The Decline of the South

Good piece in the WSJ about the crashing economy in the south. Some key points:

The American South spent much of the past century trying to overcome its position as the country’s poorest and least-developed region, with considerable success: By the 2009 recession it had nearly caught up economically with its northern and western neighbors.

That trend has now reversed. Since 2009, the South’s convergence has turned to divergence, as the region recorded the country’s slowest growth in output and wages, the lowest labor-force participation rate and the highest unemployment rate.

***

To diversify and lure manufacturing, southern states, starting with Arkansas in 1947, began passing right-to-work laws that weakened unions and kept taxes lower than in the wealthier North. And they spent less, especially on education: an average of $1,869 per student in 2009 dollars, in 1960, compared with $2,741 nationwide, according to the Education Department. In part, this reflected the long shadow of slavery. In the Jim Crow era white taxpayers and politicians resisted spending that benefited blacks, according to historians.

***

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.

Basically, it’s like a precursor of the MBA strategy for most businesses- they squeezed as much short term profit as possible by lowering taxes and refusing to invest, and now, after having eaten their seed corn (in this case, the people), there is nothing left.

It goes without saying that Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that. BTW- if it is not patently obvious to you, I am Warren/Harris all the way this primary.






134 replies
  1. 1
    TenguPhule says:

    Basically, it’s like a precursor of the MBA strategy for most businesses- they squeezed as much short term profit as possible by lowering taxes and refusing to invest, and now, after having eaten their seed corn (in this case, the people), there is nothing left.

    Aside from prisons, hospitals and a shit ton of meth addicted white people with guns.

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  2. 2

    I’ve seen a couple of Twitter threads on this today, and a comment from Krugman (look for more from him).

    The gist of them is that the North has followed liberal economic policies, and the South has followed Republican doctrine. We have a natural experiment, and Republican economic doctrine has produced a disaster.

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  3. 3
    Another Scott says:

    Drum isn’t impressed.

    Some people in the comments are saying that the recent hit (2013-2015) may be due to lack of uptake on Obamacare in the South.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  4. 4
    Baud says:

    Since the reversal started in 2009, they’ll just blame Obama.

    Warren can have all the plans she wants, but it won’t win them over, except perhaps in Georgia and North Carolina if demographic change has advanced far enough.

    The key is convincing other parts of the country, particularly the Midwest, not to head down the same path.

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  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    Kansas doesn’t really count as “the South,” but the Kansas Experiment under Gov. Brownback proved what a disaster modern conservative economic theory is in practice. It really should have received more attention than it did, that utter failure.

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  6. 6
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Republican economic doctrine has produced a disaster.

    Surprise surprise. Decades of tax cuts for the rich, deregulation and corporations not reinvesting their windfalls in their workforces will do that.

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  7. 7
    cokane says:

    Being “Warren/Harris all the way” in the primary is kind of a paradox tho.

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  8. 8
    sdhays says:

    @Betty Cracker: Jindal’s Louisiana too.

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  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: It’s one component, but it doesn’t negate the data, nor the argument. The northeast, and some other parts of the US, followed liberal and/or salt water macro-economic theories. The south, and the parts of the US that the south has ideologically colonized, followed Republican, movement conservative, and fresh water economic theories. One results in positive growth. The other results in Kansas under Sam Brownback.

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  10. 10
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Baud: Obama had job retraining available too, and the stubborn wanted to stick with dying coal.

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  11. 11
    cokane says:

    @Baud: strongly disagreed. Virginia belies this claim. Plenty of the nominal “South” is up for grabs imo. North Carolina obviously. Georgia, Florida and Texas as well. The South is changing.

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  12. 12
    Kent says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Kansas doesn’t really count as “the South,” but the Kansas Experiment under Gov. Brownback proved what a disaster modern conservative economic theory is in practice. It really should have received more attention than it did, that utter failure.

    Kansas was very much a border state during the Civil War just like Kentucky. Not southern geographically, but a lot of the mentality has seeped in.

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  13. 13
    Hungry Joe says:

    Right now I’m thinking that Warren is going to be the nominee. She’s my #1 pick in no small part because I think she’d make the best President. That still counts for something, right?

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  14. 14
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @cokane:

    Being “Warren/Harris all the way” in the primary is kind of a paradox tho.

    You’re required to vote twice here in the Windy City /s

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  15. 15
    rikyrah says:

    B.C. or Adam Silverman:

    Will either one of you address that your Governor has had 7 staffers quit on him in the past week. They didn’t do it because they have morals, cause they’re Republicans and are without any…so, what’s going on?

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  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kent: Kansas, like Indiana, southern Ohio, parts of Wisconsin and Michigan, and several other non-southern states were aggressively colonized post Civil War. This included exporting southern Evangelicalism, which served as the gateway drug to the rest of the Confederate/neo-Confederate ideological and doctrinal package.

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  17. 17
    cokane says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You realize there were also other southerners who, in a more literal sense, colonized those states too?

    More importantly though, I don’t think you can draw a clean line between southern/slavery ideology and modern cultural issues. The parties and the regions simply weren’t ideologically coherent in the 19th century in the way they are today.

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  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: I’ve emailed a friend who will know what’s actually going on.

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  19. 19
    Barbara says:

    @cokane: I like that Virginia isn’t even considered the South any longer! Seriously, North Carolina should be up for grabs, along with Georgia, and I would bet South Carolina is more likely to be voting bluer in the next 20 years than Kentucky or West Virginia. In-migration plus a higher percentage of African American voters will have an impact.

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  20. 20
    Kent says:

    Of course not mentioned in the article is climate change which is going to make large swaths of the south uninhabitable.

