https://pjmedia.com/culture/marktapscott/2021/12/30/millions-of-americans-are-getting-fresh-starts-in-red-states-n1545459

There is a quiet revolution happening across America and it could mark the beginning of the biggest spiritual, cultural, and political changes this country has seen since the Civil War.

New data made public earlier this week by the U.S. Census Bureau makes clear that millions of Americans are leaving Blue high-tax, high-crime, high-COVID-mandate Democratic states and moving to Red Republican states where taxes are lower, the police aren’t being defunded, and churches still thrive.

Consider the contrast between Texas and Idaho on the one hand and New York and the District of Columbia on the other, as described by the Census Bureau (emphasis added):

  • With a population of 29,527,941 in 2021, Texas had the largest annual and cumulative numeric gain, increasing by 310,288 (1.1%) and 382,436 (1.3%), respectively.
    • While gaining population through net international migration (27,185), the growth in Texas in the last year was primarily due to gains from net domestic migration (170,307) and natural increase (113,845).
  • Idaho had the fastest annual and cumulative population increase, growing by 2.9% (53,151) in the last year, and by 3.4% (61,817) since April 1, 2020.
    • Idaho made modest gains from natural increase (4,398) and net international migration (413); however, the main driver of its fast increase was net domestic migration (48,876).
  • New York had the largest annual and cumulative numeric population decline, decreasing by 319,020 (1.6%) and 365,336 (1.8%), respectively.
    • New York’s declining population in the last year was attributed to negative domestic migration (-352,185).
  • Over the past year, the District of Columbia’s population declined by 2.9%, or 20,043 residents, to a population of 670,050 in 2021. This was the largest annual percent decrease in the nation.
    • The decline in the District of Columbia’s population can be attributed to negative net domestic migration (-23,030), which was large enough to offset gains from natural increase (2,171) and net international migration (1,128).

Texas and Idaho are solidly red, and the incredible incompetence and spitefully abusive exercise of bureaucratic, judicial, and legislative powers by President Joe Biden and the Democratic majorities in Congress are certain to end even the most naive hopes of turning either state in a bluish direction any time soon.

Put another way, the only person in Texas who seriously thinks, for example, that Beto O’Rourke stands a snowball’s chance in Hell of being elected governor is … Beto O’Rourke.

Texas and Idaho are joined at the top of the Census Bureau’s list of states with net domestic migration increases by Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee.

In addition to New York and D.C., the places being left behind include California, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Note that the South is now America’s most populous region, according to the Census Bureau, and:

“Was the only region that had positive net domestic migration of 657,682 (the movement of people from one area to another within the United States) between 2020 and 2021.

The Northeast region, the least populous of the four regions with a population of 57,159,838 in 2021, experienced a population decrease of -365,795 residents due to natural decrease (-31,052) and negative net domestic migration (-389,638).”

Growing populations typically are good news for states, but there are some potential problems, mainly having to do with the question of whether those fleeing dying Blue states will change their voting habits once settled in their new Red-state homes.

That is a legitimate fear, even though you would logically think that being fed up with the way things are trending in one place would be more than enough to persuade movers to vote differently once re-settled.

That’s where the Foundation for Economic Education’s (FEE) Fresh Start program enters the picture. Fresh Start is a pilot program in Atlanta and Nashville that FEE describes thusly:

“In the first phase, we will work to gather data on new residents and contact them with materials introducing them to FEE. These materials will cover basic “how-to’s” for keeping the cost of living, housing, and taxes low in their new home states, as well as information on factors that impact education and crime. From there, we will develop these materials into an online portal and social media content so that this project can be rolled out in cities across the US.”

That, my friends, is a classic illustration of how American freedom encourages the kind of civic engagement that constantly refreshes the body politic and helps grow the electoral barriers to further encroachments against constitutional liberty. Anybody want a new permanent conservative majority in American politics?

I think the idea for Fresh Start originated in the fertile mind of Glenn Reynolds, the founder of Instapundit and a University of Tennessee law professor, who has been talking about this kind of approach since at least 2018.

Given the latest migration data from the Census Bureau, FEE’s timing is perfect for launching Fresh Start because:

“At FEE, we know the principles and the resulting policies that create prosperity for all. But we also know not everyone has had the opportunity to gain an education in these elements. With the Fresh Start States Project, we plan to provide that information to new residents in key areas through educational mailings, an interactive website, and world-class seminars.”

It may seem like a small thing, but I think that is one of the most encouraging developments I’ve heard of in all of 2021. Thank you FEE and Happy New Year to millions of Americans who will have new neighbors in 2022.

Ain’t freedom great!

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