tagryn: Owl icon (Default)
I found this article in the most recent Atlantic Monthly to be eye-raisingly interesting. Here's the key paragraph:
Dallas and Los Angeles represent two distinct models for successful American cities, which both reflect and reinforce different cultural and political attitudes. One model fosters a family-oriented, middle-class lifestyle—the proverbial home-centered “balanced life.” The other rewards highly productive, work-driven people with a yen for stimulating public activities, for arts venues, world-class universities, luxury shopping, restaurants that aren’t kid-friendly. One makes room for a wide range of incomes, offering most working people a comfortable life. The other, over time, becomes an enclave for the rich. Since day-to-day experience shapes people’s sense of what is typical and normal, these differences in turn lead to contrasting perceptions of economic and social reality. It’s easy to believe the middle class is vanishing when you live in Los Angeles, much harder in Dallas. These differences also reinforce different norms and values—different ideas of what it means to live a good life. Real estate may be as important as religion in explaining the infamous gap between red and blue states.

...which puts a different spin on the usual "Well, of course the red states vote Republican! They're ignorant hicks who don't know any better!" that the Red/Blue state meme tends to devolve into.

I will say, personally, we couldn't have afforded a house if we'd stayed in SoCal. We now own one in Maryland. There's downsides to the rapid expansion of housing I see where we live now, but the explosion in housing costs in CA so that ownership is now open only to the upper-middle-class and higher has its own negative connotations; I see far fewer gated communities back here than I did in L.A., for example. I don't see how a society segregated along class lines is better off than one segregated by race or religion. They both have long-term fractures that will inevitably have consequences.


tagryn: Owl icon (Default)

May 2017

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