    Sea level rise, increased hurricanes, and salt water intrusion into aquifers is going to make a lot of the Gulf Coast uninhabitable in the coming decades.

    Drought and increased heat waves is going to make Texas and the southwest unpleasant if not unlivable.

    In 50-100 years (or sooner) there will be massive waves of climate refugees out of the south and southwest.

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  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cokane: I was referring to the actual people. What did you think I meant? That the Lost Causers shipped a bunch of annotated King James bibles to Kansas?

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  22. 22
    MP says:

    As a Georgia resident, I’m fairly certain that central to the current Republican approach is the belief that it isn’t necessary to lift yourself up if you can drag others down.

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  23. 23
    cokane says:

    @Barbara: yep. Just look at West Virginia — the historically anti-Southern state. It’s basically lost to Democrats any time in the near future much more than almost any Southern state. People miss that there’s a large growing Latino population in some Southern states, an influx of emigrants from other parts of the countries. The South isn’t uniform any more. Politically it hasn’t been since 2008. And like you, I think we may very much see a day where North Carolina is more “blue” than even Ohio in the very near future.

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  24. 24
    cokane says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You realize which kind of people, were the largest internal immigration post war, out of the South, right?

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  25. 25
    waspuppet says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yet it’s still a mortal sin to mention this discrepancy, whereas Republicans can describe basically any area that doesn’t vote for them as s—hole regions full of America-haters because reasons.

    southern states’ historic desire to keep spending and taxes low.

    That’s one way to describe it.

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  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @cokane:

    The South is changing.

    Yes, but I think it’s mostly demographic changes rather than changing hearts and minds of traditional Southern conservatives.

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  27. 27
    Kent says:

    @cokane: That’s because West Viriginia has no real cities and is much more rural than other southern states. What is changing in Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia and making them more blue is the large cities and suburbs around them, not the rural areas and small towns. The few cities that West Virginia does have are small and aging/declining mostly white cities unlike places like Charlotte, Northern Virginia, or Atlanta.

    Take away Portland and Eugene and the state of Oregon would be just as red as West Virginia

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  28. 28
    rikyrah says:

    Happy Birthday 🎉🎂🎈💐😊🤗😍

    The adorable little girl we met all those years ago has grown up before our eyes. Happy 18th birthday, Sasha Obama. 👑 pic.twitter.com/6f8rRcVF8I

    — ESSENCE (@Essence) June 10, 2019

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  29. 29
    tokyokie says:

    More than 30 years ago, I stupidly took a job with a newspaper in the South, a city that created a dual education system: private and white, public and black, both lousy. During high-school graduation season, the paper would run mug shots of each school’s valedictorian and salutatorian, with a cutline providing some information about their plans. One year, at the largest public (predominantly black) school in our circulation area, the valedictorian was planning on attending trade school, the salutatorian was maybe going to a juco. Meaning that at the largest school in the area, the chances were good that not a single member of that graduating class was planning on attending a four-year college.

    And civic leaders wondered why they couldn’t lure high-tech industries to town.

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  30. 30
    Nelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I grew up in Wichita, Kansas, one of the most segregated cities in the country. I lived longer in Lawrence, a blue dot exception. They are quite proud of their heritage as a Free State (hence, Free State High School and Free State Brewery), but even Wilt Chamberlain had problems when he was at KU. After living in other states, Kansas feels like a southern state to me.

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  31. 31
    rikyrah says:

    @Kent:

    Take away Chicago and its suburbs, and Illinois would be Indiana.

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  32. 32
    artem1s says:

    does the article even glance at the way the south made those improvements in the last century? Mostly it was by stealing industry from the rust belt by offering them tax incentives and a union resistant workforce to move their headquarters and factories. One bullet solutions for the companies who are now moving their factories to Canada, Mexico and yes, back to the North for a better educated workforce. Unfortunately Ohio and large swaths of the rust belt have obliterated their fine public education systems so Betsy DeVos and White Hat Management can steal all those tax funds for their failed, for profit charter schools.
    welcome to underemployment and a service industry economy, NC!

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  33. 33
    rikyrah says:

    Cole….come get your Senator

    #BREAKING What the…😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

    Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin regrets endorsing Hillary and is open to backing Trump in 2020 https://t.co/oBvXJuhubT via @usatoday

    — NotMyPresident (@ironstowe) June 9, 2019

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  34. 34
    cokane says:

    @Baud:

    @Kent:

    For sure, you’re both right.

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  35. 35
    geg6 says:

    @rikyrah:

    I’ve been wondering about that mass exodus, too.

    As for the gist of the article, I sort of noticed ten years or so ago that the constant mantra of the last decade or two around here had suddenly disappeared. That mantra being that young people should move to the South because that’s where all the job opportunities were. Not long after that, Pittsburgh started getting a ton of press for being a progressive, green city that had lots of jobs for youngs in tech, health care and marketing. And a lot of the people my age who had taken off for the South in the late 70s and early 80s after the collapse of the steel industry were moving back. I’m surprised it has taken this long for others to notice how terrible the economic models in the South were. I can’t think of a time in my life when there was more opportunity around here. Hell, there are so many jobs available that desperate employers are running commercials on tv and radio to drum up applications. And that’s across a variety of high and low skill industries, from fast food places to waste management to health care to IT. Of course, one of the reasons so many of the high skill jobs are available is because so many of the native males, especially white males, are non-college, barely high school credentialed and on the opioid train.

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  36. 36
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    OT: Simon Maloy, Media Matters writer, has died of colon cancer. He was a great writer and a hilarious tweeter, often posting pics and videos of his adorable kids, who I’d guess are about 2 and 5. MM has set up a go fund me page for the family. RIP

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  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cokane: No, I don’t. I don’t know anything about the Great Rebellion, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, or anything else. I have no idea at all about how the US won the war and lost the peace. Please enlighten me.

