January 13, 2009

The New Rust Belt

I was surprised to read that outmigration in California has now eclipsed inmigration.

The Chicago Boyz blog has some thoughts. The whole, short post is great, but here is a sad, true paragraph:

It seems that in post-New Deal America, economic and civil success sow their own seeds of destruction. When things are going good, socialist experimentation seems harmless. A booming economy can pay for increased government spending and an ever-increasing scope of government power. Eventually, however, socialism strangles the economic engine and destroys civil society.

I linked favorably to Matt Labash's dark view of Detroit and traded some emails with blog friend Everyday Economist (short version, the article is a little over the top, but the "little" got shaved down as the thread progressed). Could California really go the same sad way of the Great-Lakes-Industrial cities? I've suggested that Duluth and Buffalo, for all their charms, have a tough sell to new industries based on their weather. California still has the sun and the pretty vistas. But they still have the same political class that will fund "Soft America" on the remnants of a long-past Golden State "Hard America" until harder reality is forced upon them.

Many escaping jobs will find their way to Texas, Nevada, and Colorado. But when the Rust Belt moved, it was not as easy to offshore. A lot of those will find their way out of the United States -- not out of Comparative Advantage, but to escape bad government.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Politics Posted by John Kranz at January 13, 2009 1:52 PM
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