Cafeteria Nation

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Cafeteria Nation
In One Nation, Slightly Divisible, David Brooks breaks down the country into two groups. Blue America, or the city, and Red America, the rural area. Brooks discusses the vast differences between each group as well as the stereotypes of each. For example, in his article he says, "We sail; they powerboat. We cross-country ski; they snowmobile. We hike; they drive ATV's. We have vineyard tours; they have tractor pulls. When it comes to yard work, they have rider mowers; we have illegal aliens" (Brooks 53) where Brooks refers to himself as a Blue American. The divisions in our country are very visible, but the hostility and jealousy toward other groups is underneath the fact that we are Americans together. It is like a cafeteria nation.

The differences between Red and Blue Americans are many, but the first thing you notice is their view on lifestyle and where they view themselves on the social latter. The biggest statistic given by Brooks is that, "Eighty-five percent of Americans with an annual household income between $30,000 and $50,000 are satisfied with their housing. Nearly 70 percent are satisfied with the kind of care they can afford. Roughly two thirds are satisfied with their furniture and their ability to afford a night out" (Brooks 59). These people are typically Red Americans with that low of incomes. In Blue America you could not survive with a household income that low because gas can be fifty cents higher and houses more than double or triple the cost for the same exact house. Red Americans, even if they are well below the median of national income, think of themselves as people who have. One Red American had this to say about Blue America, "They don't get to enjoy the beautiful green hillsides, the friendly people, the wonderful church groups and volunteer organizations. They may be nice people and all, but they are certainly not as happy as we are" (Brooks 58) and that is true for whatever reason. Brooks noticed while in...
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