Monday, January 12, 2009

Democrat Voters Migrate to Republican Areas For Better Jobs, Safer Neighborhoods, and Better Services, But Then Still Vote For Democrats; Go Figure

A post by economist Mark J. Perry at Carpe Diem yesterday (link) about data which shows that Michigan was again the state with the most outbound migration got me thinking once again about the implications of business climate and employment levels on political parties. Data like this that I have seen in recent years (link) for the most part shows migration of workers away from higher-taxed, more unionized states with poorer business climates. Most workers seem to recognize in at least a part of their brains that non-government jobs come from successful businesses, and that more successful businesses are in some places than in others.

Once relocated in more promising areas, though, many voters counter-intuitively continue to support the failed policies that caused them to migrate in the first place. This past election cycle has shown us that North Carolina, for example, is less “Republican” than it has been due to migrants from northern Democratic states who have moved south in search of better economic conditions. So we have large numbers of people who in their new more-successful states vote in favor of the very kind of people and policies that have ruined the states they were forced to abandon.

This phenomenon happens at the local level as well. For years now there has been a migration out of Democrat-controlled Chicago and Cook County into the surrounding historically-Republican “Collar Counties.” People have been moving for the better (and more plentiful) jobs, the better schools, the better, safer neighborhoods, the better local governments, and the better services. And yet what do many of them do upon arrival? – they vote for Democrats.

Illinois State Senator Kirk Dillard, a Republican from Hinsdale in DuPage County, was quoted thus in the Chicago Suburban Daily Herald a few years back: “I always find it funny that Democrats run out to [Chicago suburban] DuPage County for the quality of life that we have … yet they want to change it and go back to a system that leads to higher crime, greater taxation and inferior schools.”

For years many Republicans assumed that migration from economically- and socially-failing Democrat-controlled cities and states out to relatively well-run Republican ones would cause Democrat migrants to switch parties, but that does not seem to be happening to the degree expected. Clearly party affiliation depends on multiple factors. But it is sad indeed to recognize that demonstrating better results is not enough by itself to compete for votes against the continual siren call of the inevitably spiritually- and politically-debilitating crypto-totalitarian Democrat nanny state. Democrat Party elites may have it at least a bit right in their cynicism about democracy and popular elections – they think most people are sheep, they treat voters like sheep, and they are continually rewarded for it.

Update 1/13/09: From Carpe Diem (link): "The eight states enjoying the greatest net in-migration of people from other states between 2000-2008 all have Right to Work laws. But of the eight states suffering the worst out-migration, only Katrina-hit Louisiana has such a law."

John M Greco

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