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  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: That statement is from over a year ago. No one is quite sure why the reporting is being resurrected now.

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  39. 39
    dww44 says:

    @MP: An anecdotal, but relevant story to this whole discussion of GOP “starve the beast” economics versus one of “spending money to make money” is true in this small city. 3 or so years ago the city and county governments merged, but under strict guidelines from the GOP controlled state legislature which were solely designed to save taxpayer money instead of incentivizing development.

    As a majority/minority city/county where the Minority is indeed the majority, the customer tax base, almost wholly dependent on property tax, was eroding and continues to erode, as much of the middle class is fleeing to nearby counties. The budget is up for adoption and while there is no tax increase there are also no pay increases for local fire fighters or police. The community has been bleeding fire fighters to nearby suburban Atlanta areas that are paying more. There are a couple of white (one female;one male) council members who are absolutely committed to the “no tax increase” principle. They will sacrifice a possible quality of life increase to that Grover Norquist “drown government in the bathtub” mindset. They are unwilling to spend money to potentially make money. Crime and murder, mostly in economically disadvantaged areas are an issue and recently there’ve been a couple of residential fires that damaged parts of the historic downtown. Local police and fire chiefs are asking citizens to call their council members and the Mayor. This is a Democratic controlled community which basically has no power vis-a-vis the GOP controlled legislature.

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  40. 40
    joel hanes says:

    I have known several fine engineers who accepted jobs in Huntsville because the salaries were competitive and the cost of living very low.
    Every one of them were miserable and decamped after a few years.

    If you’re not a bigot yourself, living among bigots is unpleasant.

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  41. 41
    NotMax says:

    In the Jim Crow era white taxpayers and politicians resisted spending that benefited blacks, according to historians.

    The unprinted parenthetical: And we all know what namby-pamby bleeding hearts those academicians are. //

    Yeesh, what both siderist mealy-mouthed mush. No different from saying, “Some people say there was a culture and deliberate policy of overt and institutionalized racism.”

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  42. 42
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @rikyrah:

    Take away Chicago and its suburbs, and Illinois would be Indiana.

    That’s not a nice thing to say. More of our previous governors have done prison time.

    Wait….. nevermind.

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  43. 43
    Juice Box says:

    The CSA followed the same pattern. The wealthy planters didn’t want to pay taxes, contribute to the war effort, or put their sons in the way of danger. Look what it got them. They started the war with a less educated, more impoverished population, and less infrastructure than the North as well. I’m not sure that even EW can fix 400 years of culture.

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  44. 44
    chris says:

    Totally OT. LMAO. I did not know that Cole is an entrepreneur.

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  45. 45
    Another Scott says:

    @Kent: Yup. TheAtlantic (from 2016):

    PORTLAND, Ore.— Victor Pierce has worked on the assembly line of a Daimler Trucks North America plant here since 1994. But he says that in recent years he’s experienced things that seem straight out of another time. White co-workers have challenged him to fights, mounted “hangman’s nooses” around the factory, referred to him as “boy” on a daily basis, sabotaged his work station by hiding his tools, carved swastikas in the bathroom, and written the word “nigger” on walls in the factory, according to allegations filed in a complaint to the Multnomah County Circuit Court in February of 2015.

    Pierce is one of six African Americans working in the Portland plant whom the lawyer Mark Morrell is representing in a series of lawsuits against Daimler Trucks North America. The cases have been combined and a trial is scheduled for January of 2017.

    “They have all complained about being treated poorly because of their race,” Morrell told me. “It’s a sad story—it’s pretty ugly on the floor there.” (Daimler said it could not comment on pending litigation, but spokesman David Giroux said that the company prohibits discrimination and investigates any allegations of harassment.)

    The allegations may seem at odds with the reputation of this city known for its progressivism. But many African Americans in Portland say they’re not surprised when they hear about racial incidents in this city and state. That’s because racism has been entrenched in Oregon, maybe more than any state in the north, for nearly two centuries. When the state entered the union in 1859, for example, Oregon explicitly forbade black people from living in its borders, the only state to do so. In more recent times, the city repeatedly undertook “urban renewal” projects (such as the construction of Legacy Emanuel Hospital) that decimated the small black community that existed here. And racism persists today. A 2011 audit found that landlords and leasing agents here discriminated against black and Latino renters 64 percent of the time, citing them higher rents or deposits and adding on additional fees. In area schools, African American students are suspended and expelled at a rate four to five times higher than that of their white peers.

    All in all, historians and residents say, Oregon has never been particularly welcoming to minorities. Perhaps that’s why there have never been very many. Portland is the whitest big city in America, with a population that is 72.2 percent white and only 6.3 percent African American.

    […]

    Eyes on the prize…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  46. 46

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    The gist of them is that the North has followed liberal economic policies, and the South has followed Republican doctrine.

    I would state that a bit different. The key is that Republicans have adopted the Southern model, not the other way around. A big part of the post-war consensus was that both Democrats and Republicans accepted the basic logic of Keynesian economics and investing in infrastructure and education. It was only after the Goldwater/Nixon turn to the Southern Strategy that Republicans gave up on those things.

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  47. 47
    MP says:

    @dww44: I’m gonna guess Macon?

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  48. 48
    NotMax says:

    @chris

    Heh. Although am fairly certain that Mr. Cole knows how to spell embarrassing.

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  49. 49

    @Another Scott:

    Some people in the comments are saying that the recent hit (2013-2015) may be due to lack of uptake on Obamacare in the South.

    Which is part and parcel of the same basic approach to economics: fuck over the poor minorities even if it hurts the economy as a whole.

