The rise of the South and the decline and fall of the blue state model

Joel Kotkin:
The common media view of the South is as a regressive region, full ofoverweight, prejudiced, exploited and undereducated numbskulls. This meme was perfectly captured in this Bill Maher-commissioned video from Alexandra Pelosi, the New York-based daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Given the level of imbecility, maybe we’d be better off if the former Confederate states exiled themselves into their own redneck empire. Travelwriter Chuck Thompson recently suggested this approach in a new book. Right now, however, Northeners can content themselves with the largely total isolation of Southerners from the corridors of executive power.

Yet even as the old Confederacy’s political banner fades, its long-term economic prospects shine bright. This derives from factors largely outside the control of Washington: demographic trends, economic growth patterns, state business climates, flows of foreign investment and, finally and most surprisingly, a shift of educated workers and immigrants to an archipelago of fast-growing urban centers.

Perhaps the most persuasive evidence is the strong and persistent inflow of Americans to the South. The South still attracts the most domestic migrants of any U.S. region. Last year, it boasted six of the top eight states in terms of net domestic migration — Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia. Texas and Florida alone gained 250,000 net migrants. The top four losers were deep blue New York, Illinois, New Jersey and California.

These trends suggest that the South will expand its dominance as the nation’s most populous region. In the 1950s, the South, the Northeast and the Midwest each had about the same number of people. Today the region is almost as populous as the Northeast and the Midwest combined.

Perhaps more importantly, these states are nurturing families, in contrast to the Great Lakes states, the Northeast and California. Texas, for example, has increased its under 10 population by over 17% over the past decade; all the former confederate states, outside of Katrina-ravaged Mississippi and Louisiana, gained between 5% and 10%. On the flip side, under 10 populations declined in Illinois, Michigan, New York and California. Houston, Austin, Dallas, Charlotte, Atlanta and Raleigh also saw their child populations rise by at least twice the 10% rate of the rest country over the past decade while New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago areas experienced declines.

Why are people moving to what the media tends to see as a backwater? In part, it’s because economic growth in the South has outpaced the rest of the country for a generation and the area now constitutes by far the largest economic region in the country. A recent analysis by Trulia projects the edge will widen in the rest of this decade, sparked by such factors as lower costs and warmer weather.

...
There is much more in this long piece.  What seems clear is that the long term trends favor the South and mega states like Texas.  The so called demographic advantage that Democrats have claimed is misleading. What is worse for Democrats is that states where they dominate are stagnant and in decline and their governing model they are trying to impose in Washington is demonstrably a failure in the laboratories of democracy called states.

We just have to keep doing what is right and resisting the evils of liberalism and the blue state model will continue to implode.

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