One of the things social scientists (moron, oxy, one each) prattle on about is “assortative mating”: you’re most likely to marry and have kids (or for those of you on the post-68 edge of society or dependent on welfare, just “have kids”) with someone close to you in social and economic class, which those same oxymorons capture as “socioeconomic status.”
Yes, it’s pseudoscience, but bear with us for a minute.
This is Huntsville, in case you’be never seen it (yes, there was an embarrassing B’ham picture here before).
They impute all kinds of consequences to the fact that doctors are marrying other doctors, not nurses; and executives are marrying other executives, not secretaries. But an interesting pattern of activity has emerged that, if we were social scientists, we’d probably call assortative relocation.
It’s moving to a place where people are more like you and you will be more welcome. And both individual people, and groups of people like families and firms, can do it. Historically, Americans located where the opportunity was, and to some extent that’s still the case, although we define opportunity differently. (Plaintiff No. 2′s deadbeat sister moved interstate when her own state institute welfare reform, to a state that was more generous with deadbeats at the time). Many in the gun culture have relocated joyously to Alaska, Wyoming, Florida, New Hampshire, Virginia, or Idaho from California, New York, Maryland, Connecticut or Massachusetts.
Now we’re seeing firms do the same thing. There are often direct financial benefits to relocating in a more gun-friendly state, because anti-gun policies are often comorbid with anti-business policies in the same urban progressive politicians. But the costs and disruptions of interstate relocation make it an extreme move for a business, just as it is for a family.
Our family did it a few at a time, until there was finally one last holdout left in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, and even he wised up. (Nearly ten years after his move, those leeches are still trying to tax him, too).
Some families do it rather abruptly. Judy Aron wrote to the Hartford Courant explaining her departure from the former Constitution State, and, probably wishing her good riddance, the Courant, which is stridently anti-gun, printed it:
Our guns did not kill those children in Sandy Hook, and yet Connecticut wanted to punish us for it. We are cheering for those who have decided not to register and we respect others who decided not to risk becoming instant felons. Our choice was simply to leave.
We decided not to put our ability to defend ourselves in jeopardy, especially after the Cheshire home invasion. In speaking to legislators such as Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, and Sen.Martin Looney, D-New Haven, we understood full well that they were not finished and that more anti-Second Amendment legislation was forthcoming.
The Republican minority was complicit in destroying constitutional rights in Connecticut, so we couldn’t even go to Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield or House Minority Leader Larry Cafero of Norwalk for help.
It was time to leave Connecticut. It’s a state riddled with political corruption, which has ripped Second Amendment rights from citizens while taxing them to death and redistributing wealth to illegal immigrants and nanny state freeloaders.
We are not alone in our decision to leave Connecticut. The exodus has begun in earnest as people clamor to move anywhere where there is more economic opportunity, smaller government, less crime and more freedom. Their children have already left the state because there are no real career jobs to be had. Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Tennessee, North Carolina are some choices for people who are leaving, but we decided on New Hampshire.
Welcome Judy and your family to New Hampshire. Please help us keep it free.
But the sudden move, like Judy’s, seems to be less popular than the gradual shift. That certainly seems to be the way many businesses are doing it, also: they’re redirecting growth, the growth the parasitic gun control state expects to feed on, to more friendly states. And businesses, which are sensible and cautious and calculating, don’t usually go out firing a broadside like Judy Aron, God bless her, did. They usually just pad out overnight, locking the doors of the silent plant as they go… or just starve the old plant of new products and investment, letting it trundle along on legacy products for as long as it’s economical to do so. Meanwhile, the R&D, the vibrancy, the jobs for young workers, flash into being a thousand miles away. Sorry about that.
We saw Beretta do this: leaving some efforts, mostly Government-related, in place in Accokeek, but relocating growth and expansion to new and friendlier climes. Magpul in Colorado. It’s true that some companies have just pulled up root and branch (Kahr, ATI, reportedly PTR, maybe Stag), but a move uproots not just suppliers and machinery but, more critical and less mobile, people, whose roots in the community can be deep. So the larger and more-established companies are especially likely to move stepwise, first relocating growth, before moving legacy ops.
Now it’s Remington: the company whose name has been synonymous with the area around Ilion and Herkimer, NY, for almost 200 years (since 1816), is expanding not in hostile Cuomostan, but in Huntsville, Alabama. The new plant will have 500,000 square feet of modern manufacturing space and will employ up to 2,000 cutting-edge manufacturing workers. The official announcement will be made at 1700 today by the Governor and the company together, but news leaked Saturday night (we wrote and queued this post Sunday morning).
