I collected some data on population growth (or decline) of certain cities and generated some charts. Philadelphia, Detroit and Cleveland are all Liberal cities. Columbus tracks center-right in rough equivalence with the nation. San Antonio is center-right in a Conservative state. Also note Pennsylvania is a “Privilege to Work” state where you have to pay an annual tax just for the “privilege” of having a job there. Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan are all “closed shop” states where you can be forced against your will to join a union just to get a job. Texas is a “Right to Work” state that also does not have income taxes. The below charts tell a very interesting story (one Conservatives already understand).
The first chart is just a decade-by-decade population count of each of the cities and the US.
You will note Cleveland’s 2010 population is barely larger than its 1900 population and Detroit hasn’t had a population that small since the 19-teens. But Columbus and San Antonio continue to grow.
This next chart is a total population chart which shows a rapid growth for all the cities in the first half of the 20th Century, as the nation urbanized and industrialized. After 1950, the three liberal cities began shedding population while the center-right cities continued their growth.
The above chart is the growth rate in percentages from one census to the next. Note how center-right Columbus mirrors the national growth rate and San Antonio, in the more business friendly state of Texas, continues to grow faster than the national growth rate, while the three Liberal cities have gone negative since 1950. The 2010 census shows Philadelphia gained less than one percent population after five consecutive decades of loss. I believe this slight growth can be attributed to New Yorkers and New Jerseyites fleeing their higher-taxed states for comparatively lower-taxed Pennsylvania, barely making up the difference of Philadelphians fleeing Philadelphia.
And the final chart, which should make it abundantly clear. Since 1950, center-right Columbus has mirrored the national growth rate, center-right San Antonio in “Right to Work” Texas has more than doubled the national growth rate, and the people are fleeing the Liberal cities.
There are many fools who actually vote Liberal and then flee the cities as the results of Liberal policies make the cities wholly undesirable places to live. Make no mistake about it, it’s the Liberals and their policies that have shrunk the size of the cities. The people have been voting with their feet for 60 years.
Mike Brownfield at The Foundry had this to say about Detroit and Michigan:
For the record, Detroit has been under liberal leadership for decades. And the city’s big problem today is that its road forward is blocked by the very same political machine that helped deliver it to its state of ruin. Case in point: the state’s powerful teachers unions. In 2003, a philanthropist pledged $200 million for the creation of 15 charter schools in the city. Despite the city’s tragic public school system, the plan failed and the offer was withdrawn following protests by the Detroit Federation of Teachers. Little has changed, eight years later. A state-appointed emergency financial manager has proposed sweeping changes to the city’s public school system, including a plan to convert 41 of the city’s schools to charter schools. Guess who’s opposed to the reforms? That very same union.
The newly elected governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder (R), is finding opposition to his efforts at reform, as well. Following eight years of Democrat Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s rule, Gov. Snyder has embarked on efforts to change the way the state does business, including tax reform, spending cuts and empowering emergency financial managers to tackle problems in cities and schools. Who’s opposed to his reforms? Unions, once again, in Wisconsin-style protests. William McGurn of The Wall Street Journal writes:
Michigan today is not a struggling state like California or New Jersey or even Wisconsin. It is a basket case, with worse to come if things do not change quickly—especially in the relation of the public to the private sector.
“Many of the protesters seem to think the war is between rich and poor,” says Michael LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Michigan-based Mackinac Center. “But the real class war today is between government and the people who pay for it. And the government’s been winning.”
Sources for the data