Morning Ed: United States {2016.02.02.T}

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar Kolohe
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    says:

    The mosque didn’t close in the 70s, it was just on a break.Report

  2. Avatar Kolohe
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    says:

    The article isn’t about how the five boroughs are burdening in southern tier, it’s how Albany has actually thrown a great deal of money at the problem of upstate economic stagnation with nothing to show for it.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Kolohe
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      says:

      Meanwhile, NYC, Long Island, and Westchester get less money from the state than they actually should. I’m tired of stories about the metropolitan areas of states like New York, Seattle, or Oregon as burdening the rural parts. You can equally read the situation as the urban parts are being burdened for having to subsidize the rural parts.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq
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        says:

        It’s entirely possible for both to be a burden to one another. In this case, it isn’t exactly Urban vs Rural, but Primary Cities vs everyone else, including secondary cities with different policy needs, smaller cities, and so on. In fact, it’s the other cities I’m more interested in these days: Bakersfield and Rochester rather than the sticks.

        The relationship varies from place to place. I spent some time on the Pullman/Moscow (WA/ID) border and it was pretty clear to me who benefited from the state lines: Pullman. On the other hand, having spent some time in Boise and Spokane, it seems to me that Boise has actually benefited from being the top dog in its state while Spokane plays second fiddle.

        It’s possible that the Inland Empire benefits from its state lines, but it’s struggling and it’s hard for me to see how it’s going to adjust when its tied to cities with such different policy needs. And so they end up struggling, need help, which the cities provide with a degree of (often passive-aggressive) resentful citizenry.

        In the case of New York, the article cites the Natural Gas fracking ban in Marcellus, which may or may not be as significant as the article makes it. I’m also not convinced that even if they were their own state that they wouldn’t turn around and continue to support policies that hurt them (which would be their right, of course). The statewide minimum wage hikes proposed, though, could be extremely harmful. Thus perpetuating the cycle.

        Everyone, from Portland to Idaho to eastern Oregon, might be happier with SuperIdaho or a North/South Idaho arrangement (though many states would probably be less than happy with two extra smallpop senators in the latter scenario). But state lines aren’t really meant to be moved. And absent mineral wealth, rural states do need urban centers of some sort. My Pullman/Moscow observations aside, they might be better off (or at least happier) with a Boise than a Portland, though… but state lines.

        To the extent that I would like to see anything, it would be more regulatory flexibility. I am skeptical of a lot of the minimum wage talk (the $15/hr specifically), but one thing I have liked about much of it is that it has been discussed as local policy, which is where a policy like that most likely belongs. But apart from that, I think we’re mostly stuck. Which makes for a lot of uncomfortable marriages.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Will Truman
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          says:

          This is all true and I’m on board with it; I’m just saying the linked article doesn’t make that argument, instead making a tendentious argument about fracking vs non-fracking.

          I’m pretty sure that the regulatory environment and the economic conditions in Pennsylvania similarly privilege the Philly and Pitt metro areas over Erie and Scranton (to say nothing of the boys in DuBois).

          (and to be pedantic on myself, Erie is the only Pennsylvania city in the region under discussion in the article, and even then, not really. The Binghamton – Corning area was always a lot more industrial and densely populated than the counties on the other side of the NY/Penn border; that’s why the interstates run the way the do)Report

          • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Kolohe
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            says:

            I’d have to think about it further, but I *think* it may be the case that a multipolar environment may have more positive effect than One Big City. Which is that while Pitt and Philly may dominate Pennsylvania politics, the needs of those two cities diverge (Philly is expensive, for example, while Pittsburgh is inexpensive) so that policy has conflicting considerations that don’t exist as much in, say, Oregon, where state politics need mostly conserve itself with a single megalopolis.

            On the other hand is California. But in policy terms, despite the rivalry I’m not sure the (statewide) policy needs of LA and SF are as different as compared to Philly/Pitt. There does seem to be a bit of a difference between Washington and Oregon, because while Washington has only one top-tier city there is at least a partial counterbalance in second-fiddle Spokane while Oregon has no second-fiddle.

            I’m still feeling that part of it out.Report

            • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Will Truman
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              says:

              NYC, though, is so big, and semi-uniquely situated as one of the US’s 2 cultural capitals, it’s going to have an outsized effect even if there was a substantial second city in the state. Plus, on the flip size, NYC economic policy dramatically influences the fortunes of northern New Jersey, without that population having any political say in NYC politics (port authority aside).

