New Year's Day Edition



The American South’s surging population and GDP suggest the region is becoming the new center of economic strength in the U.S. (Business Insider)

The South's economy grew faster than the U.S. average from 2017 to 2022. About $100 billion in new income moved to the Southeast in 2020-2021, with the region accounting for over two-thirds of the country’s job growth since early 2020.

  • Florida, Texas, Georgia, the Carolinas and Tennessee now contribute more to the U.S. GDP than the Northeast.

Since 1960, the South has seen a 73.5 million increase in population, nearly half of the U.S. total growth. Expansion in the South accounted for a whopping 87% of the country’s population growth between July 2022 to July 2023, according to the latest Census Bureau data.

Employment: The South has the highest job openings rate and the lowest unemployment rate among U.S. regions.

Why?: Economist Adam Millsapp has said southern states’ “much freer economies and lower tax burdens” have contributed to their economic resurgence. An American Legislative Exchange Council report this year found states with free market policies and lower taxes were more attractive to new residents and job creators. The region’s comparatively low cost of living might help as well – nine of the ten cheapest cities to buy a home are located in the South.


Clearance rates for all crimes have fallen rapidly in recent years, according to the latest FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program data. (Vox)

For a variety of reasons, this is a longstanding trend: In 1965, more than 90% of murders resulted in an arrest, compared to slightly over 50% in 2022. Property crime clearance rates have been slashed in half over the same time period.

But the decline has picked up steam across all categories in recent years. From 2019 to 2022, murder clearance rates fell from over 60% to 52%. Clearance rates for all violent crimes dropped from nearly 46% to 36.7%. Property crime clearance rates dropped from 17% to 12%.

Crime data analyst Jeff Asher on Vox’s “Today Explained” podcast: “We can relate the drop in clearance rates to everything that’s happened in American criminal justice, in policing, in attitudes toward police since the murder of George Floyd in May of 2020. … The majority of big cities had fewer officers in 2022 than they did in 2019. If you have fewer officers, you have fewer resources to dedicate to solving crime, which means lower clearance rates.”


Only 3.4% of journalists said they were Republicans in 2022, a steep drop from the 26% who said the same in 1971. (Mediaite)

In 2022, 36% of full-time U.S. journalists identified as Democrats, up 8 percentage points from 2013. The percentage of Democrat journalists is higher than the country’s share of Democrats (27%). The opposite is true for Republicans, who make up 26% of the U.S. adult population. More than 50% of journalists identified as Independents.

The decline in Republican journalists has coincided with plummeting trust in media, especially among GOP supporters. According to Gallup polling, Republican trust in media fell from 32% in 2015 to 10% in 2020, while Democrat trust in media increased during the same period. An analysis released last month by The Economist found journalists tend to favor terms used by Democrats.


Companies are responding to minimum wage increases for 10 million workers in 22 states by instituting lay-offs and raising fees. (CBS News)

Pizza Hut is laying off over 1,200 delivery drivers in California, which is raising its minimum wage from $16 to $20 in 2024. Some Pizza Hut franchisees in California are adding an 8.5% service charge due to higher operating costs. McDonald's reported a nationwide menu price increase of over 10% in 2023, partly due to higher labor costs.

DoorDash is removing tipping prompts and increasing service fees in New York City in response to the Big Apple’s new minimum wage for app-based food delivery workers ($17.96 an hour plus tips). Uber Eats is limiting work-time options in New York City due to new regulations restricting the number of couriers who can be online.

A 2021 National Bureau of Economic Research meta-analysis of minimum wage studies found nearly 80% of the studies reported negative employment effects due to minimum wage increases. An analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted that raising the federal minimum wage to $15 could lift 300,000 people out of poverty, but could also result in a loss of 700,000 jobs by 2027, potentially rising to 900,000 by 2032. A study published in the Review of Economic Studies in October found that raising the minimum wage in less competitive job markets where employers tend to pay workers less leads to positive overall employment effects.


How much does it matter that former President Trump is missing out on tons of engagement by posting to Truth Social and not returning to X/Twitter, the platform some people say was key to his 2016 victory? (Axios)

An Axios analysis: From 2016 to 2020, Trump's average likes per tweet in November were about 96,000, reaching a peak of 206,000 in November 2020. On Truth Social in November 2022, he averaged less than 24,000 likes per post, which dropped below 18,000 the following month (that’s nearly 13 times lower than his final November on Twitter).

There’s evidence to suggest Twitter might not be that influential with the average American voter. A recent WPA Intelligence poll found that Tim Pool and Jack Posobiec –– two of the biggest conservative influencers on the planet if we’re judging solely by social media likes and views –– aren’t well known or trusted by Americans or Republicans. Only 23% of U.S. adults use Twitter, and 20% of those users produce 98% of tweets on the platform.

On the other hand, Twitter seems to hold more sway with reporters. A 2018 study found that journalists who spent a lot of time on Twitter rated anonymous tweets as similarly or more newsworthy than Associated Press stories. Researchers theorized Twitter could lead to a "pack mentality" where stories are deemed important because they’re popular on the platform.

Shannon Mcgregor, the study’s co-author, on Twitter’s influence: “If you have one space where politicians, people running political campaigns are and journalists are, whatever that space is, is going to be a really important space. And so Twitter became that. … It’s a really minuscule portion of our population in the U.S. and any population of the country or of any country that’s on it, it’s this really important population of people who are really elite figures in our society.”

Did you like an item in today’s edition? Do us a favor and forward it to a friend to help spread the word about $001 News. Also, click here to subscribe.