Demographics

Avatar for songwright
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-1997
Demographics
33
Thu, 11-08-2012 - 12:05pm

Ah, the hand-wringing and finger-pointing has begun. According to Bill O'Reilly, the dip in voter participation by White People from 74% in 2008 to a measly 72% in 2012 is proof that us White Folks have become a "Minority" in the United States. He went on to say that the election results mean that 50% of Americans voted for President Obama because they want 'stuff' that Obama has promised to 'give' them. (I wonder if he was present at the Romney fund raiser where the infamous 47% quote originated?) And that jump in registered Hispanics from 9% of voters to a whopping 10% of voters is surely behind this wholesale disenfranchisement of "traditional" (O'Reilly's word) Americans.

What makes this assertion that Americans are voting so that the government will give them more 'stuff'' just plain silly are the actual demographics of our country. The Electoral maps of the last few elections have a certain recognizable shape of Red and Blue areas. And there is no real correlation between the the relative percentage of 'people of color' in a state and it's tendency to Vote Red or Blue. But there are some other correlations, if you do some simple map overlays.

Try overlaying this map of national poverty levels by County with the national Red/Blue electoral map (darker areas are higher poverty areas): http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:US_Poverty_Rates.svg&page=1 (For a more in-depth view of povery in the US, check out this map that breaks down Poverty, Child Poverty, and Extreme Poverty by state): http://www.spotlightonpoverty.org/poverty_data_map.aspx )

Now overlay the US Census map of percent of State populations with High School or higher Education levels (Lighter areas have a higher percentage of HS and college-educated citizens): http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p20-566.pdf

These demographic correlations are clear. The Blue states have generally higher educated populations, and they also have generally lower percentages of people living in poverty (that's not really surprising). The Red states have a relatively lower general education level of their population, accompanied by higher poverty rates. So, how does this compare with Bill O'Reilly's assertion that the 51% of Americans who voted for President Obama were 'takers' who want to keep their supply train of 'stuff'' from Big Government running? It's simply False. The percentage of people in the Red states who are dependent on getting 'stuff' from the government - like Welfare, and Food Stamps, and Housing Assistance, and Medicaid - is higher than it is in the Blue States.

This is the dirty little secret of the GOP 'base'. The Conservative GOP Harvard-educated capitalist thinkers, who are attempting to guide the United States towards an Ayn Randian vision of an Economic Darwinism Utopia, are dependent on large numbers of poorly educated (Evolution & Global Warming are Hoaxes, women's bodies can 'shut down' pregnancies when they're raped ... ), superstitious (Creationists, the earth is 10,000 years old, 'rape' babies are a 'Gift fom God' ... ) citizens, that are more likely to be recipients of government handouts than their Blue state counterparts.

States with lower numbers of those types of individuals, largely voted to re-elect the President. NOT because they are disproportionate recipients of 'stuff' from the government, BUT because they believe that their fellow citizens - PARTICULARLY the CHILDREN - deserve to have full bellies, and roofs over their heads, and don't deserve to be turned away at the doors of the Hospital, even though they are in dire economic situations. They believe that the children of immigrants deserve a chance to succeed in a country that has a long history as a 'melting pot'.  And they also believe that those who benefit the most from our society have a responsiblity to commensurately bear the costs of keeping it strong and healthy. IMHO, it is in our belief in equity, and compassion, and understanding, that we show the true Greatness of our democratic society and what it stands for -- not in our GDP, or our big-threatening-military, or the number of Billionaires our economy produces.

That's Songwright's View

~ SW

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Thu, 11-08-2012 - 1:02pm

I think O'Reilly is right...and Rush mentioned a similar thing citing what he called a well researched article discussing the subject.  The article said that hispanics don't vote democrat because of amnesty or open borders, they vote democrat because they'e the party of government handouts.  It appears they like the nanny state...and unless Republicans abandon their core ideology of self-reliance and personal independence, it's unlikely they'll sway many of the "takers."  The best the Republicans can do is to do a better job selling the benefits of that ideology.

But after Obama and the Democrats push us over the fiscal cliff and turn the country into Greece in the next 4 years, people will be flocking to the Republican banner in droves just to escape the pain, so a big sell probably won't be necessary.

