City Mice Go Country

A life of built-in social distancing looks better than ever. 


Cities have a lot of pluses, including their tendency to be dynamic, creative, and vibrant. They're also crowded. Dynamism, creativity, and vibrancy are partially a result of those crowds, but that density became a source of anxiety when COVID-19 started spreading. Those anxieties have been amplified by the protests, looting, and urban unrest that began in late May. Their legacy may reset the long-running city vs. country feud as Americans reconsider the allure of open spaces where social distancing is a regular part of life.

"For years, urban planners have been singing the praises of population density," Steven Greenhut wrote in a mid-pandemic Orange County Register column. "Yet after the dust clears from the lockdowns, more Californians will likely be tempted to rethink the high-density status quo. Obviously, diseases spread more quickly where people live cheek by jowl."

Across the continent, urbanist Joel Kotkin agreed. "What's particularly ominous for New York's future is that the best way to slow the spread of the virus—social distancing—works against the very things that make Gotham so appealing," he noted in Tablet magazine. "The very pleasures and crowded realities of urban life, such as mass transit, are particularly susceptible to pandemics."

While it's early, The New York Times reports evidence of residents "making moves to leave the city, not for short-term stays in weekend houses, as was common when the pandemic first arrived, but more permanently."

That adds to a preexisting exodus, with Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York—America's largest metro areas—losing population in recent years. The high cost of living had already tarnished urban life. Health fears and lockdowns are an extra push toward the exit.

Depending on where they end up, urban refugees may find the problems, such as opiate addiction and economic distress, that the media tell them plague less-dense areas. But new residents will also discover that many of the ills are overstated. Among the oddities of American life is that rural counties are perpetually tagged as underperforming because once they find success, they lose their "country" status.

"Official definitions are regularly updated in such a way that rural counties are continually losing their most successful places to urbanization," The Washington Post noted last year. "When a rural county grows, it transmutes into an urban one."

And there are always opportunities for growth. While the entrepreneurship gap has closed, the Small Business Administration reported in 2017 that "the rate of self-employment has remained higher in rural areas than in other areas."

That doesn't mean that urban refugees must necessarily hang out their own shingles, though. The fears driving people to reconsider the attractions of urban life are also—finally!—normalizing the use of the internet for telecommuting, not just for yelling at people on Twitter.

"Our best estimate is that 25–30 percent of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021," predicts Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics.

For many people, then, exchanging a high-rise for a house doesn't necessarily require changing jobs. But a move does mean a change in culture. Life under an open sky is inherently different from life in a city that never sleeps. Rural dwellers tend to rise and turn in earlier than urbanites, they generally enjoy different hobbies, they often have different values, and—important in a country that turns everything into a political death match—they vote differently.

In recent years, country dwellers have turned overwhelmingly Republican while city residents have become strongly Democratic. After votes were counted in 2019, CityLab reported that "election results show how America is continuing to polarize along an urban-rural continuum." While ex-urbanites may carry their politics with them to their new digs, the reverse could also be true. "The urban-rural political divide…is rooted in geography and not merely differences in the type of people living in these places," researchers at Washington University in St. Louis announced earlier this year.

Rural-dwelling telecommuters, with colleagues scattered over the map, may find a way to bridge the gap. Choosing a new way of life and meeting the neighbors while maintaining contact with old friends could break down the sense of us vs. them and teach more of us to live and let live.

One way or another, we'll likely find out. A post-pandemic, post-riot world is one in which less-dense living looks a lot more attractive.

NEXT: Federal Appeals Court Upholds Shutdown of California's Gun Magazine Ban

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  1. I know I've been considering a permanent move to my weekend house, I'm just not sure if I want to move to my beach house or my mountain compound. I guess I could take a poll of my servants and see which they would prefer.

    1. Do we want libritarian compounds? Because this is how we get libritarian compounds. But in all seriousness do what I did, buy the properties next to yours, add a runway to each and use a personal jet to go between the two

      1. Libritarian compound? All the stern looks and shushing — no thanks.

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    2. Does your supermodel wife get a say? What about your harem of concubines? I guess you could leave one at the mountain chalet, and the other at the beach house.

      So exhausting!

      LOL at the idea by 2Chilly that the fleeing Citiots are going to start voting Republican when they get settled in the country. Oh well, if he didn't believe in magic dirt, he wouldn't be a modern Libertarian writer.

      1. Of cource the will look what hapend when the progressive asshats moved from California to Austin, or Denver... They started voting republican right?

        1. "A mind expanded by an idea never returns to it's original side." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

          1. Its, damnit.

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          2. Size, damnit. Curse you, autocorrect and/or big, manly thumbs.

