In The Wall Street Journal, Joel Kotkin expands on his argument of an emerging divide between an economically ascendant but politically declining Red America and a politically ascendant but economically stagnant Blue America:
“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. …
Cheap U.S. natural gas has some envisioning the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge as an “American Ruhr.” Much of this growth, notes Eric Smith, associate director of the Tulane Energy Institute, will be financed by German and other European firms that are reeling from electricity costs now three times higher than in places like Louisiana.
Korean and Japanese firms are already swarming into South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. What the Boston Consulting Group calls a “reallocation of global manufacturing” is shifting production away from expensive East Asia and Europe and toward these lower-cost locales. The arrival of auto, steel and petrochemical plants—and, increasingly, the aerospace industry—reflects a critical shift for the Southeast, which historically depended on lower-wage industries such as textiles and furniture. …”
Note: See also How The South Will Rise Again from January. For a darker take on the future “New South” (should the Union continue to exist), check out ‘New South’ failure & the destruction of Southern cities.
As OD and SNN have argued, the existence of the Union with Blue America – the Northeast, Upper Midwest and West Coast – has never been anything but a racial, cultural, political, and economic albatross for Dixie and the Interior West which would better off in every conceivable way in an independent Confederacy governed from somewhere else than Washington.
Robert Barnwell Rhett once said that the only epitaph that he wanted on his grave was that after twenty years of agitation to save the South from impending doom within this Union that he “did all I could to dissolve her connection with the North, and to establish for her a Southern Confederacy.”
If Rhett were alive today and could witness the spectacle of 2013 Detroit or the unveiling of the latest Rosa Parks memorial in Washington, I am sure he would feel vindicated. Just imagine the kind of country that could have been created from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico to the crest of the Rocky Mountains if his vision of a Southern Confederacy had been realized a 150 years ago.
Would we still be debating issues like gay marriage, the “Sequester,” amnesty for illegal aliens, the confiscation of guns, equality for convicted criminals, or a chief executive who can unilaterally order drone strikes on American citizens?