Iconic New Yorker Billy Joel warned us in the 70s that folks had had enough of paying Uncle Sam, working two jobs to survive, and “saving their pennies for someday.” Well, it seems there’s no longer a “someday” – it’s today. As Joel sang, “if that’s moving up, then I’m moving out.” And many are opting to move out and settle in redder states.
The exodus out of New York represents only a fraction of what several traditionally blue regions are experiencing. An increasing number of residents are leaving and resettling in the less taxed and regulated red states. Texas and Florida are the popular destinations, while Illinois, New York, and California feel a definitive shrinkage of working stiffs and retirees.
In 2020 and 2021, the most significant population increases have been in Republican-run states. Red states are more business- and taxpayer-friendly and have a lower tolerance for crime. Comedian and native Texan Ron White used to joke about his state, saying, “if you kill someone in Texas, we’ll kill you back. It’s our policy.”
Being tough on crime is why Governor Greg Abbott of Texas is being praised for his stand against the federal government on the thorny issue of immigration. “We have to build the border,” Abbott told Fox News. “I’ve been down here talking to the people in the Rio Grande Valley, and the way they are being overrun is reprehensible; it’s disastrous what the Biden administration has done.” An awful lot of Americans prefer local leaders who draw a line in the sand against the tyranny of a heavy-handed, out-of-touch ruler. It’s nearly an innate sense of 1776 still flowing in the veins.
And as Abbott thwarts the Biden administration at every turn, the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, is creating his own following and enticing blue staters to move to the south where blanket COVID restrictions stop at the Florida-Georgia line. A newbie to Florida, from the downtown Chicago area, Paula Miller, told Fox Digital News:
“The taxes I was paying in Cook County … were getting really insane. My property tax went up to $1,000 in one year. And I realized that that trend was going to continue.”
Let’s just say that Ms. Miller wasn’t fleeing the harsh winters of the Windy City: rather, the unrelenting violent crime and taxes. Additional testimony from former New Jersey man, Warren Cohn, who moved to Miami, noted that he did so to “get some tax benefits, and also, it’s a state with various freedoms. I think that the governor has done a good job here allowing people to decide what’s comfortable or not for themselves.”
As New York City, Los Angeles, D.C., and Chicago implement new restrictions on daily living, continue to increase taxes, and fail to deal with rampant crime, red states are actively reaching out to newcomers with offers of greater independence and more self-determination. And it seems that this message is resonating with many as folks pack up the house and leave their old lives in the rear-view mirror. As Billy Joel sang, “Mama Leone left a note on the door,” advising her boy, “Sonny move out to the country.”
It appears an increasing number of Americans are following just that advice.
~ Read more from Sarah Cowgill.