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BigCityAttitude

The sunbelt

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My first question is where does the sunbelt officially begin? Second of all, why, when the south and southwest have been around forever, are people just now starting to move there? It's not like it was an unexplored land that was just recently visited. I know this may be a stupid question, but hey. I'm not 100% sure. Is it a crime?

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sleepy    1

My first question is where does the sunbelt officially begin? Second of all, why, when the south and southwest have been around forever, are people just now starting to move there? It's not like it was an unexplored land that was just recently visited. I know this may be a stupid question, but hey. I'm not 100% sure. Is it a crime?

People didn't just start moving to the Sunbelt. It's been going on since at least the 50's.

I also think that one of the things that may have played the largest role in bringing about a real boom for the Southern portion of the Sunbelt was the end of legal segregation in the 60's.

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tocoto    0

The sunbelt started to grow because it has mild winters and air condictioning made summers bearable. As its beaches and other natural wonders were discovered the growth gained speed. As the cities became more sophisticated and interesting, good jobs moved there. Now it is on a roll and will stay there until something changes it. Could be tropical disease, rising sea level, overpopulation, we'll have to wait and see. Could be that the south becomes the center of the US and the old northern cities stagnate until eternity.

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Cotuit    0

So where do Rhode Island, Cape Cod, the UP of Michigan, and Eastern Maryland fall? :o

sunbelt.jpg

The Northeast and the Midwest are pumping vast amounts of money into maintaining aging infrastructures right now. The South will be having this problem in 30-40 years.

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BrandonTO416    77

I don't like the arbitrary map above.

States like Mississippi aren't going anywhere, anytime soon. South Carolina isn't booming in anything except tourism.

Lastly - sunbelt is such of a misleading name. It is not anymore "sunny" in Atlanta as it is in Boston. The difference is warmer winters (still chilly and cold) with little snow. The obvious tradeoff is hotter, more humid, more unbearable summer months.

The sunbelt has its positives, but its not without problems either.

"Sunbelt" and "Rustbelt" are dated terms that will surely die with time. When I hear the terms, I get the idea of 1950's-1980's era movement and ideology regarding urban development.

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Brickell    0

I think it's more like old belt and new belt. Put Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi in with the old; Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, Oklahoma and Southern Ohio in with the new.

Even within states, people are leaving the older cities for the new suburban boomtowns, ie San Fran to Sacremento or Miami to Weston.

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Scott    1

Also, alot of people left southern and western states in the early 20th century because of the dust bowl or people looking for work in northern factories. What we are seeing now is the same but opposite, a reverse migration of people looking for oportunity, just south and west, not north. Of course all the good places tend to get expensive and people move somewhere else without much regard for the weather. Otherwise Honolulu would be Americas largest city.

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Allan    0

Haha. Apparently the UP isn't in the rust belt or the sun belt.

Anyway, most of it has to do with jobs. People migrated north from the south looking for work, now it's going back in the other direction. Of course today's boomtowns might not be booming years from now. Many southern cities are seeing the kind of growth now that Detroit did. Detroit's boom didn't last, and, well, I think everyone here knows what happened to it. Hopefully the southern cities will have a much better fate.

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bobliocatt    0

^the key will be if these cities learn from the rise & fall of earlier boomtowns, which almost always relied heavily on a single economy or large industrial manufacturer. Most of today's boomtowns are pretty diversified, so I believe they are putting themselves in good position to weather the strom, whenever it arises.

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PghUSA    0

I put this in another thread about the Sunbelt

Air Conditioning as was previously mentioned was indeed a big factor on the migration southward.

BUT what is overlooked a lot is that in the 1950s the Defense Department and the Feds saw that when fighting a Nuclear War a few nukes launched in Ohio and New Jersey could take out 99.9% of our manufacturing base. From the 1950s to the 1970s 80% of the growth in the sunbelt was related to Goverment Billions flowing in, from Johnson Spaceflight Center in Houston (they could have put that in DC if they wanted) to the skunk works (placed there because thats where the govt. was subsidizing it) to Los Alamos, to Cape Caneveral to the CENTCOM in Tampa and Homestead AFB in Miami, to the numerous Army Bases in the sunbelt (all existed prior to the 1950s but the government Billions only came starting in the 1950s!).

