Sunday, December 16, 2018

Zakaria: the rural v urban divide is now driving political and social strife

Fareed Zakaria has a major op-ed in the Washington Post, which he explains on CNN’s Global Public Square today, “The New Dividing Line in Western Politics”.  We’ve seen this most recently with the violent protests in France.
Better Angels should look at this.  It is not just rich v. poor, or traditional partisanship; it is also the urban educated elite compared to the “street smarts” (or “farm smarts”) or rural people.
Jobs are disappearing from rural areas, not so much to immigration (the dog whistle) but to automation and even changes in workplace culture.  It isn’t that clear-cut, though, as you see from the gig economy in cities.  Zakaria talks about robots as affecting jobs. 
There is also a divide on the issue of “now” v. “future generations” on climate change, and on who makes the sacrifices.
It reminds me of the quandary over student deferments from the draft in the 1960s.
Zakaria points out that rural voters have been irrational at the ballot box.

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