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November 3, 2014

Hypocrisy! Liberal Cities Have Greater Income Inequality

For all their talk about income inequality, the cities that voted for Barack Obama in the 2012 elections demonstrate the most egregious examples of income disparity. In other words, if you’re a middle-class worker looking for the most affordable home to buy, look in red cities like Knoxville, Fort Worth, Colorado Springs or Birmingham. Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia, who conducted the study, explains: “Things look fundamentally different when we compare red and blue markets in terms of affordability and related measures. … [N]one of the 10 reddest markets had a median asking price per square foot above $130 in Sept. 2014. But nine of the 10 bluest markets did. … In fact, the only expensive red market was Orange County, CA, at $363 per square foot. There was a huge drop-off to the next-most-expensive red market – North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL, at $150 per square foot.” The question of why this happens is less clear. Kolko suggests because income inequality is more of a problem in those cities, those liberal politicians talk about the issue more. The Atlantic’s City Lab notes the more liberal cities are denser, creating a greater demand for homes. Also, when people live closer together, they often believe that more government is needed to mitigate human interaction.

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