May 26, 2005

Demographics Is Destiny
— Ace

Son of a bitch. This guy writes something so obvious and yet fairly novel (well, nothing's really new, but this is pretty close to newish) that explains why Republicans are winning now, why they're winning where they're winning, and how they could easily stop winning.

In three words: Affordable Family Formation. Where it's affordable to buy a decent house with a yard and get your kids into a decent public school-- that's Red State country. Where it's expensive to do so, that's Blue State country.

And if the Republicans want to keep their tiny electoral edge, they'll have to work hard to expand the areas in which Affordable Family Formation is possible.

I'm so angry right now I could spit. This is going to be the meme that everyone's talking about in a month, and I had nothing at all to do with it. Shit, this guy's coming up with stuff like this and I'm making Foghat jokes.

Thanks to Kausfiles, who also notes (quite quotably) that the New York Times' newly-announced policy of charging diehard Democrats fifty clams per year to read Paul Krugman is the ultimate in liberal cocooning.

Posted by: Ace at 12:31 PM | Comments (15)
Post contains 197 words, total size 1 kb.

1 I hope you're not genuinely feeling bad about not having come up with the idea, considering that Courtney Love observed over a decade ago that "the problem with liberals is we don't breed enough."

Yeah, I said Courtney Love. As in, not only is this old news now zipped up into a less-than-punchy catchphrase ("affordable family formation"), but it's old news obvious enough to be commented on by a total junkie whore.

Posted by: ilyka at May 26, 2005 01:06 PM (VFNZl)

2 Ilyka,

Well, yes, you're sort of right, but then dressing up an old idea in new clothes is half of new thinking, isn't it?

And it's not just that liberals aren't breeding enough. It's that where they breed is so expensive it requires stuff like subsidized or stabilized rents and the like, which inclucates further liberalism.

In a way, this is just a new way to say that the "Open Frontier" breeds self-reliance and thus an antipathy to nanny-state liberalism... but he's got mathematical equations and shit!

Posted by: ace at May 26, 2005 01:13 PM (Q6+G6)

3 Not only is has this been Karl Rove's masterplan for a decade, Steyn mentions it in his latest column.

Besides, I'm not sure which way you're (or he's) saying the causation runs.

Posted by: someone at May 26, 2005 01:44 PM (S22v9)

4 Slow ride...
Take it easy...

Posted by: at May 26, 2005 02:01 PM (KSCkS)

5 Ace, I'm not going to say it's old, because Sailer puts it in a very nice, factually-supported context.

But it's a whole lot of "duh" in there.

In fact, it's so duh, I talked about similar issues just the other day.

Cities = bad for families with children, suburbs and farmland = good for families with children. Shit Ace. . . Sailer stumbled on a fact that every American has know since about, oh, 1947.

Of course, I didn't make the political connection. . . because the connection is obvious. Suburbs & farms = red, cities = blue, expensive cities = very blue until you get to places that no family could afford to live in.

Which, BTW, immediately means voters there are disconnected from issues that families have to worry about-- cultural issues, real education reform, property taxes (they're mostly renters, or can afford to live there). In return, their issues become "Do I have the right to choose to abort this financially inconvenient fetus?" and "Does my neighbor Steve have the right to marry Chip?" and "Will some city bureaucrat puh-lease put this homeless man outside my building in a shelter already?"

Ace, Sailer's right. . . but it's like he discovered oxygen, or water, or the Star Wars Kid. Everybody else has been there before.

Cheers,
Dave at Garfield Ridge

Posted by: Dave at Garfield Ridge at May 26, 2005 02:02 PM (mrpxK)

6 I have thought for some time that the fall in fertility rates in the industrial world is caused by the lack of affordable housing in Europe and Japan. The US fertilty rate is high relative to these countries and we have much lower housing costs. I never thought to apply this thinking to different areas of the country.

Posted by: Bob Stermer at May 26, 2005 02:50 PM (R8J7n)

7 The wonderfully soft science of the Political "Scientist" - ya have to love it. It's good enough for Psychology Today, or Sociology Monthly, I suppose. The danger when you give a soft scientist a calculator is that they feel no need to establish causality. There's none there.

If what he posits were true, or causal, Federally Funded housing would pave the pathway to success. Wouldn't the least expensive way to raise a family be to do it on the government's dime? Duh. Doesn't work, does it? So, why?

