How people in the US make money is responsible for much of the political conflict

Joel Kotkin:
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Increasingly it is economics—how people make money—rather than culture that drives the country into perpetual conflict.

The tax bill brought that conflict to the surface, as Republicans made winners of Wall Street and the corporate elites, as well as most taxpayers and homeowners in lower-cost states, and losers of high-income blue-state taxpayers in high-tax states such as California, New York, and New Jersey.

A U.S. News and World Report headline denounced the bill as a declaration of “War on the Blue States,” comparing it to the infamous Kansas-Nebraska Act that allowed those states to determine whether to adopt slavery in the face of Northern objections. Others in the blue world suggested the bill meant that America no longer wishes to be “at the forefront of the new economy.”

Many progressives see their vision of a post-industrial economy—green, high-tech, and media-centered—as representing the enlightened future. The blue states are all too often hostile to the manufacturing, agriculture, and energy industries critical to the heartland’s, and the nation’s, future prosperity and security.

A look at the current Republican majority explains much of our new sectional divide. The states with the largest share of jobs tied to industry (PDF)—Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and Alabama—all went for Trump. In contrast, the share of manufacturing jobs in key Clinton states like New York, California, and Massachusetts is no more than half as large.

Differences are even more stark in industries such as energy, mining, and agriculture. The watershed of the Mississippi River, largely controlled by Republicans, is the source of 92 percent of U.S. agricultural exports, and 78 percent of global feed, grain, and soybean exports. The only other major player is California, whose position is threatened by water policies and the prospect of renewed drought.

Perhaps even more politically critical is the energy industry. The top three states for oil and gas jobs—Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana—are all deep red. Much of the recent growth has been in the industrial heartland states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as oil-shale-rich North Dakota. All went with Trump.

Blue states have generally abandoned these basic industries. In fact the third largest energy-producing state, California, seems determined to eliminate its once powerful oil and gas sector, while New York, unlike its neighbors, has decided to strangle the emergent shale oil industry in its crib. Manufacturing, on the rise in much of the country, is stagnant or declining in many blue states. Some of the most precipitous drops in the numbers of highly paid blue-collar jobs overall since 1991 have been in California, New York, and Illinois (PDF).

Interior California and upstate New York—the red parts of the big blue states—have declined into a kind of Appalachian dystopia. Nearly half of the 16 counties with the highest percentages of people earning over $190,000 annually are located in California. Yet, the state also has a remarkable 77 of the country’s 297 most “economically challenged” cities based on levels of poverty and employment. Altogether, these troubled cities are home to roughly a third of the state’s population.
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Texas is probably an exception to this jobs divide.  Besides energy and manufacturing, it is also a high tech center and leading exporter of tech equipment.  And the companies who live off data are also investing heavily in Texas, but within Texas you can see some of teh same divide as Austin is the seat not only of government, but it is also where much of the tech business is located, and it is also the "blueberry in the tomato soup of red Texas.

I think probably the biggest problem with teh data guys is that do not comprehend the importance of the other job base.  They would be very hungry and immobile without it.

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