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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

City vs. country

It's not a "red state vs. blue state" fight going on out there. It's city vs. country:

As a resident of the upstate portion of New York (not the Big Apple) I have written frequently about the depressing, negative effects which liberal tax and spend policies combined with strangling regulatory burdens have had on the state, as well as the economic death spiral which has followed. Many of the complaints I hear from residents of the more rural, upstate region center on the unbalanced power held by New York City and the complete disconnect between the government and the more conservative, rural communities to the north and west.

[. . .]

Returning to the initial premise of this piece, we’re not seeing a red state vs blue state problem here. It’s large, liberal cities run by high spending Democrats using their numeric advantage to pass policies which bleed smaller, more rural areas to death. It takes place in many states other than New York, too. Pennsylvania is a study in two countries, really, with the urban centers of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh constantly at war with the rural land known as “Pennsyltucky” stretching between them. I’m sure you can find more examples in your own back yards.

But what is the solution? There have been debates raging for years in the Empire State about finding some way to split off New York City as its own state or allowing portions of upstate to secede and sign on with somebody else. But as long as the cities hold the numerical edge on the votes in the state government, there’s not much that anyone can do. It’s a culture war over a way of life and the economic realities of wildly different societal climates. And there’s no end in sight.

Against this backdrop, consider the complaints we've been hearing about the move by the Indiana General Assembly to take money from school districts losing students, largely in urban districts, and giving money to schools with growing enrollments, largely in suburban districts. Because Republicans, who have super majorities in both House and Senate, are largely from rural and suburban districts, they are rolling right over Democratic legislators, who are mostly from urban districts.

Oh, but then there's the fact, that Indianapolis, the state's one very big city, seems to have the clout to get whatever it wants from the legislature, leaving everyone else poor and envious, especially those of us stuck in the No. 2 city.

Ah, politics. And some of you probably still naively think every legislator goes to Indianapolis determined to work for the interests of all Hoosiers.