March 28, 2017

"We are not going to be a majority Mormon nation; we are not going to have Utah’s cultural homogeneity."

"But we could have more politicians like Lieutenant Governor Cox, and even more honest and sympathetic conversations about poverty. We could offer more, and better, help to people who need it. Why not look for more promising scripts than the ones played out across the U.S. today? With inspiration from Utah, perhaps the U.S. could inch toward Utah-level mobility — and toward the American Dream."

Writes Megan McArdle, who "went to Utah precisely because it’s weird."

I just went to Utah myself, but I didn't go because it's weird. I went to Utah because it's beautiful.

Capitol Reef National Park

75 comments:

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Utah’s cultural homogeneity."

HA.

I had two Utah's cultural homogeneity's last night, they only gave me a case of the beta's.

I kept thinking:

How could I improve, not approve, IMPROVE, and it hit me:

Beta beta beta, can't you see.

Sometime's your wordes just hyptnotize me.

Beta beta beta can't you see, sometime's yourd words just hyptoize me.

I see the s cargo,
My cargo

Mytip top Fargo, Season two,
with Kristen Dunst

So, ya know, adament.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Perhaps the greatest man the internet ever saw, Mr. Iowahawk, has said more, better, and funnier, than most any of us could even attempt.

Let's not do the one thing that would let a great man like that down, and quit on him.

He walked away a champion, undefeated (to us, not him), with honor and grace.

Henry said...

I forwarded that column along to my Mormon relatives this morning. My favorite quote:

"Utah’s incredible levels of integration, of community solidarity and support, of trust in government and in each other, enable it to build something unique in America, something a bit like Sweden might be, if it were run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce."

Sebastian said...

Wait, growing with two married parents, good schools, and a broadly shared middle class culture promotes chances of social mobility? Really?

Pop-econ just-so story. Let's control for a few more variables, shall we?

mockturtle said...

"went to Utah precisely because it’s weird."

Nothing 'weird' about Utah. Now, California, that's weird!

Guildofcannonballs said...

I usually don't do this, this is special okay, but I am going to edit my comment for clarity.


Guildofcannonballs said...

Perhaps the greatest man the internet ever saw, Mr. Iowahawk, has said more, better, and funnier, than most any of us could even attempt.

Let's not do the one thing that would let a great man like that down, and quit on him.

He walked away a champion, undefeated by any measure, with honor and grace.

Sam L. said...

Way to go, Megan, harshing Utah's mellow. Makes me wonder about you.

Big Mike said...

Megan had a chance to vote for a Mormon in 2012. I believe that she flunked the opportunity.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Bets on does Iowahawk walk on my grave respectfully in homage:

96/4 against.

chuck said...

There can be a downside to the solidarity for outsiders. A couple I knew back in the seventies bought a home in a small Utah town --$2,000 pre californian influx -- and come spring there was flooding. The community naturally turned out to deal with it, but somehow missed that home. Nothing nasty, the house was just invisible because the homeowners didn't participate in the ward and no one knew them. I recall similar stories from people visiting Ireland, where community announcements were made in the local (Catholic) church. I guess the moral of the story is, know your neighbors.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Look Hugh Hewitt had one of the best shows talk radio has seen in years today.

Yes, yes, this very day, today.

It was great.

Hugh treated adverdaries as such.

Shit. I have to spell adverdaries.

Shit. Can't do it. I think I did the same thing twice even, LIKE I DIDN'T LEARN THE FIRST TIME AS ALL HUMANITY.

I thought I was different...

Titus said...

Utah my be beautiful and weird. And the thought of no exotic black and international available pussy is depressing. If I wanted ignorant, out of shape cracker twat I would of stayed in Wisconsin.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Hugh made bones like a man makin' bones should, today.

I applaud that, him, but especially the environmental privileges that make/conclude/decide it be so.

Guildofcannonballs said...

COULD YOU IMAGINE IF I HAD TO SOBERLY DEAL DEAL DEAL*


*Grateful Dead

"Deal"

Since it cost a lot to win
and even more to lose
You and me bound to spend some time
wondring what to choose

Goes to show you don't ever know
Watch each card you play
and play it slow
Wait until your deal come round
Don't you let that deal go down

I been gambling here abouts
for ten good solid years
If I told you all that went down
it would burn off both your ears

It goes to show you don't ever know
Watch each card you play
and play it slow
Wait until your deal come round
Don't you let that deal go down

Since you poured the wine for me
and tightend up my shoes
I hate to leave you sittin there
composin lonesome blues

It goes to show you don't ever know
Watch each card you play
and play it slow
Wait until your deal come round
Don't you let that deal go down
Don't you let that deal go down, no
Don't you let your deal go down

Titus said...

And gay people who live in a state other than fab coasties are the weirdest of them all....except Chicago

sojerofgod said...