          3. So broad minded that their heads were empty.

        2. Hey! Republicans tried to put half the Austin population in prison. Sheriff Raymond Frank, on the other hand--the Sheriff that Shoots Straight--had no problem campaigning at Soap Creek Saloon. Our Sheriff had realized acidheads at the wheel are a hell of a lot safer'n drunks, who have an annoying tendency to drive over 15 mph. Hippies, messkins and dark people were protected from violence while the Gee-Oh-Pee wanted to inflict violence on us even on Eeyore's Birthday. Austin declared Peace On Drugs and has a solid LP. Coincidence?

          1. I liked Eeyore's Birthday. Decent beer, ferrets to play with, drum circles, fairly chill. Pease Park was pretty.

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      2. They did, in suburban Philly in the 50s,60s,70s. Then it turned and the Dems starting picking up new voters. Now, the comfortably Red suburbs of my childhood are Purple at best, or reliably Blue.

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  3. I don't think that JD fella is from 'round here.

    Or the city slickers may find out that a LOT of country folks have watched Austin, and may not take kindly to them bringing in their socialists tendencies, and that the country can be a cold place for the first two or three generations.

    1. These country bums with their farm subsidies and paved highways to no where are socialists. Of course they're completely obvious to it.

      1. Oblivious, it's early.

        1. Actually, you had it right with obvious. If you actually wander out here, you would see each and every road goes somewhere.

          1. But if there isn’t a Starbucks on it, it’s nowhere.

      2. I didn't mention their heavily subsidized "rural hospitals' and post offices. And most of those mfers are on Medicaid. Things may different in the western country states but down here in the south there has never been anything but a bigoted version of socialism. And a police state. Come on down!

        1. Mostly medicare, not medicaid. You know, the one we paid taxes for 50 years to fund?

          1. He means Medicaid. Meth addicts and cigarette smokers with burned out lungs and meth-induced schizophrenia, drunks on disability, and opiate whores who bankrupt hospitals and ambulance services trying to get "free" oxys and hydros whose offspring will copy and paste their parents' lifestyles.

            Drug addiction in the South and other rural areas is not a victimless crime. Taxpayers subsidize it daily and lose when the hospital closes, their houses are burglarized, insurance of all kinds goes stratospheric, and their rental properties are condemned from meth cooks or from tenants who live like pigs.

            A few Galt's Gulches out in good agricultural country might change that, but internet service for home-based work can't support this at the current time.

        2. It is the federal legislature that puts post offices here, mostly so they can mail us political propaganda.

          1. Actually, post office and post roads are in the Constitution, but not as a mandatory predatory monopoly. Lysander Spooner and Milton Friedman both pressed forth with alternatives that could peacefully coexist with that rotting corpse... preferably upwind of it.

          2. I am willing to bet most rural post offices started at a general store. Then a congressman got the bright idea to build brick and mortar post offices. We have 4 in my rural county. All built during either the Eisenhower or Kennedy administrations. Back when the government actually had money and didn’t just let the Fed print it.

            I’ve always thought that was the way to go, set up semi-independent organization to cover all my spending. I wonder if J. P. Morgan would be happy with his invention in the way it evolved.

        3. "subsidized “rural hospitals’ and post offices"
          Strazele seems to think that the whole of America outside of the megacities, is Green Acres and post-Obama coal country.

          I've noticed most leftists believe that the entire world is composed of tropes from Hollywood and Vox.

          1. It’s a form of racism.

          2. They believe American is 2 islands with about 2,000 miles between them.

            1. Hawaii and Puerto Rico are 5730 miles apart.

              1. My statement stands.

        4. No one asked you to put in the post office. We were doing just fine with FedEx. In fact, FedEx delivered to the door. Unlike the USPS.

        5. "Down here in the south"

          I'm guessing the furthest south you've ever been is northern VA.
          For those of us familiar with the area, it's pretty tough to miss the fact that lots of those rural towns are largely black

      3. It’s shocking to learn you’re also a bigot, besides being an ignorant asshole.

    2. And every one of those mfers drives into the city to make groceries at Walmart.

      1. Not every one. Some walk out into the back yard for fruits and vegetables, and into the woods each fall for meat, or the streams for fish.

      2. Cute that you think Walmart's don't exist outside of cities.

      3. Where do you suppose food is actually made?

        1. It is made in the kitchen.
          It is grown in the country.

      4. Make groceries? ESL much?

    3. The Californians who are most likely to flee the state are the ones who are most likely fleeing because they don't like California's political culture.

      "Just over half of California’s registered voters have considered leaving the state, according to a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll conducted for the Los Angeles Times. Republicans were nearly three times as likely as their Democratic counterparts to seriously have considered moving — 40% compared with 14%, the poll found. Conservatives mentioned taxes and California’s political culture as a reason for leaving more frequently than they cited the state’s soaring housing costs."

