We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
One of the obvious inferences that can be made from the data is that New Englanders shaped the culture and polities of many regions of the United States where they were a minority. Boston was self-consciously the Athens of America. Not only does this region have many elite universities, but the more prominent state institutions such as the Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin were started in part by Yankees who valued these sorts of public investments. The role of New Englanders in primary education throughout the United States is well known, Puritan America may have been the world's first universally literate society, and they were intent on spreading this trait across every group into the United States. Though New Englanders were often outnumbered by later waves of immigration from the Upland South (e.g., Scots-Irish), as in the Pacific Northwest's Willamette Valley or Northern California, they were overrepresented among the intelligentsia and captains of industry. In the western Upper Midwest Yankees were absorbed by a sea of Northern European immigration, but for several generations they retained a hold on the cultural and capital classes. One might contend that many of the complaints about the "brainwashing" which occurs at elite universities of bright but impressionable young men and women is simply the latest manifestation of the conflict between numerically superior Middle America and the elitist New England outlook (even outside of New England, see Leland Stanford's biography).
We were better at this cultural hegemony thing when we balanced out poets and utopians with some rapacious businessmen and intense clergymen. Their wrestling matches produced great ideas. We're living off the fumes of that now, I'm afraid.
Assistant Village Idiot
What fumes? The wrestling match is only in round two.
Meta ... I agree about the wrestling match. There are 'Yankees' in all parts of the country now, particularly "flyover country," and we can still put our dukes up when necessary. My Dad was born in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, and my feisty grandmother in the Hudson River Valley. Both had a great influence in my upbringing. Many of the happenings they predicted so presciently are occurring now.
By the way, AVI, I agree about the constant disrespecting of business and businessmen, many of whom are thoughtful scholars as well as pragmatists. I vote that conservative scholars and conservative businessmen protect each other from the playground insult crowd, and try, at least, to bring back reasoned debate.