Steve Sailer on house affordability, family values and voting patterns. In the UK it's always Mr and Mrs Average who get squeezed on the kids front. The wealthy and the tax-funded underclass can have as many as they like, but a couple on average wages pretty much have to keep two incomes coming in to pay the mortgage. And it is the devil's own job raising kids in any quantity when you're both working full time, quite apart from the question of whether a mother who spends more waking hours at work than with her children can be said to be 'raising' them at all.
Neither Jane Austen nor Benjamin Franklin, however, would have found the question of what drives the Red-Blue divide so baffling. Unlike today’s intellectuals, they both thought intensely about the web linking wealth, property, marriage, and children. They would not have been surprised that a state’s voting proclivities are now dominated by the relative presence or absence of affordable family formation.
First-time readers of Pride and Prejudice frequently remark that Austen’s romance novels are, by American standards, not terribly romantic. She possessed a hard-headed understanding of how in traditional English society, wedlock was a luxury that some would never be able to afford, an assumption that often shocks us in our more sentimental 21st century ...
... GOP “family values” resound more in states where people can more afford to have families. In parts of the country where “Families can be easily supported, more Persons marry, and earlier in Life.” And where it is economical to buy a house with a yard in a neighborhood with a decent public (i.e. state - LT) school, you will generally find more conservatives. It’s a stereotype that marriage, mortgage, and kids make people more conservative, but, like most stereotypes, it’s reasonably true. You’ll find fewer Republicans in places where family formation is expensive. Where fewer people can form families, Republican candidates making speeches about family values just sound irrelevant or irritating.
The arrow of causality points in both directions. Some family-oriented people move to more affordable states in order to marry and have children, while people uninterested in marriage and children move in the opposite direction to enjoy adult lifestyles. This population swapping just makes the electorate more divided by geography rather than tipping the national balance toward one party.
Still, for the many Americans whose innate inclinations fall somewhere in the middle, the cost of forming a family in their current state affects how likely they are to start down the path toward married-with-children conservatism and therefore, cumulatively, which party will eventually prevail nationally.
Imagine a young couple considering marriage who live in the San Francisco Bay Area. He makes $60,000 and she makes $40,000 annually. If he could find a job that pays $50,000 in northern Texas, where costs are only half as high, she could stay home and raise the children. But if they can’t bear to leave California, with its inspiring scenery and lovely weather, she will have to keep working. And if she has to work, are children really such a good idea? And if they aren’t going to have children, why get married at all? And if they aren’t married, are they going to appreciate the nagging of socially conservative politicians?
Read the whole thing. UK house prices are such that there's nowhere any more where Joe Average can find "a house with a yard in a neighborhood with a decent state school".
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