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

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Sat, 11-10-2012 - 2:47am

I'm afraid we are required to police the world.  Our interests and economy are global.  It would be foolish, and incredibly dangerous, to put so much at risk in the hands of others.  It all falls under the umbrella of national security.

And those multi-billion dollar corporations you're referringn to?  Would that be GE, that pays no taxes and has outsourced thousands of jobs, who's CEO heads Obama's jobs council? Obviously Immelt thinks that's "smart" for GE...but not so good for the country.

We've seen how "dumb" companies fail to prosper...but that's AFTER Obama throws billions of taxpayer dollars at them.  And "smart" companies?  We've seen how they "prosper" over the last 4 years as well...they sit on the sidelines...withold capital...no jobs...no growth.  What makes you think they'll do anything different when Obama is just doing more of the same?  What's that they say about insanity?

With Obama, the last thing this country has is "stability."  Obama has proven himself to be a flip-flopper, a liar and a fool...and he promises an agenda that is more spending...higher taxes...more regulation...more attacks on business...more class warfare.  This is the promise of INstability.  Watch as we go over the fiscal cliff because of Obama's ideology...watch the coming recession...higher unemployment...higher prices...no economic growth...that's the kind of "stabililty" we can do without.

And if you want "good care" then follow the American ethic...get a job and earn the money to pay for it, don't expect others to work to provide it for you.  Pretty simple.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Sun, 11-11-2012 - 10:14pm
To Deenasdad on the statement that sequestration was Obama's idea. You might want to do some more research, rather than be forced to explain why 174 House Republicans voted for the Budget Control Act. Is Obama such an influential POTUS that he was able to compel a majority of Republicans in Congress to do his bidding? Just curious......

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Sun, 11-11-2012 - 10:26pm
To deenasdad. No, we do not have either the resources or the right to "police the world" . Nor is it necessarily the case that only businesses receiving bailouts have prospered. As for the "liar , flip flipper, and fool" characterizations, look at the gawdawful mess GWB made. ****snorts**** The only stability we got out of that clown was the certainty that he would do/say something arrogant/embarrassing/incomprehensible.

Jabberwocka

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
In reply to: xxxs
Sun, 11-11-2012 - 10:50pm

 How interesting to notice that the Big Business has bought elections before in the US.  Now the people have an advantage with the internet and secret ballots the people can see a difference for a government that will be more for the people rather than corporations. 

   Policing the world is far too expensive.  Let the world do it's own job while we deal with the problems here.

 "And if you want "good care" then follow the American ethic...get a job and earn the money to pay for it, don't expect others to work to provide it for you.  Pretty simple." 

 Another fairy tale.  Have you checked what health care costs?  No middle class person can afford it by themselves.  That is why we have insurance.   People band together that is the true American ethic.

Goldfish

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Mon, 11-12-2012 - 1:32am

Jabberwocka, the Republicans voted for the sequester because they believed, as most Democrats believed, and as they were told, that it would be the Sword of Damoclese hanging over the head of the Super Committee.  It was not a vote for something they wanted to happen...it was a vote to guarantee that it wouldn't happen.  Unfortunately, they were wrong.  And it was Obama's idea...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/obamas-fanciful-claim-that-congress-proposed-the-sequester/2012/10/25/8651dc6a-1eed-11e2-ba31-3083ca97c314_blog.html

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Mon, 11-12-2012 - 1:58am

And yes, we do have the resources to police the world AND the right to do it, because we've been doing it for decades.  The problem arises when Obama and the Democrats want to cut the funding for those resources threatening not only our national security but also the security of our allies.

I also didn't say "only businesses that received bailouts have prospered."  In fact, it's just the opposite.  Most of the companies that got cash from Obama have failed or been seriously damaged by his interference...see GM...Fisker...Tesla...Solyndra...Abound Solar...Ener1...the list just goes on and on and on.  What I did say was that companies that are "prospering" are also sitting it out on the sidelines hoarding capital and holding back investment because of Obama's economic policies.  And with Obama spouting more of the same, there's no reason to believe that anything will change economically in the next four years.  You voted for a recession...congratulations.

