Why won’t Americans move away from states that they characterize as oppressive?

“NAACP Issues Travel Advisory in Florida” (NAACP):

the NAACP Board of Directors issued a formal travel advisory for the state of Florida. The travel advisory comes in direct response to Governor Ron DeSantis’ aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.

The formal travel notice states, “Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color.”

“Let me be clear – failing to teach an accurate representation of the horrors and inequalities that Black Americans have faced and continue to face is a disservice to students and a dereliction of duty to all,” said NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson. “Under the leadership of Governor Desantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon. He should know that democracy will prevail because its defenders are prepared to stand up and fight. We’re not backing down, and we encourage our allies to join us in the battle for the soul of our nation.”

According to the NAACP Board members, Florida has either no soul or an evil soul. Democracy might “prevail” in the future, which implies that right now there is no democracy in Florida. Therefore, nobody should risk spending a week at Disney World or on the Miami Beach sand.

Where do the successful intelligent people who issued this advisory choose to live? Florida. The Board of Directors page lists Leon W. Russell as the Chair. Mr. Russell’s Twitter profile says that he chooses to live in Tampa, Florida. The page shows that at least some other Board members also choose to live in Florida:

In other words, the folks who said that Florida is too dangerous to visit for even a few days due to its missing and/or defective soul and its lack of democracy choose to live in Florida all-year every-year. There is no income or estate tax in Florida, but the folks who issued this warning pay sales tax to support the tyranny of Ron DeSantis (whose name they do not capitalize properly!) every time that they shop at Publix. If they keep sending money to the tyrant, shouldn’t he infer that they actually support whatever it is that he is doing?

The Republicans I know who live in Democrat-run states don’t say that they are suffering from “fascism”, but they still say that they disagree with lockdowns, school closures, mask orders, vaccine papers checks, race-based government programs, gender reassignment surgery for teenagers, etc. When I suggested to a pilot friend in Maskachusetts that he move to a state where the government would use his tax money to do things that he supports, he said that he wants to but that his wife wants to “stay and fight”. He pays about $400,000 per year in state/local taxes. I suggested that he give me $400k/year and that I would do a bunch of stuff that he disagrees with in exchange. His wife can trash talk me on Facebook and Twitter to her heart’s content. Does he think that I will be motivated to change while the $400k checks continue to roll in?

“Stay and fight” makes sense to me if the dispute is over the appropriate level of school funding or whether zoning laws should be relaxed to allow construction of massive apartment buildings to accommodate some of the 100+ million additional Americans who are going to be living here due to our mostly-open-borders immigration policy. But “stay and fight” wouldn’t have made sense against a totalitarian 20th century government. Nobody who stayed to fight Stalin or Mao had any significant positive impact. Yet it is precisely this kind of totalitarianism that Florida Democrats say they are experiencing. Some examples from the tyrant’s opponent in the 2022 general election:

After what he called “fascism” won by a landslide, did he move to a fascism-free state? I haven’t found any media stories suggesting that Crist did anything to free himself. He’s quietly living in Florida, apparently, paying taxes to keep fascism going. (See Will Democrats have to move if Republicans win in their states? for some more examples.)

Marijuana entrepreneur-partnered Nikki Fried is running the Florida Democrats right now. She chooses to live in Florida, where she says that “fascism” prevails (since we must work to “end fascism”):

Why don’t we see Democrats fleeing fascism in significant numbers? There should be plenty of room right now in the fascism-free state of New York: “NYC lost 5.3% of its population — nearly a half-million people — since COVID, with most heading South” (New York Post, May 18, 2023).

19 thoughts on “Why won’t Americans move away from states that they characterize as oppressive?

    • I utterly detest and condemn the fascist rules in effect under DeSantis’ FloriXXXa!

      Then again, the taxes are a lot lower, and during COVID I was able to move around.

      So, yeah, I’m sticking around. 🙂

  1. The GDP of NYC is now higher than before the pandemic.


    Rents are higher than ever (it could be that renting is a better option than buying…)


    I don’t dispute that lots of people have left NYC (since the City’s GDP is higher, the GDP per capita is also much higher). So those who have remained in NYC are, on average, better off.

    People move mostly for economic reasons. As you correctly pointed out in one of your recent postings, people did not move to Alabama in the XVIII century to advance the cause of liberty. The GDP per capita of Florida is way lower than the one in NY. Productivity per hour in Florida is also much lower.


    In my opinion, Florida is attractive because it does have nice weather and coastline, and lower taxes. I don’t think Florida has an economy that can generate wealth like the ones of NY or California. Time will tell.


    • Anon: I agree with you that people usually move for economic reasons. However, a person who raises the fascism alarm should be an exception. I also agree with you that Florida won’t generate wealth the way that a lot of other states do (of course, much of the wealth generated in New York is attacked as being due to parasitism, e.g., Wall Streeters stealing from Main Street). With some exceptions in the services sector, Florida is where people move once they’ve already made money. But generating GDP doesn’t mean that one’s life is actually better. A child working in a 19th century mill was generating GDP for his/her/zir/their parents. That doesn’t mean the child was happier than a child who wasn’t working in the mill.

