Thursday, November 9, 2017

America should belong to her cities

I've certainly posted about it before, but I still doubt most people recognize how big a deal urbanization is, economically and politically, around the world but also in the U.S.

For instance, consider the complexity and difficulty of being the Governor of Nevada (pop. 3 million), Kansas (2.9 million), New Mexico (2 million), Nebraska (1.9 million), Idaho (1.7 million), North and South Dakota (1.7 million, combined), Wyoming (586,000), versus the job of being Mayor of New York City (8.6 million - 24 million in the metro area), Los Angeles (4 million - 18.7 million in the metro area), Chicago (2.7 million - 9.4 million in the metro area), Houston, (2.3 million - 6.5 million in the metro area), Philadelphia (1.6 million - 6 million metro), Phoenix (1.6 million - 4.2 million metro), San Antonio (1.5 million - 2.2 metro), or San Diego (1.4 million - 3.1 million metro).

So any one of these cities is larger than a handful of U.S. states.


The annual GDP of the New York and Los Angeles metro areas is about $1 trillion each! Compare that to VP Mike Pence's home state of Indiana, with a GDP in 2016 of $3.5 billion. There's really no comparison.

On top of that, consider that as many as 800 languages are spoken in New York City. Over 200 languages in Los Angeles.

Consider all the diverse people packed together in cities who have to find a way to get along with one another. Tolerance of multiculturalism in these cities isn't a liberal fetish -- it's a matter of survival, a fact of life.

Moreover, every major U.S. city votes Democratic in national elections. We don't have a Red/Blue state divide; we have an urban/rural divide. Even in the Red state of Texas, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio voted overwhelmingly for Hillary in 2016. It wasn't even close.

The U.S. is becoming two different countries: urban and rural. This is not what our Founding Fathers or the Federalist Papers anticipated. Even in rural/Red states, we have urban centers who vote solidly Democratic. That matters in Presidential and governors races, but not in state or federal congressional races.

Hence, the people representing the fewest and most rural have outsized, un-representative influence over our politics at the state and federal level.

I predict that liberals and Democrats will become the new Federalists, preaching the government closest to the people should have the most power, because cities are where all the people are, and the most diverse, well-educated, innovative and liberal people are. Also the wealthiest. The math and demographics are unassailable. America belongs to her cities. Or ought to.

2 comments:

Jc Wallenburg said...

Nice job identifying an important issue. Supported by the Economist July 12, 2018.
https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/07/12/american-democracys-built-in-bias-towards-rural-republicans

Jc Wallenburg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.