Stark Reality

3rd Quarter 2020

Market Watch
by Joe A. Hollingsworth, Jr.

Wake up!  You are living in a big city in a blue state!  It is time to rethink this situation.  Whether it is Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Chicago, etc., it just doesn’t work anymore.

A few of the things you may have noticed:

  • This pandemic’s danger (as well SARS and similar to ones before and the ones to come after) is greatly heightened by living in high density areas;
  • Protests with no apparent definable reason are now unrestrained and are morphing into thieves doing harm to neighborhoods, not to mention shootings and drugs.
  • The cost of living and quality of life have greatly deteriorated, even the millennials are moving out.  Every big city is shrinking;
  • Non-sense, political progressive leadership is totally incompetent and largely incoherent; and;
  • Federal tax changes on SALT have raised your taxes to better reflect devastating local and blue state spending excesses.

New York Governor Cuomo said when addressing the street protests, “You don’t need to protest.  You won.”   Then, he added, “What reform do you want?  What do you want?”

All the media and the TV talking heads are in big cities, furthering the myopic progressivism that fuels the unrest.  Would their agenda be any different if they were all based in towns like Cookeville, Tennessee?

As you may know, I wrote a book twenty years ago called The Southern Advantage, and it chronicled the South’s rise to economic prominence from abject poverty.  While there is some truth that air-conditioners changed people’s feelings about the South, the migration of “can do” people to the South has made it the largest population region as well as the economic engine of the United States.

How does this affect industrial real estate?  We constantly are talking about reconfiguration of supply chains, or more recently the onshoring of jobs.  Those are powerful trends, specifically helping the South.  However, unfortunately, another trend is overtaking both of those; and, that is the dramatic increase of migration from the blue state big cities by “can do” people with affluence escaping, taxation and lifestyle meltdowns, and bringing their companies with them.  While I don’t support state vs state recruiting battles, that is clearly not what is happening.  It is the realization of over-taxation, over-regulation, bowing to powerful unions and their pensions, and other short-term “politically-correct” decisions that are frightening the people that remain in these areas to the point where they are now having to re-evaluate the lifestyle they want for their families.

In open candor, I have been accused of being the “Mouth for the South”; however, I prefer to say that I am delivering a reality message that says the South is still blessed with common sense, workable policies, reasonable taxation, and empowering individual success.  Come on down!  The weather is wonderful!


“Joe Hollingsworth participated as one of our first equity investors. In addition, Joe Hollingsworth has served as a board member and leading advisor for strategic planning and direction.” — Scott Kelley, President and CEO, Service Center Metals