Tuesday, July 22, 2008
In the 1950s, economist Charles Tiebout argued that people can choose where to live based on government. Citizens can choose, for example, whether to live a town that is noted for good schools, on one hand, or low taxes, on the other hand. Evidence of a vigorous marketplace for communities is evident in how Americans are segregating themselves politically, according to a new book by Bill Bishop, called “The Big Sort.” Statistics show that, among other things, far more American counties today than in the past tend to vote overwhelming for one candidate or the other.
Suburbanization certainly exacerbates this trend: As the boss no longer lives in the same jurisdiction as the employee, each is less likely to encounter persons of differing political viewpoints in the community. Some argue that this political segregation is socially corrosive. How could land use law fight this trend? By allowing or encouraging more low-cost housing nearby high-cost residences, of course.
And I promise that this will be one of my last references to political campaigns as 2008 wears on …
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