Krugman is, of course, right about this. BUT, note that universities can do a lot to revitalize declining and rural regions.

See this thing that @lymanstoneky wrote:
And see this thing that I wrote:
And see this book that @JamesFallows wrote:
And see this other thing that I wrote:
And see this book that Enrico Moretti wrote:
And see yet another thing that I wrote:
And see this thing that @John_C_Austin wrote:
Universities are the closest thing we have to a "magic bullet" for reviving America's declining, forgotten, rural, and left-behind regions.

Everyone needs to know this. Help me get the word out.


More from Noah Smith

When Republicans started to believe in racial bloc voting - when they stopped believing that nonwhite people could ever be persuaded to vote Republican - they started to see immigration as an invasion.

This explains why immigration is now at the center of partisan conflict.

Of course, the belief in ethnic bloc voting becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When a slight Dem tilt among Hispanics and Asians caused the GOP to turn against them, Hispanics and Asians shifted more toward the Dems. Etc. etc. A self-reinforcing cycle.

Bush's 2006 amnesty attempt, and the 2013 intra-GOP fight over immigration reform, were two moments when the GOP could have turned back to the approach of Reagan, and courted Hispanics and Asians.

But they decided against this, we are.

What will disrupt this bad equilibrium, and save American politics from being an eternal race war?

A) More white voters will grow disgusted with the GOP approach and defect, or
B) The GOP will find some non-immigration-related issues to attract more Hispanics and Asians.

As long as both parties see elections in terms of racial bloc voting - where the only way to win is to increase turnout among your own racial blocs or suppress turnout by the other party's racial blocs - American politics will not improve, and the country will decline.

1/Lots of tech companies and workers are making noises about leaving San Francisco, LA, NYC, and other "superstar" cities.

Some are predicting a shift to remote work and distributed companies.

Let's take a hard look at what that would actually

2/We're all familiar with the trend of tech companies and other knowledge industries (finance, biotech, etc.) piling into a few tech hubs, raising rents and house prices.

Now some think the advent of Zoom, Slack, etc. might reverse this trend.

3/But escaping the superstar cities is going to be tough.

The forces keeping tech companies in places like SF are so strong that these regions have essentially become prisons for these companies.

4/In order to escape the prison of the superstar cities, tech companies and other knowledge industries will have to overcome the Four Jailers of Industrial Clustering:

1. In-person office productivity

2. Thick market effects

3. Knowledge spillovers

4. City life amenities

5/I'm actually pretty optimistic that companies can find ways to make remote work productive.

Studies show that working from home *some* of the time actually tends to raise
1/I'm thinking about the end of Apu in the context of the national debates on immigration and diversity.

2/Apu's presence in Springfield represented a basic reality of America in the late 20th and early 21st century: the presence of nonwhite immigrants.

3/As Tomas Jimenez writes in "The Other Side of Assimilation", for my generation, immigrants from India, China, Mexico, and many other countries aren't strange or foreign. On the contrary, they're a

4/But that America I grew up with is fundamentally ephemeral. The kids of immigrants don't retain their parents' culture. They merge into the local culture (and, as Jimenez documents, the local culture changes to reflect their influence).

5/Simpsons character don't change. But real people, and real communities, do. So a character who once represented the diversity that immigrants brought to American towns now represents a stereotype of Indian-Americans as "permanent foreigners".

More from Society

The Nashville Operation - A Battle in the War

A thread exploring the Nashville bombing in the context of the 2020 Digital War (via SolarWinds) against the United States perpetrated by our enemies, likely China, Iran and/or Russia.

SolarWinds Hack

A digital "Pearl Harbor" moment for the United States, whoever was responsible had access to the keys to the kingdom for months during 2020, including sensitive military infrastructure. This is war!

SunGard + SolarWinds

SolarWinds software company is owned by same company that owns SunGard, which essentially provides data center services. A secure place to host internet servers with redundant power and "big pipe" data connections.

SunGard Data Center

In Nashville, around the corner from their "big pipe" connection, AT&T. Like any data center, highly secure. Only authorized personnel can enter, and even fewer can access the actual server rooms. Backup generators are available in case of power failure.

If the SunGard hardware was being used to "host" critical command and control software related to SolarWinds, the US powers would be very interested in gaining special access keys that are stored on the hard-drives of specific servers.

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