I’ve had the same conversation dozens of times.
Whenever a liberal wants to debate economic policy, they always use the same tired numbers comparing major liberal population centers like New York City with conservative exurban areas that are far from any major city. “Why,” they say, “if conservative policies are so much better, is the economy of these cities far superior?” It’s a nonsensical argument, comparing a city of multiple millions to a hamlet of hundreds or maybe thousands. My first response is always to turn the tables and ask them to instead compare our states.
The latest Census data has finally been released, and the answers it holds for the conservative/liberal debate are plentiful… but liberals aren’t going to like it.
“The new Census data on where we live and where we moved to in 2014 shows that the top seven states with the biggest percentage increase in in-migration from other states are in order: North Dakota, Nevada, South Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Arizona, and Texas. All of these states are red, except Colorado, which is purple.
“Meanwhile the leading exodus states of the continental states in percentage terms were: Alaska, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Kansas. All of these states are blue, except Alaska and Kansas…
“Nearly 1,000 people each day on net are leaving blue states and entering red states. This migration is changing the economic center of gravity in America — moving it relentlessly to the South and West.
“Travis Brown, the author of the indispensable book ‘How Money Walks,’ shows that two of the leading factors behind this movement of human capital are 1) whether a state has a right to work law (half of the states do) and 2) how high the top income tax rate is in the state. Nine states have no income tax today and they are creating twice the pace of jobs than are high income tax states…
“The latest Census and IRS data merely confirm what Americans can see every day with their own two eyes. Red states are a magnet. There’s a downside to this for sure. Conservatives have a legitimate gripe that as blue staters come into their prosperous red states, they try to turn them blue. That’s happened in New Hampshire where Massachusetts transplants vote for the left-wing policies they just fled.
“But the underlying trend is unmistakable: Liberal blue states are economic dinosaurs. Will they change their ways before they go the way of Detroit and become extinct?”
The truth is that middle class Americans are fleeing blue states and flocking to red states, and almost all of the reasons are economic. So the next question to ask is this: why are conservative states so much friendlier when it comes to economic policy? The answer is two-fold, and it’s simple. Conservative economic policies work better and offer more rewards for the average, middle class American.