Contradictions of Reaganism

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In an intriguing post, Stirling Newberry suggests that Reaganism set in motion basic economic and geographic forces that have led to a "self-inflicted recession" and shaped the demise of the conservative movement.

[T]he epicenters of that "Reagan Democrat" revolt are now the areas that are hardest hit by the present depression: California, the Upper Midwest, and the Sunbelt South. This is not an accident ...

The only places that are doing well in the Republican universe are those strongly associated with mining, plus Republican metro centers such as Phoenix and Salt Lake City, which are the recipients of the labor draining from the rest of the Republican heartland. Resource extraction is the only bright spot in the Republican world ...

The Bush boom produced a moment where it seemed like the producers of Residential Real Estate, the back bone of the Republican donating and agitating base, were finally at their pinnacle. Truck Dealers, Home Builders, Real Estate Agents, and the Small Business class that catered to the people who lived in the "boomburgs" saw rapid increases in employment, wages, and social power. They had the money and the confidence to try to press their social agenda on the rest of the country. It was, of course, doomed to failure; since none of these people made anything that could be exported; or if they did, it came at the costs of increased imports that counter-balanced them.
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Richard Florida is Senior Editor at The Atlantic and Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto. See his most recent writing at The Atlantic Cities. More

Florida is author of The Rise of the Creative Class, Who's Your City?, and The Great Reset. He is founder of the Creative Class Group.

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