16 votes

The South’s Economy Is Falling Behind: ‘All of a Sudden the Money Stops Flowing’

12 comments

  1. [11]
    dubteedub (edited ) Link
    I thought this was a pretty interesting article on the economic decline in the South. I know Wall Street Journal isn't accessible for most folks, so here are a couple of bits throughout I found...

    I thought this was a pretty interesting article on the economic decline in the South. I know Wall Street Journal isn't accessible for most folks, so here are a couple of bits throughout I found interesting.

    Behind the reversal: The policies that drove the region’s catch-up—relatively low taxes and low wages that attracted factories and blue-collar jobs—have proven inadequate in an expanding economy where the forces of globalization favor cities with concentrations of capital and educated workers.

    Higher taxes and education spending aren’t a cure-all, as many northern states now suffering population loss have found. Nor is the South alone in its economic troubles: Automation and globalization have wiped out millions of good-paying factory jobs around the country, especially in the Rust Belt.

    But these trends have fallen especially hard on the South, which is more rural than the rest of the country and has fewer big cities. In part because of its legacy of racial segregation the region has, relative to others, underinvested in human capital. Thus the South, the only region to have enjoyed such a dramatic rise in the postwar period, is the only one to experience such a retreat in the past decade.

    Today Mr. Russ runs its economic development office, working to attract better paying jobs. It’s an uphill battle. A slim supply of college graduates makes it difficult to attract high-paying employers, which in turn gives the county’s smartest students little reason to stay. “Our brightest and best that go to college and get a good education don’t come back,” said Glenn Green, a prominent local Realtor. He has sold fewer pricier homes in recent years as the engineers, plant managers, and other higher-paid workers who used to staff the big plants have left.

    Many economists say the most effective way for the South to regain its momentum would be to invest more in education, which would over time create a more skilled workforce to attract employers. But Mississippi State University economist Alan Barefield notes that is difficult to reconcile with southern states’ historic desire to keep spending and taxes low.

    One piece of the puzzle that I dont think was well addressed is why the South is seeing the flight of its college educated citizens.

    The author talks about how the South's low tax policies, lack of investment in education, and low number of major cities are all contributing to this decline, but I woukd argue that another factor holding a lot young or educated populations back from residing in the South are the far right social policies being pressed by the GOP.

    The Republican legislatures and Governors pushing barbaric abortion bans, passing laws targeting minorities and immigrants, not to mention their stances on marriage equality, lgbt rights, gun control, drug policy, the environment, and health care.

    Why would any educated population want to be subject to politicians with such extreme views?

    18 votes
    1. NaraVara Link Parent
      So in other words, the South’s development strategy revolves around sucking up the fruits of public investments and social spending in the rest of the country by promising you wouldn’t have to pay...

      So in other words, the South’s development strategy revolves around sucking up the fruits of public investments and social spending in the rest of the country by promising you wouldn’t have to pay for any of it.

      Of course it was going to fall apart. They were functionally overleveraging themselves. If you don’t have someone paying for building the infrastructure and educating the public and maintaining a decent regulatory state then all the foundation stones of a functioning modern economy are missing.

      11 votes
    2. CALICO Link Parent
      It's probably both. If you have a college education, then you're likely to have debt along with dreams of working in your field. Outside of major cities, then broadly speaking you're probably not...

      It's probably both.

      If you have a college education, then you're likely to have debt along with dreams of working in your field. Outside of major cities, then broadly speaking you're probably not going to find what you're looking for. Southern States have much smaller economies on a good day, and you might be lucky to find a relevant position even in your capital. On top of that, cities in the South are much smaller than those in the Northeast or the West Coast. Cities are often more Blue than Red regardless of where you are geographically, but if the GOP controls your state at that level that's surely an amplifying reason to find a city somewhere a little more.. sane.

      7 votes
    3. [8]
      cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      People can actually read the whole thing on MSN: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/the-souths-economy-is-falling-behind-all-of-a-sudden-the-money-stops-flowing/ar-AACCJu6?li=BBnbfcN @Deimos,...

      People can actually read the whole thing on MSN:
      https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/the-souths-economy-is-falling-behind-all-of-a-sudden-the-money-stops-flowing/ar-AACCJu6?li=BBnbfcN

      @Deimos, this is kind of a weird case, but should the link be replaced with the non-paywalled, aggregated one, or is this comment sufficient?

      4 votes
      1. [7]
        Deimos Link Parent
        I'm not really sure what to do about it. It's a little weird that it's mirrored on MSN like that, do they have all WSJ articles, or only specific ones? It also seems to be missing some of the...