      They look like Californians; they talk like Californians; they get their hair cut like Californians; they dress like Californians; and they eat Californian food. However, they're leaving California in no small part because they can't stand the political climate: and that's about taxes, spending, sanctuary cities, environmental regulation, guns, traditional values, etc.

      They don't want to make Texas like Austin. It's just that their aesthetic tastes are virtually indistinguishable from the people with the political beliefs you dread. In Idaho, North Carolina, Texas, and Utah, having a California like aesthetic is an indication of one's political stances. But in California, looking like a hipster isn't a political statement at all. It doesn't indicate that someone thinks like a progressive in Austin. When they move to Texas, they may be horrified to find places like Austin. That's why they left California.

      1. No, they like Austin just fine. Austin is basically the Bay Area East at this point. It's the towns 40 miles or so away and further they can't stand.

        One really easy way to tell if they've acclimated to Texas? Walk by them and see if they say, "Good Morning," to you. Or acknowledge you at all. Texans will. Californians act like they're in their cars, even when they aren't.

        1. And I realize I may have misunderstood what you meant, Ken.

          Yeah, if you moved to Texas to get away from Lefties, you're likely not going to be fond of Austin these days. Most of the people from the Coasts that have moved to Texas though, that I've talked to, did it for work, not because they thought the culture would be more receptive of their views. And that the jobs are here, not there, doesn't seem to click with many of them that insist on trying to change here to a place like they came from.

          1. The Freestaters are running into this in NH. There are many folks moving north from Massachusetts just for economic reasons, but when they move, they bring their love of government and rules with them. And, it seems that they outnumber the Freestaters. Sad.

            1. I always thought trying the Free State Project in the NE was a bad idea.

              1. "I always thought trying the Free State Project in the NE was a bad idea."

                Jim Stumm, editor of the newsletter "Living Free," concurred. He said the plan should have been to move to a sparsely populated country in the west and assume control of local law enforcement, etc.

        2. Yeah, Californians don't talk to each other.

          It's not aloofness. It's like when guys go into the bathroom.

          If you don't know the people in your neighborhood through some other means--e.g, you go to the same church, your kids are on the same baseball team, you work together, etc.--then you'll probably never get to know them in California.

          Again, though, we're not talking about a political stance. That's just a culture that developed around everybody in California being from somewhere else.

          When nobody was from there, and nobody grew up there, a culture emerged in which neighbors treated each other like strangers--because they were all strangers to each other. It was new development as far as the eye could see in every direction. People didn't move into those communities because those communities didn't exist until the new people moved int. That was never anyone's neighborhood before the new people arrived.

          But again, that's just a cultural difference. That doesn't make them gun grabbers. That doesn't mean they want socialism to save us from global warming. That doesn't make them social justice warriors.

          They got little baby legs
          And they stand so low
          You got to pick 'em up
          Just to say hello
          They got little cars
          That go beep, beep, beep
          They got little voices
          Goin' peep, peep, peep
          They got grubby little fingers
          And dirty little minds
          They're gonna get you every time

          Don't want no short people 'round here.

          1. I’m a native Californian, but don’t live there anymore.

            It’s a big place with every kind of person, so you cannot generalize. If you think you can sum up some collective personality for all those people you are just projecting.

          2. Californians that stay in that state have an apathy to tyranny or are pro tyranny. Whether they want to admit it or not.

            Commifornia is one of the tyrannical states in the Union.

            Its real easy to compare states and cities to see which have more rules and more instances of government tyranny.

      2. P.S. I knew some Adventists who were vegetarian. They were sometimes mistaken for animal rights people in California, but their vegetarianism had nothing to do with animal rights. For them, it was all about the health benefits. Why does everybody keep expecting them to volunteer at the animal shelter or make a donation?

        I've known Californians who were fascinated with biodiesel, using alcohol for auto fuel, solar, and other alternative sources of energy. It wasn't because they wanted socialism to save us from global warming. It was because they were rugged individualists. They eventually built a cabin up in the mountains of Utah. Now they don't need the government, and they'd love to not need gasoline or the grocery store, too.

        It is entirely possible to mistake Christian conservatives and rugged individualists for progressives just because they're from California. I've seen it happen!

        1. Those are tiny, tiny minorities.

          1. Republicans were nearly three times as likely as their Democratic counterparts to seriously have considered moving [leaving California] — 40% compared with 14%, the poll found. Conservatives mentioned taxes and California’s political culture as a reason for leaving more frequently than they cited the state’s soaring housing costs.”

