Joel Kotkin over at The New Geography has put together a list of the metro regions most likely to flourish after the next election. His reasoning hinges on the following:
Our list assumes that we will be living in a post-stimulus environment ... And given it is unlikely the Democrats will regain the House - and they could still lose the Senate - we are unlikely to see anything like the massive spending associated with Obama’s first two years in office.
Clearly the stimulus helped prop up certain regions, such as New York City, Washington and various university towns, which benefited from the financial bailout, lax fiscal discipline and grants to research institutions. But in the foreseeable future, fundamental economic competitiveness will be more important. Global market forces will prove more decisive than grand academic visions.
With that in mind, Kotkin lies out the potential winners for the next four years. Winners include:
- Energy belt states like Texas, Oklahoma and Montana ("even if Europe falls into recession, demand from China and other developing countries, as well as threats from Iran to cut off the Persian Gulf, will keep energy prices high.");
- Agricultural heartland states like Omaha (whose "strong agriculture-based economy keeps its unemployment rate well under 5 percent");
- The Southwest's new manufacturing belt (which benefits from its connection to Mexico. "Future big growth will not come from bailed-out General Motors or Chrysler, with their legacy costs and still-struggling quality issues, but from foreign makers - Japanese, German and increasingly Korean - that build highly rated, energy-efficient vehicles.");
- The technosphere ("Silicon Valley, as well as the Boston area, has thrived under the stimulus, and worldwide demand for technology products will continue to spark some growth in those areas.");
- and the Pacific Northwest ("This is one blue region in the country with excellent prospects.")
See his rationale for each here.
Photo credit: Todd Korol/Reuters