Weekly Digest: Economic Development as Cultural Threat
Welcome to my weekly digest for June 24, 2022.
For new subscribers, this contains a roundup of my recent writings and podcasts, as well as links to the best articles from around the web this week. You can control what emails you get from me by visiting your account page.
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Economic Development as Cultural Threat
My latest column is online at Governing magazine. It’s a look at how public investment into low income neighborhoods, or economic development can be seen as a cultural threat by existing residents. I argue that these worries are legitimate and need to be engaged with.
In one of my first columns for Governing back in 2014, I questioned whether many civic leaders actually want economic development. As Jane Jacobs noted in The Economy of Cities, “Economic development, whenever and wherever it occurs, is profoundly subversive of the status quo.” People in leadership positions in a community are generally benefiting from the status quo, hence can fear change.
This can apply to middle-income and poorer residents as well as affluent ones. They may not have much money or great public amenities, but one thing they often do have in these neighborhoods is a strong sense of community and cultural ownership. Some of them seem to have concluded that it’s better to keep those things and tolerate poor public services and infrastructure rather than risk losing much of what they have through gentrification.
The same can be said for the average residents of many red states. These people, who don’t have college degrees and aren’t part of the knowledge elite, see little benefit and plenty of downside in attracting knowledge-economy jobs and workers. They aren’t likely to be getting jobs at the new firms as they lack the requisite skills. And the people who do work there tend to hold cultural values at odds with the local Republican voters.
Click over to read the whole thing.
More Content and Media Mentions
Brad East writes a note on the negative world.
New this week:
The Bureaucratization of American Leadership - a dive into how the managerial revolution has played out in civic leadership, particularly at the local levels, in America over the last 40 years.
At American Reformer, Christian Winter looks at “What is a Woman?”
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Online Dating Age Ranges
Alyssa Vance tweeted this image of the ages of women men respond to on online dating sites, noting, “Dating sites seem to suck for almost everyone. For guys, the gender ratio is usually terrible. For girls, a 20-year-old woman will get more messages from 45-year-old guys than a 34-year-old woman will get from 28-year-old guys!”
Best of the Web
Michelle Goldberg: The Future Isn’t Female Anymore
Comment Magazine: Whither Feminism?
Today: Eight dads share how abortion shaped their lives - Nothing says Happy Father’s Day like a bunch of dads talking about how much better their lives are because they were able to have wives/girlfriends abort unwanted kids.
The Spectator: Salvador Ramos and our crisis of masculinity
Kennaquhair: Complexity and the Problem of Anxiety - A very interesting piece explaining why we’ve become more anxious.
WSJ: What Inflation? The Super Frugal Say They Were Made for This Moment - related to the “financial independence, retire early movement I mentioned in newsletter #46.
Politico: Justice or overreach?: As crucial test looms, Big Greens are under fire - Woke activists are devouring environmental groups from the inside and badly degrading their missional effectiveness. I discuss the need to focus on missional integrity in the face of activism back in newsletter #49.