I’ve lived in New York and Massachusetts for the past 25 years. I’ve never met anyone who thought the people in Texas and Florida were smarter than we are. In fact, the general consensus is that they are a bunch of Bible-thumping simpletons. This is actually a slight improvement from 50 years ago at Princeton, Harvard and Penn, when they were also considered racist thugs.
That being the case, it certainly came as a shock to the collective ego when the census of 2010 led to a gain of 4 representatives for Texas and 2 for Florida, coupled with a loss of 2 for New York, 1 each for Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
The population of Texas rose from just under 21 million in 2000 to just over 25 in 2010 Although Massachusetts gained 200,000 they started with just under 1/3 as many people so they didn’t grow nearly as much. Ditto for the other 5 states.
Although the last of the decade was bad, the first part was the famed real estate boom.
We can’t blame minorities for this — in 2006 Texas became a minority majority state, meaning that non whites outnumbered whites. It isn’t the wonderful climate down there either. Trust me, I went through basic AF training in San Antonio in September and October in ’68.
Currently, my depressed home town in Massachusetts is looking hopefully at a new high performance computer center, with participation from Harvard and MIT. Very nice, but there’s no way Texas and Florida have anything close to the technological base of Mass, NY, NJ and Pa. If high tech is to save our town, it should have saved the state and it didn’t.
The commonality to the losing states is the political culture of liberalism, the winners have prospered under the opposite.
We see the same thing nationally. Almost no growth in the past 4 years under very liberal governance, particularly for the first 2 years. You can argue which approach is philosophically better, but for results there is no comparison. This is why one side talks about ‘fairness’. When the pie isn’t growing (as it hasn’t), inequality is particularly grating. When it’s booming no one cares.
Spike Lee made a very sobering movie about the drug trade in the projects (Clockers). Toward the end he put in something only a Black man could get away with. After 2 hours of carnage, Harvey Keitel (playing a homicide detective) looks at the next murdered Black, then looks up at the projects, and says — ‘it’s like a self-cleaning oven’.
So it is with reapportionment. It took a real estate crash and a depression,which Barney Frank (let’s roll the dice on Freddie and Fannie) helped cause, to get rid of him but it was worth it.