            If only 14% of the people leaving California are registered Democrats, then the overwhelming majority of Californians moving to other states are not progressives.

      3. Ken, the problem is that "conservative" Californians can easily rank as "liberal" in most fly-over counties. And beyond their specific political philosophies, they are contaminated with the habit of using government to make things happen. After enough of them arrive, and start trying to improve things, with a dedicated tax for this, and a new city program for that, the Californication process starts.

        1. I think that is mostly perception.

          I think that when a lot of locals in Utah, Idaho, and elsewhere hear a Californian say something, it's within the context of their assumptions about what it means when someone who looks likes that, talks like that, and acts like that says it.

          When someone says, "Government is best when it governs the least", that may have one meaning to me. If the person who says that is dressed up in full Nazi regalia when he says it, then what he's saying means something else. It my mind, it probably means that he's bullshitting, and he wants us to defund the military so he and his Nazi cohort and assume control.

          Of course, that statement is true or false, on its own, from a rational standpoint regardless of the cultural context in which it is said. What the speaker really means by what they said, on the other hand, is highly dependent on contextual signifies--which are highly influenced by expectations and culture.

          And I think there's a lot of that going on here.

          If I call you a racist, here, because you're against raising taxes, you know that's intended as humor. Other people don't. And I think it probably often happens that Californians escape the state to get away from social justice warriors and socialism only to be confused with social justice warriors and socialism themselves for reasons that have nothing to do with what they think and everything to do with assumptions and context.

          1. "When someone says, “Government is best when it governs the least”, that may have one meaning to me. If the person who says that is dressed up in full Nazi regalia when he says it, then what he’s saying means something else."

            I'd probably think he was making fun of libertarians and calling us a bunch of Nazis.

            1. Yet Austin votes reliably blue now. Same with Dallas. Colleges and CA transplants are blamed.

    4. " the country can be a cold place for the first two or three generations"

      Reminds me of the one about the newbie "from away" who walks into the local store one morning, and all conversation stops. He's had enough, so he speaks up "I get that you'll never accept me, but me kids were born here, and they get treated like outsiders, what gives?" Town responds after a moment "Look, if your cat climbed into the oven to have her kittens, you wouldn't call them biscuits, would you?"

      Seriously, rural New Englanders actually seem pretty happy with newbies IF, and it's a bit one, IF they try to fit in. If they start trying to make the place over into the city or suburban hell, naturally they're going to have some issues. Works the other way too moving into an urban area, don't be keeping chickens on your little 100 square foot lawn, and don't fire up the chainsaw at 6 AM.

      1. I would 100% name at least one of the kittens biscuit, and the others would also be food-related names. Muffins, Cupcake, Fudge Stripe, Chocolate Chip, they're all on the table!

    5. But the California expats can ease the pain of rejection a bit by sipping lattes out on the sidewalk cafe tables in front if the new artisanal coffee roasting company that opened on Main Street, whilst their immaculately-groomed shih tzu rests at their feet.

    6. There are a lot of liberal suburbs around Austin. Isn't all of Travis County blue?

      1. "Isn’t all of Travis County blue?"

        Didn't used to be. In the not too distant past, you could find plenty of rednecks in Manor or Elgin, and out past the Y taking 290 west. Yet still in Travis County, not Hays or Bastrop. Used to be plenty of 'cedar-choppers' just west of Lake Austin, where now there are 2-10 million dollar houses.

        I don't know whether they all got bought out by developers or not. Heck, Williamson County nearly went blue for Beto, this last election or two ago. Something I thought I'd never see happen.

        1. "blue for Beto"
          Sounds like porn.

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  4. I live in the country and I've never further been more disgusted by right-wing politics.

    1. Perhaps you should renounce your title?

      1. Renounce his title? And become some...common...troll?

    2. You don't live in the country. Everyone can tell by the misconceptions you posted earlier that your only experience of life outside of urban cores is from the window of an airplane at 35,000 feet.

      1. Does he have Dissociative identity disorder?

      2. Mother’s lament appointing himself spokesman for “everybody”. I thank Lord of Strazele at his word; if he says he lives in the country, he lives in the country.

        1. If he had he wouldn't have posted the garbage that he did. He said there are no Walmart's or Starbucks outside of cities for fuck's sake. He thinks that the average per capita earnings in places like rural North Dakota, Utah or Massachusetts, are less than LA, Brooklyn or Miami, and that hospitals there are subsidized.

          Nobody who's even just traveled out of the city thinks that. The fact that both of you don't understand that indicates you have no idea what the world is like outside your bubbles.

          1. Whatever. Has it occurred to you that the word, city, can apply to fairly small towns.

            1. Only if you’re a moron...oh wait.

            2. Has it occurred to you that when you try to redefine a word like "city" in order to make your claims slightly less retarded, you just make yourself sound even more retarded.


              City of Fairbury, Nebraska, population 3942. Has a Walmart. I could give you hundreds of such examples from across America.

              City of Chadron, NE pop. 5488, has a Walmart.

      3. What misconceptions? Be specific.

        1. Is there really a point? Because you wouldn't understand and don't actually give a shit, anyway...

          Fuck it, I love wasting my time:
          "paved highways to no where"
          "heavily subsidized “rural hospitals"
          "isn’t a Starbucks on it, it’s nowhere"
          "every one of those mfers drives into the city to make groceries at Walmart"

          If you think highways "to nowhere" aren't necessary, because food magically appears in a supermarket, and materials magically appear in factories, you're an urban progressive.
          If you think North Dakotans and Utahns can't support hospitals, you're an urban progressive.
          If you think that small towns don't have Walmart’s or Starbucks, you're an urban progressive.

          1. They're urban, but just because they're urban doesn't mean they're progressive.

            They have little conception of what life is like in a more rural community, that's for sure.

            And it's probably a good thing, too. Because if they did, your community might not stay rural for long.

      4. I wouldn't be surprised if he lives in a town of 10,000-30,000, which he considers the country because he has deer pass through his yard occasionally and it is outside city limits (but within reasonable commuting distance). You know the places that real country folks consider "the city".

        1. I wouldn’t be surprised if he lives in his mom's basement in Minneapolis.

    3. Move to Portland.

    4. Under a highway overpass doesn't count as the country

    5. Funny how leftists always blame "this country"
      I encourage you to exit it, one way or another but preferably permanently

    6. I live in Seattle and I’ve never been more disgusted with left wing politics.

      Further. Haha.

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  6. There is something about telecommuting that puzzles me. I know quite a few Indians - who are from India - who are computer literate, college educated, and speak English. The college educated population of India is greater than the whole of France. There are a lot of educated English speakers in the Philippines as well.
    Why can't those jobs be done from Bangalore or Manila? A company would only need to fly over monthly to keep a personal touch on things and use Zoom for regular contact. And they could reduce personnel costs by at least 50 per cent.
    Then those Americans staying smugly at home could continue to stay there, unemployed.

    1. I worked at a software company that bought a software development firm in India and tried to integrate them into our development process to save money.

      There were cultural issues. It's just like when Californians are talking to people in Montana. Just because they speak the same language doesn't mean they understand each other and can communicate effectively.

      I met a reformed Rabbi through a friend who had just moved to La Jolla in San Diego (on the beach) after living his whole life in New York City. It was a huge culture shock for him--even within the context of moving from one temple in NYC to another temple on the beach in San Diego. People's assumption, expectations, and cultures were completely different in San Diego, and that from someone dealing with Jewish people in the same country with the same history in the same religion speaking the same language and watching the same TV programs and sports as each other. The differences were so shocking to him, his whole family wanted to go back to New York City--and he did, too.

      Now compound that times a million when you're dealing with people in a completely different culture with completely different expectations, assumptions, and cultural understandings--when you're talking about working with a team in India.

      Have you ever had an issue where it wasn't really clear what your bosses' expectations were--even when they wrote out the instructions? That's going to be a big issue when the project manager in Los Angeles is communicating to the staff in India. How about when the QC staff in Los Angeles and the customer training staff in Los Angeles are communicating with the development staff in India about bugs and documentation? Will you ever let your clients speak directly with the development staff in India, or is the potential for miscommunication too great?

      They ended up sending management staff to India, and at some point that becomes more expensive than hiring Americans to do the coding. The most cost effective way to handle these problems is to bring talent in from over there on an H-1B visa. You can pay them much more than they'd get in India, much less than you'd need to pay Americans, and still have them working under the same cultural management as your clients. Realize that the cultural barriers working with people in India are much greater than just the language barrier.

      If people in Texas have cultural issues dealing with Californians, how much worse is it working across an even greater cultural gap?

      P.S. People in Montana don't want thousands of Californians moving in and telling them how to do things, but the people of Iraq will welcome Americans with open arms?! To the extent that worked in Japan, it was only after we dropped some nuclear bombs on them. To the extent that happened in the rest of the world, it was largely with cultural stuff--like rock and roll, movies, blue jeans, and fast food.

      1. Haveing software developed in India and incorporated into us products is really easy, fast, and helpful. Just ask Boeing.

        1. That plus the application of design techniques from the School of Non-Rigorous Engineering.

      2. Too late, have you seen Missoula or Bozeman lately. We've been infected.

        1. Aren't those college towns?

          1. Yep and fairly picturesque at that.

            1. Well, you don't expect college towns not to be more liberal and progressive than elsewhere in any state.

              That isn't about in-migration from Californians seeking a better life. That's about concentrating younger people together in one place and paying professors outrageous amounts of money to teach them.

