Kotkin: Economy shifting to U.S. South

Kotkin: Economy shifting to U.S. South

Gone with the wind posterFeb. 1, 2013

By John Seiler

In another incisive article, Joel Kotkin writes how economic power in America is shifting from high-tax, highly unionized states, including California, to the freer, more business-friendly states of the U.S. South:

“The common media view of the South is as a regressive region, full of overweight, 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.”

Nancy Pelosi, of course, comes from California and is the poster-girl for what the late Jeanne Kirkpatrick called “San Francisco Democrats.” By herself, as House Speaker in 2010, Pelosi scared millions of Americans into voting GOP, thus losing the House for Democrats. The causes of the South rising again:

“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.”

At the federal level, Republicans sell out their supporters; hence the massive Jan. 1 tax increase they brokered with President Obama. But at the local and state levels, Republican are appreciably better than Democrats. In California, of course, Republicans are close to being an extinct species, leaving Democrats it total control and out of control.

“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.”

Remember how the Proposition 30 tax increase was sold by Gov. Jerry Brown as being “for the children”? Actually, the population figures show, high taxes are anti-children because they make it difficult for parents even to afford children.

“It is more likely that the culture of the increasingly child-free northern tier and the slow-growth coasts will, to evoke the past, be the ones gone with the wind.”

Gov. Jerry likes to advertise California as a dynamic, future-oriented place. He attacks nay-sayers as “declinists.” But he’s living in his 1970s past. His own policies — massive increases in taxes, spending and regulations — have tied California down.

The future lies in the low-tax, low-regulation South.

Tags assigned to this article:
John SeilerTexasCaliforniaJerry BrownJoel Kotkin

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