Friday, February 04, 2005

Competing and behaving

Michael New's reporting on Colorado's Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR) is convincing and enlightening. The payoffs to Colorado residents in terms of economic success are already clear.

Two questions emerge: 1) How did Colorado do it? and 2) Why have the other states been so slow to follow suit? According to New, Colorado's success was serendipitous, bottom-up, and underwent a nasty birth. Then Gov. Roy Romer compared the upstarts to Nazis and terrorists. Hysteria is always revealing.

Astute tax reformers in other states now have the advantage of the Colorado example. Blue states are less likely to be early adopters.

Yet, in the new world of political blogging, voter initiatives and activism by fed-up entrepreneurial types, we may be getting nore TABORs in more states. As we do, mometum will develop. There is no escaping the fact that in the modern world of ever more mobile labor and capital, governments have to compete -- and behave.