Liberals Will Invade The South As Big Cities Implode

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 7.12.38 PMIsn’t this happening already? Aren’t New Yorkers and Californians already fleeing their high tax states for the Sunbelt and South? Yes, but it’s about to get a lot worse. It’s true that lots of people are leaving places like California and New York but while this is happening the largest cities in those states are actually growing. A recent op-ed in Bloomberg points out that the conditions are ripe for these cities to have slow or no growth, while the South and Sunbelt continues to explode in size.

Recent home price data shows this might be starting to happen already, from Bloomberg:

The latest Case-Shiller home price report shows that Portland and Seattle have the fastest home price growth in the country, benefiting from Bay Area transplants. Additionally, Sun Belt metros such as Dallas, Tampa and Miami now have faster home price growth than San Francisco or Los Angeles.

People moving to big cities was primarily about job insecurity:

In a way, the large city clustering was more about a poor national job market and risk aversion than anything. Between the decline of manufacturing employment and job outsourcing, stagnant incomes and volatile economic cycles, workers got scared and moved to where the job clusters were, in large global cities. Employers and company executives exploited this. Investors behave in a similar way, selling their speculative stocks in times of trouble and buying defensive ones instead. Now, with workers gaining bargaining power over their employers for the first time in years, the big city exodus can begin.

Jobs are becoming more portable:

The second reason is job mobility. The conventional wisdom that the internet would allow people and jobs to leave primary metro areas for secondary ones has run up against the fact that over the past 20 years the opposite has occurred. There are a few problems with this argument. First, at the height of the last housing boom the impact of the internet on daily lives was still quite small. The only people with smartphones were business users who had BlackBerrys. Cloud technology was still in its infancy. For most people the internet was still a desktop computer and email-based experience. Now, with a labor market approaching full employment and the housing market nearing a normal recovery, it would be fair to evaluate the question of whether people will move. And the evidence suggests they will.

The damage progressives did to the housing markets in places like San Fransisco and San Jose can’t be fixed. Large segments of the population are dependent on rent control and section 8 housing. What’s left of the middle class shelled out their life savings to buy small houses for nearly a million dollars, middle class voters won’t support changes to zoning and environmental law that could make housing cheaper, because that would destroy the value of their biggest investment.

As life in large progressive cities gets more expensive and unbearable; places like Raleigh, N.C. keep getting better. A growing population adds more restaurants and culture but housing prices stay relatively flat due to the conservative embrace of the free market and rational regulations.

The question is when the Sunbelt and South will reach critical mass and transform into progressive enclaves themselves.