Increasingly the battle between left and right in the United States has become a second War Between the States. Red states claim they are picking up domestic migrants and industries from blue states because the latter are too liberal in their tax, welfare and regulation policies. Blue states argue that the red state economic strategy of stealing industries and workers from blue states is parasitic and unsustainable.
Alas, for the future of America, each side is right about the other. The progressive blue states depend on a demographic Ponzi scheme, while the conservative red states depend on an economic Ponzi scheme. The combination of these two unsustainable Ponzi schemes augurs ill for the future of the U.S.
In the last generation, the trickle of domestic migration from Democratic-leaning blue states like New York and California to Republican-dominated red states, mostly in the South, has swollen into a flood. Between 2000 and 2010, six of the top 10 states receiving migrants from other states were in the South; the other four were in the non-California West. In the South, the only states that lost domestic migrants were Maryland (a Southern state only in heritage), Mississippi and Louisiana, following Hurricane Katrina. During the Dust Bowl, Californians tried to stop “Okies” from moving there. Today Oklahoma is experiencing an influx of former Californians.
One reason that politicians in blue states like New York and California are so enthusiastic about immigration is that they depend on foreign migrants to replace the New Yorkers and Californians who are rushing to the exit doors. But even today’s high levels of mass immigration are not enough to sustain blue-state population growth. Since 1960, New York has lost 7.3 million residents to other states. The 4.8 million immigrants to New York from other countries have not been enough to offset the loss, resulting in a net decline of 2.5 million New Yorkers.
Likewise, the huge influx of mostly poor Latin American immigrants into California has not been enough to maintain California’s relative population growth rate. As a result of the 2010 census, California will gain no new congressional seats, while Texas, as a result of both domestic and foreign migration, will gain four.
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