Among blacks who moved, the proportions who were in their prime -- from 20 to 40 years of age-- were greater than in the black population at large, and college degrees were more common among them than in the black population at large. In short, with blacks, as with other racial or ethnic groups, those with better prospects are leaving the states that are repelling their most productive citizens in general with liberal policies.
Detroit is perhaps the most striking example of a once thriving city ruined by years of liberal social policies. Before the ghetto riot of 1967, Detroit's black population had the highest rate of home-ownership of any black urban population in the country, and their unemployment rate was just 3.4 percent.
It was not despair that fueled the riot. It was the riot which marked the beginning of the decline of Detroit to its current state of despair. Detroit's population today is only half of what it once was, and its most productive people have been the ones who fled.
Treating businesses and affluent people as prey, rather than assets, often pays off politically in the short run-- and elections are held in the short run. Killing the goose that lays the golden egg is a viable political strategy.
As whites were the first to start leaving Detroit, its then mayor Coleman Young saw this only as an exodus of people who were likely to vote against him, enhancing his re-election prospects.
But what was good for Mayor Young was disastrous for Detroit.
There is a lesson here somewhere, but it is very doubtful if either the intelligentsia or the politicians will learn it.