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  50. 50
    dww44 says:

    @Roger Moore: I agree .. The only thing I ever hear from my many GOP relatives here in the South is some version of lowering taxes and cutting spending. Which applies even more to funding public education, since all of them of the generation younger than mine have attended private/religious schools and educate their kids there. We are fast producing a citizenry where public schools are largely populated by brown and black students.

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  51. 51
    Raoul says:

    A more educated South might also stop voting for Republicans as often. And they cannot have that!

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  52. 52
    NotMax says:

    @chris

    Almost (almost) makes me want to show up with a pocketful of Susan B. Anthonys.

    ;)

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  53. 53
    Betty Cracker says:

    @rikyrah: I have no idea. It seems like there’s a lot of bad blood between DeSantis and Scott for some reason, but that doesn’t explain all of this.

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  54. 54
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @NotMax: ‘Em bears are showing off their asses again.

    I’m concerned for people whose main concern would be embarrassment when their head is held to a hot griddle.

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  55. 55
    SFAW says:

    In the Jim Crow era white taxpayers and politicians resisted spending that benefited blacks

    Fortunately, I had my nitro pills near at hand when I read that.

    “I think this is the big one, Elizabeth!”

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  56. 56
    SFAW says:

    @chris:

    Totally OT. LMAO. I did not know that Cole is an entrepreneur.

    I saw the tweet thread from whatsisname on Cole’s feed. It’s hilarious.

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  57. 57
    dww44 says:

    @MP: Yep!

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  58. 58
    Kent says:

    @Roger Moore: I think it goes back farther than Goldwater. In the 1930s you had Hoover and the GOP acting like the austerity party vs Roosevelt and the Dems advocating Keynsenian stimulus policies.

    What changed from the 1930s to the 1060s was not the party platforms so much as the party geographies as the GOP alligned with the south for racial reasons in response to the civil rights movement.

    Yes we had presidents like Eisenhower who did massive infrastructure spending on things like the interstate highways. But he was also working with a unified Democratic congress during 3 out of the 4 years of his presidency.

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  59. 59
    raven says:

    EDUCATION
    Kemp Focuses On Education In First ‘State Of The State’ Address

    “The $3,000 increase for certified teachers is a significant step toward strengthening Georgia’s teacher pipeline by boosting recruitment and retention,” said PAGE Executive Director Craig Harper. “Georgia students cannot reach their full potential without ensuring that every student is taught by high-quality professional educators.”

    PAGE went on to say it’s “essential” that Kemp fulfill his promise of $5000 a year. Kemp’s budget proposal would add the raises into the state salary schedule for teachers.

    Kemp’s budget also allots $69 million for school security. Every public school will receive a $30,000 grant to enhance safety. The proposal also includes $8.4 million to put a mental health professional in every Georgia public high school. Kemp has also included full funding for the state’s Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula, something he pledged to do during the campaign.

    State Schools Superintendent Richard Woods, a fellow Republican, praised Kemp’s education proposals.

    “I wholeheartedly support Governor Kemp’s call for a $3,000 raise for teachers, and additional funding to come in subsequent years, along with his recommended school security and mental health funding,” Woods said in a statement. “From where I sit, Governor Kemp is hearing the concerns of Georgia educators, parents and students and taking them seriously. I look forward to working with him on these much-needed proposals.”

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  60. 60
    Dan B says:

    In 1960 my father was sent by his employer, a rubber company in Akron, to non-union Arkansas. My brother and I went to the new elementary school. It was brand new and featured the most advanced construction of the era – pre-stressed concrete roof, hvac, etc.

    The black school was corrugated sheet metal with corrugated fiberglass windows, on a hillside, on posts so the wind whipped through the uninsulated crawl space. No trees just scrub vegetation.

    The white school had ancient textbooks. The World History textbook had no cover and the first ten pages were missing. It ended in the middle of the Great War.

    There were no programs to acknowledge good grades or any arts programs. This small town has declined further. Views on Google maps are horrifying.

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  61. 61

    @Roger Moore:

    The key is that Republicans have adopted the Southern model, not the other way around.

    And now want to inflict it on the rest of us. Good point.

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  62. 62
    ThresherK says:

    @joel hanes: How big an “oasis” folks like your friends (or myself) would need in an American Ruritania in order to feel at home is quite a study question. In another few decades I may still be alive for demographers to put out some fascinating work on the subject.

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  63. 63
    ThresherK says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: There’s an article, still on the front page perhaps, about this at TPM.

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  64. 64
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    “Race to the bottom” only works for so long, then you’re at the bottom, and there’s nowhere lower you can go.

    I agree 100% about the MBA issue, and that’s one of the biggest problems with our economy. MBAs are told to squeeze out *money*, not *costs*. If Fed-Ex needs delivery drivers, and uses non-union contractors instead of union employees, they save money, but they haven’t actually changed anything about the shipping cost. Basically, they’ve passed more of the cost on to other people who were needy (or naive) enough to take it. That’s great for Fed-Ex, but bad for the drivers, and since some of the costs are externalities it’s also bad for us.

    I suppose it’s also, writ small, the GOP determination with the federal government – squeeze out some dollars (but not cost) and cut taxes.

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  65. 65
    ET says:

    As a child of the south I can say that they haven’t really committed to improve things. Not really. Sure, a few things may make it look like they were trying to move forward but if you looked to deep or pulled out and looked at the bigger picture you would realize it was highly selective.

    If they did really want to move they would have spent more on education and done other things that actually helped all of the state’s population. While low taxes/low government has definitely been part of that, another equally large part of that is because they couldn’t legally help those parts they wanted to (white) because it would also mean helping the part they felt wasn’t worthy (black). They did however discover that they could use the low tax/low government as a way to get to the same place without running afoul of those Amendments they didn’t like. They have pretty much actively worked for 200 years to push one group up and worked even harder to push another group down and the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement didn’t change that. States were never going be better or get better when they were/are actively spending time trying to make sure that a not insignificant part of the state is worse off.

