PMMJ (cheetahmaster) wrote,

Interesting article on the Linda McMahon candidacy

"Things started to change in the 1980s, for reasons both cultural and economic. A new generation of politicians ascended to power — liberals and conservatives with sharply moralistic approaches to politics. At the same time, the manufacturing decline that was beginning to erode the nation's economic base, along with the 'white flight' that began in the 1960s, hollowed out Connecticut's cities and weakened its governing establishment. Outsiders tend to think of Connecticut as a collection of wealthy suburbs and rural horse farms, as portrayed in books and movies like The Ice Storm. That side of things does exist, particularly on the 'gold coast' that runs along the southwest edge of the state, where many hedge-fund managers and movie stars live. And yet much of the state is heavily industrialized, or at least it was until the 1970s. According to data compiled by the Brookings Institution that looks at the core cities of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, two of Connecticut's largest cities — Hartford and New Haven — are now among the dozen poorest in the country. Hartford, the capital, is the poorest in America.

"The effects of this kind of industrial decline, politically, were so gradual as to be almost imperceptible on a daily basis, but cumulatively they took a toll on the political climate. Fear of crime created political pressure for stricter sentencing guidelines, which drove up the state’s incarceration costs significantly. College graduates went off to other regions in search of jobs, leaving behind an aging population whose Medicaid costs are soaring. Public-sector unions replaced trade unions as the dominant political force, and soon the state was paying out unsustainable retirement benefits to its employees. The state budget has grown 60 percent in the last decade, sustained mainly by an income tax that everyone hates."

Tags: 2010, news, quotes

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