              Montanan isn't any different from anywhere else in that regard, and it has nothing to do with Californians moving in.

              1. If you check the permenant resident influx, it's been from mostly California and New York.

                1. Soldier agreed Ol' Mr Newsom himself has a nice little ranch down the road here in Western MT. It's also been almost all CA plates even though WA/ID are about 1.5 hours away.

              2. "Well, you don’t expect college towns not to be more liberal and progressive than elsewhere in any state."

                Education is a reliable antidote to backwardness, intolerance, insularity, superstition, and ignorance.

                1. So why don't you get some? And looking at the GPAs of many of the liberal arts, social sciences and colleges of educations (the three that tend to be the most progressive) I wouldn't be bragging about how much education they are getting (which would explain their bigotry, ignorance, insularity etc). The hard sciences, engineering etc tend to be more middle of the road (and higher average GPAs) and the agricultural sciences tend to be fairly conservative (again higher GPAs on average).

              3. The solution there is not letting college brats vote in local elections in the town where their school happens to sit. Make them send absentee ballots back to their homes.

          2. So is Austin

            1. But see College Station or Waco...

    2. They can, and are, done from Bangalore. But, India’s being almost exactly 12 time zones away often causes lots of problems with working in cooperation with co-workers in the U.S.

      1. THIS!!

        Managers have cock-eyed ideas of how people work, even when they were promoted from the very worker ranks they now manage. People have questions, and when it takes a full day cycle to get even the simplest answer, it tends to discourage asking questions. That would be ok if they had the curiosity to explore and figure things out, but that takes time, and the reason they had a question in the first place was because it is generally faster than rooting it out yourself.

        You end up with the Indians under tremendous pressure to pretend they know what they are doing without waiting for the home office workers to help. Do they work nights for the first few months? How do you coordinate meetings? The Mythical Man Month comes to mind.

        I worked at a small company which was bought out by a huge company, who wanted the small company to double or triple its development staff. Opened an office in India, hired a dozen programmers, and then, after they were hired, nixed sending them to the US for several months of training because corporate policy was they had to be employed for a year for that kind of expense!

    3. Because Indian programmers don't compare to American ones. The computer science curriculum in India is heavily theoretical with a lack of practical projects.

      1. There was a study that just came out, comparing US CS grads to Indian, Chinese, and Russian CS grads. The US CS grads were way ahead in performance, because they get better training. On phone, so too lazy to link it, but Google it if interested.

  7. the author steals the title from a recent victor davis hanson article? Reason as usual

    1. Reason may be different but most places the editor makes the title

      1. I don’t think there’s an editor for the Reason blog.

    2. Why are you here if you think Reason is lame.

      1. to see how intellectually lightweight, intellectually lightweight can get

        1. Everyone needs a hobby, I guess.

          1. and a fun, hilarious hobby it is...Reason writers never fail to disappoint regarding my post above

            1. My hobby is making R Mac say “caw caw” a lot.

              1. I thought it was deliberately being disingenuous.

                1. That’s JesseAz.

      2. Lame is shiny and attracts people's attention.

        1. You sure you’re not thinking of lamé?

          1. WHOOSH

            1. Whoosh!

    1. Clever comment.

  8. Do you remember the story? The city mouse couldn't hack it in the country.

  9. "The very pleasures and crowded realities of urban life, such as mass transit, are particularly susceptible to pandemics."

    Pretty sure only gropers and masochists find mass transit a pleasure.

    1. Can't help but think they're blaming the pandemic for things that would have happened anyway.

      Housing costs in California were already absurdly high, and technology allowing people to work from elsewhere was already in demand. The solution to that was more people moving rural already.

      Meanwhile, the progressive cities have been so horribly mismanaged for so long. We're supposed to believe that wealthier Americans prefer to live in close proximity to the urban poor--because Millennials are the New Soviet Man, and they're not racist like their white flight parents and grandparents were for abandoning the cities in the aftermath of desegregation.

      That's all bullshit, of course. Millennials buy Mcmansions in the the lily-white suburbs just like their white flight parents and grandparents did just as soon as they have kids--and they were doing it long before the pandemic, too.

      Back in the '80s, before coming out of the closet became a fashionable thing for high school kids to do, it seemed to me that a lot of them would go Goth. I think it was easier for them to tell their parents they were Goth rather than tell their parents they were gay. And they could be all but openly gay under the guise of Goth anyway.

