When you read Raleigh, what comes to mind? How about Charleston? Nashville? Birmingham? One can almost hear the ring of iron in the name “Birmingham”. Waves splash at the sound of Charleston. The raucous theatres of Nashville ring back when country music was “country western”. Raleigh conjures images of tar, pork and tobacco. So what happened to these industries that required men and women stay and work local? What happens when companies with over a quarter of their activities located in China move into the American South?

Charleston, South Carolina is rapidly becoming a hub for the aviation industry. With help from the Clemson University SCE&G Energy Innovation Center, industries such as aerospace and IT can rely on a strong class of graduates. In the area of life science for example, Charleston boasts more than 50 development and research labs, over 30 manufacturers of medical devices and pharmaceuticals, and the Medical University of South Carolina.[1] Is it any wonder that twenty percent of Charleston – 1 of 5 people – is employed by the healthcare industry?

Yet this is a far cry from the naval shipyards of times past. The Charleston Naval Shipyard (1901-1995) restored U.S. Navy destroyers and submarines, and you didn’t need to know anybody or speak a language other than English to work there. Eight thousand hardworking South Carolina men were employed by the shipyard in 1951, and the shipyard catered to local vendors of lumber and metal. The main industry of South Carolina today is tourism, and sites such as the rusting Charleston Naval Shipyard build the backbone of that transient industry.

The Charleston of today relies on international networks of IT. With one Charleston company, Scientific Research Corporation, based in the American south, another, Science Applications International Corporation, is international and known as Leidos. Leidos has been pursuing contracts for renewable energy in India (not South Carolina) since 2016.[2] Leidos does not employ eight thousand Americans at its Charleston location. Leidos’ headquarters in Virginia only employs over five thousand Americans. So with a shift to more global “white collar” jobs, we see an employment deficit.

What happens to the land of the South when local industry moves out? Take the tobacco fields of North Carolina: 182,000 acres in 2015.[3] North Carolina contains 34 million acres, so use of the land for tobacco is now at an abysmal 0.5% . In this land use vacuum, globalist industries use empty warehouses and empty offices to advertise wares to foreign investment. Foreign Trade Zones, which receive tax benefits from various governments including the U.S. government and every southern state, advertise this. There are five Foreign Trade Zones in the state of North Carolina. The purpose of these zones is to spur investment by foreigners into the United States. Americans and American businesses are encouraged to buy foreign made goods, duty free, which pass through these zones. These massive industrial sites sit upon land that was once used by American families and businesses.[4]

Globalists often argue that it is cheaper to do business with foreign groups than American groups. Is it? Automotive company Vinfast is cited as one of the fastest growing companies in North Carolina. Vinfast was founded by Phạm Nhật Vượng and is headquartered in Singapore. There is no capital gain or inheritance tax in Singapore. Individuals are taxed only on the income earned in Singapore. The income earned by individuals while working overseas is not subject to taxation barring a few exceptions.[5] So Vinfast’s American profit brought into their Singapore headquarters by individuals in upper-level management and otherwise is not taxed. Meanwhile, Americans must pay income taxes while working for this electric car and scooter manufacturer in North Carolina. How is this process cheaper for the American employees? It’s also an especial slap in the face since America was producing electric vehicles entirely domestically as far back as 1920.[6]

Americans cannot rely on other countries having worse tax situations than the United States. Often, other countries provide substantial benefit to their own citizens (see the Singapore tax situation above). So this argument we hear repeatedly, “it’s cheaper to go foreign!” is incredibly flawed because it is almost always more expensive for the American.

What can the American South do to push back against predatory globalists? Well, we can take a page from an ancient Chinese philosopher, Sun Tzu, and buy land. There is no replacement for land in the global marketplace. We should attempt to hold onto our land by any means possible.

Once upon a time, the American government paid its citizens to go West. There is nothing stopping towns from implementing land buyback schemes, where abandoned land should go back to the locals. Land buyback programs have been implemented by the federal government for the American Indian,[7] so there is no legal argument against such a program for local land.

The American South is already incredibly tightknit compared to other parts of the country. Realtors talk to veterans who talk to businessmen who talk to mechanics and so on. If a foreigner wants to purchase an American land, why shouldn’t “first dibs” go to a local? Moreover, local ordinances keeping big box stores out have been enforced from coast to coast. There is no reason any local zoning board can’t get such rules on the books. Small, local businesses and families should have a chance at that market, that strip mall, that street, before the globalist industry.

