America’s Urban Distress: How Much Of The Problem Can We Blame On Liberal Politics?

Submitted by F.F.Wiley via Cyniconomics blog,

Much of the distress in America’s cities is linked to regional developments, as shown by the unemployment data in this post. Population loss is a particular factor for the Northeast and Midwest (discussed here), while public pension shortfalls may be the biggest challenge for cities everywhere (covered here).

But what about politics? Does ideology play a role?

By popular demand (at least based on comments on the earlier articles, especially on Zero Hedge), below are two charts that compare unemployment rates to political bias for 218 cities.

Although the figures for political bias are from a 2005 report, they’re still relevant in my opinion, considering that:

  1. City-wide biases are unlikely to change rapidly.
  2. Political actions have long-term effects on economic performance.

Some readers will argue that correlation isn’t causation, while others are likely to conclude that causation runs from unemployment to politics and not the other way around.

I believe there’s some causation in both directions. But for now, I’ll just push the charts out there and step out of the way while you form your own conclusions…

UpdateAfter the charts, I’ve added the list of 25 most liberal cities from the Bay Area for Voting Research report.


cities and politics 1


If you prefer a (non-Talebite) statistical view:


cites and politics 2

And here are the most liberal cities, circa 2005.  The top-ranked city is a former automobile manufacturing powerhouse located in the upper Midwest.  The photo (above) shows the Gary City Hall – the second most liberal city.  Berkeley, California – the third-ranked city – happens to be the home of one of CYNICONOMICS’ biggest fans.

list of most liberal cities


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