I thought it was getting a mite crowded around here

(Via the Drudge Report)

For those who have been paying attention the past few years, this is interesting but not overly surprising news: people are leaving Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts in droves, while Idaho, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Vermont and several less free western states are picking them up.

Reasons? They’re less expensive to live in, warmer climates, more jobs, and while the Daily Mail article would never note it, in the case of the states I named, more freedom. Idaho is the center of the Western Redoubt popularized by James Wesley, Rawles of SurvivalBlog, Vermont has long been a bastion of individual freedom (and is next door to New Hampshire, home of the Free State Project) and North and South Carolina have both seen major advances in personal freedom and friendlier business climates in recent years. (Howling gored liberals, however, have went up significantly in volume. I view it as a cost of progress.)

I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that the states with large population outflows suffer from Democratic leadership, large and apparently intractable public pension underfunding issues and high personal, property and business taxes. Despite the pretty commercials, these states, with high taxes, old infrastructure and unionized workforces, are simply more difficult to do business in that states with lower taxes, newer or recently upgraded infrastructure, non-unionized workforces and for some, warmer weather.

The downside for states like my home state of North Carolina is that success brings some of the problems suffered by those states. In areas like Charlotte and the Research Triangle Park area, immigrants from these states bring their Democrat voting patterns, love of taxpayer-funded services, and the demands on infrastructure that a growing population makes. I won’t sugar-coat it, I don’t like the demographic shifts that have taken place in my state in the last 35 years. I often feel like a stranger here.

While I live in an area that hasn’t yet suffered too much from the changes, I can see them hovering on the horizon, especially if we maintain a good economy.  While that is something I think is open to question in the short run, in the long run, we will have a good economy, and my AO will change. That is a function of our location. We’re in the wrong place, near too many transportation routes, too many resources, too nice a climate, too many highly educated people (Hollywood lies about the South, you know).

Living in the area that is the historical stomping grounds of Daniel Boone, I seem to somehow have picked up by osmosis that legendary man’s distaste for crowded places, although he and I have differing definitions of  “crowded”. Still I have no interest in living in a suburb of some new metroplex, let alone a new metroplex itself. However, given my situation, I may find myself with few options.

It may not be all bad. There is something to be said for the delights of civilization–more restaurants, more and more varied entertainment, maybe professional baseball. Higher population density oddly enough brings an appreciation of green spaces, so parks, bike paths, hiking trails and so on become more important in people’s minds.

It’s going to be interesting to watch this develop as I as sit here and get older. My kids will play some small part in how this plays out, as will my putative grandchildren. But unlike ol’ Dan’l, I doubt that I’ll be packing up and moving west if the change doesn’t suit me.

1 thought on “I thought it was getting a mite crowded around here

  1. I'm too young to quit and too old to move to a totally new climate….so I'll keep on keeping on in central/southeastern Florida. As far as I can tell, we won't freeze to death any time soon and there's always something you can grow to eat in these parts if you know what you're doing. Most of the crazy yankees with money live farther south, and the welfare hordes are probably too lazy to come inland to find us.

    Right now, I'm pulling in tomatoes and mustard greens in advance of the cold front that's gonna hit tonight. Chickens and goats have lots of fresh coastal hay in their pens and coops to keep them warm. The rest of the garden is covered with shade cloth to help protect it from frost damage.

    Life is good and I am thankful!

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