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February 15, 2008

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kb

Charlie, I tried first the move to Minneapolis, and it is correct that you want more trucks there because more moves are intra-city. But what's the population difference between St. Cloud and Rapid City? Are you saying people in South Dakota don't move as much intra-city as people in St. Cloud? What's your evidence for that? I did note this in my post, which you conveniently forgot to mention.

Charlie Quimby

King, I did link to your post so readers could see the entire thing. It was convenient to leave out some parts of all these various references, not to deceive, but to keep the whole thing in bounds for less wonky readers.

You did indeed ask some questions of the data and tested them, as I tried to indicate.

However, none of the posts I read deeply questioned the WSJ point that the data indicated taxes were a factor in the move. I tried to confirm how well its evidence supported that conclusion and presented what I found — not what I supposed.

I dug deeper and tried to find evidence beyond the United press release and the U-Haul web site. Unlike the other commentators, instead of jumping to a favored conclusion after testing the U-Haul asymmetric pricing, I took one more step and asked the company for an explanation, and they said, that's where we want the equipment.

Pricing differentials occur even in-state. For example, U-Haul charges $19 more for a St. Cloud to Mpls. truck than for one going the other way.

As for my evidence of in-city moves, look at a map. The St. Cloud metro area has far more desirable places to move within one to two hours. It also has 97,000 jobs according to the BLS [http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_41060.htm], versus 58,000 in Rapid City [http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_39660.htm].
Maybe that's not hard evidence, but it indicates to me a greater likelihood of a mobile population with lots of nearby options.

And as you know, the St. Cloud area has a substantial college population, unlike Rapid City, which does not list economics professors as an occupational category!

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