If it wasn't for the Cold War threat the West and South would still be somewhat backward today and the "Rust Belt" would be too busy and active to "rust".

In the last 25 years though immigration, both legal and illegal has also contributed to the mixed economies in the south and west.

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PghUSA    0

Not knocking AC, AC and technology was a huge factor in the shift.

Think about it though, why would a family MOVE, even today why would you pick everything up and move 2,000 miles away? More $$$, now how does an area with a few AC fans and some country folk get Billions to lure hundreds of thousands of families who have roots and friends and connections in the Detriots and Pittsburghs and Philadelphias to move to Arizona in 1965 when most of the state is extremely rural? Its because Lockheed or Westinghouse or GE or any of the other "MilitaryIndustrials" transferred them or hired them, and the only reason GE would go there is A) Non-Union, B ) the govt. has a keen interest in developing those regions and spreading the targets in case of Nuclear attack. The money flow was the genesis, the AC, the other technologies, the interstate system, the cheaper land and the non-union tradition were all incentives on closing the deal. Think Phoenix in 1960 Atlanta in 1960 Miami in 1960 Houston in 1960 you talk to old timers in those cities and they will tell you it was a "quiet" southern town, what changed was the $$ from the Pentagon, Alaska has expanded a lot too since 1960, population growth, Anchorage getting a skyline, Fairbanks becoming more of a city scene, the difference there is the AC and the Technology, but those are differences AFTER you come to check it out, to get people to sell that dream home and leave all their friends and family in 1960 and 1970 and 1980, there was some very nice jobs in defense or in companies that supported defense plants or communities (food, retail, services, etc.). Atlanta if not for AC would be like Anchorage today, but both went from sleep outpost town in 1950 to major city today, Atlanta a major world city and Anchorage a major regional city. AC alone would not make you give up your roots for a new start in a catcus patch in Tucson in 1970 or a swamp in Houston in 1960, there had to be some gold in them thar hills, and it was stamped with the Pentagons ensignia. The Union stuff was an added bonus for the Fortune 500 companies moving south too.

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Phillydog    39

So where do Rhode Island, Cape Cod, the UP of Michigan, and Eastern Maryland fall? :o

sunbelt.jpg

The Northeast and the Midwest are pumping vast amounts of money into maintaining aging infrastructures right now. The South will be having this problem in 30-40 years.

I noticed that! Maybe RI was finally sucked up by Massachusetts and Maryland got torn-up by Virginia and Pennsylvania?

In any case you are dead-on target about infrastructure in the future.

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Phillydog    39

I don't like the arbitrary map above.

States like Mississippi aren't going anywhere, anytime soon. South Carolina isn't booming in anything except tourism.

Lastly - sunbelt is such of a misleading name. It is not anymore "sunny" in Atlanta as it is in Boston. The difference is warmer winters (still chilly and cold) with little snow. The obvious tradeoff is hotter, more humid, more unbearable summer months.

The sunbelt has its positives, but its not without problems either.

"Sunbelt" and "Rustbelt" are dated terms that will surely die with time. When I hear the terms, I get the idea of 1950's-1980's era movement and ideology regarding urban development.

"South Carolina isn't booming in anything except tourism." And automobile technology. There's more to the place than Mrytle Beach.

"It is not anymore "sunny" in Atlanta as it is in Boston." Huh? Where's the data?

"The obvious tradeoff is hotter, more humid, more unbearable summer months." Obviously, you've never spent time in Connecticut in the summer without air conditioning.

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Allan    0

"The obvious tradeoff is hotter, more humid, more unbearable summer months." Obviously, you've never spent time in Connecticut in the summer without air conditioning.

The thing is that when it's 85 degrees with 75% humidity in Connecticut, it's 95 degrees with 75% humidity down south. Those 10 degrees make a huge difference with the high humidty in the summertime.

