Sunday, December 29, 2013

Top of the Democrat Barbell

Pajamas Boy has been a funny meme making its way around the Internet. That smug looking SWPL hails from Winnetka, Illinois. While the living, tangible representation of the type of white guy that votes Democrat and advocates for progressive policies, his hometown is a perfect representation of the top of the Democrat barbell coalition. R.J. Moeller at The Federalist took a swing at Winnetka, the New Trier High School (his alma mater) and wealthy liberals in general. It just scratches the surface about funding progressive policies, causes and clubs. Winnetka itself reveals the money and power on the left that the media forever portrays as belonging to the other side. The wealthy are in this alliance because the government is a looting mechanism for rent seeking and economic gain.

The profile for Winnetka linked above reveals a few facts that explain the power and brain trust behind the progressive's coalition of victims.

Winnetka household income distribution1. Average household income is $194,278. That is 4x the state average.
2. Estimated median house value is $869,135. That is nearly 5x the state average and a high barrier to entry for new home buyers.
3. The city of 12,000 is 90% white, 4% Asian, 3% Hispanic, 2% multiracial and 0.4% black. This is far different and whiter than Illinois, which is incredibly close to the national makeup of America. Illinois contains their blacks mostly in Chicago and East St. Louis.
4. Education is valued and an honor for citizens of Winnetka. A little over 99% of citizens have a high school degree, 88% have a college degree and 48% have a graduate or professional degree.
5. Only 6% of residents are foreign born compared to 13% of the state of Illinois.
6. Over age 25 unemployment is only 4.4%.
7. Crime is well below the national average, and Winnetka has not had a murder this century.
8. Most common occupations for males are lawyers (13%), top executives (12%), sales representatives (10%), and business operations specialists (8%). Nearly half of all businesses in Winnetka are finance, insurance, professional, scientific and technical services. n a nutshell, this is a fountain of mindwork. The rest of Illinois is far different.
9. Families make up 81% of households versus the state average of 66%.
10. Election results for 2012: Obama 74%-Romney 25%. The lowest Democrat number in the last twenty years is Clinton in 1996 with 67%.

There is nothing special about Winnetka as you can find these small communities on the outskirts of every major metropolitan blue city in a blue state, skewing progressive. Similar cities are Larchmont and Scarsdale in New York or Newton in Massachusetts. These enclaves form due to the blue states poor governance that chased out the middle class citizens while corralling the poor into dense urban living. The wealthy have the money to build suburbs right next door, but they can bid up housing prices to create a barrier to entry that only fellow wealthy individuals can hurdle.

This is why Occupy fizzled out by the Tea Party keeps rolling along. Being made up of a core of middle class voters, the GOP base can fund insurgents, while the Democrats have all of their funding come from the wealthy end of the barbell while their massive underclass end of the barbell provides the votes. This is also why despite all the huffing and puffing from media and academic figures on the left and Democrats in office, nothing will be done to alter the current wealth inequality situation. The good folks in Winnetka will make sure enough small time government handouts, Internet porn and tasty, sugary food is spread through the underclass to sap any energy they may have to carry torches and pitchforks.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Suburbs like this really intrigue me because I think their days are numbered for the following reasons:

1) There simply aren't enough people wanting to move to them. Not many high-income people have big families anymore. Those that do have big families and need to move to a suburb will find the schools in areas like Naperville, Hinsdale, etc. comparable and cheaper.

2) Older suburbs are schlerotic and insular. If you're not from there, you can be shunned to an extent. I know numerous people this has happened to.

3) Older suburbs like Winnetka are old. Older people are going to retire and downsize. Why would an older person pay $ 15k a year in property taxes when they have no kids? Who is going to buy these homes? Their hip kids who they had in their 40s and are living in downtown Chicago with no kids?

4) Demographic diversity is everywhere. Even in these older suburbs. Highwood, IL is just north of HIghland Park (which is just north of Winnetka) and it's 40% Hispanic. All these suburbs share the same school district.

