Thursday, November 08, 2018

States Turning

There is a downside to economic success.  When your state has a great economic environment, people move there because they can get jobs. Those states usually had more conservative policies, and the newcomers replacing them do not necessarily understand why it is that there are jobs in the new place but not in the old.  Vermont and New Hampshire were very Republican states not long ago, but New York started moving into Vermont beginning in the '60s and Massachusetts started moving into NH in the '70s - in both cases abetted by Connecticut. My family and about half my closest friends are from Massachusetts, so I'm not opposed to all of them by a long shot.  But as a trend, it hasn't worked out entirely well for New Hampshire.

California elected Ronald Reagan governor, remember, and Richard Nixon to Congress.  CA voted for Nixon for president in 1960, '68, and '72; voted for Reagan in 1980 and '84. Since then it has become less business friendly, and people are leaving every year.  They are going to Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and especially Texas, which are all becoming more liberal.

I noted under culture that moving to another place involves a certain cutting oneself off from tradition and thus is more usually undertaken by people less tied to tradition.  Those are tendencies only, mind you.  Yet when people move to a new state, they move to the cities or immediate suburbs, and even in conservative states the cities are blue. Austin, Nashville, Houston, and Atlanta don't seem very southern anymore. Or so I am told.

Keep that in mind when you listen to that brand of libertarian who thinks that open borders will be entirely a boon.  People who move for free-market reasons may not have the faintest clue that they are doing so, and bring their less-free ideas with them.

I will note again that I don't use the word capitalism, preferring the phrase free market. In this era, it is more accurate, as capital is not the sole foundation it once was; while many are defiantly proud of the term, it is a negative to others, and I don't like to alienate them for no reason; thirdly and relatedly, its critics always use capitalist rather than free-marketer, and I refuse to let them dictate the terms.

I find that many puzzling criticisms of capitalism by people who are among its most obvious downstream beneficiaries can often be better understood if one just substitutes the word "adulthood." There.  Fixed it for ya. All clear now.


Texan99 said...

A very sweet-natured friend is troubled by border policy because, as she says, we've failed to solve the problem of all the misery on the other side of the border. As if we could, but a more pertinent issue is that the people crashing the border for primarily economic rather than security issues neither understand nor approve of the economic system they think they're coming to enjoy. So many people think that rich countries got that way not by operating free markets but by unfairly hoarding all the good stuff, so that all that's necessary is to come and take the good stuff away.

Texan99 said...

Pardon me, I know I'm really just repeating what you said.

Unknown said...

I was just last night reading about how all the "neanderthals" who moved to North Dakota to do rough work on the oil platforms have spoiled that state's socially-aware political culture. If I stumble on the link again, I'll share it.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ T99 - I thought you expanded on it.

@ Unknown - for now. As the money comes in, the next batch will still be okay, building houses and schools and restaurants to keep up with the new oil workers. After that ND will start to get the same thing that the other growing states got.

However, it's good to know that this is still down the road a ways.

Sam L. said...

When I was in NoDak, I knew of no socially-aware political culture, but then I was in Minot. Grand Forks was the "big city", so maybe there was some there. Or maybe Bismarck.

I heard there used to be a bumper sticker in Oregon that said, "DON'T CALIFORNICATE OREGON". The Willamette Valley, though, apparently got it good and hard.

DCE said...

I have always thought that anyone moving into a state like New Hampshire or North Dakota or Texas should be required to go through a 6 month 'resident boot camp' in order to help deprogram them and lessen the foolishness they bring with them. They need to learn two things: how things are done, and why. The following story is a good example of why this should be done.

My next door neighbor made the move up from the People's Republic of Massachusetts a couple of years ago. One of the things he lamented upon was the lack of sidewalks and paved bike trails. Mind you, I live in a rural town of maybe 7,000 and the only place there are sidewalks is in our little village district, and those lead to our schools. All of the rest of our roads are rural, thinly settled roads. The only exception to this is in one corner of our town that butts up against one of the state's smaller cities (pop 17,000)and that area has a lot of retail operations (supermarket, Walmart, big box hardware store, and a couple of restaurants).

I did inform him that in order to get his wish the town would need to raise between $6 million and $10 million in order for him to get his wish. Considering the upper cost is about the same as our town's operating budget (we're a summer tourist town, otherwise it's likely our town budget would be a lot smaller) and that there was no way the taxpayers would be willing to foot the bill for something like that. He suggested we go to the state for funding whereupon I faced his delusion straight on by telling him that there are no state funds to cover something like that and to get that damnfoolishness out of his head. I did inform him that one of the reasons that there is no state income or sales tax is because the state isn't willing to fund "nice to haves" just because someone From Away has mistaken if for a "need to have". I also told him that the sidewalks we did have in our village district were mostly paid for through private fundraising. If he wanted to start a privately funded project to put in sidewalks and bike trails, then I was all for it. But to expect "the state" to pay for it was one of the reasons that Massachusetts had come to be known as Taxachusetts, the Pay State and why he wanted to turn this state into the very place he and his missus had fled.

John Galt said...

Not only do they want to turn Texas into Californication they make it so it's harder each year for residents to afford living here. You pay $300K in Ca or NYC you get nothing ! Maybe 700 sq ft ? In most of Texas that gets you 2500 sq ft home and maybe a pool !!! You can/could even buy a home on South Padre Island for $300-$400k. Yeah, on a freaking Tropical Island. Now here come the invaders. They are thrilled to buy big homes and will write a check without even making a counter offer. So....home prices go up. Rent prices go up. Lots. Yes, that means Texas NEEDS more diversity. Needs more sidewalks, more windfarms, less fishing, less hunting, more sushi and Starbucks. More dog parks ( sounds good but who picks up the poop? Who makes certain the dogs entering the dog park have their shots? who is in charge when the dogs fight? Bite each other or someone walking their dogs? Does that happen all the time? No !! Does it happen ?? Of course ! If someone DOES get hurt who has liability ? The city and tax payers of course) Taxes going up

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ DCE - my son moved from NH to Texas (via college in KY) over ten years ago. I am assuming that there would be a way for such folks to apply for an exemption from the course. I immediately narrowed you to one of two towns, BTW. I might have to look up the satellite images of which one has sidewalks in the village center, just because I like solving puzzles. I'm a bit more familiar with the territory just east of you.

Texan99 said...

DCE, you could almost be describing the small town nearest me. It's a shame people think of something nice like sidewalks and don't first think, "Hey, I wonder how I might raise money to install something like that?" Especially in the wake of our hurricane last year, there has been a huge grab for state, federal, and private grant money. That's not too dangerous if it's for straight-up disaster relief, though I'd still prefer the Amish approach ("Thanks, we'll take care of it among ourselves"). But I truly dislike the mindset that anything nice-to-have ought to be supplied this week on someone else's dime. Although I quarreled enough with my county leadership to run for office, on the whole I think they've been extremely prudent financially. They keep an eye on the stuff the county absolutely must finance, like the sheriffs, the jail, the courts, and the roads, and are skeptical of adding anything to the budget that's not either a core function or directly related to supporting the tourist industry and tax base.

So I read a lot on Facebook about how the county doesn't care enough about solving problems like poverty. That makes me tear my hair out. I'm not sure poverty can be "solved," but I'm sure there's practically no useful function of government in that effort. People who want to help the poor pay their bills can dang well get out their checkbooks and start doing it personally. The only dilemmas of the poor that I'm prepared to jump into from a local political standpoint are crazy regulatory burdens that don't take into account what normal people can actually afford. If we just have to impose expensive standards on people, I insist that they relate directly to preventing harm to neighbors, like regulating septic tanks.

My Facebook contacts often bemoan the lack of public facilities to keep the kids entertained. They're living in the freaking country on the coast! It should be a paradise for kids, with or without midnight basketball or rec centers or enrichment castles or whatever people want to have around to park their kids in so they can forget about them.

There are some terrible local stories about families in crisis. Yes, they tend to be poor, but if you talk to the social workers about the saddest kids, the problems they describe are not just that mom can't afford to buy them new shoes. The stories are that mom is never sober and literally does not know how to buy bread and peanut butter and make them sandwiches to take to school for lunch. (Forget about dad.) There are no adults under the roof. Poverty can't explain that, only a diseased culture of responsibility can. The social workers actually intervene by walking "parents" through the basics of picking up around the house and making meals. And they're not unwilling to learn, either. It often strikes them, apparently, as amazing knowledge. Even so, if they won't stay sober, not that much can be done to help. Taxes sure aren't going to pull it off.

