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Localism Runs Both Ways

State of the Union: Sometimes, you are your brother’s keeper.
(By Burlingham/Shutterstock)

Declan Leary’s column this week underlines something that is sometimes when people get together and talk localism—local patriotism tends to make us gleeful about other places going to hell in a handbasket, even in the same breath that we complain about people leaving those places and occupying our own haunts. 

If we don’t want swarms of displaced Bostonians (or Californians, or Ohioans) crowding us out of our own places, we have an interest in supporting policies at the national level that make those places livable, at least by Bostonian lights (or Californian or Ohioan). The dictum “just move somewhere cheaper” means, invariably, that eventually the strangers will come to your town.