Paul Graham on Cities
By Arnold Kling
In DC the message seems to be that the most important thing is who you know. You want to be an insider. In practice this seems to work much as in LA. There’s an A List and you want to be on it or close to those who are. The only difference is how the A List is selected. And even that is not that different.
Exactly. LA and DC are both name-dropper cities. In LA, the names to drop are those of leaders in the movie or TV business. In DC, the names to drop are those of key figures in Congress or the Administration.
Read the whole thing. Pointer from Megan’s guest-blogger (Tim Lee), who offers his own insight.
The cliche here is that the first thing St. Louisans ask when they meet each other is “what high school did you go to?” The answer tells them about the speaker’s social class and often his religious background.
Again, having grown up in St. Louis, I would say that this is spot on. The St. Louis elite is a remarkably closed, self-satisified set. The Merle Kling model of politics seems to apply particularly well in St. Louis. The game is for insiders there.