October 17, 2005


Can New England be saved?: Report finds too many negatives (NEAL PEIRCE and CURTIS JOHNSON, 10/16/05, Connecticut Post)

Are New England's best days behind it? Is it fated to be an old, blue, cold and complacent corner of a red-hot America?

Some indicators suggest so. The six states are barely holding their own in population; Massachusetts is actually slipping. Each year the merger mania of big companies seems to snap up a famed New England corporation — a Hancock, Fleet or Gillette. Only scrappy fights stem closure of the region's principal military bases, an anchor of its long-standing defense economy.

Despite the remarkable surge of biotech research and corporate spinoffs in the Boston region, the overall economic growth rate is anemic.

Check around New England, as we have in hundreds of interviews over the past three years, and you sense little of the dynamism of the American South and West.

The region's congressional strength is dwindling, and it won no favors in Republican-led Washington with its six-state sweep for John Kerry in 2004. Right now, states like Massachusetts and Connecticut look strong in national rankings of education and income, but the trend lines are down as competitors nip at their heels.

It's nothing a massive influx of Latino immigration isn't going to cure.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 17, 2005 3:03 PM

But they do have a lot of Dinkinses to vote out of office up there.

Posted by: John at October 17, 2005 3:11 PM

The thing about military bases in a sucky location is that the people in the military don't want to go there. For example, choosing between Philadelphia and San Diego is not a hard choice for Navy people, and so Philadelphia gets shut down. Unless you were from a place like Philadelphia or Brooklyn, these were places you avoided if you could, and, for most, not even then. I am sure the same situation obtained with respect to New England bases.

Morale and retention are traded off against whatever political pressure the locals may bring to bear. That "six-state sweep for Kerry" business doesn't help, either.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 17, 2005 3:27 PM

You're right, massive influxes of Latino immigrants to other states will keep places like Connecticut strong in national rankings of education and income.

Posted by: carter at October 17, 2005 5:51 PM

"You're right, massive influxes of Latino immigrants to other states will keep places like Connecticut strong in national rankings of education and income."

While it's hard to tell if this is supposed to be what passes for cleverly sarcastic or if its just someone letting their true sentiments show, neither interpretation is particular flattering.

From the article, I like the following:

[Little Canada is] attached at the hip to New York City, a linchpin of the global economy.

To which I make my own cleverly sarcastic two word comment: New Jersey.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 17, 2005 7:00 PM


Just racism/Darwinism.

Posted by: oj at October 17, 2005 7:16 PM

With the exception of the Scotch-Irish in Appalachia, every immigrant group that came here voluntarily has prospered after the first 1-2 generations. And heck, even they gave us coal for those neat locomotives. And bluegrass, to boot.

Posted by: ghostcat at October 17, 2005 9:40 PM

Why would Hispanics come to a place where starter houses cost $500,000?

Posted by: pj at October 17, 2005 11:42 PM


What immigrant group came up with bluegrass?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at October 18, 2005 3:08 AM

I'm curious how a "massive influx" of a population that drops out of school at the rates Latinos do could somehow improve a states national education ranking. I really am. It's obvious you've never examined how well Latino immigrants actually do in school, and why bother? It's easier to call other people racists then deal with facts that contradict your preconceptions.

Posted by: carter at October 18, 2005 3:38 AM


It won't necessarily improve their education rankings, just their culture, economy, and future.

Posted by: oj at October 18, 2005 7:58 AM

Matt -


Posted by: ghostcat at October 18, 2005 12:08 PM

You have no evidence a massive influx of Latinos will improve those states economies - because it doesn't exist .

I happen to prefer traditional American culture to the culture of Latino immigrants, but then I'm not a mult-culturalist. For such a fan of non-English speaking high school dropouts I find it curious you choose not to live anywhere near them.

Posted by: carter at October 18, 2005 2:06 PM

Florida's growing, MA dying.

Posted by: oj at October 18, 2005 2:12 PM

Florida is a poor example, because its population is growing through internal migration more than through immigration.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 18, 2005 11:20 PM

Foreign migration: Florida is the third largest immigrant-receiving state and ranks fourth in illegal immigration. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that Florida will gain 1.9 million additional immigrants between 1995 and 2025.


Posted by: oj at October 19, 2005 8:56 AM

And between 2005 and 2025, ten million U.S.-born Americans are going to move to Florida, swamping any foreign immigrant effect.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 20, 2005 5:05 PM

The immigrants will stop going to what's essentially a region of Latin America?

Posted by: oj at October 20, 2005 5:35 PM
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