Thursday, December 22, 2005


While Canada is starting to worry about their rapidly aging population, the liberals in the U.S. have whole other worries. The population is shifting from the northeast (read: ultra liberal) states to the west and south. This has political consequences.
Clark Bensen of Polidata, a Virginia firm that crunches political data, said population shifts over the past 65 years have dramatically changed the regional makeup of Congress.

In 1940, Northeastern and Midwestern states had a total of 251 seats in the House, compared with 184 for states in the South and West. Today, Southern and Western states have the edge, 252-183.

"Basically, it took two generations to have a complete shifting of the power base,' Bensen said.
It's not just the decline of manufacturing in the northeastern states that accounts for the population shift. Those manufacturing firms did not drift south or to the west. Manufacturing shifted overseas for the most part. So why has the population left Rhode Island, New York and Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia leave? Again, it is the political climate that created the conditions.

Americans have always voted with their feet. Most voted with their feet when they emigrated to the United States to begin with. You move for jobs and a stable climate to raise families. Who would want to live in the crime in Washington, DC, a district overseen by liberals for 40 years with non-benign neglect, the predictable result of which is a murder rate that is appalling. Those northeastern jobs simply moved elsewhere. No businesses wanted to relocate or expand in the oppressive environments in the northeastern states, states that had followed the California model of anti-business, environmental-obsession.

The business exodus from California to Texas is a symptomatic of what happens when liberals control government without check. The regulatory agencies in California have increasingly burdened companies to the extent that it is cheaper to buy new property, -- sometimes even knowing you can't sell that unused Calfiornia real estate -- and moving en masse with all the expenditure that entails to other more business-friendly states. My husband has worked for three companies who subsequently moved their facilities to Texas or to Nevada, closing their California plants and offices. The burdensome regulations are not safety-inspired in socialist California: a regulatory agency that fines a company millions of dollars isn't intent on correcting a situation so much as taking advantage of an unvoted-for tax, one that, by the way, you do not have to account for in any state budget. The Air Quality Resources Board in California is such an agency.

In order to meet requirements of EPA standards these non-elected, semi-independent environmental regulation agencies whose authority derives from regulation and NOT law, who are appointed by other government officials, have vast authority and a huge budget. They require companies in Los Angeles, for example, to provide ride sharing information and incentive programs to their employees. What this means to most companies is keeping a full-time person on the payroll who has to dedicate 25% to 50% of their time complying with this program. The employee(s) are paid to harass other employees, maintain bulletin boards, post notices for alerts for the following day if a smog alert is anticipated. The employee(s) who oversee the program are required to attend training and the company has pay for the privilege. The companies are penalized if the Air Quality Agency helicopter flies over and takes pictures of their parking lots to make sure the number of cars is reduced. Then there are huge fines. I am not kidding. It is that onerous. At one time I attended a Air Resources Board training for my company where Air Quality-approved trainer bragged how the Air Quality Agency had the authority to arrest - to arrest - a company executive. For safe air.

What is instructional is that most states, despite having far more businesses, do not have the same onerous and job killing, anti-business attitudes.

What is ironic is that it seems to be the exact same pattern you find in old Europe. High taxes, an intrusive regulatory attitude that is largely designed to be revenue generation, agency power building, and ever enlargening public employment, coupled with a burdensome preoccupation with control. Our ancestors left Europe for similar reasons. Only then it was to escape an onerous church, meddling bureaucrats, heavy-handed governments, and a vast patronage system. Substitute the church of Liberalism with its secularism and not much has changed.

Bensen study. Well worth reading.

No comments: