City Journal Winter 2016

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Edward L. Glaeser
The GOP and the City « Back to Story

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Congestion charging is a fact, but I', not sure how popular charging would be. There is a severe need for public transportation in much of the US.
Some of the comments are a perfect example of why my party is sliding into irrelevance.
They complain about Democratic subsidies but stand by their Constitutional right to have the most valuable real estate in a region, the downtown business district, paved with extra roads and parking lots for them to use for free. God protect us from having to pay for what we demand!
Transit rarely asks the riders to pay the real cost, but streets never ask drivers to pay the full cost. As for parking: The places that do ask the drivers to pay for what they use are condemned for their social engineering.
I wouldn't call MB a conservative, liberals don't like him, but even conservatives think he's too liberal on guns and a big government agenda. I guess he's independent, but he is portrayed out of touch.

The GOP in short sum, needed not cater to urban voters, suburban folks with rural folks can provide the necessary votes since many urban folks don't vote or pay attention to politics as much. In many cities the percentage of state residents living in the major cities is smaller, in new york with 40% its more clout.

Texas housing affordability is due to vast land,and the high cost of maintenance,property taxes, as well as cheaper non-union labor. However, cities may be handicapped by their state legislatures for partian politics both good and bad.

The no child left behind is federal intrusion into local schools like common core which conservatives are backing away from.

As for the streetsblog propaganda of charging exorbant parking fees, the streetsblog would not charge bikers a lot of money to use the streets and would even require companies to offer bike stations. Public transit can be lacking and riders are not presented with the true cost of it. The streets belong to the taxpayers, but smart growth zoning has made car travel necessary, with more expensive transit orientated homes closer to downtown.

Cities like Houston have no zoning but are not following the streetsblog propaganda.
When will the senate pass the unemployment extension bill in the senate? Two million unemployed workers with families, have been without continued benefits since last December. While the politicians continue to play "party politics", these families have become evicted, bankrupt, and many are now homeless. What ever happened to the Republicans "family values"? These Americans deserve the same financial assistance as our government freely gives to fund Corporate Welfare, and gives to Foreign Aid. Our great country has bailed out the banking industry and the airline industry as well, but can't seem to agree to help these desperate families in need of help. The Republicans have dragged their feet, and have out right refused to pass the extension bill for the unemployed. Why? Why aren't the 99 percent in this country, as valued as the 1 percent ? The 2016 election is coming, and with it, I hope a total change of "public servant". We need to elect quality people, who can't be bought and sold. Politicians with heart and soul, and compassion for the people they represent
The hard reality is the cities are locked solid for Democrats. I live in a city and I am not even registered because I know my vote doesn't count and there is no chance of a Republican winning a seat on city council here. It just isn't happening. So I go on with life until I can get a chunk of land and build a large house outside of town. What stinks is I was annexed in...without my vote.
It's hard to take card carrying "republicans" seriously. So busy aping card carriers of feminism, anti-racism, anti-capitalism, internationalism and above all anti-americanism for decades. By which they are become cartoon characters.

Many, too many? with illiberal "compassionate liberal" openly even arrogantly, insultingly discount their freely taken oath as guardians of the protections of Americans and the "pillars of their City".

The witness published - what does, or did before the "compassionates got their grubby hands on the language, constitution or with a capitol C mean? In English plain enough for any literate or even Harvard/Ivy League/California legally trained/"educated" person to understand?

Their chest beating photo-ops of bravery to TV and mobile phone papparazzi are poor examples of the "right" stuff.

Not when the predators are circling the "pride" of America. Doing what predators gotta do, make mincemeat of the constitution of the Pride.

Isn't that after all what their promise, these illiberal compassionate liberals/democrats and friends, even when called republicans instead of fellow travellers or useful idiots mean by "fundamental transformation"?

Finally "outed" by standard bearer BH Obama on designs of their "Dreams From The Fathers".

But Americans ALREADY LIVE the Dreams from their OWN fathers. Their Founding Fathers who made them, us, who we are. With the double helix of their DNA the Declaration of Independence AND the Constitution.

roviding Pmeans for our robust health with a strong immune system to ward off sickening and weakening infectious virus. AND protections to guard us in the nights from predators such as these "compassionate liberals/democrats and friends.

"While there are a number of urban demographics that Republicans simply won't win, there's one they ought to win but don't: urban professionals. The two see eye-to-eye on many issues, from school reform to service privatization to policing. But the GOP still loses them because, alas, appealing to voters isn't always just about policy. It's about party branding, particularly for social issues. And for decades, the GOP has branded themselves as the party of God, family, and country, while being anti-immigrant, anti-gay, and anti-science. That appeals to Middle-America, but not to urban elites who prides themselves on their multiculturalism. To them, the GOP is still the party of Bible-beating rubes like Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum. Until the GOP realizes the flaw of this approach, they'll keep losing cities."

It wins them votes in the suburbs and rural areas, so why on earth would they quit? I was the child of two urban professionals and grew up in NYC. While in NYC, I registered to vote at the age of 19 to vote for Rudy Giuliani. I then voted for Bloomberg when capable. I voted for Al Gore because I was worried about the environment, and then John Kerry because I wanted the war in Iraq to end....

I've sinced moved away from NYC for career reasons, but if I was able to come back, I'd probably keep voting Republican locally and Democrat nationally. Why? I'm a naturally conservative person who grew up in a liberal area--I'm risk averse and patriotic, but this hard-core Jesus stuff strikes me as vaguely Martian and the sort of thing that kept Europe down in the Middle Ages and is keeping the Middle East down now. This generally makes me the inverse of most Americans, who are socially conservative and economically liberal.

Also, as many people state, one-party states are corrupt, whether R or D--in my time in Phoenix the Republican state legislature displayed the same problems the Democratic ones did back in NYC.

So: ain't gonna change. Christine Quinn will win and drive NYC back into the crapper. But I'm thinking about buying an apartment once she does and waiting for the inevitable Giuliani figure.
Perhaps the comments here speak adequately for themselves.

Back to you, Professor Glaeser.
I certainly don't agree with all the assertions in this post about what ails cities. (For example, I believe that crime has been exacerbated by the loss of good manufacturing jobs in the U.S.)

However, it's to the detriment of the entire country that the Republicans no longer are interested in cities as a constituency. Eventually, their disinterest will lead to their demise.
What's the point? I believe in the free market - including Adam Smith's invisible hand. If people in cities are stupid enough to vote Democratic every single time, they will get Democratic policies - higher taxation, lax criminal policing, social redistribution. This will eventually cause high crime and raise taxes, driving them out and causing the remaining people to change to Republican votes. Cyclical. NY has been having their cake and eating it lo these last 20 years by having a Republican Mayor who is tough on crime and yet voting for Democrats in Federal and state level-elections. It's been preventing the day of reckoning where NY returns to crime-ridden cesspool
It's a self-reinforcing problem. Cities sport a disproportionate number of groups that skew leftward. And a lot of groups that skew rightward--for example, families with children--have trouble securing their needs in a city environment. Education, a modicum of elbow room, safety, low crime: these can be had in a city, but it's a relatively scarce commodity, and so available only at ruinous expense in most cities.

Things would be better if more right-leaning constituencies moved into the city, if their priorities & votes became a concern for city politicians, and if there were more inviting urban areas available to them. But there's a problem: the Republicans have decided that by & large, they dislike the sort of people who currently live in cities. Their policies, one and all, favor suburban and exurban concerns over urban priorities--often, shamefully, to the point of big-gov't meddling. Their disdain for what they take to be modern city types has created a GOP vacuum in the cities; any remotely right-wing citydweller can hope for nothing politically and no concern from his own party, many of whom seem to dislike him on abstract principle.

Since the Republicans won't even get into the game, is it a surprise that the political left becomes ever more monolithic there? And the GOP punishes this by ignoring the cities even more pointedly. Commence vicious circle.
identical Hgside a/k/a Hillman: your assumption is gratuitous because you play mind reader, you "know" that Republicans overlook cities because "blacks, browns and gays" live there.

I know what policies are good for me, my town, my state and my country. I vote for anyone who personifies those policies, and I don't give a damn whether he/she/it likes me or not. In fact, I define "like" for politicians in terms of someone's policies!

And what is your evidence that gays would "have it far worse under Republicans"? In the days of John Ashcroft being AG, I asked many people who hated him, before they hated Cheney, before they hated Halliburton, after they hated Gingrich, "tomorrow morning you wake up and John Ashcroft is President, there are 100 John Ashcrofts in the Senate, 400-something John Ashcrofts in the House, and nine John Ashcrofts on the Supreme Court. Tell me exactly one thing you want to do today that you won't be able to do tomorrow, or one thing you don't want to do today and will be compelled to do tomorrow". And they just smirked, not having one thing to say.

So I'll ask you the same thing. What is it that makes it "much worse" for gays under Republican rule than Democrat? And how does that one [or more] "much worse" things justify voting for a party who has added $1 trillion of debt each year, who has shutdown all fossil fuel exploration and extraction offshore, Pacific, Gulf, Atlantic, Artic, Alaska and federal lands, at least doubling the price of gasoline, diesel, home heating oil, jet fuel, shut down coal plants and at least doubled electric rates, strangled nuclear, strangled new refineries and pipelines, left the southern border open to the unlimited importation of poverty, crime and welfare burdens on the border states, proceeding to cut the guts out of the military, can't refuel the carrier Lincoln so scratch one flattop, determined to disarm and leave defenseless every last law abiding citizen, destroy private health care, stopped the building of new roads and leaving us with decades old traffic jams?

You seem to miss my point.

My assumption isn't gratuitious at all. It comes from having living in overwhelming Democratic DC for twenty years.

Republican policies (at least in terms of welfare) would be beneficial to urban blacks.

Not sure about latinos, as suddenly a more motivated urban black economic underclass would be competing with them for jobs, once it became clear the never-ending Democratic welfare machine was coming to an end.

But all would benefit from the lower crime.

But gays would have it far worse under Republicans.

But my larger point is that Republicans have a racism and hatred of homosexuals that is quite real. Absolutely not universal, but real enough that people can see it.

And when you add that to the whole anti-intellectual mantra that Republican leaders have chosen recently, you have a huge missed political opportunity.
an amazing job of Orwellian double speak. What do the Republicans oppose? Free markets in housing, transportation and economic development. Ask most Republicans what they think we need for prosperous cities and they will tell you subsidies for homebuilders, more FREEways, tax breaks for businesses and, oh yeah, Government off our backs. NO Republican in my experience has ever called for full-cost accounting for sprawl, congestion pricing for roads or employers to shoulder the costs they impose on society through low wages and benefits or pollution or traffic caused by their decisions.

and Charter schools? over 50% have failed miserably. a higher rate of failure than public schools who have struggled as funding has been cut--by Republicans--over the last 30 years.