              There are a few other states where a single metroplex is the dominant political force, and it shows – Illinois is the most famous, with Chicago, but the split between (city and county of) Honolulu and everything else in Hawaii is even more dramatic. But yet another factor is that there are actually not a lot of really huge cities that completely overwhelm the rest of the state’s population.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Will Truman
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              says:

              I’m no expert nor even conversant on CA internal politics but looking at the map it seems like LA and SF should have almost identical interests. Water, water and water.Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Will Truman
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              says:

              If you want multipolar, look at something like Ohio.
              Pittsburgh has so many fewer people than Philly that we’re essentially unipolar. (on the other hand, since the state government pretty much doesn’t care about Western Pa, other than to make sure our roads get paved… we get a lot more local control).Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Will Truman
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          says:

          Right. Burdens come in various forms. In New York, the Southern Tier counties feel like they’re being held back by the metro areas’ blocking NG fracking statewide. In Colorado, the 51st State movement’s grievances include renewable electricity requirements, environmental quality standards, and species preservation — all driven by a legislature dominated by urban/surburban interests.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman
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          says:

          One big disadvantage of American style federalism is that it makes altering the political geography to meet current needs more difficult. In unitary systems, changing administrative borders is easier because you just need to get a law passed through the legislature. There tends to be a lot of resistance because of emotional attachments though as changes in other countries demonstrate though.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq
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            says:

            In a unitary system, though, such decisions are made from above. That’s rightfully a no-go, even if we could assume “in consultation with the locals.” (Leaving aside how ill-suited the USA is towards any sort of unitary system.) I would love to see DC retroceded into Maryland, but if it’s a no-go with Maryland and DC residents then it shouldn’t happen regardless of what the rest of the country might think.

            Also, there are advantages to having hard lines. Especially in a non-unitary system. If eastern Washington were always in danger of departing, the state wouldn’t be able to really work cooperatively with it at all because any investment in that area could be taken and departed. Leaving should be difficult.

            In my Western States of America constitutional blueprint, I *do* make redrafting state lines easier than it is in our constitution. In that case, I have to because California would need to be split up, but I also have an eye towards the Washington-Idaho-Oregon issue. But even then, while I make it easier, I don’t make it too much easier.Report

        • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Will Truman
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          says:

          I find it absolutely adorable that you classify Bakersfield as not being the sticks. It is a part of the sticks with a lot of people, I’ll grant you. But the sticks nonetheless.Report

          • When I first moved to Deseret from the city, I classified it as “rural” to the people I talked about it to. Because, well, I came from a city with over a million people and Fort Beck had 50-100k and it was positively tiny.

            Years later, when we moved to Arapaho and our town the size of our high school (and the nearest city, an hour away, with half of Fort Beck’s population), I looked back at FB as positively cosmopolitan.

            This causes confusion when I use Fargo as an example. I had to stop, because people assumed I was mentioning Fargo as a midwestern Mayberry. But in the echelon, it counts as a city.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman
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          says:

          The Idaho thing works because it would not create a new state for more GOP representation. The NYC article seems more like the post trolling Democrats and being upset the elections have consequences when Democratic voters win election. Democratic voters generally care about environmentalism and dislike fracking. NYC’s drinking water comes from upstate.Report

  3. Avatar Mo
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    says:

    Fun Fact: The first mosque was in Ross, North Dakota.

    And the oldest one is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.Report

  4. Avatar Richard Hershberger
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    says:

    It will be interesting to see how the Dixie Chicks tour does. The thing is, they are really good: technically proficient, emotionally evocative, informed by roots music while sufficiently mainstream to have wide appeal. That is a hell of a combination. I find the vast majority of mainstream country variously appalling and uninteresting, but the Dixie Chicks are just terrific.

    They could rebrand themselves as adult alternative, but that is a much smaller market. I am curious if the country market is willing to forgive. The notion that perhaps the Iraq War was not such a great idea after all is generally acceptable, but the crime of having held this opinion prematurely is another matter.Report

    • The trouble they got into was based on a number of factors, basic opposition to the war only being one of them. Also a factor was the context in which the statements were made (abroad to foreign audiences) and the specifics of the comment (not just opposed to the war, but ashamed of being from Texas and, by extension, the US). And, sigh, the fact that they are female and so the responses were different than if Dixie hubby Charlie Robison had made anti-war comments.

      So I’m not sure how much a change of perspective on the war will change things. I do think, though, that time does heal. So I think they have a pretty decent chance at making a comeback.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Richard Hershberger
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      says:

      “They could rebrand themselves as adult alternative, but that is a much smaller market.”

      But one that probably has a lot more money that its willing to spend on tickets. (it’s kinda ridiculous, really, how much Springsteen and Joel are still making on tour, but good on them)Report

    • Avatar notme in reply to Richard Hershberger
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      says:

      Meh, I didn’t know they were still together. Good riddance.Report

  5. Avatar Kazzy
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    says:

    Regarding the Idaho case, the phrasing you use is a bit misleading. The issue isn’t that they served booze at a “50 Shades” showing. It is that they showed “50 Shades” in a theater with a liquor license. A subtle but I think important distinction, I think.

    Regardless, I don’t know the law all that well (or really at all), but that law seems ridiculous to begin with. I understand prohibitions on nude dancers and alcohol, but racy movies? Hell, even outright porn? I don’t get that.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    Fun Fact: The first mosque was in Ross, North Dakota.

    I would have thought Saudi Arabia.Report

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