Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Barone of Hackery

Michael Barone has a remarkable column that I saw via Instapundit. It is remarkable because he has so little of substance to say on his chosen topic, the "trustfund left." Such a demographic may well, in fact probably does exist, but you get no substantive evidence fro Barone. He doesn't even use the cool word "trustafarian."
Instead he offers a vague description:


Who are the trustfunders? People with enough money not to have to work for a living, or not to have to work very hard. People who can live more or less wherever they want. The "nomadic affluent," as demographic analyst Joel Kotkin calls them.
These people tend to be very liberal politically. Aware that they have done nothing to earn their money, they feel a certain sense of guilt. At the elite private or public high schools they attend, and even more at their colleges and universities, they are propagandized about the evils of capitalism and globalization, and the virtues of environmentalism and pacifism. Patriotism is equated with Hiterlism.

And a vague idea of where they reside:


Where can you find trustfunders? Not scattered randomly around the country, but
heavily concentrated in certain areas. Places with kicky restaurants, places tolerant of alternative lifestyles, places with lots of art galleries and organic food stores and Starbucks competitors. The heaviest concentration is in the San Francisco Bay area, which, Kotkin says, has the largest percentage of trustfunders of any major metro area in the country. The Bay area stands out in stark relief on the political map. It voted 70 percent to 29 percent for John Kerry in 2004, up from the 64 percent to 30 percent margin it cast for Al Gore in 2000. Without the Bay area's 1.15 million-vote margin for Kerry, California would have come within 82,000 votes of voting for George W. Bush.

So on that slim basis their is a large class of rich liberals who don't work, vote for Democrats and think everybody else is Hitler. He cites Joel Kotkin as saying that the Bay area has a lot of trustfunders but he doesn't say how many. Then he assumes that this group is solely responsible for Kerry's huge margin in that area. He doesn't even consider that the Bay area might have a lot of wealthy people in the tech industry who tend to be liberal.
As Walker Percy said about a certain Wednesday afternoon a few years ago, the only thing about Barone's column that is notable is that nothing about it is notable. I guess it is easy to be a columnist when all you have to do is toss off a few generalities in order to demonize your political enemies.

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