5) City living is getting better and better every day even if you have kids. Charter schools and elite neighborhood schools make raising a child in the city an option. That, and the property taxes are half as much as the suburbs.

What does this have to do with your political conclusions? Probably nothing. The Chicago area is becoming like New York. It will always be a one-party city/area but there will be different shades of democrats. Bloomberg/Rahm's pro-business Clinton-esque globalism is the real future. It can't be stopped and it's even pointless to lament it.

Russ

peterike said...

It remains amazing to me that even though the high end of the income scale shifted to Democrat/Progressive politics decades ago, and by now is almost exclusively so, your average American continues to associate "rich" with "Republican." All it takes is one poster child -- currently, the Koch brothers and sometimes Donald Trump -- to keep the truism alive that "rich Republicans" are running around keeping the blacks down, throwing gays into prison, padlocking vaginas or whatever other Progressive paranoid fantasy is extant at the moment.

Most humorously, many of the wealthy themselves would probably say that "the rich" consist largely of conservative Republicans, even though those same wealthy probably don't know a single Conservative among their friends and acquaintances. The Narrative triumphs over all, even over your own lyin' eyes.

Mike said...

I disagree with Anon. It is exactly these types of suburbs that will survive; it is the exurbs that will dry up.

1) There simply aren't enough people wanting to move to them. Not many high-income people have big families anymore. Those that do have big families and need to move to a suburb will find the schools in areas like Naperville, Hinsdale, etc. comparable and cheaper.

Family size is irrelevant; houses are a store of value for the wealthy. The older style homes and bigger land plots coupled with close proximity to the city ensure that they will hold value.

2) Older suburbs are schlerotic and insular. If you're not from there, you can be shunned to an extent. I know numerous people this has happened to.

This is a feature not a bug. The wealthy support diversity in theory, but not in their backyard. I can't speak for Winnetka, but I grew up not far from Westchester County, NY and certain neighborhoods have a rep for certain ethnicities (i.e. Asians in Edgemont, and Jews in Scarsdale).

3) Older suburbs like Winnetka are old. Older people are going to retire and downsize. Why would an older person pay $ 15k a year in property taxes when they have no kids? Who is going to buy these homes? Their hip kids who they had in their 40s and are living in downtown Chicago with no kids?

While the numbers of single people are growing, there are still enough marrieds out there that those neighborhoods will be filled. As the author mentioned, marriage rates tend to be higher anyway in these sorts of towns.

5) City living is getting better and better every day even if you have kids. Charter schools and elite neighborhood schools make raising a child in the city an option. That, and the property taxes are half as much as the suburbs.

This is true but why pay for schooling when you don't need to? Property taxes are essentially the cost of schools for these people. And if you have more than one kid, it makes sense. There's also no reason you can't have both a city residence and one in the suburbs if it was that important.


The exurbs are the towns that are doomed. That is where all the cookie cutter McMansions are. As you say, couples are having fewer kids and the type of people that would consider a McMansion (upper-middle class) are more sensitive to the costs than the types of people who move to Winnetka. Cheap energy and cheap credit made those houses viable. As the cost of energy and everything else goes up, fewer people will want to live out there.

Son of Brock Landers said...

I'm going to agree with Mike over anon. The lure of good schools will always pull in new blood, and the equity cash out for older couples or estates (when they die while living there) is too much to resist selling at a decent price. The housing costs are the ultimate barrier to entry. If present trends continued for several more decades, these places would become like the Brazilian high rises next to favelas, just an entire zip code.

@peterike - He who controls the media rules. This is why coopting the media was the smartest thing the banks ever did.

DCThrowback said...

I think you can also add the coming legalization of Marijuana to the list of things that will slow the roll of those on the bottom of the barbell.

Anonymous said...

This is Anon again. I guess I would have to say that suburbs like Winnetka will last longer than the exurbs. You guys convinced me.

I feel like there is a tipping point, though. Is it just the classic 20% NAM demographics? Is there something more? The percentage of kids in school?

Curious about your thoughts. This was a good post.