year outdoor recreation, etc.

Maine and Kansas also reelected Democrats as governors.

A Democrat victory at the Federal level should drive additional moves to Florida. A person who wants his/her/zir/their state to resist new takeovers of power by Washington, D.C. will find that in Florida, the state in which Joe Biden’s order that travelers wear masks on airplanes was found unconstitutional. A person who wants to maintain his/her/zir/their spending power in the face of Federal income tax rate increases can probably do so by moving from a medium-to-high-tax state to a state with no personal income tax and some reasonable assurance that the electorate won’t amend the constitution to impose one. That’s Florida, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Tennessee? New Hampshire actually does have an income tax (not on wages, but on dividends and interest). Texas is at risk over time of having everything that California has (see above).

What about politics here in Florida? First, the election results were available on the timeline that taxpayers expected:

(Hurricane Nicole arrived on the SE coast roughly 24 hours after the polls closed.)

The stealth scheme to raise pay for the Praetorian Guard (see Florida comes up with a scheme for increasing taxes on private workers via a property tax exemption for government workers) was approved by a majority of voters, but not above the 60 percent threshold necessary to amend the Florida constitution. Voters here in majority-Democrat Palm Beach County approved $200 million in borrowing to fund “workforce housing”. Americans everywhere believe “when the market gives you an answer you don’t like, declare market failure”. There are approximately 1.5 million people in Palm Beach County. How $200 million, the price of a couple of teardown houses in Palm Beach itself, is going to change the affordability of housing for the average person here is unclear. It looks like it will at least make a huge difference for some government cronies. From a “quick summary”:

Some non-profit and government workers will get paid. Some favored developers will get rich off the spread between the market rate for interest and this slush fund.

If the typical unit holds 2 people, that’s 2,200 people who are being housed after 16 years of government and non-profit employees being paid. That’s roughly 0.15% of the people who live in Palm Beach County (1 out of every 700).

Which of the 1 in 700 people in Palm Beach County gets to live a subsidized life?

In other words, anyone whom the non-profit folks think is deserving!

Even in majority-Democrat Palm Beach County, the all-abortion-care-all-the-time Democrat running against the Tyrant of Tallahassee could not prevail. Ron DeSantis won by 51/48 here in the county (compare to 60/40 statewide).

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Is Joe Biden the American Hugo Chavez?

A leader introduces bold Bigger Government policies. The economy deteriorates. Violent crime rates rise. Inflation rages. Even for those with money, there are shortages. Voters express their undiminished love for the leader under whom they’ve become poorer affirmed his leadership at the polls.

Who did this the best? Hugo Chavez! (see Hugo Chavez: Great politician; poor administrator for how the only thing that kept Hugo Chavez from winning more elections was his death from cancer in 2013)

If Hugo Chavez is the master, let’s check in regarding the apprentice. From the NYT:

“the best midterms of any president in 20 years” in what certainly is not the best economic environment or crime rate trend environment of the past 20 years. The article is also interesting because the purportedly neutral journalists characterize Biden’s borrow-and-spend schemes as “accomplishments”:

“I’m not going to change,” he said. While open to cooperation with Republicans, he defiantly said he would block any efforts by the opposition to unravel the accomplishments of his first two years. “I have a pen that can veto,” he said, making a signing motion with his hand.

Not “What he claims as his accomplishments” but verified-by-the-NYT accomplishments.

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Important firsts from election night

There have been plenty of “lesbian” state governors in the past, apparently, but this is the first time a “lesbian woman” has prevailed in a race: (NYT):

From the West Coast (Advocate):

Also from the NYT:

Readers: What else have you found as historic firsts?

In other post-election analysis news:

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Checking our predictions for the Ron DeSantis-Charlie Crist race in Florida

In Democrats love elderly white guys, Florida edition (August 24), I predicted a 56:44 victory for Ron DeSantis in yesterday’s election. Ray, in the comments, predicted a 6 percent margin for DeSantis. How did we do?

