Saturday, October 01, 2011

The South I Know


I have lived up North. I have lived in California. The residents always looked at me funny when I told them that race relations are better in the old Confederacy.

The economics though, are clear. So is the culture - and our nation is voting with its feet.

Lee Habeeb has a great article well worth your time at NRO.
According to the latest Census figures, and stories in USA Today, the Associated Press, and elsewhere, the South was the fastest growing region in America over the last decade, up 14 percent. “The center of population has moved south in the most extreme way we’ve even seen in history,” Robert Groves, director of the Census Bureau, said a few months ago.
...
Like me, businesses around the world liked what they saw in the South, too. Companies like Boeing, Nissan, BMW, and Toyota could have chosen anywhere in the world to locate their most modern plants, but chose to locate them in the South.
Where there are plants and jobs, people move. And Americans have been moving south from the rust belt and industrial North for decades. In 1960, Detroit had a population of 1,850,000. Today, it has 720,000. Houston is now larger than Detroit, Atlanta is larger than Boston, and Dallas is larger than San Francisco.

Those numbers reflect a shift in political power. Texas picked up four seats in the House of Representatives this past year, while Ohio and New York lost two. Georgia and South Carolina picked up a seat, while New Jersey and Michigan lost one.

What caused this migration of capital — the human, industrial, and political varieties? Ask transplanted business owners and they’ll tell you they like investing in states where union bosses and trial lawyers don’t run the show, and where tax burdens are low. They also want a work force that is affordable and well-trained. And that doesn’t see them as the enemy.

In short, policy matters. So, too, does culture.

It’s quite a story, actually. Americans, black and white alike, are moving in record numbers to a part of the country where taxes are low, unions are irrelevant, and people love their guns and their faith. And yet we have heard hardly a peep about this great migration from our nation’s public intellectuals.

Why? Because their ideological prejudices won’t permit them to admit the obvious. They’d prefer to focus their research on the pre-1970s South because they are more comfortable with — and more invested in — that old narrative, while this new one marches on right under their noses. And their keyboards.

And so it is with a sense of puzzlement that this Jersey boy turned Mississippian watches the decision making of President Obama. Millions of Americans may have voted for him in 2008, but millions have been voting with their feet, and he doesn’t seem the least bit interested in understanding why.
Read it all.

73 comments:

Maogwai Cat said...

Nothing new to me. <span>Born in Berkeley, raised in the East Bay. Live in Jax because I can. By the way, people are meaner in California.</span>

I used to live in Lauderdale, and the people there considered Jacksonville as a dangerous and racist town like you might read about in an old novel. Not so, I told them. But attitudes and sterotypes are tough to change.

RhodeIslander said...

Moved permanently to Florida for almost a year now.   At first my wife and I thought it was just the famous Southern Hospitality, which really DOES exist and makes us so glad we retired out of New England.   My brother and his wife talked us into this move and they live nearby in Flori-Bama.   It is obvious now, that there is far, far less racial tension in Northern Florida compared to Rhode Island and Boston.  A truely refreshing change of life, Bill.

P.S. Also bought a new KIA made in Georgia at a plant about half the size of the state of Rhode Island !

Peterk said...

Born and raised in Tex, living in Va, won't work above the mason-dixon line or in a union-required state. my father moved south in 1945 from NY and never left

AOD said...

Shrimp creole?  Yummy.

AOD said...

Paging our favorite shipbuilder...

UltimaRatioRegis said...

"Millions of Americans may have voted for him in 2008, but millions have been voting with their feet, and he doesn’t seem the least bit interested in understanding why."

Great article, but the author swings and missed bigtime with that comment.  Obama doesn't have to care, if his, and Holder's, assault on the institution of the Electoral College is successful.

Bears close watch.

Byron said...

Hmm..if that was shrimp creole, it'd be all mixed up togther. I think that's shrmp and grits, a South Carolina thing, and most excellent to eat!

Byron said...

YGTBSM...Jax more dangerous than Lauderdale? It's probably because there's more Yankees down there than in say, Conneticut.

Stu said...

Yankees talk funny.

DeltaBravo said...

*brandishing fork as a weapon*  Back off, Byron, this has MY name on it!

Byron said...

Eat funny too...and the reason why I always eat at Cracker Barrel for breakfast is that they ALWAYS have grits on the menu 8-)

Byron said...

Cher, if I made you a bowl of gumbo, you'd never wave a fork at me ever! :*

Anonymous said...

