Got Income Inequality? Least Affordable Cities Are Also the Bluest


Jared Whitley Contributor
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Inequality is a hot buzzword among the left these days, with those trying to find a dark lining in the silver cloud of Trump’s economic record pointing out that just because some are doing well doesn’t mean all are.

Luckily, “progressives” have the answer: all we need to do is trust everything to them and they will be able to lead us to a utopian future where everyone is equal and all is perfect in the world!

Except — funny thing — the cities with the worst inequality tend to be the most progressive.

This week the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a report of the cities with the highest housing burden, that is to say, those who have to spend the most of their income just to live, which of course forces them to stretch their budgets on everything else. Some are describing housing affordability as a crisis that is squeezing middle-class Americans out of what has historically been the standard of middle-class life (home ownership).

Of the 20 cities highlighted as the worst, 18 of them are in blue states and all of them picked Clinton over Trump.

Cities in the Bay Area — San Francisco and San Jose — top the list of housing burden (55.9 and 54.7 percent respectively) and also top the list for the highest share of Clinton voters (76.7 and 72.9 percent).

Thanks to the Reagan Era military buildup and an Ayn Randian lack of regulation, Silicon Valley has been able to explode with technological and economic growth in the last 30 years, but alas, all that progressive leadership has not figured out how to manage it in a way that helps all the working-class people they say they want to help.

Also apparently progress, as demonstrated by San Franciscans, includes not cleaning up your own poop.

California dominates the list of unlivable cities, with six more entries: Ventura (no. 3), San Diego (no. 4), Los Angeles (no. 7), Riverside (no. 11), Sacramento (no. 16), and Stockton (no. 10). All went for Clinton — Los Angeles by an ominous 66.6 percent and Riverside only by 51 percent.

California is a testament to the left’s inability to solve income inequality: the Golden State boasts both the most ultrarich residents and the highest rate poverty in America.

Given its unlimited resources and long-standing electoral dominance by Democrats, California should be a heaven on earth, right? Strangely enough, it isn’t.

U.S. News and World Report ranked it 50/50 for quality of life, while The Guardian once asked if California would be the first “failed state” in America, but for many, that’s already the case, with more than 1 million Californians fleeing the state in the last 10 years. It is $1.3 trillion in debt. It has a terrible teacher shortage and a dreadful lawyer surplus. Gang-ridden, polluted Los Angeles is so bad it keeps getting called a “third-world country,” even by The New York Times!

But enough about California. Pointing out the failure of progressives policies won’t diminish their enthusiasm for protesting about how racist everyone is. Rounding out the rest of the west, we see that housing is unaffordable in Seattle (no. 12, 62 percent for Clinton), Portland (no. 17, 57.5 percent), and Denver (no. 14, 53.5 percent). You may not be able to buy a home, but at least you can buy all the drugs you want!

(While we’re still in the West, note that conservative, religious Utah has both a booming economy and the lowest income inequality in the country. Maybe there’s something to being conservative and religious? Nah let’s protest more!)

Moving to the Northeast, the middle-class can’t find a house in Bridgeport, Connecticut (no. 6 worst on HUD’s list), the New York metro area (no. 8), the Washington, D.C., metro (no. 9), Boston, Mass. (no. 10), New Haven, Conn. (no. 15), or Baltimore, Md. (no. 18).

All of these cities went for Clinton: Washington, Boston, and New York — with more than 60 percent of the vote.

Although Florida and Texas both went for Trump, Miami didn’t and neither did Austin — 62.3 and 56.5 percent for Clinton respectively, no. 13 and no. 19 on HUD’s list respectively.

Now of course, even in our stochastically divided times, we shouldn’t point and laugh at the misfortune of our fellow Americans. There’s no reason to cheer that the middle-class can’t afford homes in blue cities. But there is cause to tell progressives, who are so arrogant and closed-minded about the perfection of their ideology that they stole the word “progress” for it, that they should solve problems in their own cities before presuming they can run the whole country.

Nobody wants to get drowned in a blue wave of progressives’ income inequality.

Jared Whitley is political veteran with 15 years of experience in media and Washington politics. He has served as press liaison for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and associate director in the White House under George W. Bush. He is also an award-winning writer. 

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.