NYT: Salivating at Red States Turning Blue

Writing in the NYT, Will Wilkinson argues that the economic consequences of Trump’s tax law will work towards making Red states Blue (“The Republican Tax Bill Could Turn Texas Blue”).

His basic argument: Re-locators tend to be Millennials, and Millennials tend to be Democrats, hence new, younger workers are moving to booming Red states (which are booming due to their relatively low-taxes, low levels of government spending, and low housing costs) and will, in time, turn those states Blue.

And, one could add, eventually turn those formerly great Red States into the very type of Blue state sh*tholes they escaped from.

The tax act’s ceiling on [state-level mortgage] deductions is likely to make many blue-state metro areas even more expensive — at least in the short run.

With the Republican changes to the tax code, the high-cost dynamic that has effectively redistributed some probable Democratic voters from left-leaning to right-leaning states will be thrown into overdrive.

Furthermore, the lowered corporate tax rate is also more likely to spur capital investment, business expansion and job growth in places that are both economically thriving and comparatively cheap — many of them urban areas in red states — which should bring a relative abundance of attractive new opportunities and cost-conscious job seekers.

Not until way down in the piece does Wilkinson get to the ‘no sh8t Sherlock’ factor that is arguably the primary driver:

Residents in the states with the highest net in-migration rates bear a relatively low tax burden. Economists have only begun to study the effects of tax rates on particular subgroups of movers, but recent results are suggestive. In a 2017 paper published in the American Economic Review, the economists Enrico Moretti of the University of California, Berkeley, and Daniel J. Wilson of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco looked at addresses on patent filings to track the movements of top scientists and found that “state taxes have significant effect on the geographical location of star scientists and possibly other highly skilled workers.”

Oddly, Wilkinson feels compelled to throw in some alarmist ‘white supremacy!’ barbs:

This wouldn’t constitute an urgent problem for Republicans if Mr. Trump’s divisive ethno-nationalist identity politics wasn’t already intensifying nonwhite voters’ disdain for the party. Exit polls in November’s Virginia governor’s race vividly illustrate the party’s perilous electoral position. Ed Gillespie, an establishment Republican, won 57 percent of the white vote with a race-baiting Trumpist campaign, but an abysmal 19 percent of the nonwhite vote.

Texas is already a majority-minority state, and its voting-age population will follow suit next year. Arizona is set to flip to majority-minority status in 2023, and Georgia and Florida are set to follow in 2025 and 2028. A more inclusive Republican Party could hold these states indefinitely, but the Trump party’s pivot to white identity populism has used up its slack.

Yes, those brown voters would certainly be joining the GOP in droves, if whites were simply willing to close their eyes and enjoy it.

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