Low property values and cheap labor had nothing to do with it, of course.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Some of us, who live in the wildly inflated Northeast, would call that reasonable property values, labor costs, and a more business-friendly environment. 

Kristen said...

I had my nose pressed against the screen trying to see what that is.  Grits?  Huh.  Looks pretty tasty.

Kristen said...

Can't quite go along with this one.  There are lots of reasons to flee California, but I don't think the people are meaner.  OUt in the 'burbs where I was raised, people are outstandlingly pleasant.  Things are probably different in Bezerkley.

Kristen said...

One of my brothers moved his family to Atlanta five years ago.  They love their neighborhood, they love their parish, and their three children are enrolled in the parish school and getting a great education.  They're trying to get more of us to move out their way, and it's tempting.  On the other hand, they've had lots of weather adventures in that five years.

Byron said...

Grits...ground corn meal, boiled to thick mess, with a bit of salt and a big dab of butter...YUM!

DeltaBravo said...

But chances are Atlanta isn't going to break off and fall into the Pacific Ocean.  There's always that....

James said...

PLEASE dont take this as a insult BUT.

For years now the south has become more and more liberal for every 1 yankee what have you that comes south and assemilates another comes and doesnt. Then they demand the place become like it was up north or where ever. And losts of times its been allowed because ya'll do something that in the south isnt thought of very well by most folks....they sue.

So the south gets ruder and more expensive and more liberal every year.

So when you get here become one of us or well you'll hear these words.

"damn yankee" Yankees are ok damn yankees move in and stay and comence screwing up everything.

James said...

LOL AND makes life exciting. I've known some northerners who moved south they seem to think that the weath is real bad. Trust me Tennessee weather is just weird. Even to us.

Stu said...

Carpetbaggers of sorts.

Byron said...

I was thinking the same thing :)

AOD said...

Southern cooking.......what is lacking in creativity is compensated for in trans fat.  Sorry, personal feeling.  I grew up on Caribbean, Italian, French, Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, Thai, and Japanese.  Just can't do southern cooking or soul food.  Not my bag.

That being said, I LOVE NEW ORLEANS food.  But that isn't really "southern" food, is it?  Creole doesn't count...

UltimaRatioRegis said...

So THAT explains the Southern Poverty Law Center, Jimmy Carter, Morris Dees, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton, Al Gore Sr., Al Gore Jr., John Edwards, Cynthia McKinney, Mary Landrieu, James Carville, Jesse Jackson, Jim Clyburn, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Mark Warner, Harold Ford, Steny Hoyer, Alan Grayson, and Ray Nagin.

Byron said...

Nope. South Louisiana is NOT Southern. I didn't eat grits till I was an adult and never saw them in Nawlins. Basically, if it's cooked with tomato's , it's Creole. But everyone uses rice because in the way back when, rice was grown there, but not potato's. And Cajun food is all the dishes that poor Cajun people cooked from the stuff they couldn't sell to the rich people in New Orleans, like the small oysters, shrimp and crabs you find in gumbo. I remember my mom telling me when I was a kid in New Orleans that she felt sorry I had to eat red beans and rice twice in one week. I just looked at like she grew another head :)

Byron said...

Sorry you feel that way. I've managed to teach my Yankee wife to eat grits, gumbo, collard greens and real Southern fried chicken, not to mention stop using flour to fry fish (you gotta use Dixey Lily corn meal!)

Byron said...

Uh...did you forget George Bush? Or Andrew Jackson? Or George Washington?

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Nope.  I forgot none of them.  Merely pointing out that the South is hardly Pinko-free.  Not only that, but it was Vermont's Calvin Coolidge who refused to sign a bill authorizing Federal dollars to be spent to buy seed for Texas and Oklahoma farmers, because he didn't think it the place of the Federal Government to give one person's money to another.

Wonder what he would have thought of Howard Dean, who thinks that is government's ONLY responsibility....

James said...

No thats the problem there are already enough of the douchebags down here. Bringing more people who will blindly vote for them helps no one.

We hate most of those people you mentioned never heard anyone say they liked carter.

We get flaming liberals and get depressed thinking about it.

Point is i've had to watch as more and more people move down here Demand the same serives they had which got them into the mess and spread the same problems.

Come down here and act normal no problems come down here and expect it to become like the liberal northern cities....please go back.

James said...

Hey it could have been worse........could have compared you to California.

Note to alot of californians: Yes we know alot of you are realy, really great. I have meet so many nice people who have moved here from there.

BUT When ya'll in cali go weird ya'll go WAY weird.

And dear god stop trying to tell me i Must become just like you or im a racist. Calling southerners Racist generally just pisses us off.

James said...

Grits are more of a Carolinas thing.

OMG..................corn bread.....Fried catfish....some butter.....Some sweet tea baked beans....ok now im hungry,

Byron said...

Don't forget the ribs, son :)

Anonymous said...

Call it what you want.  The property values are lower, and the therefore people don't need to be paid as much.  It's a business decision.  It isn't about the food, the culture, or the history, it's about lower costs.  Glad you agree.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Wow.  You really don't understand their love for the South, do you?

Byron said...

Dumbass...you seriously don't understand "COLA"? My little $65,000 two bedroom house would sell for around 150 in Cali...and that's because they have so many damn regulations, fees, tax this and that it isn't funny. I live in God's country, jackass, and I love it. You think I'm an idiot? You look in a mirror lately?

sid said...

I used to live in Lauderdale

heck...you may as well have lived in union New Jersey!

Everything to the southern border of Broward county is simply a souther extension of the Garden State.

sid said...

As one who spent my formative years as generally the darkest person in the room...

I can tell you from experience that New England is the most racist part of the country I ever encountered.

Califronia was second.

Anonymous said...

Wow, distinctive classy remark.  Way to exhbit the culture you love so much.  It's a supply vs demand issue, and I don't appreciate the name calling.  If there wasn't demand, property values would fall.  The south is cheap because of the tumultuous history, but I guess it's best to just ignore that and come up with a story that makes you happy.  Go insult someone else.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sal, your front porch is being too honest with their demeanor.

Byron said...

Guest: Bless your heart. Now that was the true South

pk said...

far western folks consider that as the eastern united states falling into the atlantic ocean.

C

Anonymous said...

That's right, saying "bless your heart" when you mean "d<span>umbass" and "</span><span>jackass."  That's the true south.  Thank you for the real time example, it's most gracious of you to demonstrate what is difficult to articulate.</span>

Byron said...

Guest: "Stupid is as stupid does".

Byron said...

Since you live in Jax, did you see the BUFF do the flyover? :)

MR T's Haircut said...

"Bless his Heart"

MR T's Haircut said...

Where I am from, you have to go North to go South, and South will take you North...

BUT we also have some great Civil War history from my state of Florida...

MR T's Haircut said...

Bless your heart...

MR T's Haircut said...

I just love our castle doctrine.. take that damn yankees!

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Now, now, T.  Unlikely as it may seem. lil' ol' VERMONT has the least restrictive gun laws, and the most permissive "castle doctrine" laws, in the nation. 

I can carry concealed any place except a post office, school, and courthouse, no questions asked.

Kristen said...

Hey, if California breaks off, maybe we can float around for a while like that congressman thinks that Guam does.  I'd point out that said congressman comes from Georgia, except that the sheer tonnage of horrible California politicians really could sink Guam.

James, I'm pretty sure that I'd like the weather better in the South than in, say, Boston.  I start to shiver when the temp dips below 70.  8-)

Skippy-san said...

Well bully for him. Having now lived in a location very similar to that which he describes- I'd say he left more than a few things out about the down sides of living in the deep south. But since it's the NR and not a reputable magazine I'm not surprised. Give me a beer in south side Pittsburgh any day of the week. ( or somewhere out west). Fortunately- he's not the only one capable of voting with his feet.

Kristen said...

Hey Byron, maybe I should look up a recipe and try making some.  Even if I mess it up, my husband is from Michigan, so it's not like he'd know good grits from bad grits.  :)   Are they served as a side dish?

DeltaBravo said...

Oh, g'Lord... it means he's packing heat at Mass.

DeltaBravo said...

And I'm thinking if you look at the headlines, a post office, a school and a courthouse are three places you might NEED a weapon...  just sayin'....

DeltaBravo said...

Kristen, grits can be in casseroles (think of it as the Southern version of polenta without the spices...) unless you serve it alone and salt and pepper it with butter or do the redeye gravy with it... some put cheese in it.  Not me... it's best as a breakfast side dish with bacon, scrambled eggs, biscuits with marmalade and a really thick sliced home grown tomato (with more salt and pepper.)

(Yeah, I'm a brunch person....)

sid said...

<span>Grits are more of a Carolinas thing. </span>
<span></span>
<span>Not at all James...</span>
<span></span>
<span>Standard fare from the east coast to Texas has been my experience.</span>

sid said...