People are only weird if you don't know them.
Once you get to know them they aren't weird, they're just friends.

BN said...

Great, the one state left with some residue of religiosity. And now all the heathens have found out how good it is and are talking it up.

Just great. Utahrado here we come!

BN said...

Santa Flake, here we come!

Guildofcannonballs said...

You know I just hate it's up to me to kick out or comeback in players.

But I got million billion worth of thoughts.

Like you too.

Maybe puttin' all that toward a greater appreciation might entice the greatest thing the Internet ever saw (save any pics of my dog Barnett, named after the great man Dean Barnett, who predicted the undefeated Patriots and was a great man) Iowahawk to soxblog

AprilApple said...

Weird, deplorable.
Self-sufficient.

Opposite of snooty Northeast trustfunders or whiney CA welfare queens.

stever said...

Tom Udall is a mormon. They, as a group, deserve no elevated standing. Just know some.

Earnest Prole said...

Titus:

Sorry you had to hear it from a straight guy, but you have no idea what you’re talking about.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I am a mongoose man and Brady is Cobra; but the greatest, grandest, bestest Cobra of them all.

ever


http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/cobra-vs-mongoose-predation

BN said...

I always read Guild of Cannonballs as Guild of Cannibals. I don't know why.

Sometimes I even start to understand a few of the words, and then I get the spins.

buwaya said...

"Sorry you had to hear it from a straight guy, but you have no idea what you’re talking about."

Does this explain Evan McMullin?

Guildofcannonballs said...

There is no comparison in football, save Lombardi.

How much could Brady rule, beyond just sports?

Guildofcannonballs said...

Back when Babe Ruth made some bucks folks wondered:

How could he make that much?

What education could a, as in any, state or locality, provide to dissuade?

exiledonmainstreet said...

Titus, I am sure the people of Utah would prefer that you stay right where you are.

Earnest Prole said...

Does this explain Evan McMullin?

And his mother.

robother said...

Heh. The 1950s America I grew up in is now "weird." But upwardly mobile for poor. Who could've imagined:

Price gave me some hope. The Mormon Church, he says, has created “scripts” for life, and you don’t need religious faith for those; you just need cultural agreement that they’re important. He said: “Imagine the American Medical Association said that if the mother is married when she’s pregnant, the child is likely to do better.”

The microaggressions in that statement could get an AMA doctor who prescribed married wedlock defrocked. Truth is no defense to SJWs, its an aggravating factor in determining punishment.

My advice to the Mormons: Keep Utah Weird!

Guildofcannonballs said...

Looks like Drudge is fucking with me again.


For your entertainment.


Fuck the lot of ya.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Told you shits before,

ain't tellingy a gin till

I be playing me my mandolin

traditionalguy said...

Utah landscapes declare this a Cafe. The NIT was all that was on tonight. And we may have. A Ga Tech /TCU finals. Neither team was any good for years, but a new coach with leadership made them winners.

So Coach Trump may win with a team no one expected to even get invited.

Tom said...

Utah is about as far from Wash, DC and NYC as you can get and still be in the USA. I'm sure it was shocking to Megan. People there are really nice and it seems like everyone has a franchise business of some sort - and they're all clean.

Using the incredible healing power of "and", I'd day Utah is both weird AND beautiful!

I'm an agnostic, so the metaphysics of all religions don't sit well with me. But if I had to join a religion based on the quality of people associated with it, I'd become a Mormon.

Michael K said...

Poor Megan. She has no clue.

Mark Nielsen said...


Very nice photo, Ann. Makes me homesick.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Druthers are all that matters,

and I say

FUCK IT

Magson said...

Utah also does grassroots initiatives like this too: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/what-works-salt-lake-city-utah-regional-planning-214652

Henry said...

Chuck wrote, the house was just invisible because the homeowners didn't participate...

That's small town life everywhere. The Unitarians in my New England town are blind to half the population.

Mr Wibble said...

Holy carp. It's like social conservatives were on to something by wanting to encourage certain socially beneficial behaviors!

Amadeus 48 said...

But does any of this explain Harry Reid? Such a nasty man! And he was Sen. Mike Lee's Mormon home-school teacher in D.C. when Lee was a kid. How did that work? Can you imagine getting religious teaching from Harry Reid? Creeps me out.

Oso Negro said...

Megan McArdle inadvertently illustrates the evil of government-mandated charity - the utter lack of accountability. Church communities help those in need as long as they appear to be attempting to help themselves. Government bureaucracies, on the other hand, tend to encourage idleness. Witness the rise of the numbers of people on disability or food stamps. It has been all socialism since the totalitarian days of the New Deal, and we are not nearly through it as yet. Socialism always fails, though. When it does, it will be way better to be a Mormon.

Jersey Fled said...

