The South Isn’t Really Doing All That Badly

The Wall Street Journal says today that the South, after years of improvement, is now falling further behind the Northeast and other regions. Here’s the chart:

The Journal’s chart starts at 1890, which makes it a little hard to see that, in fact, the South’s convergence with other regions had pretty much stopped by 1980. Here’s a simpler chart that makes this clearer:

There’s not much happening here. The South had a couple of bad years in 2013-15, but aside from that its median income has puttered along for decades at about 85 percent of the level of the West and the Northeast, and it’s actually continued to gain ground on the Midwest. It hardly seems like there’s any real trend here aside from—maybe—a slow drift downward since 2000 vs. the West and Northeast.

That said, I’d be interested to find out what happened in 2013-15. That was a fairly dramatic drop and it happened in comparison to every other region—and it changes the whole character of the trendlines. However, nothing comes immediately to mind.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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