In April, CNAV first addressed the Great Sortation by Americans wishing to live under simpatico State governments. Then, shortly before Christmas, came fresh evidence – from the Census Bureau – of this sortation. But that sortation would appear to be one-sided, as people move out of “blue States into “red States.” Put another way, they are moving out of “The United States of Canada” into “Jesusland.” If this continues, tensions between the two groups of people will actually rise higher.
Principles of the Great Sortation – a review
On April 3, The New York Times published an editorial highlighting a division of State laws along Party lines. The Times guessed even then that the Supreme Court would overrule its Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide. When that happened, “red States” would move to outlaw abortion, while “blue States” codified a “right” to it. Nor would abortion be the only cause of such a divide in State laws. “Alternative lifestyles” were already becoming a flash point, with “red States” outlawing certain practices aimed at their spread and “blue States” protecting those practices. Election integrity made another flash point, with most “red States” moving to restore it as “blue States” moved to discard it.
The Times seemed to predict that liberals would move from “red States” to “blue States.” But even they had to admit that conservatives were already moving the other way. They quoted Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) as crediting Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) with “a better job as a U-Haul salesman.” The point was salient: already it cost three times to rent a U-Haul truck to move from Los Angeles to New Braunfels, Texas, as to move the other way. And it still does (though not necessarily for U-Haul’s new Moving Boxes). The U-Haul Truck Finder doesn’t lie.
What does the Census say?
On December 22, 2022, the Census Bureau issued a press release describing its “Vintage 2022 national and State population estimates.” The Bureau measured total populations and population changes in the United States, the several States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico from April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022. Furthermore they measured three different net measures of change:
- International migration: immigrants minus emigrants.
- Domestic migration: move-ins minus move-outs by region of the country (South, Northeast, Midwest, and West) and by State.
- Natural change: births minus deaths.
The news release reported population change nationally and by region and by State (and Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico). The data support these conclusions:
America as a whole gained 0.4 percent more people – slightly more than 1.25 million. That includes about a million net immigrants and about 250,000 more births than deaths. Therefore Sen. Charles M. Schumer (D-N.Y.) was wrong to say we need immigrants because our population is dying. At least so far, Americans are replacing those of us who die. (We see a birth every nine seconds and a death every ten seconds.) But Kristie Wilder, a Bureau demographer, also admitted that net immigration had rebounded. Of course it did – with pResident Biden’s let-them-in policies.
Regional winners and losers
The South and West both gained residents – but the South got most of the domestic move-ins along with the immigrants. The West seemed to have about 233,000 immigrants coming in, and about the same number of people moving out domestically. The West gained people by having more people born than dying. The Northeast and Midwest both lost people. Why? Because they moved out!
Texas and Florida saw the biggest population gains, from people moving in from outside the country and from elsewhere in the country. Texans added people by having more babies. Florida did not. Florida is Retirement Central for the country – and those people go to Florida, then die.
All fifty states received more immigrants. (Emigration from the United States is very rare.) In addition, 26 States (and Washington, D.C.) had more births than deaths. These were spread across the board – but the biggest gainer from “natural increase” was Texas.
Puerto Rico is, quite simply, dying a slow death. People are leaving Puerto Rico, and deaths outnumber births. So Stephen Sondheim’s West Side Story reflects a reality that no longer holds. “Always the population growing”? No more.
Beyond that, the largest consistent driver of population increases in some States and decreases in others, is domestic migration. People are moving from State to State, and this change is not at dynamic equilibrium. The net of migration is out of “blue States” and into “red States.”
What this means for the Great Sortation
First, to repeat: the United States could easily maintain and even grow its total population without admitting all comers. Senator Schumer frankly lied about that.
Second, the blue States are definitely losing people to the red States. In some States, the move-outs even outnumber the sum of immigrants and the births above replacement. Other States are simply trending to “immigrants only,” i.e., replacement.
These trends have accelerated after the Census. For that reason, the blue States will have excess representation, in proportion to their numbers, in the House of Representatives. Therefore they will also have excess strength in the Electoral College. The over-representation will be most acute in the Presidential Election of 2028 and Midterms 2030. Furthermore the conduct of the 2030 Census will be critical. Without a doubt the Democratic Party will want to overstate the population of the “blue States” if they can. Otherwise they face another round of heavy losses of House seats and Presidential electoral votes in 2032.
More to the point, the “blue States” are already suffering financially, and will suffer even more. The “red States” will prosper, and Texas and others will positively thrive. Inevitably the Democrats, if they flip the House again and keep the Senate and White House, will propose the ultimate. They will propose to bail out the “blue States” with federal tax monies.
A Court strikedown – or war
At that point all eyes will turn to the Supreme Court. The Attorneys General of all the “red States” will move to enjoin any such bailout program. (They moved to stop the Biden Student Loan Forgiveness Program and the rescission of Title 42. The Court has enjoined both programs and set each case for oral argument.) If Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito are still alive at the time, then the bailout plan will stop. Those two men are 74 and 72 years old, respectively. In theory they could still live. Unlike Thurgood Marshall in 1992, Clarence Thomas is not “old” and “falling apart.” Their closest allies on the Court (Barrett, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh) are even younger. (Of the liberals, only Jackson is younger than Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Barrett is younger than any of them.)
But already someone tried to kill Brett Kavanaugh after the Great Leak of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s. Did someone actually kill Antonin Scalia? We’ll never know. But some Democrats have lately used rhetoric suggesting that the Court, and the world, would be better without Thomas and/or Alito in them.
If those two Justices are not on the Court when the Blue State Bailout Plan comes before it, then that Plan will stand. And if it does, Texas will pass its “Texit Bill” to form a secession study committee. Then that “second civil war” that Democrats actually fret about, will be more likely. Ironically, Democrats started the first.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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