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BrandonTO416    77

I'm glad someone brought in the Mexican migration patterns. A huge chunk of southern growth has come from the hispanic movement north to get out of Mexico's depressive economic system.

Southern states where the border is fairly far away even see this trend. Upwards of 10-20-30% of population growth in many cities is attributed to this.

Cities like Houston, its closer to the 40% hispanic growth mark (i'm talking about growth, the actual population in the metro area is now some 30% hispanic).

People leave out that fact all the time.

Mexicans are a cheap labor force: ill-educated enough to know they have a right to fight for better wages, and afraid to take action because many are illegals.

The northern states don't have as large of a growing cheap labor force: so where does business move? To wherever they can take advantage of people. LOL

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BrandonTO416    77

In the south, we are proned to heatwaves that last for months in summer months. Heatwaves that produce 90-100+ temperatures for weeks on end... They happen much less often in Hartford.

There's a difference between hot and unbearable.

Don't believe me? Go to http://www.weatherbase.com/

Boston is just as sunny as Atlanta. The difference is negligible at best.

Another perk - the northeast does not have the severe weather like the southeast. Tornadoes pop up like popcorn throughout the year at random times. This effects the Carolinas less then the rest of the south due to their location east of the appalachains and further enough northeast of the gulf of mexico - but even still they have higher hurricane risks then the northeast. The American southeast is hurricane central for the western hemisphere.

Hurricanes don't seem like a big deal if you are in Atlanta, but they still come inland with some strong storms. I live in central Tennessee and we've had hurricane or tropical storms from the Gulf come inland and do damage all over the place.

Yes - the south is far more likely to be afflicted by this type of weather system.

Believe me - there is a tradeoff for every region's weather patterns.

What were the number one weather disasters of modern American history? Hurricane Hugo and Hurricane Andrew.

Not a snowstorm in upstate New York.

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Cotuit    0

In the south, we are proned to heatwaves that last for months in summer months. Heatwaves that produce 90-100+ temperatures for weeks on end... They happen much less often in Hartford.

There's a difference between hot and unbearable.

Don't believe me? Go to http://www.weatherbase.com/

Boston is just as sunny as Atlanta. The difference is negligible at best.

Another perk - the northeast does not have the severe weather like the southeast. Tornadoes pop up like popcorn throughout the year at random times. This effects the Carolinas less then the rest of the south due to their location east of the appalachains and further enough northeast of the gulf of mexico - but even still they have higher hurricane risks then the northeast. The American southeast is hurricane central for the western hemisphere.

Exactly.

About the weather extremes, today, at the ripe old age of 30, a lifelong Northeasterner, I saw hail for the first time. We had a beotch of a thunderstorm plow through Providence about an hour ago with what I would describe as, half-golf ball sized hail. I've never seen anything like it, and from what I understand, hail is a fairly common event in the south, living in the Northeast, I've never experienced it.

May not seem like a big deal, but it shows how different the summer weather is. When we have 3 days in a row in the mid-90s up here people are freaking out like it's the end of the world. Much of the south sees those temperatures for months at a time, not days.

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Cotuit    0

The entire country is seeing large increases in Central and South American immigration. Boston has a large Brazilian population for instance.

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BrandonTO416    77

No one seriously drives to Clingman's Dome every weekend to escape hot weather, however. I remember last October I went hiking up the mountain on the paved trail - it was relatively warm in the valley - chilly but warm enough to where ice would never occur - but on top where the overlook is, there were huge icicles hanging from the top and blustery cold winds. It had to of been 30 degrees cooler.

BUT, again, you can't escape there every weekend or go there to work during the weekdays. ;)

Actually, if you want a better hike, Mt. LeConte is a less-travelled hike because you don't drive up to near the top and hike only a half of a mile on a paved pathway. Halfway between Gatlinburg and Clingman's Dome, you can pull over at a hiking stop off the roadway and hike 2+ miles up to Mt LeConte. Its completely inside of TN - so you can see the Gatlinburg towers and stuff.

I've never done it - no one I know cares to go hiking or go on trips regardless.

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