Not sure about ideological diversity, and how to even measure it, but ideological divide to me seems as an inevitable result of two party system (and majority voting system), as both parties struggle to get supporters. In order to do that, they often abandon or shift in ideology. The result is that the "ideological divide" is so very fluid that it is not really representative of any particular ideology.
In short, I think measuring the "ideological diversity" in terms of democrats/republicans is probably quite misleading.
Washington, DC is absolutely not an ideologically diverse place, by basically any measure. 93% (!) of the city voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Additionally, most people there, Democrats included, are extremely dedicated to the status quo. I've live in cities all across America, including DC 2015-2018 -- I actually usually cite it as the least ideologically diverse place I've ever lived.
I generally like Marginal Revolution, but this article is bunk.
You don't think that people in charge of policy should have a minimum amount of learning beyond high school, for example, to deal with something that has such complicated externalities as public policy?
Voting is one thing, because we are all in this together, but I really, really prefer a captain to steer a ship rather than someone who just has bold opinions on ships.
I suspect some of the founders would have been OK with the franchise being limited to well off males.
In fact, it was originally limited to well off males.
> 93% (!) of the city voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
...is irrelevant to the thesis. The partisan divide in the US generally conceals significant ideological diversity within each major party, and those voting for a particular major party candidate are generslly more ideologically-diverse than those who identify with the major party they are from (as they tend to include people who ideologically identify as independents or wihlth minor parties who vote tactically, and a smaller number who vote that way but ideologically-motivated identify with the opposing major party.)
Political divide is probably more descriptive.
But I agree. "Texas", "lesbian", "Mexican", and "Midwest" are not ideologies. They're identities.
Surely there's an opportunity here, driving forward things like public healthcare (or public education) sans the diversity rhetoric.
What is "the diversity rhetoric"?
Is it practically speaking possible to have a public healthcare system or a pubic education system without examining "diversity" in those services?
But the NY Times (for example) is unable to discuss it without focusing on differences between groups of people. I think GP is saying that this gets people's backs up, and isn't necessary for making improvements.
The reason it angers people isn't entirely irrational. For example, if you know that your next public school principal is going to be judged not on the total quality, but solely on the black-white difference, then you know that he will be tempted to game the rating system and make things worse for one group.
I find this claim astonishing. Do you have an example of it happening?
Maybe a less charged example: Every time I hear about a green investment fund I wonder what the incentive structure is. Clearly if it was 100% green 0% returns, the manager would just donate your money to charity, cash his bonus check, and buy a yacht. Really it needs to have imperceptibly lower returns than the non-green competition, because the customers will notice whole percentage points, and will look elsewhere.
Another: What's the incentive structure for everyone making decisions in how to dig a subway in NYC? Since they end up spending, I forget, say it's 4x as much as Paris, at least 75% of the spending seems to be decided by priorities other than actually having a train. But the voters are unable to stop this.
Which of these is closer to the school board?
The basic idea behind this kind of social constructivism is that society is "sinful" and it must be corrected through moralizing (ie: interpreting all social issues as moral issues), essentialism (ie: reducing people to superficial qualities like race and gender), and Utopian ideology (ie: striving for a perfect society free of sin).
"Examining" "diversity" is largely unrelated to providing health services.
One idea would be to use voter registration records and census blocks to measure the polarization of the population wrt political behavior. There's also survey data on attitudes and beliefs that could be aggregated by city. But there's no data at all, it's just the author's personal speculation.
We see this most clearly when we look at ideologies that are dominant today. For example, a fairly core ideology over the last 30 years is that more and more aspects of society either should, or inevitably will, be governed by the market. As a result, ideologies that don't subscribe to this this idea are generally viewed as similar no matter how much they might otherwise be unrelated. Which is kind of strange, since 'ideologies that don't subscribe to this idea' amounts to most of the ideologies adopted over the course of human history.
Although the social-liberals and liberal-Christians are not usually considered pro market, although they don't seem to be the American sense of pro-market. Like they are not actively pushing privatization as a major focus. Rather they are more against state infringement on individual rights.
I wonder if the author considered the collision of urban-philia being a political distinction, and geographic boundaries are mostly a political or geographic accident. So statistically the most diverse city will have 100% non-diverse neighborhoods like any other city, but will have weirdly large boundaries for legacy historical reasons such that the "diverse" city includes distant rural farmland and suburbs whereas "non-diverse" city with identical neighborhoods and demographics will have small city limits boundaries.
Maybe places with high numbers of academics and articulate people can be measured but that's about it.
There's multiple dimensions when it comes to ideology and multiple approaches to each dimension. There's even fundamentally different interpretations of the categorical differences on how to subdivide the classifications of these systems. And each of these facets have wide diversity at every nuanced level.
For instance, many San Francisco "lefties" are anarcho-capitalists who want to do away with market oversight along with having drug legalization, amnesty for all immigrants, gay rights, and unlimited gun rights for all. They want to privatize all public services and call that process "progressivism".