Uncle Max said...

Every single major city in Texas is Democrat. The largest , Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio are solid blue. Even Fort Worth, previously nice and red, has gone blue. I predict, the tipping point will be getting pot legalization on the ballot one year soon... that will explode libertarian and Democrat youth vote ( like what happened in Colorado or recently in Michigan ) ... and once blue, it will stay blue for a long time.

Texas was solidly Democrat up until the mid 90's. Most of the GOP in Texas are still Dixiecrats, they just changed their label. The "new" left doesn't mix well with Dixiecrats or GOPe, but the new Democrats that are in Austin and Dallas can't wait to take over. We'll see.

RichardJohnson said...

John Galt
Not only do they want to turn Texas into Californication...Yes, that means Texas NEEDS more diversity. Needs more ....windfarms...

If Texas were to Californicate its wind energy,it would have to tear down most of its wind farms.
Wind power in the United States
Wind energy installed, end of 2017
California 5,609 MW
Texas 22,637 MW

California initially had the lead in wind energy, but by 2005 Texas had more wind energy production than California.

I moved from New England to Texas with some viewpoints that didn't always agree with received opinion in New England. Several years ago, a childhood friend and I were discussing where our classmates had gone. He pointed out that a classmate now living in the mountain states had gone Tea Party. I replied that I had, also. "That's because you live in Texas." "No, much of my opinions I carried with me from New England."

For example, having grown up among a disproportionate number of Iron Curtain refugees, I didn't agree with the anti-anti-Communist received opinion of the day. I had also come to the conclusion that prejudice, or in-groups versus out-groups, was something was found within all of us, while many of my New England peers believed prejudice was outside of us. Prejudice, my enlightened peers believed, was confined to the South,and hardly at to be found at all in New England- certainly not among the self-proclaimed enlightened souls in New England.

Not all migrants from blue states are liberals,or remain liberals.

DCE said...

AVI - I will give you a hint: The sidewalks are only on one side of the road.

Our town will be adding a new sidewalk from the village to one of the senior housing developments, passing by one of our churches and the town library. While the town has kicked in some money for the new sidewalk as well as providing the engineering, most of the money is going to come from private fundraising.

Texan99 - In the years I've lived in my town I have seen the folks from away fit into one of three categories: Normal - they move into town and fit in quite nicely after a small adjustment period. Drawbridgers - they move into town and then want to 'freeze' everything just as it is and working to block changes of any kind, in effect raising the proverbial drawbridge and allowing no one else or any new idea from affecting the town. Not Good Enoughers - they move into town and right from the get go try to change things so they are more like "Back where we come from". My response to folks like this is usually something along the lines of "If things were so great there, then why don't you move back and leave the rest of us alone?" This last batch has been the most destructive as they have damaged a lot of communities here in New Hampshire, particularly in the southern tier of the state. I'm sure AVI has seen the same thing I have. And I have no doubt the same effect has been seen in towns/cities in Texas and a lot of other red states.

Texan99 said...

You got that right. Environmentalism is fertile ground for Drawbridgers. We still have a good bit of wild space here, but if it's not a state or federal park chances are it's only wild because the conditions aren't yet favorable for the owner to develop it. While it sits there undeveloped the neighbors start to think of it as their park. They're horrified when the owner starts to cut trees to make room to build, but they give little thought to the trees that used to stand where their own houses now sit. They could buy the undeveloped land themselves and maintain it as a park, but who wants to spend his own money on something like that?

Armed Texan said...

@DCE - I suspected that town once you described it as a tourist town. Your hint cemented it. We drive through a few times a year on our way to or from summer camps for the kids. I love to take the day and go through scenic routes and visit things like the Wright Museum. The first time through your town I enjoyed the sight of the sidewalks on one side. My own town a wee bit south of you, but still in Live Free or Die, wouldn't know what to do with sidewalks.

As a Texas ex-pat, I would probably find most of your boot camp remedial but still fun. When we moved here, we fit right in quickly even though some people had funny accents and made fun of ours.

Jonathan said...

Florida has been getting more blue as people move here from the statist Northeast, Puerto Rico, Latin America and Europe. Things are OK so far, the business climate remains good, but we just came quite close to electing a leftist governor. If current political trends continue an income tax and increased business regulation are conceivable. Most people seem to have no idea where prosperity comes from.