Let us say a few words about Huntsville: if you’re relocating there, you’re going to love it. It’s a dynamic and vibrant city. There’s probably more rocket scientists per square meter there, than anywhere, at least, west of Kosmograd. It’s been a big center of space and defense research since the Army located some Project Paperclip scientists there in the late 1940s (you may have heard of Walter von Dornberger? Alexander Lippisch? No? How ’bout Wernher von Braun?) — engineers’ and managers’ sons and daughters will not lack for assortative mating opportunities (grin). There’s even a Guard SF unit in nearby Decatur.
The Japanese Bridge in Big Spring Park.
Before the antis start their “r-word” derogation of the modern South, we New England Yankees who know our brothers and sisters in Huntsville want to get this counterstrike in: if you’re a racial or religious minority, you’re still going to love it. In my experience, the racism levels in the South in general and in Huntsville in particular are nothing like the ones you encounter in Northeastern conurbations. There’s enough black people, for example, that nobody’s going to expect a token black person to be a “sole spokesman for the race” as happens at a gathering of Boston “liberals”. If you’re intent on keeping kosher, you’ll be able to, you won’t be the Lone Ranger, and you’ll find that all those Southern Baptists are prepared to like you for yourself. You’re just going to be Bob, or Sue, or Tashawn, and you’re going to be measured as an individual and treated with decent Southern respect. You will get used to people calling you “sir” and “ma’am”. They still do that there.
But the newspaper’s not all bad. They took this great picture of the same bridge under the current Global Warming.
The only people that won’t welcome you are at the newspaper, probably. Their reporters and editors are the same as every other J-school product; their fantasy is to write for the New York Times, and relocation from New York is unimaginable to them. They are currently discombobulated that their readers are actually welcoming these Merchants of Deer Death or something to Huntsville. Heh. They actually posted a poll to see what Huntsvillians thought about bad old Guns.Inc coming to town. As out-of-staters, we didn’t vote, but were amused to find that 2,000 jobs and guns were outpolling the gun-concern trolls by an Alaska-sized margin. The comments at that poll are priceless.
The Remington that is setting up in Huntsville is the overall holding company that was formerly called The Freedom Group. It will build a large facility and it sounds like they may be planning to keep it flexible for producing items for any of the many Remington group, formerly Freedom Group, brands. This does not betoken a closing of the Ilion, NY plant, but it does betoken something that probably means something like that in the long run: investment outside Ilion in preference to inside the historical home.
Note that the corporate HQ is already in Madison, North Carolina. There’s something New York lost, or more accurately, threw away. So is the 500k square feet and 2,000 jobs in Huntsville.
Now let’s say a few words about places like Ilion, New York and Accokeek, Maryland. Ilion is a beautiful town; it’s Norman Rockwell’s America. The people of Ilion are not the ones that put downstate politicians in power in Albany, politicians like Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo is more comfortable around organized crime figures and Wall Street potentates (pardon the repetition) than with someone who clocks in to a job and cuts steel into a usable shape for a living. The good people of Ilion are the losers in this. The same applies in Accokeek; the workers there are more likely to aspire to buy Beretta products, than to vote for politicians who condemn them.
Someday, when the plant closes, or there’s a big layoff, Andrew Cuomo or some equally corrupt successor will travel to Ilion (complaining every mile, privately to his palace eunuchs, about how remote from anything important it is) and give a Man of The People speech that will be written for him by some junior flunky, who also majored in student council, and considers the actual work of manufacturing a task for Morlocks, far beneath him. And the press, none of whom has ever made a thing in his or her life, or even knows any one who has, will write it all down as if it really matters. And 100 years from now, Ilion will look like Newburgh, and no one will know why, just as no one can put their finger on why Newburgh was prosperous a century ago and now isn’t. Hey, they’ve pumped millions of welfare and aid in there, shouldn’t it be rich by now?
And gunwriters will be using “Huntsville” as a shorthand for “Remington” in their stories. “The latest from Huntsville is the most technically advanced version of the venerable Model 700 yet….” Sorry, Andrew. You got what you demanded.
Maybe you can pick up the 100-odd losers who voted against Remington in the Huntsville Record’s online poll. Good luck getting anything useful out of them, though: they’re probably reporters.
The reax will get a post of its own, but the head of Remington’s union in New York blames Cuomo and the SAFE Act. It’s unlikely that Remington will let their plant in right-to-work Alabama be saddled with the dead weight of the United Mine Workers union.