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
Wed, 11-14-2012 - 2:14am

Jabberwocka, my stance has been consistent…reduce the debt.  I don’t necessarily support increasing military spending, but I also don’t necessarily believe that drastic cuts can be made.  In my opinion, there is a lot wrong with the way the military handles expenditures…allocations, cost overruns, missed deadlines, etc.  There’s also the political allocation culture of “use it or lose it” with funding.  I think that entire process should be revamped.  I also believe that there is a lot of waste and fraud and unnecessary spending in the military budget.  My solution would be to form a combined civilian/military committee and go through the Pentagon budget line by line to review expenditures and carve out waste.  In the end, I think we need a lean, effective fighting force that maintains the “two-front” defense philosophy and meets the needs of our national security…whatever that cost may be.

 

And again, I disagree with your position on “world policing.”  The US has global interests and global alliances that need security…and it’s in our interest, and those of our allies, to secure those interests and promote the US economy and American values across the world.

Your comparison with the US and historical “empires” is equally flawed.  First, not all “empires” have fallen.  Britain is doing just fine, thank you…and while there are a number of reasons why specific empires have failed, almost none have to do with “over extending themselves.”  But perhaps the most salient point is that the US is not an empire.  It’s a republic that does not use it’s military might to dominate other nations.  If we “fail” it will have to come from within…welcome to the Obamanation.

 

I also think it’s appropriate to blame Obama for the problems of “some automotive companies” and his “green energy” failures.  Obama flaunted the law when he took over GM and Chrysler.  It was his ideological interference with GM, Fisker, Tesla, etc that forced them to spend billions on “green” pieces of crap that no one wanted to buy.  It was his ideological interference that caused GM to leave bankruptcy with the same, and even higher, financial burdens that caused their failure in the first place.

And Solyndra?  Obama was warned that Solyndra was a bad bet.  China didn’t suddenly start dumping subsidized panels on the market…it had been doing it for years…and Obama knew.  Obama has hundreds of “experts” advising him with assessments and predictions…but like he did with Simpson Bowles…if reality doesn’t fit his ideology, he simply won’t listen…and the taxpayers bear the burden.  Imagine the jobs or schools that could have benefitted from the billions and billions and billions of dollars that Obama wasted.

 

And companies are “sitting on the sidelines” because of Obama’s anti-business regulations and policies.  You think…hope, actually…energetic start-ups will jump in and “claim shares of the market”…but you’re wrong.  Start-ups can’t get the capital, and for those who can, they’re faced with the same reality as the other companies now on the sidelines…and they’ll join them.  For these companies, it isn’t ideological, and it sure as hell isn’t “patriotic”…it’s business.  And let’s see if DH stops “hiring left and right” at 49…because at 50, Obamacare stomps on his head, and he has to pay for their healthcare.  I wonder if he’ll be a “miser” too?

 

This is getting lengthy.  If you don’t mind, I’ll continue in another post. ; )

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Wed, 11-14-2012 - 1:16am

It’s not a guess or speculation, the sequester idea came from the White House.  So “just for grins,” let’s admit that Obama is a big fat liar and, once again, he’s been caught.

http://www.gop.com/news/research/obama-fact-checked-on-his-debate-sequestration-claims/

And no, such an irresponsible concept is anything but “presidential”…but not a surprise from a go-golfing-President who’s anything but presidential.  Trying to get Congress to move past it’s partisan squabbling and fixation on ideological purity is a fine idea…it requires compromise and leadership…qualities sadly lacking in Obama.  Instead, he proposed putting a ticking bomb in the middle of the US economy to motivate the super committee…and then told the Democrats not to compromise…playing chicken with the American people as the potential victims.  A game he’s still playing today.  Very presidential indeed.

 

Btw, while Obama was re-elected with a large electoral college margin, he got considerably less votes in 2012 than he did in 2008 and only got roughly 2M more votes than Romney…hardly “definitive” and nothing close to Obama’s proclamation of a mandate.  And yes, I do blame Obama for the continued intransigence.  One only has to listen to his post-election diatribes to here that his idea of compromise is to do what he says.  Look for Obama to drive the country off the fiscal cliff on Jan 1.  Ideology over country.  Very presidential.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Wed, 11-14-2012 - 12:36am

Of course policing the world is possible…we do it.  And of course it’s in our best interest, who else is going to protect our national interests?  Who else is going to defend our weaker allies?  Who else is going to keep the world’s “bad actors” in check?  Yes, “Georgia and the enclaves” have had an antagonistic relationship for years, but what keeps them in check is international oversight, led by the US.  Without the US as a check, the bullies of the world would run wild.

And yes, the military budget is filled with pork, but then so is every other budget…not to mention being filled with fraud…and waste, etc.  And?  If you’re suggesting that pork, fraud and waste should be eliminated from the US budget then you get my vote.  Call your Congressman.  But you’re entirely mistaken concerning our weapon platforms.  On one hand you claim they’re old, but then you decry spending to update them.  The F-35 is a multirole fighter that replaces a number of older models.  It’s also being funded by a number of other countries as well as the US, so apparently there are a lot of military experts who disagree with your assessment.  And far from bankrupting ourselves, it’s the military that enables this country to prosper.

 

And of course corporations are interested in profits.  Why else would someone invest their time and money if not to make a profit?  And who would hire employees if they didn’t need them?  Do you work for free?  Do you invest your money trying NOT to make a profit?  It’s incredulous that liberals have a world view where everything is supposed to be a handout…except when it come to parting with their own money, of course.

As far as health INSURANCE is concerned, if you can’t afford insurance then who’s fault is that?  Why should someone else have to pay for your insurance?  Where is your notion of “the great American advantage; being able to fail?”  Why do liberals think that only applies to people who work hard and provide for themselves?  Why aren’t liberals willing to be “adroit” and learn from their failure, instead of expecting everyone else to pick up the pieces and provide for them?

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

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

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

  

dragowoman

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.

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 - 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

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.

dragowoman