It's gotten me thinking about urban development (and race) in the United States, and this weird pattern we've created since the 1960s.
But these (mostly white) Republican population agglomerations are hard to identify on a map.
Can you name a city that corresponds to any of those places? I'm struggling to do so.
They're vast agglomerations of suburban-style development, divided into a bunch of different small municipalities.
They're not small towns, because they're not really that isolated.
And they're definitely not rural.
What are they?
And, most importantly, very few black people.
It has to do with the very reason cities exist in the first place.
Economically, medium-dense sprawls like this just have very little *to do*.
They're not concentrated enough to have tech clusters or clusters of management expertise, like cities do.
You can do some low-value manufacturing, but A) it doesn't pay that well, and B) it's in decline.
Moretti shows in detail how big cities, college towns, and tech hubs are rising economically - and most of the other towns in America are in decline, economically and socially.
But many don't generate the economic prosperity needed to sustain that.
I speculate that this is why a lot of these places are seeing declining marriage rates, opiate epidemics, and general anger.
And it's this other America that elected Trump.
The future of America is not here. It's in thriving big cities and their increasingly diverse true-suburbs.