As far as Bush is concerned, unlike Obama, I don't recall him being a flip-flopper or a liar.  And again, unlike Obama's policies being directly responsible for killing our economic recovery, the economic collapse in 2007 cannot be attributed to any Bush policy.  He was simply the President when the Democrat chickens came home to roost.  Other than that, we had low unemployment, heightened national security and a growing economy throughout his administration.  I'm sure there are millions of poor and unemployed who have suffered under Obama failed leadership who wouldn't mind going back to those "terrible Bush years."

And for "arrogant/embarrassing/incomprehensible"...just listen to Obama and Biden some time.  They're a hoot!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Mon, 11-12-2012 - 3:30am

If big business bought elections before, then how do you explain any Democrat getting elected?  The truth is that big business bought elections as much as unions or any strong lobbying group bought elections.

As far as the people's "advantage"...along with legitimate, well researched information, the internet has also unleashed an avalanche of unaccountable lies and propaganda to be foisted on a largely ignorant public.  And there have always been secret ballots...but if you're supporting an anti-corporate country, then your vote for Obama will ensure that the economy stays in the tank and unemployment remains high.  Btw, corporations are people...people run them...people work for them...people depend on their products and services.  Hurt corporations...hurt people.

And yes, policing the world is expensive...that's why our military expenditures far exceed those of other nations.  If we adopt your "let the world do it's own job" policy, then what's to stop Iran from blocking the Strait of Hormuz and cutting off the flow of oil to Europe?  What's to stop Iran from getting a bomb and "accidentally" letting some uranium "slip" into the hands of some terrorist group, setting off a bomb in Israel?  Or London?  Or New York?  And what's to stop the resurgent Russia from invading Poland, like they did Georgia?  And far from leading from behind in Libya, dropping drones on terrorists in Pakistan or "getting Bin Laden," OBL would still be alive, along with those other terrorists and we'd be watching events unfold in the Middle East on TV.  The US is the only superpower left...to steal a phrase from Stan Lee...with great power comes great responsibility.  Along with protecting our own interests and national security, the US has a moral responsibility to defend the security of it's citizens abroad as well as the security of our allies.

And yes, I've checked what health INSURANCE costs.  And under Obama, it's gone up $3500/yr...and the CBO has estimated costs will triple over the next ten years.,,a real burden on American families.  What do you think really happens when Obama decrees that insurance companies provide free breast exams and free contraception and free other stuff?  Do you honestly imagine that the insurance company eats that money?  Or do they just increase costs to cover it?  The same thing with covering the enormous costs of pre-existing conditions.  Think that might explain why insurance cost have gone up so much in the past 4 years?  Think they might go up even more in the future?

And business owner after business owner has said that the costs for insurance are prohibitive.  That they're considering dropping their employees from their insurance.  Small business owners with less than 50 employees have already started cutting employee hours and finding ways to NOT hire the 5th employee that would saddle them with Obamacare costs and regulations.  What a brave new world in the Obamanation...where the many, take from the few...where the dependents, take from the achievers...until the achievers abandon you.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
In reply to: xxxs
Tue, 11-13-2012 - 3:21am

  Policing the world is not possible nor in our best interest.  Our slow methods of procurement and wasteful military budgets filled with pork are an embarrassment.   The world is changing and the effective weapon systems that are being toted around just do not fit.   Look at the cost overruns for the F-35,and it is not even in production nor is it a true fighter.  A waste except for the marines.  Our other fighters are old. We are bankrupting ourselves to appear to be the bully on the block.  By the way Georgia and the enclaves have been at each other for centuries. That area is quite interesting. 

The corporations are interested in profits.  If they did not need employees they would not hire them.  As far as health care too bad if you can't afford to run a business then whose fault is that?  Some smarter business people will come along an make a profit where others failed as they always have.  Actually that is the great American advantage;being able to fail.  From failure comes learning and success if one is adroit.

  The Trust busting of Teddy Roosevelt ended the control of the monopolies.  Strange thing that John D Rockefeller actually made more money after the breakup!  But had a lot less power.

  "And there have always been secret ballots.."

    Not true!  The secret ballot as we know it is rather new.  The movement had stages where at one point the parties had separate boxes for each political parties ballot. (I too had assumed that there was no way to id how an individual voted. )*

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/object_nov98.html

*History Channel last chapter of Men Who Built America

  

Goldfish

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Tue, 11-13-2012 - 6:03pm

To Deenasdad. 

