2 thoughts on “NYT Article on migration, demographics and the politics of the South

  1. As a “Northern expat” I find this article interesting not only on an academic level but also a personal one. Even if the Southern Red states turn to purple hues, I doubt the Blue states will turn Red. The state map in Red and Blue is less telling (and also less hopeful in my opinion) than the map showing the hues of counties. [http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/1857r5yihj9c7jpg/original.jpg] Nationally and globally we are urbanizing, and the greater our density, the bluer we turn. I wonder about the longevity of the Electoral College and the state laws regarding political redistricting, and am curious to see what the future holds.
    One comment on the article declared that it is unlikely New Yorkers happy with New York politics would be the ones moving to Texas. While I see that as a definite possibility, I personally do not fall into that category. My political blood runs a bright, liberal shade of blue, and not one of my many reasons for moving to Arkansas from a New Jersey suburb of Philadelphia was political. Then again, I did move to the bluest spot in Arkansas…
    Another comment mentioned weather, and while I agree that elderly Northerners moving to Florida are likely seeking some heat, as well as shockingly available painkillers [http://www.npr.org/2011/03/02/134143813/the-oxy-express-floridas-drug-abuse-epidemic], I doubt climate is the primary reason for most migrants headed South. That being said, climate change may play a greater role in migration moving forward. Since businesses are footloose – communities will grow themselves by attracting people not only through business-friendly tax structures, but also through cultural attractions such as walkable downtowns, bike paths, hiking trails, museums, good public schools, centers for visual arts and music, athletic events, and etcetera. Many of those are connected to climate and geography, and many are projects relying at least in part if not entirely on tax dollars for funding. I am sure it is and will continue to be a challenge for communities to balance the two.
    Tangentially I must include how remarkable it is that the Blue (mostly Northern) states vote to redistribute their wealth to the Red (mostly Southern) states, who counter that with votes against the best interests of their states, that is, if you agree with me that providing basic social services is in our collective best interest. [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/26/republican-states-most-dependent-government_n_5035877.html] I wonder if, and if so, when and why, that could change.

  2. I recently was a store manager at RadioShack between 2003 and 2011. My three stores that I ran were in Frisco, Texas. It was one of the highest or highest growing suburb of Dallas. I found that with all of the new growth, people needed cables for high definition televisions, outdoor speakers for their pools (I never carried those in stores), and home theaters in a box. Most of my customers were moving from California, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Arkansas to name a few. Why do I remember, because I hired their teenagers as part time help? My point is the growth in Frisco was strange to me, because most people who mover there were people working for specifically T-Mobile and AT&T other than that. They were people moving from Plano, Little Elm, and McKinney which are suburbs from Dallas as well.

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