While the national Obama economy limps along, with blue states logging in higher than average unemployment numbers, there are a few bright spots in the United States. The common thread – the states that are managing to thrive in this dismal economy, they’re all red states that lack progressive politicians.
But political fortunes are notoriously fickle, while economic trends tend to be more enduring.
These trends point to a U.S. economic future dominated by four growth corridors that are generally less dense, more affordable, and markedly more conservative and pro-business: the Great Plains, the Intermountain West, the Third Coast (spanning the Gulf states from Texas to Florida), and the Southeastern industrial belt.
Overall, these corridors account for 45% of the nation’s land mass and 30% of its population. Between 2001 and 2011, job growth in the Great Plains, the Intermountain West and the Third Coast was between 7% and 8%—nearly 10 times the job growth rate for the rest of the country. Only the Southeastern industrial belt tracked close to the national average.
Historically, these regions were little more than resource colonies or low-wage labor sites for richer, more technically advanced areas. By promoting policies that encourage enterprise and spark economic growth, they’re catching up.
Such policies have been pursued not only by Republicans but also by Democrats who don’t share their national party’s notion that business should serve as a cash cow to fund ever more expensive social-welfare, cultural or environmental programs. While California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts and Minnesota have either enacted or pursued higher income taxes, many corridor states have no income taxes or are planning, like Kansas and Louisiana, to lower or even eliminate them. (Read More)
If only I could move out of the utopia known as New York. Instead I’m stuck in this progressive state where the governor continues to put off the one big thing that has the potential to turn the flyover areas of his state into an economic powerhouse. Some day… Then again, with the Democrats controlling so much of the federal government, they’re probably working on ways to quash the economic success of the red states, but timing it in such a way as to not blow the next election.
Sorry, I follow politics a little too closely to avoid being an cynic. Reality bites.
Image via South of Route 5 and 20