Avatar for songwright
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-1997
Thu, 11-08-2012 - 1:57pm

    >>> Rush mentioned a similar thing citing what he called a well researched article discussing the subject.

LOL  -  Rush.  Now who could possibly hope to impugn the veracity of the 'research' behind such articles.  Please cite them so we can examine the proof.  Of course, if you'll look at those map overlays, you'll see that the majority of the 'takers' in our society just happen to live in those 'Red' states.  And a very small percentage of them are Hispanic  in either the Red or the Blue states.

BTW, that 'fiscal cliff' was built by the Dems and Reps in the House and Senate in the hopes of forcing a Compromise on deficit reduction. (This was after the Tea Party almost caused a national default -- and did cause a downgrade of the United States' Credit Rating)   President Obama had nothing to do with it.  And, 'compromise' seems to be a word the current crop of Republicans have fogotten since they signed Grover's Pledge. 

Last I checked, around 80% of Americans agreed that we needed to increase taxes on the top wage earners as part of the plan to help reign in the deficit.  And since Obama has pledged to veto extending the Bush Tax Cuts on top earners, and Romney's big 'Plan' was to decrease taxes on top wage earners, I would imagine that played a large part in the President's re-election. 

I think it's far more likely that if we go over the cliff, the public will clearly see that it is caused by GOP Tea Party intransigence, and not the fault of either President Obama or the Democrats in Congress.  And if the fall does cause pain, I strongly suspect that intead of 'flocking' to the Republican banner, the Independents (and some Moderate Republicans) will abandon it in droves as they help to elect another Democratic President -- and support him with a Democratic House as well.

Now I could be wrong.  But since I'm pretty confident that I am smarter, better educated, and much more well-informed than Rush on almost any issue (except the abuse and procurement of illicit prescription drugs), you might want to give what I'm saying some reasonable thought.

~ SW

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-05-2009
Thu, 11-08-2012 - 6:51pm
"around 80% of Americans agreed that we needed to increase taxes on the top wage earners" I say yes, raise taxes on the wealthy. Raise them to levels not seen since Carter, in fact just take all of their money, because, I am sick of the malaise this country is enduring and cannot wait for this magic elixir to take effect. Then us um people in the red states can finally understand how Keynesian economics works as we bask in a working economy, while "the smarter, better educated, and much more well-informed" liberals from the blue states admire their own glorious success . I say, raise the damn taxes, double down on regulations, pass cap and tax, spend like you are all little Krugman's and then take credit for what happens.
Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
In reply to: xxxs
Thu, 11-08-2012 - 7:50pm

Phony ideology of the tea party pluse the obstruction in congress killed any chance. 

It appears they like the nanny state...and unless Republicans abandon their core ideology of self-reliance and personal independence, it's unlikely they'll sway many of the "takers."  The best the Republicans can do is to do a better job selling the benefits of that ideology.

   Self reliance= owing the hospital big bucks because the GOP'er can't be responsible enough to buy health insurance.  Were not a nation of "mountian men" We are overpopulated.

  The fiscal cliff was started by the GOP!  Now they will reap the whirlwing of their own making!

 

chaika

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Thu, 11-08-2012 - 8:55pm

Apparently you’re comfortable dismissing an article backed by research in favor of your own musings with crayons and color overlays.  ‘Nuff said.  That makes about as much sense as your conclusions making connections with “takers” and “red states.”  Wisconsin is a perfect example…they voted for Obama, but also voted for a Republican State government, re-elected Walker and shot down the unions to boot.  Maybe they like living directly under a fiscally responsible, non-nanny state government while still getting their goodies from Big Mama Obama.  And Hispanics…they are roughly 17% of the population and make up 16% of welfare recipients…not including the millions of illegal immigrants, of course.

 

Btw, the “tea party” didn’t cause anything because the “tea party” doesn’t have any power beyond that of any average citizen.  The debt ceiling and credit rating issues were caused by Democrat spending and their failure to responsibly demonstrate any plans for fiscal restraint...an irresponsible attitude they’re continued to espouse…and Obama has everything in the world to do with it.  Obama’s idea of compromise is “I won and you have to do what I say.”  It’s completely juvenile and has caused a gridlock in government that is unlikely to change unless he grows up and curbs his arrogance.