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  66. 66
    dww44 says:

    @raven: As one with a teacher daughter and son-in-law, this is good news. But I will withhold judgment on the whole package. I do not trust this coat of many colors governor. Rides to the office of the governor on denying the franchise to many brown and black citizens. At the same time as this “good news” he has recently unleashed the power of the state ethics commission to investigate Stacey Abrams campaign. If I’m ever in the same room as the governor, I will turn my back and leave.

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  67. 67
    Ruckus says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    That still counts for something, right?

    Was going to ask if you are new here, here being the country not the blog.
    But that’s not fair. This is a bigoted country in a bigoted world. People are capable of learning and of not being bigoted. But it takes effort and the concept that they are not better than the other. And conservatives around the world continue to tell each other that they are better in some way. It’s a power play and it works. They don’t want equality, they want better and conservatives tell them that. At some point it’s a self fulfilling prophesy, but of course it’s not real. BS does the same thing, tells people what they want to hear and they believe him. He could no more give HRC actual support than cut off an arm, he would have been betraying his own beliefs. He’s not a member of the democratic party because it doesn’t suit him and he doesn’t believe the policies of the democratic party. He will use them because a party of one does not win large elections.

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  68. 68
    Jess says:

    I was just saying to my mom the other day that the only way I see the South getting its act together is to let it collapse under the weight of its own disfunction, so that it is forced to change. Evolve or die. I hate that suffering folks are going to suffer even more in the process, though. Maybe a modern day Underground Railroad of some sort could work?

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  69. 69
    Michael J Allen says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This blog needs a thumbs up and down function. Thumbs up.

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  70. 70
    NotMax says:

    @Kent

    Ike served two terms. Dems held a majority in both chambers of Congress for 6 of those 8 years.

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  71. 71
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Michael J Allen: Never going to happen.

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  72. 72
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Juice Box: This is Texas in a nutshell. The original “settlers” left the Colonies/States to avoid taxation. When they discovered the “vacant” territory they had claimed was actually part of Mexico, they rebelled rather than pay Mexican taxes, and then perauaded the US to protect them by driving Mexico back beyond the Rio Grande. Within two decades they had repaid their saviors by seceding from the Union, in no small part to avoid the taxes that would have paid for their liberation. Texas is founded on grift and tax evasion.

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  73. 73
    Emerald says:

    @Another Scott: I do AirBnB. When I first started a few years ago I had guests from Portland, OR, politically progressive I learned, who came repeatedly. They came until one night I welcomed back another repeat guest, a large, very dark Black man, to one of my other rooms. I gave him a big hug when he got there. They watched me do this and I could tell they didn’t like it one bit.

    They never came back.

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  74. 74
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Roger Moore: The Southern Model being starving the public sphere so wimminvolk and Those People° remain in their place and don’t get uppity.

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  75. 75
    Brachiator says:

    @Jess:

    was just saying to my mom the other day that the only way I see the South getting its act together is to let it collapse under the weight of its own disfunction, so that it is forced to change

    Sometimes collapse doesn’t lead to anything except rubble.

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  76. 76
    StephenK says:

    @cokane: Yeah, I never understand people that are big supporters of Warren and her transformative return to post war Keynesian and then also Harris (or Beto or Buttigieg) and their Democrat status quo of the last 30 years.

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  77. 77
    Ruckus says:

    @waspuppet:
    People in every segment dislike taxes.
    Death and taxes, the only two things one can count on in life, everything else is negotiable in some way.
    Republicans have been saying for decades that taxes are too high. Not because they are but because real taxes keep some from being far richer than they think they should be. And that’s the entire republican policy portfolio. Taxes are too high. They finally got their “businessman” they always wanted, one who would sign a shitty conservative tax law.
    The trick is to show people what taxes are supposed to do, make their lives better. But we use taxes to spend dramatically more than most every other country. We spend more than 10 times what Russia spends.
    We say we spent $649 billion in 2018, the next 14 countries combined spent $760 billion. The 3rd and 4th countries spent less than a tenth of what we spent. It’s very similar for 2019.
    We are spending huge sums on world power, not on ourselves. Granted our budget is bigger but our priorities are fucked up.

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  78. 78
  79. 79
    Geoboy says:

    @Kent: First, if it wasn’t for those damn Normans invading in 1066 we would still have a vibrant economy. Second, though Eisenhower has been dead since 1969, I think the news that he was president for only 4 years would startle him.

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  80. 80
    raven says:

    @dww44: He’s an asshole and a local one at that. I’m just saying that everything isn’t just laid out like we assume it is. I’ve worked in higher ed in Georgia for 20 years and, while we certainly have problems, we are also making positive strides in many areas.

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  81. 81
    Emerald says:

    @StephenK: “Democrat status?”

    You betray yourself, sir.

    ReplyReply
  82. 82
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Kent:

    like Eisenhower who did massive infrastructure spending on things like the interstate highways.

    The interstate highway system was conceived as the means to survive nuclear war, roads are easier to fix than railways when all the steel mills are irradiated dust. So the the anti-commies were easily convinced

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  83. 83
    Adam L Silverman says:

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  84. 84
    Another Scott says:

    @Michael J Allen: Thanks. It’s good that he got a sensible jury.

    I must say I’m disappointed, but not at all surprised, by many of the comments in the story. :-/

    Lots of work still remains to be done…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  85. 85
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @cokane: NC gained a good reputation for education, etc. Then (2009?) hardline GOPers took over the state and turned state very regressive.

