John Doe Follows John Galt

Blacks are hurt worst by Democrat anti-job policies.

Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged is set in a future United States where taxes and regulation have become so ridiculous that the small fraction of the population who chose to work for a living went on strike.  After many pages, their leader, John Galt, led the entrepreneurial class to a concealed promised land of no regulation leaving the moochers behind to steal from each other.

For quite some time, it's been evident even to liberals that for a state or city to raise taxes on the rich urges them to move away.  Maryland ended up with a lot fewer millionaires than expected when the legislature raised their personal income tax, New York City is losing rich residents, California and Michigan have lost taxpayers and gained welfare recipients, and on it goes.

The states which lost the most millionaires were firmly in the blue column with high levels of unionization, taxes, regulation, and many high-cost social programs.  The story of the migrating millionaires was spectacular enough that even the MSM reported it, although they spun the story to claim that rich people were being selfish in wanting to keep the fruit of their labors.

The data from the recent US Census have been collated and compared with past years.  It turns out that the real story isn't John Galt's cronies like the billionaire who re-registered as a Florida resident and saved himself $5 million.  The real story is thousands of ordinary people who also left blue states for economic reasons: both Michigan and California lost population overall even as the country as a whole grew by about 9%.

I have a dream.
This isn't it.

No Longer the Promised Land

The census reports that waves of blue-state blacks left the land of few jobs, high taxes, and lousy schools and moved south, following the millionaires back to what once was the land of Jim Crow.

For the past century, black people streamed up from the stagnant South to the industrial cities of the North, starting in Detroit, the land of opportunity.  They worked in the automobile plants or in factories feeding the auto plants which were happy to hire anyone who'd work hard, long hours doing boring and repetitive tasks.

At that time, Detroit was truly the best place for entrepreneurs to start businesses.  It was the home of Fisher Body, which ended up making bodies for most GM cars.  Henry Ford I and II, Alfred Sloan, William Durant, Walter Chrysler; all built large businesses which created tens of thousands of high-paying jobs.

The black flood also flowed to New York, which once had a thriving manufacturing sector.  Remember the "garment district," now merely streets of stores peddling wares from Pakistan, but which once were factories where clothes were actually made?  Decades ago, Manhattan and the rest of New York City were populated mostly by middle- and working-class people who held middle- and working-class jobs within walking distance of their apartments.

The census tells us that from the point of view of people who know best, liberal social policy has failed.  The inner cities which were the promised land in your grandfather's day have turned into hell on earth.  No amount of affirmative action, no amount of set-asides can make up for the crushing destruction of opportunity for all workers, undereducated blacks most of all.

John Doe Catches On

As the solid inner-city manufacturing businesses became more profitable, unions tried to capture more of the profits for the workers and to grab an even bigger share for those who led the unions.  Liberal social reformers enacted laws providing for social services, regulations, and, of course, higher and higher taxes on "the rich."

The stated goal of 100 years worth of progressive and liberal politicians has been the benefit of minority groups.  Affirmative action, diversity quotas, sprawling government bureaucracies, and much, much more increased operating costs and killed the job creation machine.

The three states which blacks left in the largest numbers are Michigan, New York, and Illinois; 17% of the black flight was from New York alone.  After 100 years of trying to break new ground in social policy, New York liberals have created the worst environment for blacks in the entire country.

Liberals have created an environment in which black people, who ought to know, have no economic future.  Helping blacks achieve equality was the moral imperative which shaped American policy for decades; it has been undone by the inevitable economic failure of left-leaning policies.

Even the New York Times reports that Detroit, where the Great Migration to the economic promised land began, lies in ruins.  Corruption flourished with two mayors in a row going to jail.  People of energy and talent are being driven away.  Much of Detroit is vacant; population has dropped to about what it was when Henry Ford I launched his Model T more than 100 years ago.

The economic ruin brought about by liberal social policy is so extreme that blacks, who supposedly benefit the most from government programs, are finding better opportunities in "red" states.

Unfortunately, the liberals who couldn't afford to live in Massachusetts and moved to New Hampshire damaged their new state by voting for the same liberal ideas which had driven them out of Massachusetts.  Given this precedent, it's likely that the blacks who're moving south will continue to vote for crooked Democrats like Rep. Rangel and Rep. Waters.

We at Scragged are dedicated to reminding everyone that this is not a good idea.  Our cities weren't destroyed by too many people, but by too many Democrats and their hideously wrongheaded statist schemes.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Economics.
Reader Comments

Californians retired to Nevada, where there is no income tax, and have been trying to get an income tax here! That is total insanity. The foolish liberals left California to be relieved of the burden of that State's unsustainable welfare programs, and are working very hard to implement the same foolishness here, that they left behind.
foolish without good sense; silly; unwise. (Webster's Dictionary)

April 18, 2011 9:05 PM
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