May 9, 2005

Affordable Family Formation

"Affordable Family Formation:" The Neglected Key To the GOP's Future -- My new column is up.

Now that the triumphalism rampant within the GOP after last November's election has died down, and Republicans realize that their current ascendancy is not a historical inevitability but a tenuous margin that needs careful cultivating, it's time to review the fundamental factors making some states red (Republican) and others blue (Democratic).

The key reason why some states vote Republican, I've found, can be summed up in the three-word phrase:

Affordable Family Formation.

The more economical it is to buy a house with a yard in a neighborhood with a decent public school, the more Republicans you'll find.

The more expensive it is, the fewer families with children you'll find, and thus the fewer Republicans.

Some of this is because family-oriented people move to family-friendly states, but the cost of forming a family in a particular state also affects how many families are formed.

It's a stereotype that a mortgage, marriage, and babies tend to make people more conservative.

But it's a true stereotype.

That's why it's in the GOP's self-interest to pursue policies that keep demand for housing down (such as limiting immigration) and the quality of public schooling up (such as, well, limiting immigration.)

The culture wars between Red States and Blue States are driven in large part by objective differences in how family-friendly they are, financially speaking.

Places that are terribly costly in which to raise children, such as Manhattan and San Francisco, unsurprisingly possess less family-friendly cultures than more reasonably priced locales, such as Nashville and Provo.

According to Google, nobody in the history of the Web has ever uttered the phrase "Affordable Family Formation."

But, those three words work both as a hard-headed summary of what drives voting, and as an appealing campaign theme.

The GOP could say to voters:

"We're on the side of making it affordable for you, and your children and grandchildren, to form families. The Democrats are on the side of dying alone."

Of course, Republicans could hardly say that with a straight face as long as their President refuses to repudiate his Open Borders plan that would allow anyone in the world with a minimum wage job offer from an American employer to move here.

Four interlocking reasons form a chain of causality explaining why Affordable Family Formation paints the electoral map red.

I call them the Four Gaps: the Dirt Gap, the Mortgage Gap, the Marriage Gap, and the Baby Gap.

I wrote about each of them in and The American Conservative following the election.

Unfortunately, I discovered them in reverse order of fundamentality.

This time, however, we'll start from the ground up with the Dirt Gap... [More]

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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