  2. Phil, I agree with you. I just want to offer my perspective concerning comparisons between places like NY. I live in NYC and I visit Florida almost every winter (I love to kayak in the Everglades). I love both places.

    I am fortunate/unfortunate to have lived in two countries, and I have spent lots of time in two others. I was born in a country run by a dictator that then become a democracy. I’m in my 60s so I have some flight time. My experience is that most people just “support the current thing.” There are few folks who really stand for what they say they believe. For many in places like NYC expressing their strong feelings against Florida and its current governor is almost a religious duty. Most people who criticize the so called “say no gay” bill have not read it. They depend on others to “curate” their opinions.

    So, yes people are not very true to their stated ideals. In my view, many “progressive” places are now more Fascist than what I experienced when I was very young.

  3. On a different subject. The statement “of course, much of the wealth generated in New York is attacked as being due to parasitism, e.g., Wall Streeters stealing from Main Street” sounds vaguely Marxist. “Rootless cosmopolitans” in the big metropolis stealing from the hardworking people of the countryside. The sentiment goes back to Roman times. Some may say that while NYC steals from poorer places, in exchange it brings them civilization. An unfinished task given the results of recent elections in some places…

    “Poor states of America unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains”.

    • I think the statement could also come from Ayn Rand. There is no known way of weeding out all parasites. Communism didn’t work, but the current crony capitalism isn’t optimal either.

    • But much of Wall Street gone Marxist as well. In tune with last decade of Soviet Union.

    • New York generates plenty of non-Wall Street wealth as well. And rents are through the roof, higher then in SF and Silicon Valley in general. Also it is an import hub so many outfits with an office in NY and design/manufacturing abroad add to G-NY-P. Margin allows keep a receptionist in NY, near the boss. Florida has a lot more to do in this area, it can improve ports.

  4. Do you think the NAACP has much influence in the US anymore? The legacy media picks the story up because the NAACP dumps on Gov. Ron who if he ever gets going might be a serious challenger to their guy, Old Joe. So do you think many “colored people” these days look to the NAACP for “advancement”? I mean there are at least three “colored people” running for President (though only on the Republican side) Tim Scott as well as Vivek and Nikki Haley, both of whom appear “colored” to me, and I don’t know that they look to the NAACP for guidance. Vivek became a millionaire or billionaire though I don’t know that his “advancement” was due to the NAACP. And Nikki Haley became the gov of a state though I don’t know what the NAACP did to “advance” her career. Any insights?

  5. Arguing from anecdote, escape from nascent fascism is not as easy for who don’t have the privilege of owning a plane or being able to work out of a laptop. I know people grateful when a job opportunity allowed them to move from a red to blue state, and I am personally grateful that I don’t have to worry about how my Congressional representatives will vote on important issues. Spain didn’t depopulate under Franco, but those who stayed and fought did suffer, bravely, needlessly, unmercifully. All we anti-fascists want from Florida, Texas, and the other states leaning to fascism is mercy towards their minorities and solidarity towards the common good in their education and health systems. But then they wouldn’t be fascist anymore.

    • So how did Franco expire? Was helped by the friends, not the enemies? Like in many dictatorships?
      As dictators go Franco was one of the best. He kept Spain not involved in WWII – a big one, worth million of lives. And on the side he saved more Jews from Holocaust then FDR did. Which was not hard to do of course. And under Franco Spain’s economy improved, something that still eludes our liberal rulers.

  6. “…but they still say that they disagree with lockdowns, school closures, mask orders, vaccine papers checks, race-based government programs, gender reassignment surgery for teenagers,”

    You realize it’s 2023 now, don’t you?

    • Some people have memories. We remember that COVID was magically declared vanquished in March 2022 after the Democrats found their new Ukraine mission.

      (The travel ban for dirty “unvaccinated” air travelers was just lifted in May 2023.)

    • Jim: yes, 2023… the perfect time for taxpayer-funded gender-affirming surgery in Massachusetts or California!

    • No, Phil, I don’t agree with AB2218 signed by Newsom. I don’t care what gender someone wants to be but, no, I don’t want to pay for it.

      Everything here in California is not perfect…what a surprise. Show me a place that is.

    • > You realize it’s 2023 now, don’t you?

      Well, another opinion reversal is just in: Blinken suddenly supports the One China policy after stirring up trouble for more than a year.

      Do we finally see a pattern here? What is the next “crisis”?

      One should try healing cannabis, which should make it easier to ignore all these inconsistencies.

    • “One should try healing cannabis, which should make it easier to ignore all these inconsistencies.”
      That’s probably what Blinken does.
      Better idea is not to ingurgitate anything that comes from American left. No firm inter-generational morals and everything is tactical for them, subordinated to their goal – slow down divine judgement

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