Free Markets, Free People

Damned “Southernomics”

In light of Michal Lind’s fantasy about the South, another indicator of how wrong he is:

State Farm, the nationally-known insurance chain headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, has apparently had its fill of “The Land of Lincoln’s” confiscatory taxes.  The 800 million dollar company is reported to have purchased “substantial workspace” in the Dallas, Texas area. The giant insurance firm’s workers are being kept in the dark reportedly to avoid “alarming them”; but is it their workers or the State of Illinois they would like to keep in the dark about this move? If this doesn’t signal State Farm’s coming dash out of Illinois’s clutches, what could it mean?

A knowledgeable Dallas real estate insider has called this impending move “a major business relocation” of record-breaking proportions. The numbers involved are approximately 2.5 million square feet of workspace and thousands of workers. No company in Dallas’ history has made a move this large.

Texas isn’t the only state State Farm is running to. There has also been a report that it has leased office space in Atlanta. The combined amount of both new locations roughly equals the 3.5 million square feet it has in Bloomington.


These moves should come as no surprise to anyone.  In spite of (or maybe because of) raising its corporate and personal income tax rate by 67% in 2010, Illinois has seen its credit rating fall and its deficit raise.  A review of the tax structure in Georgia shows the personal and corporate income tax is 4% as compared to Illinois’ 6.25%.

Texas has no personal or corporate income tax.

But, you know, the South has just replaced physical slavery with economic slavery – and all those Texans and Georgians who will benefit from employment with State Farm after the move know that only too well, don’t they? /sarc

I’m sure the taxes are just part of the reason.  Most likely the complete business atmosphere in the South is more likely the draw.  A welcome mat instead of a outstretched hand have to be appealing.  The same thing is happening in a number of northern states – the difference being the fiscal mess of today coupled with the difference in Blue state remedies vs. Red state remedies has started to turn a trickle exiting Blue states into a flood.


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49 Responses to Damned “Southernomics”

  • … and damn, Texas is a “right to work” state so these new employees won’t be subjected to the “slavery of union bosses” who really only represent themselves.

  • Long as the link is still in my copy/paste buffer – Forbes and their latest finding of unhappy places to be….funny, the south didn’t make the when it came to misery.

    Speaking of happy ignorance, I see the President’s approval rating is back up to 55%, even though gas prices are up 84% under his watch.

    • The oil man came the other day.  Somehow, I just couldn’t find the “Global Warming dividend” in the price.

    • “I see the President’s approval rating is back up to 55%”
      Who the h*ll are they asking THAT question to? Themselves? Even taking the source (Forbes) into account…
      The media is so sycophant today, every word out of their collective holes, is suspect.

      • Could have been Gallup….I don’t know, because when I saw it I just shook my head and thought why bother looking.
        It doesn’t matter really since there’s no way at this point I can be convinced I’m not being lied to.
        How do you have a national increase in something as obvious and ubiquitous as gasoline prices and still think over half the population is happy with President Useless?
        When prices went up under Bush of course, HE was in the pocket of the oil companies.  I guess NOW it’s….the Republicans in the House?   And Noble Big Ears is fighting them off fiercely to save us?   Who the hell knows what fantasy these people are buying.    Who the hell knows what question is being asked in the poll?   Who the hell really cares.   Let it burn.  The sooner the better.

  • PLUS…while we have had our share in the past…Texas at least is not a cleptocracy, while Ill-in-noise certainly IS.

  • In the long run it really doesn’t matter. As the private economy is systematically destroyed, we are (if lucky ) headed to Greece/France/Detroit status. States like Texas are only fighting a rear guard action.

    • When TX fights they usually win though.

    • Better to be found with your back on the field and your boots towards the enemy than face down with a hole in your back.

    • hhmm doesn’t really matter.  Sure fight the good fight. But there are no options. The Republicans are stupid trash and I doubt if they will ever win a national election again anyway. The Democrats are really just the Fascist party in virtually every single way now, they are not even trying to hide it all that much.
      If I had enough money I would run off to maybe Switzerland or one of the Baltic states.  I really don’t have any love for this country anymore. Our people are for the most part pieces of human crap. Whether it is voting for fascists, or watching Honey Boo Boo, or fighting over a pair of brand new sneakers, they are trash.
      And the conservatives are nearly as bad. They still want to put people in jail for screwing, or for smoking a joint, and they still want to bomb other people for the most spurious of reasons.  Few people it seems are content with just leaving their neighbors alone.

