About Wealth of States - the Book


About Wealth of States

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States: How Taxes, Energy, and Worker Freedom will Change the Balance of Power Among States

In early 2012, The Wall Street Journal published an editorial, “The Heartland Tax Rebellion,” which brought to national attention the movement in many Midwestern states to replace their state income taxes with revenue sources that are less damaging to economic growth. The opinion piece compared the nine states with the highest personal income tax rates to the nine states without earned income taxes. In each category of growth (population, gross state product and employment) no-income tax states come out ahead, while high tax states lag behind.

The debate continued in 2013, when Travis H. Brown’s groundbreaking book How Money Walks proved conclusively for the first time what many folks, including some of the country’s most famed economists, have long suspected: Americans are moving away from high-tax states and into low- and no-income tax states at alarming rates; and pro-growth policy at the state level is creating the winners, while big-government, tax-and-spend policies at the state level are creating the losers.

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States is a detailed and critical look into the tax and regulatory policies across the 50 states and the subsequent economic growth or malaise that follows from these state policy choices.  In short, the authors conclude you can’t tax a state into prosperity, nor can a poor person spend himself into wealth.  Along the same lines, if you tax rich people and give the money to poor people, sooner or later you’ll have lots and lots of poor people and no rich people.

Based on their detailed quantitative analysis with graphical evidence and colorful anecdotes sprinkled throughout, the authors’ detailed exposition evaluates the impact state and local government policies have on a state’s relative performance and lays down a roadmap to sound economic policies that lead to growth and prosperity.

About the Authors

Arthur B. Laffer, Ph.D. is the founder and chairman of Laffer Associates, an economic research and consulting firm.  Dr. Laffer is best known for the Laffer Curve, a diagrammatic representation of the relationship between tax rates and tax revenues.  His work has been credited with triggering a worldwide tax-cutting movement in the 1980s, earning him the distinction in many publications as “The Father of Supply-Side Economics.” One of his earliest successes in shaping public policy was his involvement in Proposition 13, the groundbreaking California initiative that drastically cut property taxes in the state in 1978. A member of President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board for both of Reagan’s terms, Dr. Laffer also served as the first Chief Economist of the OMB under George Shultz and advised Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on fiscal policy in the U.K. during the 1980s. He has been a faculty member at the University of Chicago, University of Southern California and Pepperdine University. Dr. Laffer received a B.A. in economics from Yale University and received an MBA and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.

Stephen Moore is Chief Economist at the Heritage Foundation.  He served as a member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board from 2005 to 2014. Moore was also the founder and president of The Club for Growth and has authored a number of books including Return to Prosperity.  He has also served as a senior economist on the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and as a senior economics fellow at the Cato Institute, where he published dozens of studies on federal and state tax and budget policy. Moore graduated from the University of Illinois and holds a masters degree in economics from George Mason University.

Rex Sinquefield, often referred to as one of the world’s leading financial gurus, now spends most of his time and resources dedicated to philanthropic causes.  Raised in Saint Vincent Orphanage in Saint Louis, Sinquefield earned a business degree from Saint Louis University and an MBA from the University of Chicago, studying under Eugene Fama, the father of efficient markets.  He went on to develop some of the nation’s first index funds, and, along with associate David Booth, formed Dimensional Fund Advisors in 1981, which today oversees more than $350 billion in global assets.  After retiring in 2005, Sinquefield returned to his much loved State of Missouri, where he co-founded and serves as president of the not-for-profit organization the Show-Me Institute, the state’s only free-market think tank. The Sinquefields also have become some of Missouri’s most important philanthropists and founded the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, relocated to Saint Louis the World Chess Hall of Fame, and fund the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

Travis H. Brown is the author of How Money Walks and a regular contributor to Fox and Friends as well as Forbes.com, and has appeared on various radio and television broadcasts such as Bloomberg News, Fox Business Network, CNBC, Newsmax.com, NPR, and CSPAN. Publications including US News and World Report, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and the Dallas Morning News have cited Brown’s work when reporting on taxes and the economy. An issue-advocate who has worked across 35 states throughout the past 20 years, Brown frequently advises governors, state think tanks, and national civic organizations with his data-driven strategies. His company, Pelopidas, LLC, is based in both St. Louis, MO, and Naples, FL. Brown holds undergraduate degrees in both agricultural economics and political science from University of Missouri-Columbia and an MBA from Washington University in Saint Louis. Dedicated to giving back to his community, Brown sits on the board of directors for Wings of Hope and the Saint Louis Science Center.


Contact Us:

11 + 11 =

Kelly Sarka

Phone: 314-686-5362

Kelly New Head ShotAs the Wealth of States author-team facilitator, Kelly Sarka brings senior-level expertise to her multifaceted role. She serves as a nationwide media booker, frequently coordinating appearances on Fox & Friends, Fox Business Network, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Newsmax, and other outlets. Kelly also facilitates earned-media placements in such sources as U.S. News & World Report, National Public Radio affiliates, the Dallas Morning News, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Kelly’s event-planning experience involves supporting trade associations, state & local chambers of commerce, national think tanks, and a variety of major political organizations. Kelly can often be found in a different state each day, coordinating high-level meetings and ensuring that all communications flow seamlessly.

Kelly also specializes in custom-tailoring briefings for governors, state legislators, and national coalitions. Her expertise as an event planner translates to elegant, effective events in venues across the nation; Kelly has orchestrated events ranging from small local meetings to mini-conventions held at resort destinations.

Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Southern Illinois University. When not on the road, Kelly volunteers for a variety of political candidates and philanthropic causes; she sits on the board of The Sharing Fund and is involved with Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

To book any of the Wealth of States authors for an interview or speaking engagement, contact Kelly at 314-686-5362.