Recent claims concerning the rise of the Sunbelt closely resemble those previously made about the New South. It is assumed that the South has finally broken the ties of dependency with the North and has embarked on a remarkable path of self-sustained growth. In fact, this growth in the South is considered to be largely at the expense of the North. These and other similar claims are based on five assumptions about the South: 1) An economic transformation has occurred in the region; 2) absentee ownership is minimal; 3) benefits of economic growth has been diffused to most segments of the population; 4) economic growth has reduced poverty and inequality in the region; and 5) government spending has spurred much of the region's growth. These assumptions form the basis of the diffusion model of economic-industrial development. Examining these assumptions in light of available data, however, places in question the validity of claims made about the Sunbelt.

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