      I think that's what's going on with the pandemic. Millennials are dumping the progressives cities for the suburbs for the same reasons their white flight parents and grandparents did, but it's not socially acceptable to do so for those reasons. So, they go around and tell people that it's because of the pandemic. The progressives who write the news want to believe Millenials are the New Soviet Man, too. They certainly don't want to think it's because they've turned their progressive cities into overpriced shit-holes. So they tell themselves and everyone else that people are fleeing California and New York because of technological changes.

      The truth is that people are fundamentally different from the way they've always been, and the reason Millenials are fleeing progressives shit-holes is because they've been run into the ground.

      1. P.S. Macy's is apparently leaving the Miracle Mile in Chicago.

        "The mayor says looting damage played no part in the retailer’s plans."

        Being looted twice in two months in the progressive paradise of Chicago has nothing to do with it--according to the mayor of Chicago. And why shouldn't we believe him?

        1. I wonder how much tax revenue that location generated for the city every year.

          1. And how much was Macy’s paying out of that? How much you got?

        2. And why shouldn’t we believe him?

          Mayor Lori Lightfoot is to appear on Sunday's "Face the Nation". It should be, um, hilarious.

          1. It's going to be an entire segment about how much of a brave black dyke she is, and all of the crap going on is because the evil Republicans in Chicago (you know like the ones that attacked smolet) can't stand to see her be sucsessful

        3. Might have something to do with the $4.1 billion in financing they just got to avoid bankruptcy which is mostly tied to their real estate assets. That and declining revenue. Stock in the $7 range down from $60 five years ago.

          Macy’s is going the way of Sears.

        4. Oh but do not miss the Italian Roast beef. Johnnie’s in Elmwood Park is awesome. For a real Chicago hot dog I would go with Wolfies on W. Peterson.

          Anyone who thinks Chicago is a progressive paradise does not know much about it. Chicago is a town run by gangsters. Always has been. Some of them dress in suites and hold elections. Lot of money there still.

          Do not let the gun control laws fool you. You know who pushes for them? The police, government, Latin Kings, Disciples, Vice Lords, all of them. Ya think they do not have deals going. Last thing any of them want is an armed populace.

          1. You just described a progressive paradise

          2. Yeah, I'm not sure I understand why this is different from New York or San Francisco.

            The dream of a progressive paradise is the Summer of Love.

            The reality is out of control crime, a city run by law enforcement unions, out of control pension obligations, and the middle class fleeing like rats off of sinking ship.

            There are great places to eat in San Francisco and New York City, too.

            1. Nothing progressive about it.

              The progressives, Theodore Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson, ran on platforms to abolish all of those urban ills. They failed. Of course they did because government is not the solution.

              Ya really think the hippies can be called progressive? Well the summer of love was not and nothing since has been. Some halfway decent music, drugs, that was pretty much it. The war protests were something. That really took off later after the Tet offensive.

              You can get great food anywhere which was my point. You also cannot get real NY pizza in Chicago. Food is non political. Some things do not divide into red or blue.

              Simply painting things as red or blue is playing into the myth that the gangsters in charge want and need to stay in power. What color is a libertarian?

              1. When I'm talking about progressive paradises, I'm talking about the way progressives today are running their cities--as if Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City are wonderful places for average people to live because of the wonderful lives the progressive policies of today are bringing to the people who live there. And as if the progressive mayors and politicians in these cities weren't there to protect the people from Republicans, things might go badly.

                I'm not talking about the progressive politics of William Jennings Bryan and Theodore Roosevelt. I'm talking the progressive policies and politicians of San Francisco, Chicago, and New York city today. And those policies and politicians completely suck.

                1. "For many years, the New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago areas have seen more departures than arrivals among nonimmigrants. Domestic migration to these metros has been negative for most of the 21st century."


                  Why don't Americans want to live in these progressive paradises?

                  I suspect it's largely the long term effects of their progressive policies.

                  And I suspect the reason they're moving to places like Boise, ID, Salt Lake City, UT, Anywhere, Texas, Asheville NC, Greenville, SC, and Fayetteville, Arkansas is because policies there are not progressive.

                  And all of this predates the pandemic by a long shot.

                  1. Always follow the money.

                    People are leaving big cities. It is expensive, offers little for families, and jobs are not tied to location the way they were in the past.

                    So you can get more money and a much nicer community somewhere else you go there. This is hardly new in human history.

                    1. Echospinner...nice to see you again. One common aspect to SFO, LAX, CHI, NYC, PHL and other Progressive Paradises...corruption is endemic to them all.

                    2. The expensiveness of living in the cities we're talking about is not unrelated to their progressive policies--with taxes being one example.

                      The unfunded pension obligations the police, the teachers, civil workers, et. al. have in cities like Chicago and New York is not unrelated to their being progressive paradises.