The Federal Register[8] is critically underused by southerners today. It presents every single notice published by every single federal agency available for public comment. A user can search by federal agency (“USDA”, “DHS” etc.) or topic (“immigration”, “privacy”, “agriculture” etc.). Proposed federal rules on everything from what is a woman for purposes of higher education funding to the age of immigrants let into our country without any required paperwork live on the Federal Register. Guidelines on how to comment on proposed rules will be contained within each notice. Typically, lobbyists or federal employees themselves (see any EPA proposed rule) hijack the comments. This does not have to be the case — these proposed rules are open to anyone to comment.

Every single southerner should know the name of their elected officials. Every single elected official in the South should know that if they cater to globalist carpetbaggers, their phones will rattle from calls from their constituency. I attended townhalls in Virginia where state senators were adamant that no one called, emailed, Tweeted etc. about their latest nonsense policy. I have heard arguments before from southerners that “one voice cannot make a difference” and “nobody cares what I say”. Bullshit. There are lobbyists in D.C. whose brains echo with loops of angry constituent phone calls. Legislative staffers can mark changes in their career based on who called about various topics. Congressmen, senators, non-profits host townhalls regularly. Show up. Write a note. Send an email. Call them out. Are you really going to tell me your voice is less than that of a Crenshaw call for even more foreign aid to Israel, or a prescription pill ramble from Pelosi?

There is a general avoidance towards collective activity from more conservative, “small government” folks. This is hurtful. Many groups today bring likeminded people together, such as PublicSq[9] which advertises freedom loving American businesses only. If you are part of a group of people who are advocating for change, why shy away?

Probably most importantly is the way we treat each other at close quarters. Why would any southern community tolerate degenerate values? Why would any southern community treat its own women like objects? Why would any southern community treat its own men like they were replaceable? Why would any southern community treat its land like a landfill? Why would any southern community treat its children like a television audience?

We have but one flag, one country…. (Bedford Forrest)

[1] Charleston Economy: Top Industries, Biggest Employers, & Business Opportunities (jeffcookrealestate.com)

[2] Leidos, Arbutus Consultants sign agreement for India renewable energy opportunities – pv magazine International (pv-magazine.com)

[3] www.ourstate.com/tobacco-soldiers/

[4] North Carolina Global TransPark: Foreign Trade Zone (ncgtp.com) ; Foreign Trade Zone Charleston (ftzsc.net)

[5] Personal Income Tax Guide for Foreigners in Singapore (rikvin.com)

[6] History of Electric cars from the 1920s (motor-car.net)

[7] Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations | U.S. Department of the Interior (doi.gov)

[8] Federal Register :: Home – Monday, October 17th

[9] Publicsq.com

Sara Sass

Sara Sass is an attorney in Virginia.


  • Paul H. Yarbrough says:

    Some viewers over the years have tendered Margaret Mitchell’s classic, Gone with the Wind as a love story; presumably converging on Scarlett’s passion for Ashley or Rhett. But the real love story was early stated in the story when Gerald O’Hara said to Scarlett, “It’ll come to you one day: this love of the land.” And at the end, it did!

  • Brian Bishop says:

    BMW just announced a new $1.2 Billion (with a B) investment in the upstate of SC to build EV’s and batteries. FWIW.

  • Laura E Ukura-Leir says:

    It seems that the United States of America has become a vassal state to larger interests. Americans, meaning citizens of the United States, don’t seem to mind.

  • Hugh MCDanel says:

    From the earliest recollection, the stories of man’s progress is and will always be about the land. Sometimes it stories about producing a living, sometimes about where we bury our dear departed. It is also where we bloom, we fulfill our ambitions .
    Most Americans have lost touch with the land, they don’t garden, raise livestock, or farm, have no idea how important the land is.
    The bond with the land is sacred, it is something we are born of , you may go anywhere in the universe, but you will always be an earthling.
    If we lived a natural life we would garden a spot that our ancestors had gardened for hundreds of years, and near by would be our ancestors plots, each sacred, so sacred you should remove your shoes when you walk upon that ground.

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