        I'm not really sure what to do about it. It's a little weird that it's mirrored on MSN like that, do they have all WSJ articles, or only specific ones? It also seems to be missing some of the diagrams/photos that are in the original, including a nice diagram of income data by state.

        It's also (currently) possible to get past the paywall on any WSJ article by adding ?mod=rsswn on the end of the url.

        9 votes
        1. [4]
          cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
          MSN is pretty weird in general and I am not quite sure how they work. They mirror tons of articles, but I assume they either have permission, or the news orgs themselves submit articles to it....

          MSN is pretty weird in general and I am not quite sure how they work. They mirror tons of articles, but I assume they either have permission, or the news orgs themselves submit articles to it. However, I don't really understand why any news orgs choose to allow/do that, since there is never any links to the actual articles on those sites anywhere (other than link rel="canonical" in the source), just basic links to the site they are from. I often use MSN to keep abreast of world news though, since their curation and breadth of coverage is quite good, and as you can see, they often have full copies of paywalled articles.

          And no, I don't believe they have all WSJ articles available, only select ones. And it's also super weird it's missing the images and diagrams in this case, since they usually include those.

          p.s. Neat trick with the ?mod=rsswn, I will have to remember that. Any idea if automatically adding that to WSJ articles on Tildes would be legal?

          5 votes
          1. [3]
            Keegan Link Parent
            I can't see how it could be illegal, since WSJ provides it themselves.

            Any idea if automatically adding that to WSJ articles on Tildes would be legal?

            I can't see how it could be illegal, since WSJ provides it themselves.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              cfabbro Link Parent
              You might be surprised. Canadian law can be a bit backwards and confusing sometimes when it comes to any potential circumvention of "digital locks" and/or "technical protection measures":...

              You might be surprised. Canadian law can be a bit backwards and confusing sometimes when it comes to any potential circumvention of "digital locks" and/or "technical protection measures":
              https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/nz7w7k/a-canadian-news-site-just-won-11470-because-someone-bypassed-its-paywall

              3 votes
              1. Keegan Link Parent
                I see. It probably isn't worth the potential for trouble. In any case, something like this should be checked with a lawyer, before being implemented in any capacity.

                I see. It probably isn't worth the potential for trouble. In any case, something like this should be checked with a lawyer, before being implemented in any capacity.

                2 votes
        2. NaraVara Link Parent
          I believe WSJ puts some subset of their articles out to other papers if they think it's important to the public discourse. Apple News+ is going to have a similar arrangement. It's definitely worth...

          I believe WSJ puts some subset of their articles out to other papers if they think it's important to the public discourse. Apple News+ is going to have a similar arrangement.

          It's definitely worth it. The WSJ's opinion and editorial slant is garbage, but I'd put them well over the NY Times and Washington Post on the investigative journalism side.

          3 votes
        3. Tau_Zero Link Parent
          Maybe time to think about topic alternative sources and how they best might be implemented (again? I feel like this has come up before).

          Maybe time to think about topic alternative sources and how they best might be implemented (again? I feel like this has come up before).

          1 vote
  2. guywithhair Link
    I'm from a Southern state. I left to get an education, and there's no way in hell I will go back to where I came from. The town I am from is just like the ones they're talking about: a couple of...

    I'm from a Southern state. I left to get an education, and there's no way in hell I will go back to where I came from. The town I am from is just like the ones they're talking about: a couple of manufacturing plants made the town's economy. As those began to move out, things started getting shittier. As a 17 year-old kid, I couldn't find a job to save my life because many workers from the plants in town didn't have anywhere to go. My dad lost his job of nearly 2 decades, and ended up moving to a large city in Texas to found a job that suited him.

    I'm aiming for a career in tech, and the jobs I would want are not in my home state. It's unfortunate because I have so much family there, but I can't have a decent career in my field in that state. I could try getting experience and go back to start my own business, but I fear there isn't enough money being spent to make it a good decision in any sense. I know plenty of others who are doing something similar to me: They have the capability to leave, so they do so. I left and never looked back besides yearly family visits.

    The politics are backward, the people seem nice but are often judgemental, and the economy isn't going to keep up with the rest of the country. The article puts many of my opinons and observances into words. What they say about the New South is exactly true: I'd be willing to move to some cities like Atlanta, Charlotte, Rayleigh, etc., but that isn't the same. I cannot imagine living in a rural area unless I was retired (and even then...). I don't see things getting better for many of those living in rural areas for Southern states for a time.

    9 votes