    In OK we looked to NC in awe and envy.

    WI and KS in 50s and later had very high reputations for education as well. Likewise destroyed by GOP hardliner hate of education and intellect!

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  86. 86
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Brachiator: Drive a Southern Interstate highway or visit a Southern inner city or rural township. The rubble is already there. It’s there by design, because infrastructure would help Those People°, and because the Right Sort° can afford the vehicles and deliveries that enable living in the wreckage.

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    The Pale Scot says:

    Adam, yous waz in the wrong service me thinks

    U.S. Naval War College president Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley is under fire for allegedly spending lavishly on unilateral raises, offering Twister parties and “free hugs” and installing a margarita machine in his office.

    Edit: I’m not digging the back shadowing on quotes

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  88. 88
    Glenn_Ochs says:

    The Southern Model is the continuation of slavery. Plantations became corporations and attained perpetual life and granted the rights of personhood under Amendments 13-16

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  89. 89
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Pale Scot: They’re working on fixing it. Apparently when they fixed the porn issue, it created this new one.

    As for Naval War College, the author of the article has his teeth into the senior level of the Professional Military Education (PME) system and is not going to let go. This is the second piece he’s done on a Senior Leader College/War College this week. The first one was on USAWC where I was assigned. And what he reported regarding USAWC is neither surprising, nor, unfortunately, rare. I spent four years trying to fix the problem he’s reported on. I pissed off a lot of folks in trying to do so. And eventually it contributed to my moving on when my four year civilian mobilization ended.

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  90. 90
    Immanentize says:

    @Emerald:
    I noticed that too. It’s such an easy tell to hide….

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Adam L Silverman: In 50s in TX and OK SoBaptists started aggressively pushing ‘missions in northern, northeastern, and northwestern US.’

    Young people were encouraged to move to those areas after grad and/or marriage to ‘spread God’s saving message to the lost.’

    I think there may have been a Billy Graham ministries movie about the life of a fictional family that ‘heard the call’.

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  92. 92
    Ruckus says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    Texas is founded on grift and tax evasion.

    The entire country was founded on tax evasion. Taxes that went somewhere else and did absolutely nothing for the people paying them. A lot of states and especially some people in them feel the same way about federal taxes.

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    raven says:

    @Ruckus: This whole fucking thread is bullshit. “South” is a fucking direction.

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    Jess says:

    @Brachiator: Then we can clear the rubble and start over. I’m not saying it would work, just that it’s the only thing that might work. I think they are going to need to hit bottom. The roots of the disfunction go back to the exploitative desires of the first settlers, and is compounded by the iron grip of religion. The South is basically 13th century Europe that we’re trying to impose Renaissance/Enlightenment ideals upon.

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  95. 95
    Ruckus says:

    @Ruckus:

    But we use taxes to spend dramatically more than most every other country.

    That is supposed to have a couple more words at the end of that – on the military.
    But we use taxes to spend dramatically more than most every other country on the military.
    My brain sometimes works faster than my fingers. Better as well.

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  96. 96
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I don’t know much about the AWC in Montgomery Alabama except to say when I was an Intern at SPLC, I played on a soccer team — the Montgomery Capitals — and those flyboys kicked our asses every time.

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  97. 97
    Brachiator says:

    @Jess:

    Then we can clear the rubble and start over. I’m not saying it would work, just that it’s the only thing that might work. I think they are going to need to hit bottom.

    These dopes will only find more bottom. This reminds me a bit of the claim by some supposed progressives that the masses will magically rise up only after they have be thoroughly crushed by the plutocrats.

    And you admit that hitting bottom would cause great suffering for many who don’t like the system but who choose to live in the South. Maybe you should rethink your idea here.

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  98. 98
    Ruckus says:

    @raven:
    Sure it’s the thread and not the language?
    But your point is well made. I live about 1/2 degree north of Atlanta GA. And Los Angeles is nowhere near the SOUTH.

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  99. 99
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @raven: Aren’t most K-12 teachers women? Even with higher teacher-pay, how many women will want to move to a state that has horrendous anti-abortion laws?

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  100. 100
    Martin says:

    I’ve been arguing this for ages. Education is infrastructure. It turns individuals from generally low-GDP output workers to high-GDP output workers. Farming->Manufacturing->Information. Now, the lower output industries are important, but they are also automatable.

    Silicon Valley isn’t there by accident. Well supported universities + a culture of competition and support for new ideas makes it nearly unassailable economically. Companies and industries don’t grow by cutting costs, they grow by investing. Growth comes from spending – in education, telecommunication, transportation and so on. Short term profits come from cutting costs. Then your business collapses to the startups that invested instead.

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  101. 101
    dww44 says:

    @raven: Oh, I didn’t know that Kent was from the Athens area. Your point is well taken. After many many years of balancing the state budget on the backs of teachers, this is a raise well deserved. Also don’t dispute the value that UGA and other colleges make to the environment and culture in a specific locale. The only growth industries in this town are medical and higher ed. Most of the real growth and change here in the last decade plus is thanks to Mercer. They have rescued a lot of the once blighted area towards the center city. And the football program and stadium has magnified those efforts…

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  102. 102
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: Air War College has its own problems. Overall, the senior leader colleges have a set of overlapping and similar problems. The first is that far too many people at them, including the civilian faculty with PhDs and far too much of the year on year leadership (as the military leadership rotates in and out every few years), think they’re supposed to be recreating Harvard or Yale at Carlisle Barracks, Newport, RI, Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL, or Ft. McNair. They can’t keep it straight that the job, the purpose, the sole raison d’etre of the Senior Leader Colleges is to provide a very niche form of public good. Specifically to prepare lieutenant colonels and colonels, or commanders and captains in the Navy, select GS 14s and 15s, and allied and partnered nation officers ranging in rank from lieutenant colonel to major general or rear admiral upper half, to be able to develop strategies and policies, and work at the strategic and policy levels, for the remainders of their careers. And to provide research product in the form of analyses and assessments that provide operational support to the generating and/or operating forces of each Service, the DOD, and the Interagency.

    While that is recognized in each schools’ mission statement, usually in the first, second, and third bullet points of those mission statements, it is, unfortunately, ignored by far too many. As a result, you will hear people in The Building (aka the Pentagon), refer to the waste of funding the researchers at SSI or PKSOI or the Air Culture Center or other think tanks and research institutes at the senior leader colleges. And you’ll hear them complain about whatever scholarship, no matter how high quality, that is being produced by the faculties at the Senior Leader Colleges being far too unrelated to actual needs of the DOD and the Services. The quality of the scholarship is high. Its utility for the scholarly community may also be high, but its utility for the actual DOD and the Services in generating a force, sustaining it, and/or fielding it is low.

    Finally, uniformed personnel do a terrible job vetting civilians. Military retirees, often with PhDs, EdDs, and/or a variety of masters degrees, sitting in civilian billets do an equally bad job of doing so. Anyone, no matter how good their work or credentials perceived as a threat is run off ruthlessly. Bogus credentials, bogus experience, limited expertise are all welcomed so long as the person confirms pre-existing biases and won’t make waves. Which is how you get people like Seb Gorka.

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  103. 103
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @ThresherK: A friend and her engineer-husband loved their time in Huntsville. They moved to be closer to her family.

    Couple is strict Evangelical.

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  104. 104
    coin operated says:

    @Kent:

    Take away Portland and Eugene and the state of Oregon would be just as red as West Virginia

    Having lived in Oregon until recently…can confirm. I had to educate a lot of my friends on facespace about this during the Malheuer occupation. Springfield, separated from Eugene by I-5, is known locally as Springtucky for good reason.

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  105. 105
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @TenguPhule: we also have biscuits.

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  106. 106
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Which is how you get people like Seb Gorka.

    I thought that was by intermingling of the species.

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  107. 107
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Always time for a smile break.

    lieutenant colonels and colonels

    During training exercises, a Lieutenant who was driving down a back road came upon another car stuck deep in mud, with a red-faced Colonel at the wheel.

    “Your car stuck, sir?” asked the Lieutenant as he pulled alongside.

    “Nope,” replied the Colonel, sauntering over and tossing him the keys. “Yours is.”

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  108. 108
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @boatboy_srq: In 50s in OK it was a frequent joke–in LTTEs etc–that you could tell when you went from OK to KS because the roads were suddenly much better

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  109. 109
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Martin: Does NC still have a research triangle’? Or did GOP anti higher ed push destroy it.

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  110. 110
    Leto says:

    @Immanentize: Montgomery, Alabama is where Maxwell Air Force Base is located. That would be where a good portion of the Air Force sends its young babies 2nd LTs, through Captains, for various forms of Professional Military Education. The US Army War College is located up here in PA. If it’s not pig skin, I don’t think they know what to do with it :p

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  111. 111
    James E Powell says:

    @dww44:

    We are fast producing a citizenry where public schools are largely populated by brown and black students.

    Los Angeles is already there, been there for years.

    ReplyReply
  112. 112
    Leto says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Finally, uniformed personnel do a terrible job vetting civilians. Military retirees, often with PhDs, EdDs, and/or a variety of masters degrees, sitting in civilian billets do an equally bad job of doing so.

    Well… we have no experience with it. Apparently the officer ranks will interview other officers to fill billets. So a group commander (colonel) will interview a few majors for a squadron commander position but considering the absolute shitbags I’ve worked for (including one who was outright fired 8 months into his command), yeah, I don’t buy that they know wtf they’re doing in the hiring process.

    With regard to the retirees, most of the degrees are from bullshit universities that are military degree mills. I get that the piece of paper is important, but the quality of education is fucking pathetic.

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  113. 113
    Mart says:

    @Baud: Late to the party, but on weekends here in STL have an infomercial playing about how they have passed right to work in KS and IA, and they are kicking our economic asses, so we need to pass a right to work for less law as well. Never seem to bring up the disaster that Kansas experienced what with the associated tax cuts they are proselytizing for that resulted in massive deficits and unfunded public schools.

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  114. 114
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Leto: I am very, very aware. Regarding both issues. I have the scar tissue to prove it. They don’t know how to vet credentials, are easily over impressed by them, are easily threatened by anyone who actually can do what they claim they can do/live up to their credentials, can’t vet sources and source material either.

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  115. 115
    leeleeFL says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: As most of us here knew would happen. It is no surprise that refusing to fully educate ALL THE CHILDREN in a region will eventually depress the economy of said region. The very old days of peasant children being trained up in the work of their family to provide a living and a meaningful life are, for the most part, long gone. I am truly worried for my GrandChildren. WTF have we left them?
    I am having a really bad day with this. Sorry

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  116. 116
    Kent says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    @Juice Box: This is Texas in a nutshell. The original “settlers” left the Colonies/States to avoid taxation. When they discovered the “vacant” territory they had claimed was actually part of Mexico, they rebelled rather than pay Mexican taxes, and then perauaded the US to protect them by driving Mexico back beyond the Rio Grande. Within two decades they had repaid their saviors by seceding from the Union, in no small part to avoid the taxes that would have paid for their liberation. Texas is founded on grift and tax evasion.

    Don’t forget slavery. That’s the part you never hear about when you study Texas history in middle school. A lot of cotton planters were moving into Texas from other southern states and bringing their slaves with them. Mexico had outlawed slavery years before. One of the very first things the new Texas government did after winning independence from Mexico was legalize slavery.