The voters, including all of the new ones driven into Florida by Andrew Cuomo and other Lockdown Governors, have spoken. The all-abortion-care-all-the-time campaign of Charlie Crist resonated with only 40 percent of Floridians whose votes were not suppressed. NYT:

Ron DeSantis won by 1.5 million votes, a big improvement over the 50,000-vote margin he had in 2018 over Andrew Gillum.

Charlie Crist gave a “good congratulations to Governor DeSantis on his re-election” (YouTube). Prior to the election, Crist characterized DeSantis as a “fascist” who would “end democracy” in Florida. Is he talking about about the same Ron DeSantis?

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NPR Rallies the Righteous this evening

From an immigrant friend on the East Coast:

I drove to my [athletic] club today and listened to NPR to get my pulse up.

Started counting how many times they said “democracy is on the ballot”, “election deniers”, “threat to democracy” and so on

47 times in 50 minutes

What was the period covered by this study? 5:20-6:10 pm. In other words, there was enough time for the righteous listener to wipe the sweat off his/her/zir/their brow after a demanding day of pretend-to-work-from-home and respond to these threats by driving the working-class-subsidized electric car to the still-open polls.

Sadly, the call was not heeded by the righteous in Florida. The candidate who warned of fascism rising and democracy ending if he were to be defeated actually was defeated, even in counties where the majority of voters are registered in his party.

From The Google:

Charlie Crist lost in traditionally Democrat Miami, abandoned by his Latinx brothers, sisters, and binary-resisters, despite having been endorsed by the Miami Herald. It isn’t surprising that Mr. Crist won in Tallahassee, where everyone works for the government or a government-run university. It would be interesting to try to figure out what made Orlando and Fort Lauderdale outliers. Why don’t they love Ron?

Suppose that you are concerned about the end of democracy here in Florida. The New York Times has us covered.

I do like the Science-based “Take a deep breath and then plunge your face into a bowl or sink filled with ice water for 15 to 30 seconds” idea, but I would prefer “Put your head deep into a toilet and close the lid on your back to feel safe, making sure not to compress your breathing straw.”

How are things going back in our former home state? History was made:

The Human Rights Campaign applauded Healey’s win, saying, “as one of our nation’s first lesbian governors, she will not only be a champion of pro-equality policies, but also a role model for the entire LGBTQ+ community.”

The U.S. also has a chance to see its second openly lesbian governor elected on Tuesday. Tina Kotek, Oregon’s Speaker of the House, is running for governor of her state against Republican Christine Drazan and independent candidate Betsy Johnson. Oregon has had a Democratic governor since 1987.

Maybe this new role model can find some common ground with Ron DeSantis? From Healey’s campaign page on immigration:

Maura has been a leading advocate for immigrant rights. As Governor, she will ensure that all Massachusetts families can thrive.

  • Ensuring that eligible undocumented residents can receive a driver’s license, regardless of immigration status.
  • Ending state and local law enforcement’s involvement in federal immigration matters.
  • Expanding the state’s capacity to meet the language access needs of our communities.
  • At the federal level, providing a meaningful pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

She wants to take care of migrants and the Florida legislature has appropriate funds to help migrants to where go to where they will be welcomed.


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Will Democrats have to move if Republicans win in their states?

Democrats say that Americans will lose their democratic rights and be subjected to “fascism” if any Republicans are elected to positions of power today. Here’s an example from the Tyrant of Tallahassee’s opponent:

By implication, if Ron DeSantis wins Florida will be plunged into fascism and there won’t be any more democracy in Florida (it is almost gone and could be “saved” only via a Democrat victory). Surely Mr. Crist himself wouldn’t wish to stick around and live in a fascist state, right. Just as those who didn’t want to be subjected to school closures, lockdowns, mask orders, vaccination papers checks had to move to Florida in 2020-2021, won’t those in Florida who love Democracy and oppose fascism have to move to a Democrat-run state, e.g., California, New York, or Maskachusetts?