In Mississippi alot of folks eat grits with butter and sugar.

(thats ny favorite way...sometimes even mix in sunny side up eggs...used to make my grandmother want to gag)

Grumpy Old Ham said...

What James said x100.  Move here if you like, but don't try to remake the place into the sh*thole you just left.

Same advice goes to Californians.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

No, but I could if I wanted, without Ted Kennedy or Mary Landrieu telling me I can't because I might break the law when exercising my Constitutional rights.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Wait a minute, GOH.  The place I live is hardly a sh*thole.  The education level is very high, tax levels are only slightly higher than the national average, crime rate is ZERO, people are friendly, and cost of living is reasonable. 

I have lived in the South likely longer than most of you have lived in the North.  There are definite advantages to living there, but it isn't all roses.  And you know it.

steeljawscribe said...

Definitely shrimp & grits, having acquired a taste during 4 years in Charleston at the South's finest Military College :)
w/r, SJS

Kristen said...

DB, remember that Protestant church that got shot up and more people would have been killed if not that one of the parishioners also had a gun?  It was a few years ago.  Maybe packing heat at Mass isn't the worst idea.

Kristen said...

Mmm...brunch.  I love brunch.  And in my opinion, cheese improves everything.  But then, so does butter and sugar.  Thanks for the tips! :)  

Grumpy Old Ham said...

URR,

Sounds like a great place to live, and therefore you would have no reason to want to leave.  My invective is mainly directed at the people (usually statists from the urban NE population centers) who decide to implement the following thought process:

1.  Where I'm living stinks because of [high taxes|high regulations|excessive nanny-statism|etc.]
2.  I hear [community in another area, for the purposes of discussion about this post it's the South] has [lower taxes|less regulation|less intrusive government|etc.] so I decide to move there
3.  Once I arrive, I decide the grass isn't really greener; therefore, instead of moving back to where I came from (and apparently like, despite public utterances to the contrary), I start working to implement the same policies that exist in the place I came from.

As I've heard from time-to-time:   "I-10/75/95 run in both directions; if you don't like it here, feel free to go back the opposite direction".

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Dunno, seems tough to get more statist than Atlanta or Miami.  Or DC.  Or Memphis.  The welfare rolls and social spending in those places dwarfs anything in the northeast. 

I stayed a night in Atlanta at the Omni for a conference about 15 years back, and was greeted by about a dozen gunshots in a drive-by double murder at about 0200 about half a block away.  In Memphis, it was a drug bust shootout while I was dining at a restaurant in one of the better parts of town.   The northeast may have its share of problems and tensions, but with the exception of some places in New York, I know of no neighborhoods in Portland, Boston, Providence, Hartford, or Worcester where, if you have white skin, you don't dare set foot. 

Just sayin'.

BostonMaggie said...

"....carry concealed"????  I guess the next time we go to dinner there will need to be a pat down.  A bheil thu ga mo thuigsinn?   Bi na do bhalach math.  "Assume the position"

spek said...

I have lived all over.  I don't personally enjoy the South, but I hate the heat, so maybe that influences me.  And just because the herd is migrating to the South doesn't mean all that much...Transformers is the highest grossing movie of the year...most of the herd are idiots.

I'm not sold on Cali either - give me the Pacific Northwest.  I'll take Portland.

James said...

.....Did you just call DC the south?.....Thems fightin words.

But yea Atlanta, Miami and some other places might as well be the north. So many moved from up north and such the state went from being a wet texas (used to be ALOT of cattle farming there until all the land got bought up) and became more liberal-for the reasons we have discussed.

As for not setting foot in some neighborhoods....well i cant say what we call Memphis used to be a great place before it got taken over now its gone way downhill.

There are also places in New Orleans that you cant go.

I find it ironic that meanwhile my brother who is half black went up on the Mountain when he was younger selling vacums. Everyone loved him. He and his buddies had food payed for them time and time again......people respect guts. And when you go up there and your not one of them ya got to have em.

James said...

LOL i had forgotten that!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yT48wiRue4

Note where he is from. This is why we make fun of georgians........well that and other stuff going back hundreds of years.

DeltaBravo said...

Way cool!  She speaks Gaelic!

Grumpy Old Ham said...

http://finance.yahoo.com/retirement/article/113611/most-least-taxing-states-bloomberg

...and so it goes...

jhp2 said...

LIved in CA, Boston and Philly and could not agree more about the race issue.