Nov 20: Liberal cities, conservative countryside:

People who live in cities tend to be more liberal than those who live in the country. This pattern is consistent across time, regions, and cultures. There must be a reason.  That’s our discussion topic for November 20

Most of the articles I’ve found (predictably) are written by people who live in cities so they tend to have a liberal’s view of the difference, rather than a conservative’s view, or a neutral view.  But I’ve managed to find a few that are balanced and one good one from the conservative side that made some new and thought-provoking arguments.

From this Quora user

The dichotomy of “liberty” (freedom to affect vs. freedom to not be affected) as the cornerstone of American culture can be manifested physically:

In lower population density, you have more room to swing a bat without hitting someone, and so you support conservatism: freedom to swing a bat.

In higher population density, you have less room to swing a bat without hitting someone, and so you support liberalism: freedom to prevent anyone from swinging bats at you.


This article from Forbes provides a conservative explanation.

…people who live in cities are relatively insulated from how difficult and challenging it can be to produce the food, energy, equipment, devices, etc., that comprise the affluence that urbanites enjoy

This article  “6 Big Differences That Turn City Dwellers Into Liberals”  is from Their articles tend to be pretty rude, but some of them manage to be both rude and thought-provoking.

The Impact Of Good Government Is Easier To See

In the country 

We’ve all heard how mostly rural red states eat up more federal tax money than those liberal-elite blue states, and it’s true. But while you might get a government check every month, when you live out in the country local government services are so far away they’re not practical to access. Country culture emphasizes self-reliance….

But in the city …

Local government maintains your water supply and sewers, removes your trash, cleans your sidewalks, maintains the roads that an armada of cars will drive on everyday — basically, stuff an individual can’t take care of themselves….

Article about the significance of the urban/rural divide in the last election.

Tale of Urban and Rural

…in “crowded places” – or, more generally, in metropolitan as opposed to non-metropolitan areas – there’s a wide range of things we might feel differently about. The need to regulate people’s behavior, for instance: It doesn’t matter as much if your neighbor chooses to play loud music – or shoot off his guns – if your neighbor lives five miles away instead of in an apartment directly underneath yours. Scholars of state formation, such as Francis Fukuyama, have shown that differences in community size have a great deal to do with the historical development of governance mechanisms: “States” as we know them only come into being once population density reaches a point where not everyone can essentially know everyone else and social mechanisms thereby work to keep communal behavior in check

Future orientation for people in more populated areas (article, original paper).

Why cities lean Democratic–with some good maps. Another article from the same site on the same topic.

Some discussion in a Reddit thread

US Cities are becoming bigger, wealthier and more liberal

Why conservatives see rural America as the real America

A contrasting personal view

Conservative and liberal preferences


Microfinance misses its mark

Marion sent me this:
I knew I had read something about the warm and fuzzy feeling people get about supporting microfinancing and how it may not be the silver bullet claimed.  This wasn’t the exact article but is interesting…..

Microcredit is the newest silver bullet for alleviating poverty. Wealthy philanthropists such as financier George Soros and eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar are pledging hundreds of millions of dollars to the microcredit movement. Global commercial banks, such as Citigroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG, are establishing microfinance funds. Even people with just a few dollars to spare are going to microcredit Web sites and, with a click of the mouse, lending money to rice farmers in Ecuador and auto mechanics in Togo.

Wealthy philanthropists, banks, and online donors aren’t the only ones fascinated with microcredit. The United Nations designated 2005 as the International Year of Microcredit, explaining on its Web site that microentrepreneurs can use their small loans to “grow thriving business and, in turn, provide for their families, leading to strong and flourishing local economies.” The Nobel Committee awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize to Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank, declaring that microcredit is “an ever more important instrument in the fight against poverty.”

Notes 6 November

On guns: Violence in the Old West

Some people argue that murder rates in the Old West, when everyone carried guns was low. Others say the Old West was more violent. This article seems to have a good analysis of the sources used by both sides.

Trump Urges Russians to hack Clinton Email

Remember that the word “collusion” itself has no formal legal status in this investigation. No relevant federal criminal statute that I know of makes “collusion” — as opposed to conspiracy — a crime. The letter appointing Mueller directs him to investigate “links and/or coordination” between Russia and the campaign, with no mention of “collusion.” From here.

The Bloomberg reporters interviewed the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, in Moscow for 2½ hours. She claims that Donald Trump Jr. — who attended the meeting with Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort — said that if Trump won, he’d be open to pushing for changes to a U.S. law that targets Russian officials. That is interesting, because it alleges that Donald Trump Jr. offered to be more friendly with Russia in exchange for potential assistance with the campaign

From here

Impeachment of Richard Nixon

Steve Bannon thinks Trump has a 30% of surviving a first term

Gallup approval rating for Trump by political affiliation still at 78%

Can California require candidates release tax returns? Arguments here.

Bias in Media from Wikipedia

Concentration of Media ownership

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

Skip to toolbar