      • Don’t be such a downer. Canada is run by the conservatives. Canada has reformed their economy on spending before, under lefties. We just have the reserve currency, a poor media, and enough LIV to make this journey take more time.

      • There are ALWAYS options. Just depends on how far you want to take things.

        • <p>True that.</p>
          <p>I keep in mind it is an apotheoetic crime against humanity, to start a war you can’t win.</p>

      • No, speaking as a non-religious conservative, I don’t want to put people in jail for screwing, or smoking a joint,
        and I don’t believe in bombing people for spurious reasons.
        Maybe my classification isn’t conservative…
        But the bombings….
        Crimmiiny, you can say that’s conservatives? when you had a Democrat fling missiles across a border at an aspirin factory and some camels in response to an embassy bombing?  And another one that snuffs out American citizens without due process using drone launched missiles (provided it’s in countries that can’t retaliate….)
        A conservative would be RELUCTANT to go flinging missiles around, by it’s very nature that’s hardly the actions of a CONSERVATIVE.   You’re buying all the labeling of the progressives.

        • Well I suppose it depends on which “conservatives” But certainly people like McCain and Graham have no problem with what Obama is doing except that they want more of it.

          • Ah, it’s all changed, don’t mind me, I can’t keep track any more.

          • McCain? You are all over the place, aren’t you?

            I’m much more libertarian then conservative. I don’t go to church or oppose pot or porn.

            That said I think it is stupid to worry about the Repubs regulating such things. We have much larger priorities, and most conservative Repubs at least respect federalism and the Constitution even if they don’t like pot.

        • “And another one that snuffs out American citizens without due process using drone launched missiles (provided it’s in countries that can’t retaliate….)”
          When the military in time of war, finds a person is a valid target, there is no process due them but the application of the expeditious and proportionate firepower to get the job done.  This is so when an infantryman pulls a trigger on sighting the enemy, a red leg pulls a lanyard after getting firing co-ordinates, or a drone operator sees a target getting into a mud hut.

          • Yes indeed, and we can go on to pretend there’s no difference between being caught at the detonation point beneath a 155mm shell fired at point x on the map where ‘enemy troops’ are located, and being an American citizen, entitled to at least some due process, targeted specifically by the President of the United States on a kill list Tom.
            However, the conversation pertained to the idea that only conservatives launch attacks.
            and I also won’t get into the numerous problems with declaring war on a word, like terror, or drugs, and pretending that gives us license to do as we please with regard to ignoring inalienable rights.

          • The conversation pertained, in the part I addressed, to the ridiculous idea anything except military force has been due process when Americans make war on Americans, especially when obviously aligned with malign foreign forces.  Civil courts due process is simply and never has been required or even thought wise in that case, its a new lefty delusion.  Not more than when an infantryman pulls the trigger.  It’s the same thing, capture is not plausible, so you apply firepower, and generally kill them.
            Al Qaeda is an organized force with recognizable hierarchies, and in the places abroad where they have sway, we should make war on them with what means we best can, drones are a fit part of that.  When an American counts themselves among them, we should not on account of their nationality hold fire.
            Now a single AQ agent or a small group of them whom the police in this or another friendly country might successfully assault and take, or that country’s military is effectively willing to pursue, it is a far better thing for the courts or that military to deal with that…the drones have not been and I think will not be used in that circumstance, it would be unconstitutional or contrary to valid treaty.
            “and I also won’t get into the numerous problems with declaring war on a word, like terror, or drugs, and pretending that gives us license to do as we please with regard to ignoring inalienable rights.”
            Try not to be too much of a pissant in support of your pretend point, Looker.  I haven’t seen the Army going around with X-acto knives and permanent markers, eliminating a word from pages, and you haven’t either.  And of course the war on drugs is unconstitutional as a prohibition, but there also isn’t the federal military here tearing up the countryside shooting people on sight, and if you don’t like what they are doing, the civil courts are certainly operating here about the matter–not the military.
            We are at war, per the Congress which is what the Constitution requires, with the people and the allies of the people who brought about 9/11, wherever we can only get them by military means, and can, we get them by military means.  And that’s a good thing.  The short hand name for this is “War on Terror”, which is a good enough thing.

