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« As Democrats Ram Through Socialized Health Care, Obama's Numbers Tank Further. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 721 -- IRS Audits. »

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 720 -- Texas Rising.

Trend Solidifying-

After the devastation of the Civil War, many Southerners promised that the South would rise again. For some, it was a cultural thing. For others, it was economics-- simply rebuilding the burnt out cities. It meant a lot of things to a lot of people, some of the reasons better than others, but these days, it is all about Southern states (and, frankly, Western states with similar policies) attracting more people and jobs, and producing more economic growth and opportunity, than other parts of America that once seemed destined to lead forever.

The South is indeed rising again:


As more people move from those former juggernaut states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, to places like Texas, Georgia, and Florida, let's not forget why this is happening. It's not simply the warmer weather or the barbecue or whatever that is attracting people to these states. It's jobs. It's the lower taxes and government spending. It is the opportunity that comes with fairer, more predictable regulatory climates. It is knowing you can move your family to Texas or one of these other states, risk your capital, and succeed.

That can all change. The South is not predestined to be the growth center of America forever. As these millions of people migrate from one part of the country to another, they must be cognizant that they are fleeing not just the lack of a robust economy but the policies that led to the lack of a robust economy in the first place.

Michael Barone believes Texas is displaying its swagger based on the past decade's migratory patterns:

Immigration into Nevada, Arizona and California continues, though at lower rates than earlier in the decade. Interestingly, several Northeastern states -- New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island -- continue to attract large percentages of immigrants, but even they (except for Massachusetts) suffer from domestic outflow. Public policies -- high taxes and welfare benefits -- may account for these seemingly contradictory trends.


No. 3 in percentage population growth in 2008-09 was giant Texas, the nation's second most populous state. Its population grew by almost half a million and accounted for 18 percent of the nation's total population growth. Texas had above-average immigrant growth, but domestic in-migration was nearly twice as high.

There may be lessons for public policy here. Texas over the decades has had low taxes (and no state income tax), low public spending and regulations that encourage job growth. It didn't have much of a housing bubble or a housing price bust.

Under Govs. George W. Bush and Rick Perry, it has placed tight limits on tort lawsuits, and has seen an influx of both corporate headquarters and medical doctors.

The South is rising, but so are Wyoming, Utah, and other conservative states with policies similar to the South.

The lesson for America is pretty obvious. While Obama is determined to move the entire country closer to California/Michigan, we obviously need to a) get rid of one-size-fits-all policies and let states compete, and/or b) be more like Texas, Georgia, and Utah when and where we can't not have a one-size-fits-all policy for whatever reason.

UPDATE: Under the new electoral map, Bush could have lost Ohio to John Kerry and still won the election:

On the new map, the 2004 election ends with 291 for Bush, 247 for Kerry.

The bottom line: On this new map, if John Kerry had won everything he got in real life, plus Ohio's newly reduced number of electors (18) he still would have lost the election with 265 electoral votes.

People moving means political power-- not merely economic power-- shifts.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Obama's Quickly Failing Administration.

Posted by Will Franklin · 28 December 2009 11:08 AM