One thing that happened during the pandemic is that big cities like New York vacated to some degree. When they did, there was talk about how in the future more people would continue to work from home, and if they did, they might go to smaller and more affordable cities, like Des Moines, Iowa. Indeed, places like Des Moines has been recruiting people.
The problem these cities have, though, is that they are missing part of the puzzle. People in big cities like NYC and San Francisco live there for a lot of reasons. One of those is the freedom and rights that come with living there. The respect those places have for progressive values are a big draw. Unfortunately, as this really good piece shows, Iowa (and likely other conservative cities and states) can’t and won’t provide that any time soon.
After reading that piece, I thought: yeah, even if the majority of people can still work from home, the mass exodus from Brooklyn to Des Moines is not going to be happening. Some will, for sure. But when the pandemic is over, people are going to head back to the major cities. They have more to offer than affordability.