What’s the Matter with Connecticut?

As Henry Grabar writes today in Slate, Aetna has now joined the parade of big companies leaving Connecticut — an exodus that includes General Electric and UBS.

The culprit: High taxes, right?

Well, not necessarily.

If high taxes were the problem, why did UBS move to Manhattan?

Why did General Electric move to “Taxachusetts”?

And why, Grabar asks, do millionaires “relocate less than everyone else and don’t seem to respond predictably to different tax regimes”?

The bigger problem, Grabar argues, is that Connecticut is neither a tax haven, nor a Sun Belt destination, nor the home of a mega-metropolis.

“Connecticut’s real problem,” he writes, “was that it took a kind of middle road: It doesn’t have the sunny days of Arizona, the regulatory nonchalance of Alabama, or the environmental degradation of Louisiana. But it also doesn’t have a Boston, a Seattle, or a Minneapolis.”

Meanwhile, Hillsborough County, Florida, is one of the top 10 fastest-growing counties in the United States. An average of about 80 people move to Hillsborough County every day.

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