Because work is the key. All that does is track migration patterns of young upwardly mobile individuals following industry to the Sun Belt, which has been happening for years. Try to explain Orange County, CA or Bergen County, NJ by his argument. It falls completely apart.

If the steel mills and auto manufacturers of the blue collar Reagan ex-Democrat were still in the North, they would be, too. And the psychological impact of 9/11which likely had more to do with voter priorities and attitudes in the last election can't even be factored into his model. As presented, the model is little more than an anti-immigration meme dressed up in sheeps clothing.

Posted by: Dan at May 26, 2005 03:16 PM (ykbiw)

8 Sailer may be on to something. My friend, his wife, and their two kids moved from Hawaii (blue state) to Alaska (red state), even though they both infintely prefer Hawaii. Why? Because the public school system in Hawaii is a horror show, and they can't afford to buy a house in Hawaii. Housing's a lot cheaper in Alaska and the schools are better than Hawaii's (just about any state's schools are better).

Posted by: Moonbat_One at May 26, 2005 04:33 PM (p2G9i)

9 Sailer's insight is ***obvious***, which comes from Latin words that mean "overlooked." Still, we ought to have known. After all, how could we expect conservatives to emerge from dense, expensive, life-hostile cities -- environments that deny them anything to conserve?

Nothing makes a man conservative as surely as a family and a personal estate, however modest. Nothing makes a woman conservative as surely as children to protect and a community to be a part of.

Let's use it.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at May 26, 2005 11:36 PM (MzH7h)

10 Shit, this guy's coming up with stuff like this and I'm making Foghat jokes.

Damn right!

Posted by: PLUG UGLY at May 27, 2005 05:05 AM (dhRpo)

11 This all sounds very plausable, I'm just not sure what are causes and what are effects. History generally supports economic determinism. But many of the old conservative explainations for Democratic voting really are true. In NYC during the sixties under Liberal Mayor John Lindsay, welfare applicants needed only to prove residency in NYC for TWO WEEKS! Needless to say, the south divested itself of much of its poor black population. Liberals found other ways to bribe poor voters which turned NYC into even more of a magnet for po' folk than it had been.

When I did a report on why NYC was broke in 1979 I was shocked by what I found: the city was broke by almost exactly the amount it cost to feed, clothe, educate and provide medical care and social services to it's welfare population. The shocking part was this: if I could find this looking at the city's books there had to be many, many others who knew it too, yet no one, anywhere was saying this publicly! And they never did!!! Scary ...

Posted by: 72VIRGINS at May 27, 2005 05:45 AM (dhRpo)

12 There's another reason for why Red is getting an electoral advantage over Blue. Hit Google for the "Roe Effect". Bluntly put, if you kill enough of your future voters in the womb, you will eventually start to lose elections.

Of course, abortion is never a reason to celebrate. Still, the irony is breathtaking.

Posted by: Naaman at May 27, 2005 11:20 AM (gkH3u)

13 This is all good new. For example, we are on the brink of depopulating California. Even MSNBC is on the story:

x

Posted by: Michael at May 27, 2005 03:33 PM (pRtzm)

14 Dan doesn't have the first clue about how to establish causality when you can't set up experimental control groups.

Here's a clue:

Prediction.

Sailer _started_ with an hypothesis. He predicted that he'd find a high correlation looking at certan variables on a by-State basis. He wasn't simply right -- he found correlations so strong that even if they were post hoc would have been sufficient reason to suspect causality.

But, sadly for the "correlation doesn't imply causation" chanters -- he doesn't need to "imply" anything since nothing is "implied" in the natural sciences.... they are merely supported better or worse than alternative hypotheses.

Sailer's hypothesis clearly was predicted, predictable and has far greater support of the data than the alternative hypotheses for causation.

Focusing on the few exceptional areas like Orange County and ignoring the vast majority of the data is a good way to succumb to the very "data mining fallacy" of which the sophists are unjustly accusing Sailer.

Posted by: James Bowery at May 28, 2005 09:17 PM (cCJhM)

15 Remember what Goethe said: "Everything worth saying has already been said. The challenge is to say it again."

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at May 31, 2005 06:22 AM (eZ0vq)

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