The Democratic Party has two reliable groups of adherents: the rich and the poor.
Not all of the rich, of course. Not all of the poor, either.
But a large swath of wealthy people, especially those whose wealth was inherited rather than earned, wouldn’t dream of voting for a Republican. Ditto for a large number of poor people who have discovered how to sign up for various welfare programs and intend to remain on the dole for the rest of their lives.
What do these groups have in common? Nothing. They rarely meet. And if they did they wouldn't like each other.
You might be inclined to think that the political union of these two groups is an accident of modern electoral politics. But there may be something else involved. Both groups have little use for the middle class ? the poor envy them and the wealthy distain them.
To test the idea the there might be some sort of weird sociology involved, I decided to look in on some communities where limousine liberals are firmly in control and have no fear of being ousted in the next election by middle class voters with middle class values.
Welcome to the People's Republic of Boulder, Colorado.
When you ask the residents what they like about Boulder, they are quick to respond. "You won't find any large billboards telling you where the nearest Target is," I was told. And, "Where you might find a McDonald's or a Taco Bell in some other city, in Boulder you are more likely to find Starbucks or Whole Foods."
To make sure that things stay that way, Boulder has virtually destroyed any possibility of new housing that people who shop at Target and eat at McDonald's would find affordable. Through tight zoning restrictions, the city has virtually legislated new, middle class housing out of existence. The city has even purchased large tracts of land to make sure development doesn't occur.
As a result, the average price of a home in Boulder is $375,000, in contrast to an average price of $220,000 in Colorado Springs.
Boulder has its own global warming policy. In fact, it is one of the few cities in the country that is about to jettison a private electric utility company for a publicly owned one. The reason: the private electric company isn't "green" enough. This would be comical until you stop to realize that Boulder has a lot to atone for on the climate change front. Two thirds of all the people who work in Boulder must drive to work from outside the city because they cannot afford to live there.
John C. Goodman is President and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute, and author of the acclaimed book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and National Journal, among other media, have called him the "Father of Health Savings Accounts." He is also the Kellye Wright Fellow in health care. The mission of the Wright Fellowship is to promote a more patient-centered, consumer-driven health care system.
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