Click on link to see which NYC precincts were carried by President Obama vs. Governor Romney. 80% of NYC voters voted Obama. Outside Manhattan, mostly white precincts voted Obama/Romney 50/50. Orthodox Jewish voters voted Romney.

I wonder if NYC voters likelihood to vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate are similar to demographically similar folks in other locales? i.e. Were NYC African-Americans as likely to vote for Obama as non-NYC? Were NYC white Catholics as likely to vote for Romeny as non-NYC? etc.
Hillman: Glaeser documents how city dwellers, presumably including "blacks, browns and gays", would be much better off living with Republican policies than Democratic. You make the gratuitous assertion that "...the primary reasons the GOP has turned its back on cities. It's because blacks and browns and gays live there."

Assuming for the purpose of this argument that your gratuitous assertion is correct, that must imply that "blacks and browns and gays" vote for people who "like them" so much that they impose policies that substantially lower quality of life for the "blacks and browns and gays".

For me, personally, I wouldn't hesitate to vote for a black or brown or gay candidate whose policies where those of a solid [not selective] conservative and not for a straight white male whose policies were destructive of my life.

But you are convinced that blacks and browns and gays don't think that way?
The author glosses over the primary reasons the GOP has turned its back on cities.

It's because blacks and browns and gays live there.

Like it or not that's driving a lot of why the GOP ignores cities.

Democrats have darn near ruined quite a few American cities with their stunningly counterproductive welfare and crime policies.

There is a HUGE opportunity for the GOP to come in and demonstrate a better way.

But they can't. Not as long as they hate the gays and the browns and the blacks.

Add to that the idiotic GOP mantra of recent years, that city dwellers are some type of effete elites and somehow not 'real Americans', and you've got the GOP painting themselves into a corner in terms of urban politics.

Yes, clearly not all the GOP is that way. Of course not.

But those setting policy currently most definitely are.
The GOP and the City:
A city garbage dump and potters field for poor corpses, dead animals, and crucified persons without the means for any other type of burial located outside the walled city of Jerusalem during Hellenistic times. Known also as "Gehenna" it was the place "where the fires never go out, and the worm never dies." It was allegedly located on the site where centuries earlier lapsed Isrealites had once erected an ingenious idol to a Canaanite man-bull god named Moloch and sacrificed babies to it. The idol reportedly was rigged so that when a baby was placed upon its outstretched arms, the priest or "magician" would then trip a hidden lever, and to the awe of the dumbfounded audience the child would be flipped up through the bull's open mouth.
"promoting homeownership with the mortgage-interest tax deduction and with subsidized mortgages from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That policy amounts to bribing people to leave rented urban apartments and buy suburban houses."

Oh, really? But all those urban apartment buildings have mortgages, and the interest on those loans are tax deductible, whether to an individual owning the apartment building or a corporation. So by the author's "reasoning" those mortgage interest deductions are bribing people to leave suburban homes and rent apartments in the city? Duh!!!

What does the author really expect the GOP to do? The large fraction of the city that is directly on the public dole is always going to vote for the party that promises them the most generous dole. Another large fraction of the city are those on Social Security and Medicare, the vast majority drawing far more than they contributed over their lifetime, whom I will call on "honorable" welfare. They'll also always vote Democratic, even though Democrats must cut the guts out of Medicare to pay for everybody else's health care. Another large fraction are union members, who will always vote for the party that will dictate wages and prices in their favor. Add those three groups and you already have a substantial majority. Then add a fourth group, whom Nicole Gelinas noted when blaming GWB, the well educated whites, who will never vote for a party that makes a moral judgment about anything, be that not terminating inconvenient life, be that life very young or very old, or be that knowing that a child deserves a loving father and mother, not two fathers, not two mothers, not one father, not one mother.

All the GOP has to do to attract those voters is out demagogue the Democrats.
Hoss, you raise excellent points. I am saying that absent a proactive plan, and with the default position being "do nothing," it comes across as hostile when the alternative is a plan that is inclusive and which addresses something very important to a large portion of our populace. I also support a union for gays but don't support churches being forced to recognize. Churches have a right to hold their positions.
I also think gay groups can be bullies, and yes, it's a turn-off. But the marriage amendment? We're really going to disallow a group of people from being able to have unions in our Constitution? That didn't come from the left. With only a handful of states allowing unions and no trace of a plan on this side to be tolerant of it, it comes across as hostile. So, those people go somewhere else. It's a very important issue to them and honestly, if people are citizens and they pay the same taxes as me, I don't care if they want to legalize their union. Government applies to all people, not those only of a particular religious custom.
On immigrants, I realize the lack of proper boarder control is an infuriating issue and economically it's taxing for the border states and some cities where people land. Even more reason to start moving towards legalizing those who are not criminal (apart from entering illegally) - I hope you see the distinction. Then we can begin to focus on the 69% on the public dole. People choosing between no life and violence coming here; I give them a pass. It's a crazy number that are receiving aid from public funds and we have no hope of working on that in the current situation, because we are not going to deport unless hey are hard criminals. I wished it were the way my grandparents came in, through a large immigration center like Ellis, but we don't do it that way any longer. I understand that it's unfair, but I don't see this issue going away any time soon. And it's holding us back. There are many things that need fixing and we need to focus on some at one time.
Parties and platforms have to, in addition to clarity of thinking, need to construct manageable positions that can be won, and which move the ball forward. This year ought to have been a showdown on the big blue model and instead the forces were divided and not able to coalesce around enough of the broad brush strokes. We can have nice crystal clear positions but it would be nice to be in office again.
Thank God for the Governors and the fiscal example they are setting but apart from them, this side looks spent and had.
Adele, I ask this seriously, what do you see as "hostility" towards "immigrants"? The whole narrative of conservatives as hostile towards gays and immigrants is a leftist construct. Are conservatives largely against gay "marriage"? Yes, but it's based on a belief that marriage is defined as union between a man and a woman (and yes, "marriage" is a religious construct). Is that what defines hostility. And I don't hear conservatives out beating the drum about not allowing immigrants into this country. Oh, "illegal" immigrants? Okay, now we're being honest. Forgive conservatives for their antiquated notion that America is a nation of laws and that sovereignty matters. I, a conservative, was a supporter of gay unions allowing partner benefits, etc., but have become less so now that they've become one of the biggest collection of bullies in the United States (Chik-Fil-A, anyone). Please correct me wherever you fell I've jumped off the bridge.

