New York Times: Middle class moving inland

I don’t read the New York Times. I focus my time and attention on New Mexico, but occasionally they carry a really interesting article. One such article was entitled “Affordable Housing Draws Middle Class to Inland Cities.”

The idea is that large numbers of Americans are abandoning the costly coasts for more affordable digs in the Midwest, Plains, and, of course, Texas. This is definitely a story worth telling. In the absence of crazy federal housing policies, people are moving to places where they can get a decent-paying job and afford to buy a house. This is not a surprise.

The coasts are expensive in part because they tend to have somewhat limited land mass as compared to the central part of the nation, but, more importantly there are the government regulations (everything from environmental to land use to lack of right to work and many in between) that drive up the cost of living in those predominantly “blue,” coastal regions. Needless to say, this being the Times, the impact of regulations is downplayed (only regulations specifically on home-building are mentioned).

As a trend, this shift away from the coasts SHOULD be beneficial to New Mexico, but unless our policymakers free the private sector up for job growth, we’re going to miss out.

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