The Flight to Red States

The column argues that people are moving from blue to red states because they are looking for a change in lifestyle.

The Flight to Red States

To the Editor

Re 'People Are Fleeing To Red States. David Brooks' column, "Are They Better?" (April 14).

Mr. Brooks explains why the population has shifted dramatically from blue to RED states. My reasons are taxation and quality of life.

Since moving from New York City to a purple suburban area of blue Charleston, S.C. I have saved a lot in property, state and local taxes.

South Carolina does not tax Social Security benefits. The federal government and the majority of blue states tax them outrageously. My property taxes in South Carolina are 90 percent less than those in New York City.

Did I forget to mention the fact that shoveling the snow in winter is a thing of past?

South Carolina is a poor choice politically. But here, I get to live off my life's work, which I do, instead of watching my assets and efforts disappear into the coffers of tax collectors.

Mount Pleasant, S.C.

To the Editor

Climate change is less affecting in blue states. They are also more prosperous and educated. The flight to the red states will not continue indefinitely. You can doubt climate change, but Florida and South Carolina are going to be severely flooded over the next few years. The West is drying up, and the heartland of America is being blown to pieces.

It's not just a phenomenon of red states. The majority of the rural areas are red, but the cities across the nation are mostly blue.

This is a country that has a large land area. New York City is the only reason it is blue, since it is home to more than half of its population. As James Carville once said, Pennsylvania is purple because of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, with Alabama between.

I'm not sure I'll move.

Barry Rehfeld
New York

To the Editor

David Brooks mentions that all the states except Tennessee have warm climates. Many retirees in Michigan head south between Easter and Thanksgiving. Snowbirds are what we call them. Who would want to escape a cold climate, unless they love the four seasons?

Snowbirds seem to return every year. It could be because they have family in Michigan, or because Michigan has a better quality of life than the South.

Politics is not the only reason people move. People move to a state because they want the jobs or, if they are retired, the opportunity to live in both states and enjoy the benefits of each.

Ken Ross
Dearborn Heights, Mich.

To the Editor

David Brooks's article on why people 'flee' blue cities to move to red states is missing some key points. He is right to note that such people "flee" (are they actually fleeing?) While he is right to note that such people 'flee' (are they really fleeing?)

A home of comparable size can be purchased in Asheville, N.C. for 40% less than it would cost on the California coast. You'll also get to live without a mortgage and invest your savings in mutual funds. One could also feel at home in a city that's basically Berkeley, but with more dive bars.

In addition, young professionals priced-out of blue state housing markets now can have blue state jobs with blue state salaries and work remotely in the same blue islands on red territory. It's not ideology, but rather basic economics that is driving this shift in population.

Russell Shor
Carlsbad, Calif.

To the Editor

I am one such person. I am an ardent liberal who lives in a Republican ultra-conservative state.

As many others, I also moved from a Northeast state with a cold winter to a Southeast state with a warm winter because of the climate. Despite the politics. The weather is great, despite the politics. This is all there really is to the so-called dilemma.

Vicki Anderson
Hernando Beach, Fla.

To the Editor

I retired three years ago and moved to Florida from Wisconsin. Many red states are seeing an increase in their population because the boomers, who make up a large number of Americans, are retiring and moving to warmer states such as Florida and Arizona.

Sheryl King
Venice, Fla.

To the Editor

David Brooks writes, "We know the policy mixture that creates an dynamic society." Just yet, we don't have a political party that is willing to promote this policy mix.

Since years, I've been saying that we need a broader party to represent the views of centrists. The majority of my friends are Republicans, and I am their lone Democrat. I compare our positions on various issues. Our views on these issues are so similar. It is so similar, I call them closet Democrats.

I will not vote for a Republican due to the radical wing that the party must appease. For the same reasons, my friends will not vote for a Democrat. We share many of our values and positions.

Our country is ready to have a centrist political party. Then we might be able to end the Washington gridlock and move our nation forward.

Kevin Walsh
Mahwah, N.J.

David Brooks asked, "Where is the party who stands for the policy mix that works manifestly?"

Our motto is "Not Left." We are recruiting people who think the same way as Mr. Brooks to help us promote more positive choices at upcoming local election.

We hope that election reform will make it easier for those Americans who are in the middle. Vote for the better of two evils no more!

We are labelled as potential "spoilers" by the old parties because we plan to undermine their power through polarization. Soon, we'll be holding elections near you.

Mills River N.C.