Demographics

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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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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 songwright
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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

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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.

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