My old friend and mentor, Mason Gaffney, died July 16, 2020 at his home in Redlands, California. I thank David Cay Johnston for a warm and insightful obituary in the New York Times. I also thank Wyn Achenbaum and Nic Tideman and the Schalkenbach Foundation for an extraordinary tribute with excerpts from his writing. Especially check out Mason’s still relevant article, The Red and the Blue, on why high median income cities like New York and San Francisco vote blue, while low income regions vote red: Land values are disproportionately high in prosperous big cities, making homeownership “unaffordable” for middle class residents. So they rent—and vote blue. Suburban and small-town homeowners vote red.
Please check out my personal tribute to Mase. I’ll always miss him. And I’ll always be grateful for everything he taught me, for his courage and honesty in confronting bastardized economics and history, and for his generosity, clarity and humor in this benighted world.
I write an Econamici post once a month or so, mostly on economic topics, but sometimes on science or history. Subscribe if you’d like.
Polly Cleveland

Adjunct Senior Research Scholar
Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs