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.
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.