I love this journal and thank you for this article.

Urban areas attract a good number of gays and some Repubs need to drop their hostility towards them. Indies like me don't want any part of it. There are other reasons why I vote for conservatives but I'm a little tired of the general hostility towards immigrants and gay people. I hope we can cobble together an immigration reform bill.

I appreciate the sentiments expressed in the article. Plus, there are more conservatives in NYC (where I'm from) than people realize. As a general policy, it's not good to write off an entire area because Dems control it. Find middle ground and make something work, then build on it.
and atlas shrugged.....starve the monster.
Halleluiah! Well stated. Sure hope my fellow Republicans read this! My own ability to peddle this line, with which I have long agreed, is low amongst either party just now, for this sort of thing relates to why I changed parties, so I have little credibility with either just now. But perhaps they will read and head what Dr. Glaeser has to say.
Did Republicans really abandon the cities ? Or are the people there just a lot more liberal, and therefore less likely to vote Republican ?

(a devoted Republican)
Living out in the country just seems so much more natural than cooped up in any major city.
The GOP has no chance to gain a foothold in the prolific urban areas as long as they insist on conservative "values" and policies that denigrate the diversity to be found there. While it might be true that NYC's restaurant scene would be diminished by a government run canteen, so would it be diminished if all the restaurants were run by old white people (sorry). The diversity is the stuff cities are made of, and not to be feared and marginalized.
Maybe because the genocidal mass immigration and "assimilation" imposed on ALL white countries and ONLY white countries is creating non-white urban centers?
"Conservatives looked to more effective policing; liberals, believing that poverty caused crime, bet on redistributive social policies. The past decades have overwhelmingly vindicated the conservatives. The expansive government programs of the liberals’ Great Society coincided with rapidly rising urban crime rates. Cities became safe again only when they embraced tougher—and smarter—policing."

So: sending out welfare food stamps = liberal, bad. Paying instead for people's every need in jail once they take up crime to try to make ends meet = conservative, good. Got it. Do you have any idea how enormous our prison system is, how much it's costing every taxpayer, or what a complete mockery it makes of everything you believe...the "land of the free" being, by the most literal metric possible, the LEAST free country in the world?

Eh, who cares. They're mostly black anyway.
the GOP abandonement of the cities is culture based
free stuff wins. Always!!!
The author's views are sober and well-intentioned, but they miss the main dynamic: Welfare.

Democrats foster indiscriminate handouts to the cities on the predicate that such redistribution is "fair." This notion is palpably absurd and hugely counterproductive on any number of counts -- to say nothing of the danger posed to the nation's future economical well-being -- but welfare recipients, who largely inhabit the cities, and who are now in their second and third generation of subsisting on such handouts, and whose job skills are minimal at best, know no other existence.

So here are the Republicans, alarmed (at least some of them) at the economic reefs they see dead ahead, with the following urgent plan of action: Let's cut entitlements, and the sooner the better.

The reaction of inner-city entitlement recipients to this prescription is, uh, predictable.

So what we have here is a Gordian knot. Welfare recipients, who, for any number of reasons, are ill disposed to having their income and benefits reduced, are not very likely to welcome Republicans into their living rooms. This means that the cities will continue to vote Democrat, and the Democrats, who have now honed their GOTV skills to a fare-thee-well, will continue to call the tune.

Forgive me for playing Cassandra, but I see no solution. This dynamic will play out until it is played out -- and the end game is not far off. What will follow is a denouement that bodes ill for us all, including those of us who live comfortably in gated communities or survivably in well-stocked bunkers. Selah.
"...I thought there might be something relating to making roads pay for themselves" -Nick (5:27)

I was thinking the same thing for mass transportation. Road projects would enjoy greater funding if mass transit didn't steal a portion of the taxes people pay for in gasoline purchases. Mass transportation systems are the kings of subsidies.
Dave, you may want to step away from the weed for a minute, it's obviously not doing you any favors in the intelligence category. But thanks for illustrating the kind of deep-thinking that the modern democrat party is know for.
Dave: I have a disagreement with you on just who is the party of hate. Aside from the Democratic Party's miserable history of being the party of slavery, under whose auspices the KKK was formed, as well as Jim Crow, lynchings and all the rest, none of which Democrats have ever apologized for, Democrats talk a good game but their method of governance is such that permanent conditions of poverty of misery are created and propagated.

I had the misfortune of representing juveniles in Essex County, New Jersey, a place which has been under Democratic control for decades. The conditions under which these children were processed, housed and lived were horrendous, not only as a result of the government, but also as a reult of welfare policies that led to the breakup of families, along with the resulting crime and lack of educational achievement. Why all this in an area where Democrats have had access to to money, power and control - for years?