Megan is high on my must read list. We'll worth reading on everything from Obamacare to the folks in Utah.

damikesc said...

I'm surprised that so few "experts" seem to realize how vital "cultural homogeneity" is to almost any social welfare program. European countries have worked because they had that in spades and the entry of mass immigration is going to cause a major issue in terms of most of those policies.

Once you have a "multi-ethnic" society, social welfare stops working terribly well because, love it or not, people don't mind helping "their own". They don't much love being forced to help others.

damikesc said...

Megan McArdle inadvertently illustrates the evil of government-mandated charity - the utter lack of accountability. Church communities help those in need as long as they appear to be attempting to help themselves. Government bureaucracies, on the other hand, tend to encourage idleness. Witness the rise of the numbers of people on disability or food stamps. It has been all socialism since the totalitarian days of the New Deal, and we are not nearly through it as yet. Socialism always fails, though. When it does, it will be way better to be a Mormon.

True. If I relied on my church for my upkeep, I'd be determined to be doing everything possible to be a productive member of society ASAP.

When the government provides instead, one would be a sucker to hurry back. There's literally no benefit or any negative in not doing so.

Ron said...

Meh....I'm tired of pics of rocks and desert being called beautiful. Some are....but not in and of themselves. That one looks more boring to me!

wild chicken said...

Utah: "remarkably white." And Mormon.

If only we could dispense with those inconvenient factors.

Meade said...

@Ron,
Rock porn.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Oso Negro said...

Megan McArdle inadvertently illustrates the evil of government-mandated charity...

There was nothing inadvertent about it.

Kate said...

I've lived in suburban SoJo UT for about 8 months now. Megan's right. It's preternatural.

All of my neighbors introduced themselves by bringing cookies to the door. (Not all at once.)

Invitations to parties at "the church" hang on my doorknob.

I leave my door unlocked at night and my adult children walk safely to the transit station at all hours.

Mormonism is not for me, yet living here, its contribution to clean, stable social living is undeniable. It's a fascinating conundrum for conservatives.

Kate said...

Trying to find a decent cup of coffee is the worst aspect of Mormon country.

Carol said...

It seems to me that England surged ahead in the eighteenth century on a great wave of Methodist energy and charity. That was rather off-putting to the elites, too. If only we could dispense with the religious enthusiasm eh.

Rusty said...

BN said...
"I always read Guild of Cannonballs as Guild of Cannibals. I don't know why.

Sometimes I even start to understand a few of the words, and then I get the spins."

The idea is to get all of his Althouse posts in one place. Get some chronic and get a little wasted and then read them out loud. He is either the smartest guy here or has some of the best drugs. Either way.

dreams said...

We used to have at least some of that back when it was the churches that provided most of the charity for people, before they were usurped by a cancerous big government.

Fernandinande said...

You know who else has cultural homogeneity?

North Korea threatens WAR with the US after Senator John McCain called despot Kim Jong-un a ‘crazy fat kid’

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Mormons are awesome neighbors, but there is so much quiet desperation among them. They are forced to work so.damn.hard to keep up appearances and community standards. I knew a woman---very representative---with a husband who was deployed and six young children at home. Was still expected to meet her "calling" at church; take on volunteer responsibilities at the school; show up at services at the appointed time (you don't get to choose which service to attend but have it assigned to you) with six perfectly dressed ducklings behind her. She was secretly on heavy meds and eventually had a breakdown. One of my oldest school friends is married to a high school teacher and is a stay at home mom to six kids; she has to figure out how to run a household of eight on that kingly $42k a year salary, 10% of which she is required to give to the church right off the top. Their clergy is not paid and not professionally trained, but in order to earn your "right" to visit the temple, you have to get a temple recommend from your bishop which involves invasive discussion of your personal life including sex life and no assurance of confidentiality.

Sometime look at exmormon.org for a peek behind the curtain. Also look at rates of antidepressant use in Utah.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Kate said...

It's a fascinating conundrum for conservatives.

Sounds like there are quite a few conservatives in Utah who do not find it a conundrum at all.

Ron said...

@Meade

If your desire to have sex with a rock is that strong... Rock porn it is! Go and get yourself a piece of quartz...as it were.

Amadeus 48 said...

Observations about a few of my Mormon friends who live in Utah: they are among some of the nicest, most generous people I have ever met. The pressure to conform to LDS church norms is omnipresent. Quite a few have left the church (become "jack-Mormons"), but the invitation is always there to return to the fold. The LDS church offers a comprehensive social system that helps members navigate life's storms. So join the LDS church and become part of it. If loneliness and alienation are the curses of modernity, the LDS church has an answer for that.

