People like Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, who have dealt with countless people from all over this country, assert that there is no distinction between the values of small towns and big cities. Furthermore, Newmark asserts that those who promote "small-town values" are "con-men" attempting to drive a wedge between people for personal gain. On the other hand, David Brooks describes Thune's perspective as follows:
He says his prairie background has given him a preference for small companies and local government. When he criticizes the Democrats, it is for mixing big government with big business: the bailouts of Wall Street, the subsidies to the big auto and energy corporations. His populism is not angry. He doesn’t rail against the malefactors of wealth. But it’s there, a celebration of the small and local over the big and urban.Implicit in this dichotomy is the notion that the "small and local" can exist independently of the "big and urban". Prairie-state conservatives like Thune decry the power of the federal government, ignoring the fact that it enabled prairie settlements to thrive by exterminating or removing the first Americans, building the railroads, the interstate highways and massive irrigation projects, promoting rural electrification and supporting the price of farm commodities. Indeed, the "big and urban" giveth and taketh away. The "free trade" championed by the right and center has hollowed out many a small town by driving manufacturing to places where costs are lower and regulations less onerous.
What do you think? Is there a valid distinction between small-town and big city values?