 

As far as your 80% wanting to raise taxes on the top 5%...not a big surprise that people want someone else to pay.  And maybe that’s because of Obama’s oft repeated lies and class warfare rhetoric.  It’s already been well documented that even taking 100% of the wealth from the top 5% wouldn’t come close to touching the deficit.  It’s a strawman argument to gin up support for just more Democrat tax and spend policies.  Nothing new.  Personally, I hope the Republicans stick to their guns and force Obama to renew the tax cuts (and it’s really pretty stupid to keep calling them that since they’ve been in place for a decade) or throw the entire country over the cliff.  With so many Democrats facing re-election in two years, I don’t think Obama will have much support.

It’s an easy argument for the Republicans…they just have to keep playing Obama telling the country “you don’t raise taxes on anyone in a down economy” the last time he extended the “Bush tax cuts.”  His hypocrisy will take the wind out of his sails and with waning Democrat support he’ll crumble.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Thu, 11-08-2012 - 8:56pm

Take credit?  They'll blame Bush. ; )

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Thu, 11-08-2012 - 8:59pm

Actual the "fiscal cliff" is a liberal concoction.  The sequester was Obama's idea, as is his fixation with the "Bush tax cuts" and his "tax the rich" mentality.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
In reply to: xxxs
Fri, 11-09-2012 - 4:17pm

  Getting rid of the Bush tax cuts is a start.  Cutting the defense budget (which is the highest in the world) and ending the wars will do much for cutting spending.  A lot of reform in the defense industry as there is no competition. 

   Finding a way to eliminate the student debt crisis will mean much more money spend on goods and services.  After all this is a consumer economy.  No consumption=no economy.  Health care for everyone will be a game changer for state governments as the billions paid out for emergency room visits for colds etc will fall. 

   High tech manufacturing can be encouraged to return with it good jobs and tax paying citizens.  Who will have disposiable income.  It is the spending of these people that will bring up the economy and the tax revenue for both state and federal government. 

  Big government is here to stay.  Better than the 18th century form that is for sure.

dragowoman

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Fri, 11-09-2012 - 11:08pm

Getting rid of the Bush taxcuts would mean that everyone's taxes, including yours, would go up dramatically...on average of $3500 per family.  The tax on investments, again, for you and everyone else, will also go up significantly.  It will likely put the country back in a deep recession, far worse than what we've experienced so far.  Higher unemployment, higher prices and an even worse economy.

And out defense budget is so high because as a super power we're required to provide worldwide security.  Significantly cutting military spending  could prevent us from doing things like keep the Straits of Hormuz open which would be disasterous for oil distribution.

And ending the wars helping cut spending?  Not if Obama has his way.  He's already allocating that money for new spending.

The student debt crisis will be solved when the economy grows and those students can get decent jobs.  Unfortunately, not that Obama's been reelected, they'll have to wait another 4 years.

And you're mistaken, we already had health care for everyone...what's new is health INSURANCE for everyone and you're right, that will be a game changer.  Insurance costs have already gone up around $3500 per family and it's going to go up even more.  People will be forced to buy insurance, wheather they can afford it or not, or made to pay a fine.  Folks depending on Medicare will now find themselves with dramatically fewer doctors and hospitals available to take care of them.  And a LOT of people will find themselves dropped from their employers insurance and dumped on the government rolls.  They'll also find their taxes have increased significantly to pay for Obamacare, which the CBO has estimated will cost three times as much as previously predicted.

With Obama's high-regulation-high-tax policies, manufacaturing will continue to dwindle and other businesses will be encouraged to either outsource or relocate...this will kill millions more jobs and crater the economy.

Unless Obama does a complete 180 on his economic policies, there's no reason to assume that we'd see any significant change in the country over the next 4 years than we've seen in the last 4.  In fact, it's likely to get much, much worse.  Brace yourself, America...the Obamanation has arrived.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
In reply to: xxxs
Sat, 11-10-2012 - 1:30am

  No we are not required to police the world.  Cut defense spending.

Yes taxes need to be raised.  Esp for the wealthy.  And the 30 multi-billion dollar corporations that got tax refunds.   Smart business will prosper dumb won't.  Stability is what is needed not boom times we kn ow about boom and bust.  Stability is better.  Health insurance of course!  Now for Dental!  Good care costs money.  Too bad the GOP is so cheap.

dragowoman

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