                    3. XY in my experience local politics is not all that ideological. They all tell you they are going to fix the traffic problem, turn your kids into geniuses, keep your grass green, and clean up the mess downtown.

                      Big city politics is not all that different. Sure there are dumb things like straw bans but calling that progressive is stretching things. City politics was all built by corrupt gangsters in ties and suites. The new owners are not different. Just because some of them pretend to care about saving the whales and they have a (D) next to their name does not make them progressive to me.

        5. Her. Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot

    2. When I lived in SF with my girlfriend, she used to take the bus and I'd walk. I usually got there first for anything less than a couple of miles. Sometimes, if we were taking the 30 Stockton through Chinatown, I'd get off, walk five blocks, passing several more 30 Stockton buses, get on the next one, and save what seemed like half an hour on that stinking bus. Its only saving grace was being an electric trolley and quieter than the diesels.

      Mass transit is just about the worst way to travel I can imagine.

      1. Probably in a tie with a Tuktuk.

    3. "Pretty sure only gropers and masochists find mass transit a pleasure."

      But what about the hard-on that so many (progressive) urban planners get from talking about mass transit? And especially trains? (something about a tunnel)

  10. They're also crowded.

    Violent, full of reactionary politicians, increasingly fetid camps of homeless drug users, full of credentialed stupid people... I could go on.

    1. Higher cost of living, higher crime rates, lower educational standards...

  11. Cities have a lot of pluses, including their tendency to be dynamic, creative, and vibrant. They're also crowded.

    Come on, spell it out. Young adults move to the cities for sex, drugs, entertainment, and dining. Many of them just never grow up.

    1. Drawn like moths we drift into the city
      The timeless old attraction
      Cruising for the action
      Lit up like a firefly
      Just to feel the living night
      Well some will sell their dreams for small desires
      Or lose the race to rats
      Get caught in ticking traps
      And start to dream of somewhere
      To relax their restless flight

  12. I wonder how many would like being stuck behind a tractor or combine during harvest? Or deal with traveling 50 miles to buy groceries? My experience is that, as a lifelong country boy (directions to my house almost always have included the phrase "you turn off the pave road...") is that I have far more in common with rural Blacks and Latinos than with urban whites.

  13. "My experience is that, as a lifelong country boy (directions to my house almost always have included the phrase “you turn off the pave road…”) is that I have far more in common with rural Blacks and Latinos than with urban whites."

    Which is a good cue for one of the funniest things Saturday Night Live did in the last ten years, "Black Jeopardy! with Tom Hanks."

    "...come on, they already decided who wins even ’fore it happens.”

    1. My roommate when I was stationed at Ft. Sam Houston in the late 1990s was a rural Black kid from South Carolina, and he made the same remark about how he had more in common with a White rural kid from Idaho than he did with urban Black kids.

    2. I have that sketch bookmarked.

  14. Yeah...I've seen a few of these idiots move out here. One of them even told me he wanted our county and district to be blue. Then I said if you wanted a left wing shithole why did you move here. The stammering and sweating from that idiot was hilarious. Apparently liberals never actually encounter a real man to stand up to them.

    1. You and loveconstitution1789 should go hang out.

    2. Goes hand-in-hand with telling them, "Great; you want me to get 'Free-Medicaid-for-all'? Here's my medical bills; now go pay them then you can start your Free-Medicaid-for-all plans."

      They all seem to have one trait in common - Legal entitlement to other peoples stuff (legal theft/robbery) but never for themselves and thus is why the lefty must divide humanity by sex, race or any inalienable characteristic in order to pick who's being entitled and who's being robbed.

    3. Yes, challenging someone's thinking is violence or racist or something.

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  17. Tuccille...You advocate nihilism. Can you tell us how nihilism squares up with libertarianism?

  18. Of course, the catch is that rural America doesn't really have internet...

    I can get Hughesnet or use my phone as a hotspot. And I live 25 miles from St. Louis.

    1. It depends on the location. Actually here in Northeast Montana the country has fiber optic while we are still on copper in town. The local phone company got a rural grant but the town's couldn't qualify for it.

      1. Cheboygan, huh? No better on the other [Northwest] side by the way.

    2. You will when Musk finishes sky net.

  19. "...dynamic, creative, and vibrant."

    I've done the city life and I'd like to see someone actually try and define this ersatz bullshit.

    Dynamic: describes your ride home from work. The traffic was fucking dynamic I tell you; that and dodging the sinkhole sized potholes.

    Creative: I had to get really creative to get to the store and back in less than two hours. And then there are those assholes in city hall...

    Vibrant: "Hand over your money or I'll shoot you." Yeah, that'll wake you up.

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