Thursday, September 22, 2022

"The Great American Exodus"

From where I sit, within a hundred yards of the United Nations, New York is safe and secure. Given that the General Assembly is holding some kind of meeting this week, the streets in my neighborhood are flooded with police officers and the secret service. Blockades are everywhere; checkpoints stop everyone. It’s safe and secure-- it’s the exception that proves the rule.

The rule, in this case, involves the exodus out of New York City. Of course, New York is not alone in this category. Chicago is suffering its own brain drain and California has seen its population hemorrhage. Naturally, the political powers in Illinois are blaming Donald Trump. California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, has declared himself a candidate for president in 2024. He has qualified his declaration that he will only do so if Joe Biden does not run. Of course, no sentient individual believes that Biden, who does not know where he is or what he is doing, will run again.

What is going on right now is an exodus. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis-- the man most likely to be your next president-- explained it in a recent speech.

Dan Henninger has the story for the Wall Street Journal:

One DeSantis idea, though, should have caught the eye of anyone focused on the flow of U.S. history.

The governor described something he called a “Great American Exodus.” In short, he means the recent movement of U.S. population out of California and the North—primarily New York, New Jersey and Illinois—into states in the South and West. He says this shift has a “political character,” which he was happy to describe. Since the pandemic began, he said, “more adjusted gross income [moved] into the state of Florida than has ever moved into any one state over a similar time period in American history.”

For years, demographers have studied this population migration from North to South, a shift with significant implications for the economic health and political power of both regions.

Some imagined that the exodus from New York City would abate once the pandemic restrictions were lifted. Apparently, it is not happening. Many of us were heartened by the election of Mayor Eric Adams, but aside from his lust for partying, the new mayor has largely failed to bring law and order back to the cities. And, lest we forget, the school system in New York City, even the private schools, is now indoctrinating children in wokeness. The result, private schools in Palm Beach are flooded with too many applicants. 

Of course, a lot depends on who is leaving. A miniscule percentage of the New York population pays most of the taxes here. If wealthy people leave New York, there goes the tax base. Already the city budget deficit is projected to be $10,ooo,000,ooo. Our Nero-like mayor does not seem to get it. He parties on.

The Census Bureau tells the tale of the tape:

In May, the Census Bureau released data noting a large departure from Northern cities between July 2020 and July 2021. The populations of San Francisco fell 6.3%, New York City 3.5%, Boston and Washington both 2.9%. The New York Post reported this week that, according to Florida driver’s-license registrations, 41,885 New Yorkers moved there this year.

More broadly, the Census Bureau reported in 2019 that “Florida had the most domestic inmovers, with 566,476 people moving from another state within the past year.” Meanwhile, “California had the most domestic outmovers, with 661,026 people moving to another state” in the previous year. Some movement has occurred inside state borders, for instance out of New York City to the suburbs or from Los Angeles and San Francisco to inland California counties. The “political character” point is that many cities administered for decades by liberal, and more recently progressive, Democrats are hemorrhaging population.

The note about drivers’ licenses suggests that the exodus is continuing. One does not need to say it again, but the primary problem with certain cities and states is Democratic governance. The level of rank incompetence is sending people packing, to warmer climes and to friendlier states.

And, lest we ignore it, black Americans have also been fleeing the crime-ridden cities:

It’s not just the 1% fleeing high-tax states for lower taxes. Receiving little attention is the fact that black Americans are also moving south, reversing the Great Migration into the North during the 20th century.

Brookings Institution demographer William Frey details this in a September report. Describing what he calls “a virtual evacuation from many northern areas,” Mr. Frey writes the “movement is largely driven by younger, college-educated Black Americans, from both northern and western places of origin. They have contributed to the growth of the ‘New South,’ especially in Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina, as well as metropolitan regions such as Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston.”

The fun part is that Democratic Party leaders in blue states have recently decided that the best way to stop the bleeding is to attack corporations for not doing enough environmentally friendly investing. As Henninger notes, this is beyond stupid. If you want to attack what remains of your tax base, this is the way to go:

Last week, 13 treasurers from Democratic states including California and Illinois plus New York City’s comptroller issued a letter attacking West Virginia, Idaho, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida for resisting public-pension investments tied to environmental, social and governance sustainability goals. The letter accuses these states of acting on behalf of “corporate interests.” What a spectacle—Democratic state treasurers denouncing corporations that are the bedrock of their tax base. Or were.

Their cities and states awash in crime, these dunces are trying to force corporations to declare war against the weather. 

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