Democrats are all about control, power and money and they seem to have figured out a way to maintain control without delivering anything of substance to the governed. I used to be a Democrat, and, during a conversation in which my wife was being urged to run for state-wide office on the Democratic ticket, a Democratic leader sat in our kitchen and candidly admitted that, for the Party, what mattered was control i.e. the right to control patronage (those are more or less the exact words) so that the right people get the money.

I have no great love for the Republican Party, especially the leadership, but the corruption in the Democratic Party is institutional - a great example is the way that Democrats have managed to get taxpayer funding for their campaigns by funneling tax money through public unions. Put the shoe on the other foot - what would happen if Republicans were doing the same?

By the way, the standard response when bringing up the Democrats terrible past as the party of institutional racism, is the claim that somehow Republicans have taken the place of Democrats in the South. Not true - when Democrats joined the Republican Party in the South, the Party never adopted the race baiting policies that were part and parcel of Democratic campaigning and governance. The Republicans didn't adopt the 'progressive' liberalism that is now the hallmark of Democrats (and the failure to adopt those policies now somehow serves as the basis for the charges of racism!) but the reason for that is simply that conservatives in the Republican Party understand that those policies simply don't work. If they did work, then places in my state like Newark would be prosperous, crime free centers of educational achievement.

Democratic control of the media means that Democrats have access to a propaganda machine second to none. I used to be a Democrat, but managed to get over a lifetime of conditioning and now understand how the Democratic party is able to maintain power through a combination of institutional corruption, ruthless campaigning policies, intimidation, and access to media that promotes Democratic policies uber alles along with other means.

I watch, listen and judge communications coming from all sides of the political spectrum. Give it a try with an open mind, and be prepared to accept that much of what you understand to be true just isn't. Not long ago Frank Rich wrote an interesting column after spending a month listening to conservative talk radio. I don't think he understood just how many of the conservative voices out there are independent of party, and are not the racist promoters of hate that the thought they were.

But then again, we are talking abuot party. Your simplistic formula doesn't comport with the facts - those on the ground, which show the Democrats to be everything you say about Republicans. Even as to gays, I often wonder what would happen if Democrats ever fully got control. I do note that Democrats say little about Iran and other muslim countries where being gay is a capital crime. But, that's just speculation premised on the Democrats track record of doing for Party first, and never for the groups they claim to represent.

As a final comment, note that when Democrats had full untouchable unvetoable power for two years they did nothing about immigration. Democrats also could have, but didn't, enact legislation that could have resulted in statutory protections for abortion - thereby taking the issue out of the hands of the whims of the Supreme Court.

Why did Democrat sit on their hands for two years and do nothing about immigration, abortion and other issues? The reason was simply that these issues are better off left unresolved, as a means to attack Republicans. This is typical of Democrats, who truly don't have any core values other than to seek and weild power.

Disagree? Would love to hear why, with facts, not irrelevancies. I'd love to hear a defense of Democratic policies - someone out there has to disagree, and can do so without changing the subject, or claiming that Republicans are just as bad - a typical Democratic tactic when attempting to defend the indefensible.
GOP = party of hate
hate women's bodies
hate homosexuals
hate immigrants
hate non-whites

Other than those. Not a problem.
Oh wait, they don't want me to have the freedom to smoke a J.
One more one-more-thing,

Evidence that charter schools outperform public schools is pretty mixed. In general, charter school kids do no better on tests of learning than kids attending nearby public schools.

Perhaps folks will figure out how to make charter schools work better. But I don't think you can say that, right now, that kids are better off because of charter schools.
One more thing,

I think urban voters are a little more conscious of the need to end inner-city poverty than are voters from elsewhere. Especially, obviously, those who are poor.

I don't think there is a sense that the poverty fighting ideas Mr. Glaeser mentions, charter schools and better policing for safer neighborhoods, are enough to lift everyone out of poverty. I think folks understand that big - expensive - programs are likely what we must do to integrate these folks into America's prosperous mix.

Democrats, it would appear, have folks who would like to put big money into these programs. Really try to end poverty. Republicans include chunks of welfare bashers. (Reagan entertained audiences with the genius of inner citi-ites; alchemizing fraudulently gained welfare check into shiny Cadillacs.)

Politicians who bash poor folks as indolent, threatening, scammers aren't likely to charm them into granting them the favor of a vote; I wouldn't think.
Well lets see. The anti-Prohibitionists got more votes in Colorado than Obama did.

The Republican Brand - Prohibition now, prohibition tomorrow, prohibition forever.

How exactly is that supposed to work?
Really interesting article,

At some later date, might you consider affect of cultural differences between big city, suburban, and rural voters on preferences for more conservative or liberal leadership?

This article seems a little deaf to just how important these are to how folks vote. As an example, New York City residents, even white residents, appear to have voted mostly for the President. They voted for the President despite the wonders of Republican thinking Mr. (Dr?) Glaeser includes in his article - charter schools and new public safety techniques. They voted for President Obama despite having elected and re-elected proponents of these ideas: Messrs Giuliani and Bloomberg as their mayor over more liberal candidates.

To have re-elected mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, city residents must have been supportive of charter schools and the new policing policies. Yet they, greatly I think (can't find exact numbers - just articles stating the President overwhelmingly carried the city), preferred the President to Governor Romney.