Some of them call themselves libertarians, others "classical liberals" and yet others will tell you long stories about how they aren't either of those... It's really quite complicated and throwing them all in a "liberal" column with people who believe entirely different things for entirely different reasons (such as, for instance, those who believe "money"(another debated term) is a fundamentally corrupting influence and the state needs to tame the market through strict oversight), is pretty incorrect. In fact, some socialists I've spoken with consider the entire libertarian project as a form of tyrannical autocracy by the ruling class - so they view those lefties as actually far-righties.
But let's pretend you can map all those out and ignore that perspective matters. Do you need population size? Representation in governments? Places of discussion?
I really can't see how to even approach this question.
As a concrete analogy, let's pretend there's a monarchy and the king, with identical twins, dies. There can be a highly competitive power struggle in between the two heirs but not over anything ideologically different.
This happens in sports all the time. There's many highly competitive sports games, but the two teams are still playing the same game by the same rules; they don't represent different ideologies.
I live in city recovering from an extreme -- a long era of domination by an all-powerful, mafia-like political machine. 40 years ago, even uttering an idea not in line with the machine would result in retaliation. Talk to someone identified as an enemy, and your street doesn't get plowed. Do anything more, and your relatives will be blackballed from employment.
That seems a bit strange. I know quite a bit about anarcho-capitalism, but I have never, never ever heard anybody claim they were 'left'. In fact generally 'leftism' is associated with socialism and the exact opposite of what AnCaps want.
As far as others considering them "lefties", to some people, a few checkboxes put you in a generalized "leftist/liberal/fascist/democrat/communist" category, which these people consider to all be the same thing. For instance: pro-immigrant, gay rights, and weed-legalization would be the end of the discussion for them. Their analysis is over and they don't care to discuss it any further.
There's a lot of people like that. I meet them frequently.
When I was in Charlottesville, VA, many of the people around me there would have described me as "right wing" or even "alt-right".
In our binary political system, people have a hard time describing people who oppose them without assuming they are members of the "others".
Read the last sentence. Unless I misinterpret this grossly, the author is making fun of demands for "ideological diversity", i.e. lack of conservative/Republican mindshare, a la maybe Jonathan Haidt.
I would argue that intellectual and ideological bubbles are only partially intersect and most of his readers are more interested in intellectual diversity.
I also suspect that binary conservatives/liberals division is not bringing enough diversity either ideologically or intellectually. The political diversity is large cities with large universities with lots of students and immigrants far outweighs the diversity in local politics. Smart Nepalese student who is communist may cut trough the conservative/liberal axis in a surprising way that is really new and interesting.
Also, the “hatred” goes both ways.
And no, the hatred does not go both ways, but you might think so because another big part of modern Republican ideology is victimization and resentment. Which are also powerful dangerous forces historically.
The way you worded your comment obviously made that implication - between Republicans and the Khmer Rouge, when in fact the Khmer Rouge was a leftist, communist, Marxist government, whose leaders were steeped in academic Marxist "intellectualism" (they studied in Paris, no less).
Deciphering whether you intended it or not is not my motive, so I'll leave that to the readers.
And no, the hatred does not go both ways,but you might think so
I disagree, but I have no horse in this race - my personal politics are boring centrist liberalism.
so because another big part of modern Republican ideology is victimization
Is it opposite day or something?
On victimization and resentment, it's basically the whole appeal of Trump. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/07/21/...
The whole point of the anti-urban elites propaganda is to make people feel like they're victims of the hated others.
It's only Christian Conservatives, which are not part of "modern Republican ideology" _at all_ who are anti-(Northern-)city.
They're also (typically) well-read folks, just they're reading different stuff, and see themselves as intellectuals first before anything else.
The "Christian Right" has been a dead concept politically when that party's leadership realized they no longer needed them to get a president elected back with Dubya (the first time).
Yes sure legally speaking there can be more parties, but due to the winner-takes all form of voting, there is no practical way for a third party to ever enter politics.
The existence of the republican and democratic party in the US for such an exceedingly long time has created a very ingrained sense of what politics and ideology is in the US.
People naturally have a much wider spectrum of ideologies than those represented by democrats and republicans. Yet there is no way to express that at the voting booth. Hence whatever people vote wouldn't really reflect the ideological divide.
Seen from my Norwegian perspective, if Norway was a city in the US, then Hillary Clinton would likely have gotten 90% of the vote. However that doesn't mean there is a lack of ideological diversity in Norway. There are 9 major parties in Norway and several much smaller ones, representing quite a diversity of opinion. The democratic party would have been quite an outlier politically in Norway, yet Donald Trump and republicans are even more extreme that people would naturally vote Hillary.
That a diverse set of people vote on some common lesser evil doesn't really make them all that similar.
