Article: Congressional seats expected to shift south
Winners Texas: Up four seats to 36 total. Florida: Up two seats to 27 total. Arizona: Up two seats to 10 total. N.C.: Up one seat to 14. S.C.: Up one seat to seven. Georgia: Up one seat to 14. Utah: Up one seat to four. Nevada: Up one seat to four. Oregon: Up one seat to six.
Losers New York: Down two seats to 27 Ohio: Down two seats to 16. Mass.: Down one seat to nine. N.J.: Down one seat to 12. Pa.: Down one seat to 18. Michigan: Down one seat to 14. Illinois: Down one seat to 18. Minn.: Down one seat to seven. Iowa: Down one seat to four. Missouri: Down one seat to eight. Louisiana: Down one seat to six. California: Down one seat to 52.
There are many narratives that are attempted to be applied to the shifting fortunes between regions in the United States. Among Black people the "Southern Strategy" enjoys popular mention. The prediction was that because of the Northern Democratic support for the Civil Rights Movement - the Democratic Party would permanently lose the White male vote and the South as a region. The facts don't bear out this cut and dry shift, however. Georgia, for example is now operating on the 2nd term of its first Republican governor since Reconstruction. The state legislature is about to enter its 3 annual session under Republican control. If this prediction made in the last 1960's and through the antics of Nixon - why are they only now bearing fruit today? Still other Southern states enjoy competitive gubernatorial races where South Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas have flip the party membership of their governors over time.
What people LIKE TO reduce to "race, racism and intolerance" should be viewed in terms of economics and the prevailing ideological assumptions that undergird much of what we see expressed politically. The fact of the matter is that the South lost a large segment of its Black population during the Great Migration that happened in post WWII America. There were plentiful manufacturing jobs in the North. They offered an escape from the caste system in the South where a young Black person had the option of a farm related job or work within someone's home as a domestic. All the while suffering from the racial indignities. On the supply side - the introduction of the "cotton PICKING machine" (not the cotton gin - I add this emphasis because I have gotten into countless debates with people who thought I was talking about the gin that was invented several decades earlier during slavery) shifted the balance of labor demand in the agricultural South.
It is clear that the confluence of economics, politics and race are of primary importance between the North /South dynamics in this country.
As the Northern cities grew in their industrial base they were able to construct a solid middle class for families living there. The North was also more accommodating to organized labor and thus collective bargaining enhanced the conditions of those workers who were in receipt of these benefits from union negotiated wage and benefit packets. In the North many of the noteworthy "Post-Civil Rights Movement" civil rights battles took place as well. School integration through school busing, neighborhood integration through reform of lending laws and policies for the real estate industry to follow all were more granular battles as compared to the blunt Southern battles in which police dogs attacking Black folks who dared to integrate public accommodations were fought.
As we entered the modern era it appeared that the North, having adopted "Progressive" policies were enlightened with a sound vision of the future. All the while the South, it seemed, had chosen IGNORANCE and BIGOTRY over enlightenment and thus was doomed to suffer a permanent fate of being undereducated, underemployed, underdeveloped and permanently stratified where the powers that be preferred control to prosperity.
Those who wrote off the South in such a way were very premature in their assessments. The economics of human behavior has proven otherwise. In the battle between competing interests both sides seek to gain maximum advantage for their interests. With the North having effectively stacked the deck against the "consumers of labor", when alternatives came about these "consumers of labor" chose alternative venues to setup their production. To be clear I am NOT saying that the labor movement was out of line and had no value - indeed they advanced the standards for America to a much needed higher minimum. I am saying that in the end they lacked perspective on all of the competitive threats that both THEY and their ADVERSARY sitting across the negotiating table were facing. In fact by not seeing that the corporation's threats were also THEIR threats they continued to push for higher salary and pay packages thus making the North the high cost of production region.
Once the South had moderated many of its outlandish policies that were maintained in the spirit of rebellion - this region was seen as a viable alternative to the highly taxed, high regulated North - all within the same country and thus no tariffs and customs to worry about.
Added to this was the realities of Globalization. Where as tariffs placed upon foreign manufacturers impacted their own economics they saw the benefit to constructing US based manufacturing plants to build products that they had planned to see in the US or North America. Upon seeking logical places to construct these plants - it was an easy choice for them to settle in the "Right To Work States" in the South rather than to go North and battle the entrenched powers that had saw "their kind" (the consumers of labor) as the adversary.
As the North lost its manufacturing base many cities shifted to a "services based economy". Yes there were many white collar jobs that payed well. There were also the "service jobs" that included security guards, fry cooks and janitors that did not. Central to this distinction was the amount of education and preparation required to enter into each respective track. Those individuals who were best positioned for the non-skilled factory jobs that still put them on the pathway to the middle class faced a new set of circumstances in this new economy.
It no surprise to me that there has been a population shift southward. I am one of those Black Americans who reversed the course that my parents took decades ago. I "went home". The South has more areas that are undeveloped. For those who have the proper mind to speculate as they apply their vision of the future this was a great thing. Where as the North had an established frame work that was largely defined during the Industrial Age, the South was an empty canvas that could be modeled to fit the new day.
I only hope that those who migrate from the North to take advantage of the hyper-growth in the South will also be mindful that they migrated from their old stomping grounds in the North for certain specific reasons, obviously some of them were negative reason. It is my supreme hope that they don't attempt to recreate the very environment in the South that they eventually had to move from in the North.