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  117. 117
    leeleeFL says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: my Sis lives in OK. She says someone put up a sign at the border with KS that said something about evolution ending there!

    ReplyReply
  118. 118

    @Ruckus: Trouble is, the states that feel that way the most are the same states that get the most BACK from the Feds. They’re making bank from the system and don’t even know it.
    Not to mention where most of the military bases are located.

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  119. 119
    TomatoQueen says:

    Thread fails to reckon with the long term effects on people in the South of:
    …..
    …..
    …..
    …..
    …..
    HOOKWORMS. I knew I’d seen this somewhere, a while back,

    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/how-a-worm-gave-the-south-a-bad-name/

    and there’s a host of other condescending stuff in google by typing in “hookworms in the south.” Apparently they’re still around.

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  120. 120
    Ruckus says:

    @John Revolta:
    Logic is not the strong suit of conservatives. I’m not sure that the concept is even capable of being absorbed at all. They have a world view and logic, experience, actual proof, and explicit training is not enough to convince them otherwise. They are stewing in their pot of hate and stupidity and have been, well forever. The had to build colleges to lie and train new followers. They hate public education because it actually attempts to teach logic and thinking rather than learning bullshit. It’s possible that conservatives are born without a sense of smell and have no understanding that bullshit doesn’t actually smell good.

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  121. 121
    Raoul says:

    Not sure who came up with this, but to some extent it makes sense, and seems to correlate a bit with the economic issues: Northern states (or countries) have to have government that works, because winter can kite frankly kill you.
    In the south, yeah the heat and humidity are rough but (for now, we’ll see after more global warming) won’t generally be fatal. So if systems don’t work, government is starved, etc, well… meh.

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  122. 122
    James E Powell says:

    @Ruckus:

    They hate public education because it actually attempts to teach logic and thinking rather than learning bullshit.

    I’m a public school teacher who really wishes this were true. I do what I can to make it part of my English classes.

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  123. 123
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Ruckus: Don’t wanna know what Gorka’s mom fucked.

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  124. 124
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Ruckus: Funny, then, that in the modern US the biggest complainers about taxation come from the places where the bulk of federal dollars get spent. But of course you can’t perauade MAGAts of that.

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  125. 125
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Kent: Slave labor and tax evasion both stem from greed too overweening to part with a farthing more than can be coerced. So all part of the package, really.

    ReplyReply
  126. 126
    Leto says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I have the scar tissue to prove it.

    Haha, you and me both buddy :)

    ReplyReply
  127. 127
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: Used to be similar traversing NJ-PA-MD-VA-NC-SC-GA-FL. Every state line southbound is a change. PA highways actually used to be good before Austerity; now, they arestill bettee than VA but not by so much. NC also used to keep up their roads. And EVERYONE has better highways than SC.

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  128. 128
    joel hanes says:

    The highway engineering, construction, and maintenance change dramatically for the worse when one crosses into Missouri from Iowa.

    Obscure factoid : because of disputed surveying, there was a long-running border dispute between southern Iowans and residents of Missouri, with skirmishes and shooting and reprisals, because southern Iowans did not want to live in a slave state, and Missouri kept trying to claim a more northerly border.

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  129. 129
    Ruckus says:

    @James E Powell:
    I did say attempt. Also I went to public school a long time ago and the attempt was not all that strong then. Some teachers did very well, others didn’t seem to try worth a damn. But with the attitudes of the time, for example just say no sex, for humans reaching their sexual years and reading about people younger than them having kids. I stood in line behind a girl I knew in the line to give up our cap and gown and get our diploma. She handed it over and grabbed her diploma before the woman noticed that she was rather pregnant and tried to grab it back, because school policy said you couldn’t give a diploma to a woman who had had sex. It was bizarre to me even then. BTW I didn’t know this girl was pregnant and I had classes with her. She hid it well and her timing was good, if unintentional. The concept of keeping kids ignorant of the world has never worked and never will. They do grow up to be adults, some of them anyway.

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  130. 130
    I'll be Frank says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: When IBM transferred my dad out of Huntsville, I told myself I would be getting away from the bigots. We landed upstate NY and I got a new joke. “In Alabama we called the bigots “rednecks”, what do we call the bigots upstate? “Everybody.”

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  131. 131
    Ruckus says:

    @boatboy_srq:
    See my comment at #120 about logic.
    Logic is something that has to be learned, just like everything besides breathing and shitting. Even eating has to be taught or people will try to eat anything. And even some of the things they try to eat are, at best, disgusting.

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  132. 132
    J R in WV says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    This is Texas in a nutshell. The original “settlers” left the Colonies/States to avoid taxation. When they discovered the “vacant” territory they had claimed was actually part of Mexico, they rebelled rather than pay Mexican taxes,

    NO, Texas rebelled against Mexican rule when Mexico ended slavery. The Texans were convinced they could be wealthy on the back of their slaves. Their revolution against the MExican government was successful, and they joined the US government.

    Then they realized that the US government might work to end slavery, and rebelled again with the Confederate States of America, against freedom for the slaves. And that’s why Texas is such a shithole today — the whole original population hates bland and brown people, want to enslave them for profit, still in the 21st Century.

    Texas was the only state to leave two countries to save slavery!

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  133. 133
    Sean says:

    @cokane: Virginia is now largely mid atlantic but proximity is certainly a factor. NC is certainly in play though and maybe Georgia. At some point even Texas for state-wide elections.

    ReplyReply
  134. 134
    spencer says:

    As my brother in Atlanta says, get on any interstate in Atlanta drive a half hour and exit right back to 1935.

    ReplyReply

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