I assume that the same rhetoric is being ladled out by Democrats in other states. Let’s check in with neighboring Georgia:

Suppose that the hated Republican who has made Georgia unsafe is reelected. Georgians will continue to be “afraid to drop their kids off at school, attend a religious service or even go to the grocery store.” Wouldn’t it be logical for Stacey Abrams to move out of Georgia and into a safe state?

If Republicans, supporters of the January 6 insurrection, are as bad as Democrats say, nobody can be safe after this election in any state where Republicans control either the legislature or the governorship. Any Democrat who is physically able to move, therefore, should immediately flock to comfort in a state where there is no possibility of Republican political influence.

Update: In Charlie Crist’s concession speech, he opened with a “good congratulations to Governor DeSantis on his re-election” (YouTube). Instead of describing his plans to move away from fascism, in other words, he actually congratulated the fascist!

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Voting advice from the Norwegians: Women vote for Women

From the Nasjonalmuseet in Oslo:

Kvinder vælg Kvinder. If your Norwegian is a bit rusty, the museum provides an English translation of this 1916 poster:


  • “Women Are So Fired Up to Vote, I’ve Never Seen Anything Like It” (NYT, 9/3): Especially since the ascension of Donald Trump, numerous tragedies and extreme policies have been met with little political consequence: schools targeted by mass murderers, immigrants treated as subhuman and autocratic regimes around the globe affirmed as allies. … In the weeks following the leak of a draft ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which all but guaranteed the end of abortion protections under Roe v. Wade, it initially seemed this pattern would hold. … But once the actual Dobbs decision came down, everything changed. For many Americans, confronting the loss of abortion rights was different from anticipating it. In my 28 years analyzing elections, I’ve never seen anything like what’s happened in the past two months in American politics: Women are registering to vote in numbers I’ve never witnessed. … In the six months before Dobbs, women outnumbered men by a three-point margin among new voter registrations. After Dobbs, that gender gap skyrocketed to 40 points. Women were engaged politically in a way that lacked any known precedent.
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Stock market performance since Joe Biden took office

I wonder if the Democrats are going to lose even some of their elite support in this week’s election (or maybe we should say “last week’s election” because so many people voted early?). Elites own stock and the S&P 500 is down nearly 2% in nominal terms compared to January 20, 2021 (closed at 3,799; compare to 3,771 today). We don’t have official CPI numbers for October yet, but this is down more than 15% if adjusted by official CPI. If we adjust for inflation in the prices of goods and services that elites buy, e.g., houses, cars, travel, etc., the S&P 500 is down 20-25%.

Democrats have been running the White House, the House, and the Senate. Unless they can claim that a reduction in abortion care for pregnant people at reproductive health centers has resulted in the losses suffered by investors, it will be tough to blame those losses on Republicans.

Speaking of early voting, here’s an epic line in Austin, Texas:

The city of Austin and Travis County, which is essentially the same group of people, is overwhelmingly Democrat (72% Biden and 27% Trump in 2020). Every elected official in Travis County seems to be a Democrat (to the point that most run unopposed by any Republican). Democrats say that Republicans are guilty of voter suppression by making it difficult to vote, but how can Republicans be responsible for the long lines and inconvenience in Austin/Travis County?

(This is not to say that Democrats are incompetent everywhere. I early-voted by biking over to the Abacoa “honors” campus of Florida Atlantic University (next to Scripps and Max Planck) and, thanks to the Democrats who run Palm Beach County, was voting within about 2 minutes after parking the bike. Then it was time for a Cuban sandwich at an outdoor table at the nearby cluster of restaurants in our fake downtown (shops, restaurants, bars, mini golf, escape room; no trash, pit bulls, unhoused people, pit bull poop, sidewalk tents, and the rest of the features that make California cities so vibrant and exciting).)

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Would Republicans be better off losing this election?