          • At war, in Mali?  Somalia?
            I’m not necessarily against the idea we’re zapping terrorists, I don’t like the comfort level we have transgressing on various countries simply because they don’t have the ability to reach back across the ocean and swat us in return.
            If we’re really after terrorists, why don’t we launch drone strikes in China, or Russia or even Germany for that matter, I’m sure the terrorists wander afar from the stink holes they come from once in a while.   The complex answer is we allegedly let the sovereign nation swat the terrorists on their own soil, the simple and true answer is we don’t swat them there because those countries can respond with significant military force that is a threat in someplace other than their homeland.   We’re too comfortable with the idea that as the big kid on the block we can go into anyone’s yard we like, provided they aren’t as big as we are, and dig up their flower beds any time we like.   I’m not real happy with that level of hubris.
            this war Congress declared, which COUNTRY was it again?
            But you’re right, we’ve always sent out dead or alive sorts of hunts, I get that.  I don’t expect, and do not want, our military to risk life and limb to apprehend and try in every case.   What I do want is something a little more concrete than the President’s, this or any other President, Republican, Democrat or People’s Party, say so when it comes to directly hunting down and killing a citizen.

          • “At war, in Mali?  Somalia?”

            Where was the last time the Islamists made the news big? Oh yeah, Mali and Somalia.

            “I don’t like the comfort level we have transgressing on various countries simply because they don’t have the ability to reach back across the ocean and swat us in return.”

            That’s way more comfortable than when they can swat in return.  Lexington was a debacle for the British because we didn’t fight fair, we won that war in large measure because by the standards of the day, we didn’t fight fair with any reliability.

            If we’re really after terrorists, why don’t we launch drone strikes in China, or Russia or even Germany for that matter

            The Chinese and Russians are taking care of their Islamists just fine so far, inasmuch as they aren’t troubling us, and Germany’s perfectly capable of arresting them when that opportunity presents itself.  Why shouldn’t that be good enough?

            “I’m not real happy with that level of hubris.”

            I’m less happy letting the Islamists set up shop wherever they take a notion to, and they then start building up to their next big success, and pour acid in unhooded girl’s faces to pass the time.  Either we get them where we find them, or we don’t get them.

            this war Congress declared, which COUNTRY was it again?

            Where again does the constitution say we can only go to war against a country?

            What I do want is something a little more concrete than the President’s, this or any other President, Republican, Democrat or People’s Party, say so when it comes to directly hunting down and killing a citizen.

            What I want is for people to realize that no matter what a dick this President it, it has always been constitutional to kill the enemy in war, even if they are American citizens and it has never taken a court trial first, the rifle may crack, the artillery roar, and the drone loose the round. There is not and never has been a difference.

          • Well, mark me down as a ‘conservative’ Tom, what can I say.  I think we’re out of hand in several regards.  I cited Russia, and China, as random examples of places we don’t bomb because they’re big, not because they are (or are not) a problem (personally I think the Russians know where a lot of them are, because I think the Russians still think they’re the Soviets, and that WE are the enemy).
            I don’t see the rest of the world (western world, eastern world) that is in theory capable,  launching drone strikes against Islamic terrorists. ONLY our job now.  How cool is that!
            Just because we’re big, doesn’t mean we’re right.  Just because they’re scumbags, doesn’t mean we’re right.  And what we’re doing can lead, in my opinion, to wrong.   If we are brazen about flouting long accepted international practice in hurling explosives about on the sovereign soil of other nations and killing people, why are THEY terrorists, but we’re not?    I don’t care if we think they’re scum, they think we’re scum, so that’s not enough of a standard to measure by.

          • Truthfully I can’t say prudence is a conservative value I’ve seen in your plaint.  I also don’t see that you’ve responded to any of my points with any directness.
            Even during the cold war, I think it would have gotten rather warm if the Soviets had sponsored a 911.
            “Just because we’re big, doesn’t mean we’re right.”
            You seem to be subscribing to the theory–to the extent you make any sense at all–that being big makes us wrong.  And it doesn’t make much sense at that.  Al Qaeda promises to kill us by the millions when it can arrange it, has killed us by the thousands when it could, and it will achieve it’s goals if we do not end Al Qaeda and frustrate it in the meantime.  Prudence lies in harrowing them when we can, where we can.  If they took refuge in China, the reality of realpolitik might prevent us from striking them directly–that would be something to lament, and not draw any moral conclusion from.

          • Hey Looker, you are are in good company with the worst of Ron Paul and Bradley Manning:
            US obsessed with killing.

    • we are (if lucky ) headed to Greece/France/Detroit status.

      If we’re NOT lucky, we’re headed to Kenya/North Korea status.
      I personally think our luck ran out years ago.