LA is roughly 48% Latino, 30% "white", 11% Asian, 10% Black, and 30% "other" generally referring to smaller ethnic groups or to multi-ethnic individuals. LA's minority population on an absolute basis is larger than the entire population of the Toronto Metro Area. We have every type of Asian, European, South and North American, African, and Pacific Islander there is. We have ethnic populations in LA that are the only settled populations of those groups outside of their home countries, such as Iranian Jews and Druze.
Toronto is 48% white, 9% Black, 1% Aboriginal, and the remainder is Asian. Not diverse by US standards, unless you're comparing yourself to Cleveland or Indianapolis, maybe.
Rural Alberta has Druze communities, let alone Toronto.
"and the remainder is Asian"
Not true, a significant portion of the "other" category in Toronto is Arab and African. Not to mention the fact that "Asian" itself is a highly diverse category.
"Toronto was basically white until a few decades ago"
Exactly. Toronto's hugely diverse population is quite young, meaning it is much less assimilated.
I imagine that in both cities it matters a great deal which suburbs you include in your census when measuring ethnic diversity so it's really hard to compare directly.
Um....what? DC resident here. The only conservatives I see, anywhere, are tourists from the South/Midwest. The "intellectual class" is not linearly mapped to the Congress proportions. While conservative politicians (by the way most politicians live in the suburbs, outside DC) have conservative staffers, there's way more non-profits which are overwhelmingly liberal.
This just goes to show that the idea of 'diversity' is always a value judgement about what the 'right' mix of people is.
Cowen uses "ideological diversity" as a stand-in for Democratic/Republican balance. Which is one kind of diversity, and you would likely find the most balanced distribution of opinion on such questions as "is Mueller biased against Trump?" and "is Paul Ryan's tax plan good?" in the cities mentioned.
But here's a couple other questions that are likely more balanced in e.g. San Francisco than the cities mentioned: Are microstate monarchies the ideal form of government? Did the Constitution establish white supremacy? Should Keystone XL be blocked? Does trans ideology unnecessarily essentialize binary genders? Should we establish a generous universal basic income? Will blockchains lead to utopia on Earth? Should blockchain enthusiasts be sent to the gulag already?
Cowen enjoys occasionally getting under his elite coastal readership's skin, but this is pretty weak tea.
In academia a paper is written by a human who desperately wants to be right and publish it (because they are self interested of course) and the peer review process is there to challenge the methodology so that the truth can emerge.
It's like if you had two sets of scientists who had opposing viewpoints but could only use objective measure to justify their own side, when placed in opposition to one another their biases will more likely produce a truth.
It's also important to note that being able to analyze data and have knowledge of statistics is not enough. For a hypothetical example if you are a modern American progressive you might have a set of opinions which you identify with like a raised minimum wage, progressive tax, etc. You really want to be consistent in your beliefs so you seek out data which CAN justify your position. Like that minimum wage does not reduce employment or something. You search for any evidence that justifies it naturally and maybe do some shallow research on the opposition but deep down you know what side you are on. You have used data and statistics to justify your positions, but that is not enough to say whether you are actually right or not.
On the other hand, the anti vaxxer which try to figure out if they MUST reject that vaccines cause autism and maybe they find one thing that says there is a reason to doubt and that is sufficient.
In each case exposure to a formidable argument from the opposite side can really challenge their opinion. (Not that minimum wage is as simple as vaccines)
If you have hard evidence against something like anti vaxers then you can do away with their argument scientifically, but if you characterize all conservatives/liberals in that way, they you are lacking exposure to real, formidable arguments against your own positions. Because there are certain issues where both sides have objective measure which justify their own side.
The labels "conservative/liberal" don't mean much to me either. I find that many people are motivates by economics, or supporting their own tribes/ego. Many of these "opinions" come from organizations funded by wealthy people who benefit from the voters having those opinions, and I don't see any point in ascribing them any value.
At least in academia, there is a process that can result in valid results about our world, such as climate change. But there is no reason to consider Jenny Mccarthy's opinion on vaccines, or some oil magnate in Texas's opinion about climate change.
And there is reason to consider opposing opinions on vaccines, and then after the best evidence from both sides are provided a real conclusion can be made (it has already been made) and then it's no longer worth considering unless new evidence arises.
While I think the 50 percent figure is high, people tend to only think of DC as a liberal city.
Of course it primarily is, but there is a large population of well-educated conservatives and libertarians living here.
Most of my social circle leans left, but it was always good living in DC to hear different perspectives, rather than shouting into an echo-chamber.
Also an extremely diverse population (51% Black) along with on-going gentrification leads to DC being one of the more intellectually stimulating cities to live in.
I am not sure how diverse that is and certainly questionable to call that “extremely diverse.”
Tell me more about this mexican political spectrum. I'm only half can I join? Btw what do we believe in?
It's definitely not a race thing, it's a nationality. It's just a fact that every nation has their own type of polarization, aka spectrum.
One side has won, but it's hardly been "done away with". Even in the UK there is support for relaxing gun control. There are some countries in Europe with fairly strong laws protecting gun ownership as well, like the Czech Republic.