A senior editor at the prestigious center-left Atlantic magazine has crunched some numbers in an attempt to explain the growing percentage of the American population that identifies itself as conservative. Recent polls break down like this:
- Conservatives: 40%
- Moderates: 36%
- Liberals: 21%
Mr. Florida looks at blue-collar workers, diversity within a state, education level, and all sorts of data to provide some interesting correlations (not causation, despite the article’s claim to answer “why” this is happening).
Here’s one question he does not ask: which group has more children?
This is not a question that has escaped other liberals. For example, some years ago Philip Longman wrote a piece titled “The Return of Patriarchy” for Foreign Affairs in which he argued that conservatives would inherit the earth because of their higher birthrates. Some conservatives have noticed the importance of birthrates, too; see the 2004 article “Baby Gap” in the American Conservative.
So why does Florida ignore this? Maybe it would make him and his readers too depressed. They may prefer to think that they can turn things around by, say, boosting federal spending on education even more. I expect that one day the bond market will put an end to those dreams.