Bob Woodward says sequestration was Obama's idea.  Woodward may be correct (let's do remember that Woodward has a longstanding relationship with the WaPo) but it's his word, against that of Obama.  Just for grins, let's say that Woodward is right.  It's Obama's idea to try to bring pressure to bear ON BOTH SIDES, to force them to work together rather than face an even more unpalatable future--that "sword of Damocles", the "fiscal cliff", "Taxmageddon", whatever clever phrase is in vogue.  

Wow.  How very......ummmm.......wait for it.....presidential.  Try to get Congress to move past its partisan squabbling and fixation on ideological puriity, towards a compromise which would give the nation a way forward.  It must have seemed that way to voters too because lo and behold, Obama was elected with a commanding electoral college margin, and a slimmer but still definitive lead in the popular vote.. 

To blame Obama for the continued intransigence is illogical.  And to act as though Republicans lacked free will is truly weird. 

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Tue, 11-13-2012 - 8:10pm

To Deenasdad: 

You seem to be arguing two contradictory stances--reduce the debt but increase "defense" spending.  Choose one or the other, since it won't be possible to have both, conservative "logic" notwithstanding. 

Having a history of "doing [world policing] for decades" is not a sound rationale for continuing practices which have had, particularly in the Middle East, decidedly mixed results.  Moreover, if you look at the history of empires, you'll see that they eventually fail precisely because they overextend and then cannot sustain the cost, whether monetary, political, or human life. You seem to agree with the tenets of the neocons.  They've been proved flawed.....horribly, fatally flawed. 

Concerning the repeated attempts to lay blame at Obama's feet for the problems of some automotive companies and alternative energy start-ups, that too is abysmally lacking in logic. China dumped its heavily subsidized (and much cheaper) solar panels in the far-less-supported U.S. market.  U.S. companies couldn't compete against such headwinds.  Electric vehicles could, if the power they consumed was generated by solar/wind/geothermal sources, be far cleaner than fossil fuel burning vehicles currently dominating our roadways.  For most of us who are concerned about energy independence and a cleaner environment, Obama was too cautious.  Motor Trend apparently really likes one of the Tesla models.  http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/motor-trend-electric-car-top-honor-article-1.1201348  It would be more intelligent to consider how the companies you named would have fared if they had not received assistance......

As for companies "sitting it out on the sidelines hoarding capital and holding back investment", it may be that braver and more adventurous start-ups claim shares of the market.  It's been true for my DH.  He's been hiring left and right, making inroads on larger companies which lacked vision and courage. Those companies which are behaving like misers seem to be practicing a form of economic extortion. I see nothing laudable or patriotic in their behavior.  

Bush is probably going to go down in the annals of history as one of the worst presidents ever.  His legacy of waging a totally pointless "pre-emptive" war, while cutting taxes, did more than a little to not only damage our economic status but also cause us to look both arrogant and ineffective.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  He deliberately played on the fears of the nation post-9/11 with his images of "smoking guns" and "mushroom clouds".  Read it and remember:  http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021007-8.html  That particular "deception" (a euphemism, IMHO, for "lie") cost the nation over 4,000 U.S. military lives and will continue to cost us billions of dollars in the years to come as we treat veterans for wounds both physical and mental.  My son is one of those Iraq war veterans.  Don't thank him for his service, just make damn sure that his and others lives don't get wasted by power-hungry politicians, and profit-craving businessmen. 

I doubt very much that there are "millions of poor and unemployed" who want to go back to the era of Bush.  He spent capital, without having any mechanism for replenishing capital.  He squandered national treasure and national prestige in ways that far exceed ANYTHING Obama has done.   "Bush was "simply the president when Democratic chickens came home to roost"?  Oh my, that is just too hilarious!  Not in this cosmos.  Maybe in some other alternate reality your statement would make sense.  

Obama knows how to speak well, whether extemporaneously or with a teleprompter.  Bush had problems with both.  Obama has gravitas, Bush was a buffoon.  And Obama, though not without error, rarely drifts into the kind of cheap posturing to which Bush was prone.  "War president", my arse.  Bush was a war mongerer without the sense God gave a goose.  As for Joe Biden, let's just say I'm not a huge fan.  But at least he's not a Darth Cheney, the sinister power-behind-the-throne. 

Jabberwocka