The Great American Diaspora

Target stores

Target is pulling out of Minneapolis

I subscribe to a newsletter that had a great article today. The missive was from the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). They make economics simple to understand. Today’s article was about Retailer Target’s corporate offices abandoning Minneapolis for good. Target announced this by email, saying it was because of better remote work opportunities and less need for downtown office space. Please know, this is the largest employer in Minneapolis. Target employs about 8500 people in the city. They were nonspecific on where they would move. The article in FEE notes that this happened a year after the worse riots in the city’s history. There is an estimate that the destruction caused over 3 billion bucks of negative economic impact on the city. The writer, John Miltimore, believes that the local economy will suffer other cascading consequences. He cited business flight, reduced capital investment, higher insurance costs, and lower property values. Other business people are already leaving downtown Minneapolis.

Now here’s where my thoughts diverge from the rest of the thrust of Mr. Miltimore’s article, and why I titled this monograph, ‘The Great American Diaspora.’ Although Target was nonspecific as to the future of their headquarters, other big corporations are fleeing cities and states that are experiencing degraded law and order. It attracts them to states with less onerous tax laws, regulations, and lower crime. Many of them are moving to Texas and Florida. Hewlett-Packard, Tesla, and Oracle are fleeing to Texas. Goldman Sachs and several billion-dollar hedge funds and investment banking firms are making Florida their new homes. These are huge financial corporations. They are also labor-intensive. Although they are moving the operations to Florida, many of their colleagues will work remotely at first.

Experience has shown this doesn’t last. Many of the remote employees move to be near their tribe, even if they continue to work remotely. They move because they learn of the better living conditions in the new location. Everybody has their own hot button. For some it’s lower taxes, for others, it’s the education of their children. Closed schools do not work well for Mom and Dad. History shows us they move closer to the hub. We see them moving because they are fed up with the covid restrictions and desperately need their freedom. They see the numbers. Florida has no restrictions and has not become a virus hotbed. The virus numbers are the same or better than New York, where there is no freedom and high crime. It speaks for itself. Same comparison holds true for Texas and California. How can anybody blame them? The civil unrest speaks volumes as well. What’s the difference between civil unrest and riots? The reporter. The policies of the states being fled have created festering cities filled with crime and unrest. It has become so commonplace that it’s taken for granted but not approved or liked. There are many who will not put up with it. They vote with their feet and leave.

Think of the Midwest, the rust belt. Have you ever seen Gary, Indiana? How about photos or vids of it? No? Go out of your way to have a look. The dump makes Detroit look good. It’s a plywood city with no windows. It was once a thriving and prosperous city. How long before Chicago will become the next Gary? Many parts already are. The rust belt teems with cities like that. They once were the heart of America and all we stood for in the world. Now there’s nothing but entropy.

In the near term, we will see the political and civil disfunction in the legacy cities and states of the northeast and west coast lose population regardless of their efforts to thwart it. The federal government will attempt to prop them up for a while if we allow them to get away with it. Throwing our tax dollars down that circling drain has only so long a life cycle. Soon enough, the donor states will stamp their foot and shout enough. At first, the federal government will ignore the great unwashed, as they always have. Mounting debt will become intolerable for the prudent states who live within their means. Something’s gotta give.

My greatest concern is the refugees from California and the Northeast will metastasize their poison and contaminate our beautiful lands of freedom and prudence. They bring their businesses with them, but they also bring their arrogance. We are seen as rubes and unsophisticated hicks. I have heard from them. Not only are they woefully ignorant, but so ridden with hubris that we cannot even carry on a reasonable conversation in our homeland where we have foolishly accepted them as guests. Now I know how Squanto felt. No good deed goes unpunished.

gerald jacobs

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