Sunday, March 08, 2009
The first iteration of economic implosion is being felt by those elements of Civil Society that compete with government to ensure the variety of expressions and network of interactions essential for a democratic polity. As this disaster unfolds the impact will differ in urban and rural settings. The cultural and social institutions that put the gloss on civilization in the civitas are failing, the zoos, gardens, museums, charities and private schools are going to the wall. At the same time the infrastructure needed to maintain an urban community is failing. Hospitals are closing and the ideological war on religious institutions, especially Catholic hospitals, will accelerate the loss. We could face seriously reduced life expectancies in the urban centers, possible epidemics and large scale fire events as well as reduced trash removal and increased violence. In New York City just 40,000 people out of over 8,000,000 pay for half the municipal budget. If they pull out, and nothing but nostalgia keeps them, then the city may become ungovernable. Look at this collection of maps colored red and blue to show the vote in 2008 by county and then altered to show electoral impact.. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2008/ If the urban centers that elected Obama collapse then what will protect the surrounding rural and mixed collar counties from the desperate mobs? What I would like to see is a variation on those maps that displays wealth creation by locality and electoral voice.