According to recent census data, Massachusetts is among the states that are hemorrhaging population. Not all population, but the folks who pay the bills are headed for the exits, and fast.

It is misleading to say that the population of Massachusetts is on the decline; however, because for every person who leaves—and there are plenty of them—two more come here from another country. The new arrivals are both legal and illegal, and in many cases earn less than those who leave and often times are the recipients of some sort of government assistance. This does not bode well for the future of the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts has become one of the most ridiculously difficult places to do business. Almost everything, including labor costs and utilities, makes it hard for companies to be profitable. When that happens, they move to less hostile locations.

Not only do our overpaid politicians continue to add to the regulatory burden of businesses, but they drive up the cost of labor which has a greater impact on small business. Strapped local communities add to that burden by constantly raising local property taxes and fees.

As if things are not tough enough, lawmakers are actually considering amending the Massachusetts Constitution to include higher taxes on the very people who invest in business expansion and create the lion's share of the jobs. It is ludicrous.

In addition, the Baker Administration and some in the legislature are proposing new taxes to fight climate change, and Senate President Karen Spilka is proposing new highway tolls, among other things, to generate new revenue.

If that is not enough, our politicians are spending our money to sue the government to protect illegal immigrants who find the Commonwealth's giveaway programs and protective environment to be an attractive lure. A judge, paid with our tax money, was recently indicted for letting a twice-deported illegal who was facing charges of dealing drugs escape through a back door rather than be taken into custody by immigration officials.

My sons, both in their twenties, got tired of the high cost of living and otherwise insane politics in Massachusetts and have moved on in search of greener pastures. As retirement draws near, I can assure you I will not be far behind.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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