I think one of the things that really hurt Mitt Romney was his inability to get beyond his close circle of advisers who were LDS members. So many of the Romney good works cited by Romney's supporters were benevolent activities to other LDS members that were part Romney's role as a senior LDS church official. Bailing out the Winter Olympics was about benefiting Utah. Romney had his problems as a candidate, but he also never broke through as a guy who cared about Joe Sixpack, notwithstanding all his good works, which fairly or unfairly appeared to be part of his duty as a good LDS church member.

Amadeus 48 said...

Ron--I don't think Meade wants sex with rocks, he wants sex ON the those rocks.

Amadeus 48 said...

What the south and west sides of Chicago need is a Methodist-style religious revival.

Ron said...

Amadeus 48 -- I'm not so sure about that...Meade has used his "come hither" charms on many a rock in his day, like any young man.

Tis spring, and men's thoughts turn towards the reification of womans reproductive capacity.

Meade said...

No schist.

readering said...

My impression from living a while in SLC is that while the state outside SLC is overwhelmingly LDS, SLC is not. It will be interesting to see if Obergefell eventually leads to revival of plural marriage.

buwaya said...

This is one of McCardles best articles.
Excellent job.

The system she describes is similar to the ancient Catholic parish as it existed up to the 19th-mid 20th century. This also rested on a uniformity of culture. The difference in terms of the condition of the poor in the provinces could be startling vs Englands industrial-revolution demoralized lower class. There are interesting accounts from both directions.

mockturtle said...

Japan is also a study in homogeneity of race, culture and social mores. I love Japan but feel a bit like the proverbial bull in a china shop when there.

Brando said...

One of the things that makes this work in Utah is the nature of more localized community based charity--there's a lot of social pressure to not take advantage of it, and you know it's being provided by people you are closer to (rather than some distant agency). The values of family and clean living (and it's hard to get more clean living than the Mormon culture) are also a key part of it.

Problem with the rest of our welfare state is that it is largely separated from any cultural pressure, and is far more impersonal. Diversity plays a part too--when you imagine that the recipients of welfare are "not like you" (and not just racial diversity, but regional, social and cultural diversity) it's harder to sympathize with them and easier to imagine them ripping off the system.

Brando said...

"Japan is also a study in homogeneity of race, culture and social mores. I love Japan but feel a bit like the proverbial bull in a china shop when there. "

I've never been there but my dad did some work there in the '90s and said one of the most striking differences between Japan and America is in Japan no matter what job someone has they take serious pride in it, as no job is beneath them, but it would be beneath them to not take their job professionally. They have an admirable value system there.

I Callahan said...

Ron--I don't think Meade wants sex with rocks, he wants sex ON the those rocks.

Love on the rockssssss....
Ain't no big surprise.
Just pour me a drink and I'll tell you some lies....

Unknown said...

Wow, that was an interesting article to read. McArdle's focus on race and her astonishment that it didn't come up here in Utah is funny.

What she implies is that we Mormons are inherently racist. What she doesn't realize is that the vast, vast majority of us who served missions spent plenty of time dealing with all races. I lived for months inside the ghettos on my mission. I know very well that I've spent far more time working with impoverished people of all races than the elite set.

And I saw for myself what worked and what didn't. Same with the vast majority of missionaries. Utah is the most white state in the Union, perhaps... and also the most bi-lingual state. Utah County has more people who can speak more languages within a few miles than likely any other place in the country.

We are different than the rest of the US, and it is because the LDS church is 1) dominant and 2) expects its people to do good things. It mixes people without regard to socioeconomic status-- a large businessman worth millions may well be working with a welder and a farmer and report to a man who is a clerk at some other company. The Church expects its members to serve, and rotates them through all sorts of positions; leadership opportunities, etc.

All of which means that Utah is likely uniquely capable of being self-sufficient. The story goes that after a dam collapse in, I think, Idaho a few decades ago the FEMA people showed up and started issuing orders... only to be answered "Done that. Yep, taken care of. Done that too." The next day the FEMA person showed up with a notepad to take notes and let the LDS church finish the job.

Utah is what cultural conservatism as practiced can and should be: self sufficient people, helping each other out, and governing themselves.

Most of Utah's problems stem from invading liberals who worship Government and think that they need to make everything about race and victims.

--Vance

mockturtle said...

Vance, I agree with most of what you say but, having grown up with a close Mormon friend, I remember the 'Mark of Cain' doctrine which, I believe, has since been discarded.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Unknown said...

What she implies is that we Mormons are inherently racist.

I didn't get that from her article at all.

Meade said...

Neither did I. At least no more inherently racist than any other homogeneous social group.

n.n said...

Vance:

Utah is what cultural conservatism as practiced can and should be: self sufficient people, helping each other out, and governing themselves.

Most of Utah's problems stem from invading liberals who worship Government and think that they need to make everything about race and victims.


I concur. Mormons are in principle, and generally in practice, tolerant, altruistic, self-moderating, responsible individuals.