2-node-supercomputer.net 2022-10-29

R: zero-sum, D: win-win?

Are Republicans' views shaped by a zero-sum game, and Democrats' views shaped by a win-win attitude? That is the question I am going to explore here.

To explain what I mean, consider the limited resources we have in terms of land, water, oil, and various ores, to name a few. Clearly, the planet is limited in its supply of these things, and the US in particular is just entering the period where it is limited by land. In the past, there was always more land available. No more.

That means, these resources need to be shared. If I buy a plot of land, that means you don't have it, that means you cannot grow any crops on it. If you get the job on the field that is left, then I don't get that job. Furthermore, agriculture has been getting more efficient in terms of output per farmworker (maybe not necessarily in terms of output per land, but that is a separate issue). Don't steel my farm-working job!

On the other hand much activity in the cities benefits from collaboration and more people. Engineering challenges can often be split among several engineering groups, or the same problem can be attacked by different companies. In science, collaborations are very fruitful to get the expertise into your project without you needing to spend the time to learn everything from scratch. We are fundamentally people-limited. More is usually better. Sometimes even just for the competition aspect.

In any case, this win-win philosophy is dominant in the cities. The more people the better! Land can be created by building high-rises and multi-story buildings. The city is insulated from the concerns about limits in the countryside.

This aspect is exacerbated by the difference in education. In order to benefit from the win-win situation, you need to be a specialist. So a farmhand will have a hard time finding a job in the city. On the other hand, the specialist that benefits from the (to him) anonymous network of farmers can be ignorant about the limits of agricultural production. The specialist can often even be ignorant about the limits of other resources like steel or lithium. The farmhand cannot.

Is this a reason why urban and rural areas vote differently? You tell me.