Would Romney appear at a drag show? Appropriately dressed? City people would prefer that.
When you mentioned our transportation system being congested due to selling road space at below market prices, I thought there might be something relating to making roads pay for themselves. Perhaps something like making the gas/diesel tax & registration fees at the level that would be needed to make the price match the market rate. Although, I know it would be difficult to convince people to make those taxes high enough to eliminate the subsidy our roads receive from debt/other taxes.
EG writes:

"...the particularly Republican perspective, with its focus on economic freedom, competition, and law and order. That perspective formulated some of the most successful policies in memory for making cities better places to live."

Mr. Glaeser left out the Republican focus on denouncing global warming as a hoax. The GOP's anti-science stance is fundamental. Strange that city dwellers, many of whom live on the coasts or on major (but shrinking) lakes, do not feel a "need" for such "good ideas". The inferiority of minorities is another fundamental Republican idea that is not embraced by urbanites, including white urbanites. Why should they embrace a prty that is intellectually and morally rotten?
"Until we turn to a market-based solution—following the examples of London and Singapore, where drivers pay for the congestion they create—our cities’ transportation arteries will stay clogged."
That's a great way to exclude the non-wealthy from streets, but not practical. A solution for urban transportation is to create more public transportation including efficient trains, and discourage driving cars.
Indiana's privatization from IndyStar:

"In 2006, the state hired IBM to overhaul the state's welfare system. "We tried to get out of this green-screen, stacks-of-paper, fraud-ridden mess," Daniels said.

But three years later, amid widespread complaints about delayed benefits and impersonal interactions, Daniels fired the company.

"It was a flawed concept that simply did not work out in practice," he admitted at the time.

The firing set off a legal battle that has cost the state nearly $10 million in legal bills and resulted in a $52 million judgment against the state.

"This story represents a 'perfect storm' of misguided government policy and overzealous corporate ambition," Marion Superior Court Judge David Dreyer wrote in the ruling against the state. "Overall, both parties are to blame, and Indiana's taxpayers are left as apparent losers....

But some who have studied the deal question its long-term benefits. The state could have earned more if politicians showed political courage and raised tolls themselves, critics say. Instead, the private consortium has reaped the benefits of annual toll increases on commercial and some passenger vehicles. Those increases are limited by guidelines in the lease, but those guidelines loosen in 2016, which will allow the company to raise tolls at a brisker pace, according to a recent report by John Gilmour, a government professor at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

"These transactions have important consequences for intergenerational justice because they enrich current citizens and governments at the expense of future citizens and governments by transferring future revenue to current budgets," Gilmour wrote."

But that kind of Ponzi scheme is typical of Republicans.
EG writes:

"Cities have suffered from the GOP’s departure. For one thing, any group or place benefits from being the object of political competition: swing groups in swing states, such as Cubans in Miami and autoworkers in Ohio, receive political attention and favors, while solidly Republican or Democratic constituencies get taken for granted."

Gee, that will be news to the citizens of Seattle. Danny Westneat write in the Seattle Times:

"The truth has finally seeped out about the real cause of the recent political dysfunction in this state.

Seattle did it.

Yep, it’s our fault, Seattle. Two state senators who pulled a coup in Olympia to put Republicans in charge have taken to giving a one-word critique as to why they rebelled: “Seattle-centric.”

As in: Seattle rules the roost. It’s not fair. Because Seattle is “just not like the rest of the state.”

So said Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Dogpatch, I mean D-Potlatch, who last week handed control of the state Senate to the GOP despite their thumping in the last election."

Can't wait to see what goodies the Republicans offer Seattlites in order to ensure continued support for R control of the state in the next election. Seattle, home to more than a handful of entrepreneurs, hasn't elected a Republican to its City Council or mayor's office in many years.

Hugh Brennan,

You write that "Identity politics has been a key element in education and media representation for decades." Actually, it's been a key element for centuries, since at least 1776. How is it any different now, besides the racial make-up of those doing the identifying?
The photo of the all-white environment that accompanies this article is perfect. Here's the caption: "A crowded restaurant in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, one of many neighborhoods that revived under Republican mayor Rudy Giuliani."

Oh. Right on target, Jolie. Maybe you read an article on the forign policy of past
administrations. You libs are SO clever!

It's much simpler than all that: non-whites won't vote for a white man if they have another option. Identity politics has been a key element in education and media representation for decades. These are the same decades when, due to the mass immigration of third world populations to the USA, the racial composition of our major urban centers changed completely. Blacks, browns, Asians and the traditional Democrat urban Jewish enclaves are virtually 100% Democrat. Add the mobile, hyper-liberal body of new graduates migrating to the hipster enclaves, and there's no mass of ethnic whites, or other native born, Republican leaning, racial groups available in big city America. None of the groups mentioned are amenable to conversion by argument to Republican positions. The Democrats have very successfully flipped the racial categorization of the parties since the 70's. The Democrats of slavery and Jim Crow are now the champions of affirmative action, set asides and diversity. The Republicans of classic constitutionalism, capitalism and traditional American values, are now the racist redoubt of a dying white ascendancy. That's why the feckless Obama defeated the hyper-qualified ROmeny. Romney suffered the irreducible liability of being a white man.
Theodore Toothman January 25, 2013 at 5:32 AM
While seeking urbanites vote may be of use, please allow me to donate an anecdote.