Late-night political thought… If prices are guaranteed to keep spiraling upward due to everything the government spends being indexed (see Can our government generate its own inflation spiral?), might Republicans be better off losing all of the Senate and House races on Tuesday? Even if the Republicans earned majorities in both sides of Congress, Joe Biden would likely veto any legislation that cut spending or removed inflation indexing from spending. So the Republicans have no realistic chance of reducing inflation, any more than the Inflation Reduction Act. If they’re totally out of government, only the Democrats will be blamed for the next two years of inflation and maybe that would help Republicans win the White House as well as Congress in 2024.

A Nobel laureate who is always right agrees with me: “Republicans Have No Inflation Plan” (Paul Krugman, New York Times, 10/27).

If we ignore the government inflation spiral-from-indexing effect, how much pent-up inflation is there? I remarked on the price increase for frozen peas (Peaflation at Publix). On a more recent trip, the supermarket shelves were entirely bare for all brands of frozen peas. The market-clearing price for peas is obviously higher than even the new high-ish prices. Similarly, canned pumpkin was sold out. Our 42-inch-wide built-in fridge is dying. Is a Sub-Zero a ripoff at $14,000? Actually, it is underpriced and should go up further according to Econ 101 because it will take a year (a year!) for them to build and deliver one. The company is giving away fridges right now for way less than the market-clearing price.

Isn’t there a good chance that Americans will become disenchanted with whoever wins in 2022? And some might remember Republicans’ absurd campaign promises. Here’s a medical doctor promising to “fix” inflation, which is as plausible as a Scientologist being significantly helpful at a car accident scene (Tom Cruise video; go about 1 minute in).

Even if Dr. Oz was in possession of an economic policy that would Whip Inflation Now, Joe Biden would surely veto it. Sprinkling a few Republicans into Congress isn’t going to turn around the policies that got the U.S. into this inflationary mess. Will Republicans truly gain by promising to stop inflation and then not stopping it?

Here are the House Republicans implying that voting for them will somehow stop “the highest inflation in 40 years”:

Here’s a promise from the Republican House leader to “lead the way” on inflation:

On the Senate side, here’s Mitch:

But Congress has never been able to cut spending (which spirals upward with inflation automatically). And the Republicans won’t support tax increases. So the deficit spending will continue even if Mitch McConnell and fellow Republicans can win a majority.

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Abortion Care Art?

Abortion care for pregnant people seems to be the principal topic among Democrats running for office in the upcoming election. Examples:

(Certainly the decision to continue incubating Joe Biden’s granddaughter was the biggest economic decision that Lunden Roberts has made so far ($2.5 million tax-free downpayment plus unspecified monthly revenue); note that an abortion can often be sold at a discount to the net present value of the expected child support cashflow so it isn’t necessary to have a baby to profit economically from a baby.)

I’m not an expert on reproductive health care, of which we are informed that abortion care is the most critical component, but I had a thought while viewing Love and Birth at the Musée D’Orsay (Georges Lacombe, circa 1895):

Where is the abortion-care-themed art for Democrats who own Hunter Bidens and want to demonstrate their passion for this most important aspect of reproductive health care?

Separately, a Hero of Faucism at the jammed art museum fights an aerosol virus with a humble surgical mask…. worn over a beard:

A masked Follower of Science in front of a sculpture titled “Redneck and Alligator” (well, maybe it is actually a crocodile scene set in Africa):

Here’s an overview of the converted train station:

The ceiling of the museum restaurant:

This prompted our almost-9-year-old to say “Hey look, there’s a peacock. Dad, you need to give me a shotgun and then…. problem solved.” (Readers: If you are having problems with ornamental peafowl on your estate, let me know and we’ll send the youth over to deal with the birds directly.)

Speaking of problems, like most of Paris, the museum is afflicted with gender binarism:

On the other hand, they do give a lot of floor and wall space to Kehinde Wiley:

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