Piece Pegs Politics As Migration Motive, But It's Complicated.

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Reading a recent Yahoo! Finance piece entitled “A new reason to move: politics” by Rick Newman has me not completely disagreeing with him. However, I’ll qualify that the situation’s complicated. Newman attests that migration patterns in the United States are being tied more and more to partisan politics. He insinuates that the blue states will get bluer and the red redder. I happen to disagree with some of what Newman claims. We’re not seeing an influx of people moving to progressive Utopias because they favor abortion rights, the usurpation of the Second Amendment, and the defunding of police. States such as California, New York, and New Jersey are in a near competition on the number of people fleeing the states headed for freer and less expensive areas. New Jersey has half a prayer, in that those leaving New York may stop in New Jersey because too much freedom might be a shock to New Yorker’s systems. Newman does peg what I think is one of the largest motivators: money.


Up till now, the migration from blue states to red states has largely been driven by affordability. Blue states along the coasts typically have higher living costs and taxation levels than, say southern red states such as Texas and Florida. More and more, however, moving patterns reflect overt political choices.

An October Redfin survey of people who recently moved, for instance, found that 40% said they would prefer or insist on living in a place where abortion is fully legal. The portion taking the opposite view—saying they would prefer or refuse to live in an area where abortion is fully legal—was 32%. It’s not unusual for survey respondents to express strong opinions on abortion, but it may be new for people to factor such views into moving decisions. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe and more states ban or severely restrict abortion, it could become a bigger factor in relocation.

What people prefer versus what’s actually happening are two different things. There’s a wave of refugees from overly expensive liberty squishing states to more free areas. We’re not seeing a wave of people that say “you know, I’d love to pay more and get less in the way of my tax money.” That’s just not happening. There are plenty of progressives that move from the cost prohibitive areas to pollute freedom loving states with their politics. As if none of them figure out that their ideologies help make those areas uninhabitable. The only thing some of these left of center states have on their side are the rankings of schools. Take Massachusetts and New Jersey whom allegedly have the two “best” school systems in the nation. That’s debatable given what may or may not be taught in those areas.


Americans consider many factors when deciding where to live, and some of those factors have political overtones. Many parents base home-buying decisions on the quality of schools, which drives up home prices in the best school districts and creates de facto segregation. The white-flight phenomenon has a similar effect, with whites who can afford to leaving urban areas for places where they consider quality of life better.

But those types of location decisions are based more on family-first attitudes than the liberal-conservative divide that’s taking root now.

I’d have to disagree in that “family-first” attitudes are not linked to a more conservative leaning. The family-first thinking is that of American rugged individualism. This individualism it directly linked to the counter-culture we’re starting to see today, that of the populist American being focused on individual liberties. Sure, there does not have to be a party attached to populism, however what polices are such people flocking to? At one point or another, people ask themselves “what’s right for me and mine?” That’s the embrace of individual liberty. The “de facto segregation” being cited comes from where? This proposed “white-flight”? To the best of my knowledge, anyone can move should the achieve the means. Why are we complicating the narrative? And by we, I mean Newman.

Something that really drew my attention though should be obvious. The treatment of gun rights by the author in describing his observations/reading of polls.


Another Supreme Court case, involving gun rights, could make it easier to carry concealed weapons in New York and 7 other states, eroding gun-control efforts propagated largely by Democratic governors and mayors. On the other hand, marijuana is now legal in 19 mostly blue and purple states. Cities such as Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York are experimenting with police reform meant to cut down on lower-level arrests.

It’s that “eroding gun-control efforts” statement that hangs me up the most. Should NYSRPA be successful, which in my opinion they will, it’s just a matter of to what degree so-called gun control laws won’t be eroded. What’ll happen is liberties would be restored. If this were in the late 60’s would Newman refer to laws being passed as “eroding segregation efforts” or those that are righting wrongs? I’m curious. The matter of the Second Amendment is rather cut and dry. It’s just unfortunate the people, whom the right is attributed to, allowed the state to make laws with such egregious provisions in them over the years. You’re not going to sneak one past this goalie. NYSRPA is poised to return that which was taken from us, not undermine the will and whims of control freak progressives.

The great migration may have to do with political identity, but I really am not seeing this as tit for tat. Granted many of us operate in semi-echo chambers, but in my personal experience, the people I know that have moved out of New Jersey or California etc. have cited that they’re tired of paying high taxes in addition to having very few personal liberties. The place I’ve noticed people flocking to the most is Tennessee. Great gun laws. Permitless carry. No state income tax. Florida and North Carolina have been making this list too.


Outside of finance and liberty in general, the number one reason many have cited for making a move that I’ve spoken to would say they favor states with less usurpations on our Second Amendment right. More often than not, being from the People’s Republic of New Jersey, I’ve heard “why don’t you just move?”. That’s a real good and valid question. Had Dick Heller left DC for a more freedom friendly area, we’d never had the Heller decision. Or how about Otis McDonald? He could have left Chicago. And now there’s the current cause de mayhem, NYSRPA. If the plaintiffs just took off for a better area, one that permits were more readily issued or to a state that does not think we need to petition the crown for a reason to carry a gun, we’d not be having this whole conversation about what’s the court gonna do?! Someone has to stay behind to hold the line and make sure these garbage laws not only don’t spread to other states, but that they get reversed in the areas that self-defense and the keeping of arms are conceivably most needed. It’s in these areas that our rights are being further fortified with the Supreme Court stepping in from time time to time to say “enough is enough.”

Michael Schwartz, the Executive Director of San Diego County Gun Owners puts it into perspective.

Gun owners don’t leave because we are Californians and this is where the Second Amendment fight is. We stay and fight because we are Americans.

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