Two days ago after work, I stopped for a beer in a local working-class bar here in Cleveland, Ohio. The news was on and the newsperson had just delivered a report on the attempt by Republicans to make the Senate submit a budget by threatening to withhold pay if a budget is not forthcoming. Upon hearing this, a gentleman a couple of seats to my right started spewing forth about how it was great to hear that at last somebody was going to stopp paying "those rich G-d Dam--d Republicans!" The newscast was quite clear, but the listener heard only what he wished to hear. You can reach out, but you will find mindless refusal to listen on the part of millions of people brainwashed into voting as per this simple equation: Democrat = Good; Republican = Evil.
America's larger cities - such as Houston and New York - do not "...surge with ambitious strivers and entrepreneurs, who should instinctively sympathize with the GOP’s faith in private industry...". Rather, the larger cities teem with drones, who prefer to do nothing with their lives and live from the government's handouts. The numbers of small business owners and other self-employed individuals who take responsibility for themselves and might be receptive to a free market appeal are overwhelmed by the takers and fakers and the government employees who keep them fed and Democratic.
The last time a Republican held the mayor's office in St. Louis was 1949. As of that date St. Louis had almost 900,000 residents. Today the city has just over 300,000 and the poplulation is falling. Thus the city is best described as a "one party-one newspaper town." No republican bothers to seek city office. This year the Democrats will fight it out again for mayor on platforms of who can do the most to "rob from the rich and give to the poor". We do, however, often lead the nation in murders, sexually transmitted diseases and we must be fairly close to number one in out of wedlock births at around 90% for blacks and close to 40% for whites. People here have long ago voted with their feet with respect to which party they wish to have govern them. The suburbs are mostly Republican and prosper. I would welcome a healthy two party system but when most of the city's popluation is on the dole I don't think its going to happen. And, frankly, if your idea of Republican inspired progess is housing vouchers by which I presume you mean Section 8 houses then no thanks. There are only two or three neighborhoods left in St. Louis that have not been destroyed by Section 8. My wife and I plan to do what most thinking people here have done - certainly anyone with school age children who can't afford private schools - leave and watch with sadness from a distance as "Rome" falls to the vandals.
GOP has been disastrous for America, especially cities.
Lets remember that despite multiple ethics charges Charles Rangel won reelection in New York with 91% of the vote and Marion Barry, with multiple drug convictions-some in the Maryor's office, was reelected to City Council again in Washington, DC.
The article brings up a very good point. When one looks at the county by county map of the presidential election results, one sees that even in blue states it is only the fact that Democrats rack up such lopsided victories in urban areas that allows them to carry the state. If Republicans could increase their votes in urban areas, even many Blue states might again become competitive.

The question is, although Republicans do have many good ideas that could benefit those in urban areas, is that a message that will sell? I've heard reports of many urban districts in which Romney did not receive even one vote!

Still, if the Republican party is to continue as a viable party in the increasingly urban United States, we can not continue to let such areas remain uncontested Democratic strongholds. January 24, 2013 at 10:20 AM
democrats win the cities by large margins because they CHEAT. 100 plus percent turnout in philly ? please.
Maybe I'm being simple minded here, but I'm not so sure that Republican's loss of city votes is their fault.

Seems to me, for whatever reason, big city dwellers tend to be the kind that want government to provide for their every need. As such, they're not going to be sympathetic to Republicans.
Glaeser is vcorrect in that GOP platforms must address urban as well as suburban issues be it education or healthcare crime or housing. At Tampa Bay I certainly sought platyform improvements but there is a lot of work to do.
The Republican problem with the cities is "partly a self-created one"? Are you kidding! It is wholly a self created problem - Republicans have essentially abandoned the cities and the result has been catastrophic, not just for Republicans, but for city dwellers - ESPECIALLY minorities who have suffered under Democratic policies that have destroyed their families, criminalized their communities, taken away their will to be educated, impoverished their neighborhoods, and worked on nullifying any semblence of American traditional self reliant individualism in these communities and replaced it with some awful dependence culture unique to history.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. The insanity created by the one party Democratic politics, essentially the ruin of entire cities, has led to Democrats getting all the votes while at the same time delivering nothing to the governed but corruption, misery, hypocrisy, manipulation and double talk. Democratic lock on the media has led to adoption by ALL media of policies that hide the facts underlying the corrupt rule of Democratic leaders, under which these communites act as islands of repression, used as income producing poverty centers, supporting the entire Democratic dominated poverty industry, and subject to every whim of rabble rousing Democratic leaders.

Think I'm exaggerating? Take a look at crime and education rates for certain groups in cities under long term Democratic control, not just generally but as a percentage of the population. Look at disparities in income levels, look at the number of children born to single mothers, which are a critically important indicator of the child's future success in life. Which media led to acceptance of the notion of a single mother raising children? That claimed it as something noble, while at the same time marginalizaing the male role in the family?

It all works out pretty neatly for Democrats - they create the conditions and culture for a community that is perfect for Democratic control and a vehicle for making money for Democratic causes. The resulting statistics in these communities are DISMAL, especially as to the lack of a private sector, but you don't hear a word about it in the Democratic media because of policies adopted for the very specific purpose of protecting the Democratic rulers.

It takes a peculiar form of blindness not to see this from the inside, but then again Democrats have had decades to hone their skills at conditioning. These communities tend to be insular, and anything that is disagreeable to the ruling class is dismissed with either mockery or claimed as racist. The fact that the communities are not doing well under common sense notions of what doing well means is irrelevant - what counts is whether the community is doing well as defined by Democrats.

And since Democats are able to use the community to drain money from everywhere else, and maintain a lock on votes means that these communities are doing well indeed - and Democrats would't change a thing.

