AND NOW THE GOOD NEWS – AT 9:54 A.M. ET: Sometimes, when so much seems so gloomy, there's some good news to report. It turns out that there be hope for us, on our side, after all. From The Wall Street Journal:
In the wake of the 2012 presidential election, some political commentators have written political obituaries of the "red" or conservative-leaning states, envisioning a brave new world dominated by fashionably blue bastions in the Northeast or California. 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.
The result is that corridor states took 11 of the top 15 spots in Chief Executive magazine's 2012 review of best state business climates. California, New York, Illinois and Massachusetts were at the bottom.
Raleigh, Austin, Denver and Salt Lake City have all become high-tech hubs. Charlotte is now the country's second-largest financial center. Houston isn't only the world's energy capital but also boasts the world's largest medical center and, along with Dallas, has become a major corporate and global transportation hub.
The corridors' growing success is a testament to the resiliency and adaptability of the American economy. It also challenges the established coastal states and cities to reconsider their current high-tax, high-regulation climates if they would like to join the growth party.
COMMENT: Ah, those are good words. The fact is that America can have a bright, vibrant future, if it pursues policies that are sane and growth-oriented.
The problem, of course, is that the high-growth areas are often out-populated by the "gimme" areas, and they put "gimme" politicians in office, including the White House.
Our side can make our argument powerfully. We did in ultra-liberal New York when we got behind conservative Rudy Giuliani, who was elected mayor and revolutionized the city, leading to an 80% drop in the murder rate.
Don't give up. There are people doing remarkable things in this country. But they need support, and they especially need quality candidates to vote for. That's the job of our side.
The whole Journal article is worth reading.
February 27, 2013