Why it matters: With wealth, jobs, and power increasingly concentrated in a few large cities, we are witnessing a growing economic and political divide between urban and rural America. As we've previously written, it's part of a larger dynamic favoring "superstar" countries and companies, too — behemoths that appear positioned to dominatethe future global economy. This fuels us-versus-them.
- We see this in jobs: Roughly half of all U.S. zip codes still have lower total employment than they did in 2007, while the top 20% of zip codes have added 3.6 million jobs, per John Lettieri of the Economic Innovation Group. That’s more than the economy as a whole. Amazon, after surveying the country, picked New York and D.C. for its 50k person expansion.
- We see this in technology: New cool technologies hit cities first, be it 5G, autonomous transportation or drone delivery. This gives cities a huge edge for future growth.
- We see this in health care: Rural Americans have far fewer hospitals, workout facilities and health specialists, feeding a rise in obesity and disabilities.
- We see this in education: Big employers and better technology makes cities magnets for better teachers, schools and specialized training.
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Monday, December 10, 2018
Concentration of Wealth and Power in Metro Areas
Jim VandeHei, Sara Fischer, and Felix Salmon at Axios report on a shift of economic and political power from rural areas to metro areas.