In some former time, when one party was an utter failure at governing the people would come to the conclusion that it was time for a change, and the other party would be voted in. But, the creation of entrenched areas of Democratic Party rule in most major cities (New York being a happy - for the people involved - exception as to the mayor's office, although this is temporary, as New York will soon resume the slide to the bottom - as defined by others, for Democrats it is no such thing - that was temporarily interrupted when Giuliani was elected in 1989) has led to institutional corruption at every level, and acceptance of a status quo that would be unacceptable to any reasonable person. But, conditioning by Democratic media, as a result of adoption of journalistic conventions - political correctness - has led to acceptance of what would formerlly have been unacceptable. This in turn has led to not just one party rule, but the belief by the community that the awful conditions that exist are not the fault of the party in charge, but "others' i.e. Republicans, who haven't wielded power in the community for decades, if ever. The lack of any real check on corruption has led to its institutionalization, a natural consequence of of years and years one party rule by a people that were bent on corruption to begin with.

Accordingly, Republican abandonement of the cities has been a disaster - and Romney's decision to focus all of his resources elsewhere means that these people haven't heard from anyone but the Democrats for years. With nothing else challenging them, Democrat's have convinced the people in Detroit, of Camden, East St. Louis, Chicago, Washington and other places to re-elect, year after year, the very people responsible for their being mired in poverty, and used as a vehicle for Democrats enriching themselves.

Those on the outside who see all this happening think that the people involved will somehow wake up and toss out the politicans responsible. But, that will never happen unless someone from the outside comes in and tells the truth - the unvarnished truth - not only about what's going on but how it got that way. Take a look at some of these places - here in New Jersey it can be seen in parts of Paterson, in much of Newark, Irvington, East Orange, Hillside et als. Year after year goes by and places that were at one time centers of prosperity, little crime, high education are mired in the American version of poverty, whatever you want to call it for decades upon decade - even as the rest of the country goes through periods of prosperity. The people involved are subject to a barrage of messages from Democrats blaming everything but the Democratic leadership for the problems, but year after year after year nothing changes - conditions become, if anything, worse. Through it all no one says what's really wrong, even as the state comes up with plan after plan - tosses millions if not billions of dollars down a rathole to be used by corrupt Democrats for very personal purposes, all of which does nothing. In Newark the State opened an arts center - people get there from the suburbs by highway ringed with security, all the way there and all the way back. Very nice, but how does this help the city? It's a bad joke, as bad as when Atlantic City put up "intercept" parking lots on the approaches to the city for so that casino and hotel workers from outside the city could park. It's a bad joke, just like the sports complexes that were built to house a basketball team that soon left, and a hockey (hockey!) team that has almost no chance of staying.

It's now been half a century since the riots in Newark, and that city could be seen as a microcosm of the terrible consequences of Democratic control and Republican abandonment of the cities. I simply do not have the time to list all of the Democratic abuses in Newark, soon to be New Jersey's second largest city, a once prosperous and beautiful center of the nations insurance industry. Thanks to Democratic media conditioning it would be practically unthinkable for Republicans to come to power in Newark - unless somehow Republicans can shake off the media strait jacket and tell the entire truth about what's going on and how it got that way. No doubt Democrats would get hysterical and scream racism, as they always do, but at this point, for Republicans what would they have to lose?

But that's the problem, Republicans, their leadership, are far too timid, far too spineless, far too "go along get along," far too accepting of a secondary role in society to make assertions about conditions that everyone knows about but no one says a word. The Democratic emperor has no clothes (and I am not talking about Obama - he is almost irrelevant to this discussion) but for some reason there is no one on the Republican side brave enough to say a thing about it.

When did Republicans make an agreement with Democrats to not mention certain subjects? - because that's essentially what's going on. How did Republicans decide to say nothing about the Democratic rape of certain city communities, or of entire cities?

So, another generation gets lost, and we all sit by and watch as our nation slides down the drain. The sad irony is that Democrats are extremely vulnerable - the hysteria voiced by Democratic leaders should anyone even hint at any of these issues is revealing of that vulnerability.

We keep waiting for someone in the cities to come out and say what the rest of the country knows, but it isn't going to happen - it will not be that easy. Republicans have waited far too long, and it will take a concerted effort by courageous people.

I just don't see it happening.
They'll take the policies that help without so much as a thank you because the great majority of urbanites won't vote for Republicans regardless. This is a matter of culture, and emotion, in other words tribalism, not policy.
Republicans sell paranoia. They sell phony schemes to blame Democrats for every ill of the world. For example, did you hear the foaming-at-the-mouth attacks on Hillary Clinton about Benghazi ?

That from the party of Ronald Reagan, who got 243 killed in Lebanon in October, 1983, from ignoring that the embassy up on Rue de Paris had been blasted with a similar bomb that April. And Condi Rice, who endorsed the WMD scam and ignored the Air France Flight 8969 suicide-hijacking that modeled 9/11.

Republicans lose because they are losers. Unreconstructed Birchers with little talent for cooperative democracy.

While there are a number of urban demographics that Republicans simply won't win, there's one they ought to win but don't: urban professionals. The two see eye-to-eye on many issues, from school reform to service privatization to policing. But the GOP still loses them because, alas, appealing to voters isn't always just about policy. It's about party branding, particularly for social issues. And for decades, the GOP has branded themselves as the party of God, family, and country, while being anti-immigrant, anti-gay, and anti-science. That appeals to Middle-America, but not to urban elites who prides themselves on their multiculturalism. To them, the GOP is still the party of Bible-beating rubes like Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum. Until the GOP realizes the flaw of this approach, they'll keep losing cities.
Brilliant! In addition, policies and efforts to help cities thrive will appeal to environmentalists, another constituency Republicans tend to ignore.