Right to Work South's 'Economic Prospects Shine Bright'

In a new commentary for Forbes, economic demographer Joel Kotkin elucidates why the states of “the old Confederacy,” which just happen to all be Right to Work states, have “long-term economic prospects” that “shine bright.”  Meanwhile, none of the declining states in the Northeast has a Right to Work law.  Neither does California, which in more and more regards is becoming the New Jersey of the West Coast.  And until just last year, when Indiana and Michigan became the 23rd and 24th Right to Work states, respectively, no Great Lakes state had a Right to Work law, either.  Kotkin explains some of the reasons why Indiana and Michigan decided to follow the example of Southern (and many Great Plains and Rocky Mountain) states, and why other forced-unionism states may do so in the relatively near future:

In the 1950s, the South, the Northeast and the Midwest each had about the same number of people. Today the region is almost as populous as the Northeast and the Midwest combined.

Perhaps more importantly, these states are nurturing families, in contrast to the Great Lakes states, the Northeast and California. Texas, for example, has increased its under 10 population by over 17% over the past decade; all the former confederate states, outside of Katrina-ravaged Mississippi and Louisiana, gained between 5% and 10%. On the flip side, under 10 populations declined in Illinois, Michigan, New York and California. Houston, Austin, Dallas, Charlotte, Atlanta and Raleigh also saw their child populations rise by at least twice the 10% rate of the rest country over the past decade while New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago areas experienced declines.

Why are people moving to what the media tends to see as a backwater? In part, it’s because economic growth in the South has outpaced the rest of the country for a generation and the area now constitutes by far the largest economic region in the country.

How The South Will Rise To Power Again