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Best Place for Blacks? The 'Racist' South

1200px-Atlanta_Skyline_from_BuckheadConservatism is better for the country than liberalism — an assertion that requires merely observing which policies make people more dependent on government and which approach helps them become more self-reliant.

Joel Kotkin, writing at Real Clear Politics, studied the phenomenon:

We found, for all three major minority groups, that the best places were neither the most liberal in their attitudes nor had the most generous welfare programs. Instead they were located primarily in regions that have experienced broad-based economic growth, have low housing costs, and limited regulation. In other words, no matter how much people like Bill de Blasio talk about the commitment to racial and class justice, the realities on the ground turn out to be quite different than he might imagine.

The best place for blacks is the South, that so-called hotbed of racism. Steady growth and low costs. Blacks are leaving the North and heading to warmer climes for a reduced cost of living and better employment opportunities, ironically fleeing the policies and politicians they voted for.

Yet if many African-Americans can be seen “going home” to their native region, the South is also doing well among ethnic groups that have historically had little attachment to Dixie. For Latinos, now the nation’s largest ethnic minority, seven of the top 13 places are held by cities wholly or partially in the old Confederacy, led by No. 1 Jacksonville, Fla., as well as No. 4 Houston, No. 6 Virginia Beach, No. 7 Dallas-Ft. Worth, No. 9 Austin, No. 12 Tampa and #13 Orlando.The majority of newcomers to the South, notes a recent Pew study, are classic first-wave immigrants: young, 57 percent foreign-born and not well educated — but they see the South as their land of opportunity.

Blue states, bastions of liberal policies, are sending people to red states. But economic conservatism isn’t enough. We need more social conservatism — including promoting marriage and stable families.

Welfare does not lift people out of poverty, and money alone won’t fix the problem.

Photo credit: By Chuck Koehler from Cartersville, GA, USA (Atlanta_Skyline_from_Buckhead) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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