      • I think the worst and a fairly likely thing, will instead be a decade or three of British looking NHS socialist bureaucracy, which will take a century to eliminate to just the FDR/LBJ birthed level of idiocy we are now in.
        What is worse, a handful of years of war?  Or a 100 years of no growth and a shrinking population?
        What would be best is returning to power the “constitution in exile”, why many thinkers on the right abhor that phrase and concept I’ve no idea.  The “necessary and proper” and ” interstate commerce” clauses have been allowed to eat the rest of the document.  Getting back to what was best in 1775 and 1787.  That is what I think and feel is conservative, please notice Burke is absent by intent and present only in happenstance.

  • I would also not discount the effect would have on State Farm’s insurance regulation. The various States rely on the State of Domicle to be the prime regulator of an Insurance Company.
    While State Farm certainly has to file NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissoners (bascially the various state’s insurance commissioner/regulator) financial statements in all States it is licensed to write business in, the State of Domicle’s regulations/solvency measures et all, are the prime ‘regulatory environment’ for determining Statutory financial health.

    One would assume Texas has more lenient laws than Illinois.

    • That more or less, what with evidence of fact not being offered, and a presumption being made based on, what?…. is another sort of slander against the South, presuming the regulatory laws ‘up north’ would be more likely to protect ‘the people’.
      Just saying.

      • I would suspect the statutory financial solvency requirements in Ill are more rigid (ready that batsh&t crazy) than in Tx. And Statutory solvency has nothing to do with GAAP solvency.
        Why would assuming this be a slandering Texas?  Now, if you told me Jerry Jones was taking over, well, that’s something quite different.

        • 🙁   No….not…..JERRY……
          Anyway, what you finished up with was ‘regulatory environment’, and clearly I keyed on that more than the ‘financial health’ and solvency portions.  I misunderstood your intent.

  • One other point on Pogue’s claim that Blue states contribute more…Google is based in California but some portion of its revenue comes from Red States. New York’s banks and IL’ insurers…same thing.
    The key to Texas is that it has a political culture that smaller government is good. This is invaluable. Its a natural brake on state expansionism.

    • Rachel Madcow made the same point as Pogue, but an analysis showed that for years Texas had been contributing more than it was taking up until around 2006/2007, and that it was anticipated that with the termination of the stimulus funding it was probable it would go back more towards that situation.  The other note made was that MOST of the states had taken more than they were kicking in (deficit?  what?)
      Remember though, for liberal purposes, history is only relevant when it works to your favor.

    • That culture is changing rapidly in Texas. In another decade it will be virtually indistinguishable from California.  I know, I live here. Conservatives have some power right now but they are still their typical stupid selves, alienating everyone and INCREASING the power of the local governments. Meanwhile the Texicans gain about 2-4% of the electorate every election cycle.

      • Start making changes now then…I liked Glenn Reynolds 3rd House of Legislation…the House of Repeal.

      • I agree man, it’s been changing in many lousy ways for the last 20 years.  Maybe outside the metro areas it’s slower, but this isn’t the same Dallas it was 20+ years ago.  I’m still ready to move back to San Angelo but when I get there I’ll probably find it ain’t the same either.
        Which is why I have no feeling of joy when I hear Californians/New Yorkers and Illini are fleeing their states for TEXAS.   All I see is them morphing it into “back home”.  The only question I have is will the illegals change it into Mexico before they can manage to change it into a reflection of Yankalifornia.

      • Cripes, ANOTHER statement of historical buffoonery!!!
        Texas was a BIG hotbed of Progressivism…and outright Communist pols.
        Geeez.  Read a flucking book!

        • Hmmmm, maybe you have a point. After all Huey Long was a southerner.
          So did Texas ever have a culture of small government before or when did it start.
          Because articles I have read mention this culture specifically.

          • If you look at the FDR era and just prior, you’ll find that Texas and Texans were disproportionately important.  LBJ was not a fluke, and you had characters like Murry Maverick (if memory serves) who was an open Communist.
            Texas farmer were also a big part of the Grange movement, so it goes back a ways.

  • FYI, This move would end Bloomington/Normal. State farm is by FAR the largest employer, and the money it puts into the local economy by way of property taxes and the piles spend by employees on local businesses is staggering.

    If SF leaves, those towns will likely not recover fully for a decade.

    And I won’t even mention what the exodus would do to the housing market, and since I suspect only the salaried people would be taken, there would be a HUGE spike in local unemployment.

    Well done Quinn.

  • and its deficit raise.

    and its deficit rise. (Some journalists there)

    A welcome mat instead of a outstretched hand have to be appealing.

    A welcome mat instead of a outstretched FIST have to be appealing.(There; fixed it).