If I’m understanding Kevin Drum correctly, happy homosexuals are a leading indicator of a strong economy.
[I]ntolerant, xenophobic societies that are obsessed with tradition aren’t likely to embrace the change, chaos, and diversity associated with, say, Silicon Valley or Wall Street. On the contrary, they’re rather more likely to drive out smart, hardworking gays who have the wherewithal and guts to pack up and move. Their loss.
“Creative destruction” isn’t just a feature of successful capitalism, it’s also a feature of successful cultures. And cultures that are open enough and dynamic enough to engage in creative destruction of social mores in favor of better ones are more likely to do the same thing when it comes to business and industry. As with capitalism, of course, there’s always the risk of carrying things too far now and again, but the inevitable mistakes are trivial compared to the long-term rewards of being openminded about cultural change in the first place.
That’s why California is rich and Mississippi isn’t. It’s the people, stupid.
Of course, as recent discussions have pointed out, the perception of wealth distrubution by region is skewed by using income as the metric. Indeed, if we use home ownership as a measure of prosperity, we find that the South (67%) and Midwest (70%) are wealthier than the West (59%) and Northeast (62%). And, of course, “gay tolerance” is essentially a proxy for religiousity.
That said, I think there’s something to Kevin’s argument. Traditional societies do indeed tend to be, by definition, resistant to change. This is true domestically as well as internationally.