Senate Income Inequality in the U.S.: Causes, Effects, Solutions

Discussion in 'Community' started by Jedi Merkurian, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    So, what do people think will be the results of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement?

    Nothing. Everyone will get bored and mill about until the G-8 Summit comes to Chicago next year, and then the real old fashioned, misguided and senseless violence and destruction can occur.

    LOOK MA, I CAN BURN A CAR TOO!

    Although the "occupy wall street" movement has already managed to capture a healthy dose of the self-destructive bent that the Tea Party gets dinged on from time to time. For example, due to misapplied restrictions and meaningless "protections," from the administration, the US's largest Bank, Bank of America, announced that they are going to lay off some 40,000 workers. Those lay offs aren't going to come from the top, and the majority will be stable, middle class positions within the bank.

    So at least while they "occupy Wall Street," the movement will have a guaranteed influx of 40,000 potential new street blockers and window smashers.
  2. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    You don't think Bank of America's problems have anything to do with wildly inappropriate betting on the housing market followed by several years of concealing the truly horrific condition of their balance sheet after the banking industry won suspension of mark-to-market accounting at the height of the crisis?
  3. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Sure, if you want to get technical, that too. But it's easier to blame hippies.

    (just like it's easier for one side to blame the Tea Party for everything from cancer to racism in a sound bite type mentality...)
  4. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    I don?t post this link to start a partisan political argument, but I?m genuinely stumped at how the poorest people continue to vote for those who, on one hand, tout themselves as ?the party of fiscal responsibility,? and on the other, have displayed a sneering disdain for the poor.

    What does it say that most of the 10 poorest states are Republican?
  5. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The Republicans in the United States have built an incredibly effective voting coalition by matching up poor and lower middle class white Christian values voters with wealthy anti-tax business elite. They've done this in part by hammering on and expanding the wedge between white poor and lower middle class and poor minorities, convincing them that their fundamental economic interests were somehow not closely aligned.

    I like one of the comments from that article:

    It says the Republican plan of moving toward a lord-serf society is working. It also says Republicans are masters at getting people to vote against their own self interests. lol, I've been saying that for years. Killing off the American middle class is the Republican ruling elite job number one.
  6. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I don?t post this link to start a partisan political argument, but I?m genuinely stumped at how the poorest people continue to vote for those who, on one hand, tout themselves as ?the party of fiscal responsibility,? and on the other, have displayed a sneering disdain for the poor. What does it say that most of the 10 poorest states are Republican?

    Well, see Merk, if you legitimately don't want to start a partisan political argument, then you should look to the actual data. In your CNN "Cafferty File," blog, Jack Cafferty ignores everything that doesn't fit with his point.

    HERE is the actual link to the Census Survey. The actual top 10 poorest states are:

    10)South Carolina
    9)Texas
    8)Louisiana
    7)Alabama
    6)West Virginia
    5)New Mexico
    4)Washington DC (which isn't exactly a state, so Cafferty may get a technicality here for not even mentioning it)
    3)Kentucky
    2)Arkansas
    1)Mississippi

    This list is specifically based on the median numbers of below poverty level in relation to each state according to the Census. The problem with Cafferty is that he seems to be going by his own interpretation of "being poorest," so there is lack of definition there, and he's not taking into account overall standard of living. (it's also suspect that he just fails to mention any blue state at all, which shows a partisan slant right out of the gate) Also, the actual red or blue state determination is not as cut and dried as Cafferty is making it seem. Alabama, for example, went 60% red during the last election, so that could probably be called a red state, if that's his focus. New Mexico was 56% for Obama during the same period, and Cafferty doesn't even include it in his list. Arkansas went to McCain, but is generally a blue state. Only 90,000 votes made West Virginia a red state vs a blue state (the reverse being true for Virginia) so those are toss ups.

    Additionally, if you start digging deeper, the point becomes even more muddled. California, for example, could be called a blue state fortress. But California has an unemployment rate that is 4% higher than the national average-approaching 12% California has one of the largest disparities of income which keeps it off the list (the rich are very rich in California, the poor are very poor), and in fact, some of the poorest individual communities exist in California. Which is better? For a state to have a huge disparity in income, or a state to have a lower overall range, if it means that the spread is more even? (it's a rhetorical question, both has positives and negatives.)

    So I guess it all depends on what one wants to say. But really, the way you presented Cafferty's blog, it really doesn't say anything more that setting up a hyperbole-focused partisan argument, which is what you said you didn't want...


  7. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    So, looking at the Census data, the poorest states by medium income, with comparison to poverty rates, health insurance and unemployment rates

    Mississippi
    Median income: $36,850
    Poverty rate: 21.3% (the highest)
    Without health insurance: 18.7% (8th highest)
    Unemployment rate: 10.4% (7th highest)

    Election results:

    2008: McCain
    2004: Bush
    2000: Bush

    Mississippi has one lone Democratic congressman remaining as of the 112th Congress: Rep. Bennie G. Thompson.

    Arkansas
    Median income: $38,600
    Poverty rate: 16.5% (8th highest)
    Without health insurance: 18.5% (9th highest)
    Unemployment rate: 8.2% (25th highest)

    2008: McCain
    2004: Bush
    2000: Bush


    Tennessee

    Median income: $40,026
    Poverty rate: 16.1% (11th highest)
    Without health insurance: 14.7% (20th highest)
    Unemployment rate: 9.8% (11th highest)

    2008: McCain
    2004: Bush
    2000: Bush

    West Virginia
    Median income: $40,824
    Poverty rate: 15.7% (12th highest)
    Without health insurance: 13.9% (25th highest)
    Unemployment rate: 8.1% (tied for 24th lowest)

    2008: McCain
    2004: Bush
    2000: Bush

    Louisiana
    Median income: $41,896
    Poverty rate: 18% (4th highest)
    Without health insurance: 18% (11th highest)
    Unemployment rate: 7.6% (17th lowest)

    2008: McCain
    2004: Bush
    2000: Bush

    Montana
    Median income: $42,005
    Poverty rate: 13.4% (24th highest)
    Without health insurance: 16.3% (16th highest)
    Unemployment rate: 7.7% (18th lowest)

    2008: McCain
    2004: Bush
    2000: Bush

    South Carolina
    Median income: $42,059
    Poverty rate: 14.9% (16th highest)
    Without health insurance: 17.6% (12th highest)
    Unemployment rate: 10.9% (4th highest)

    2008: McCain
    2004: Bush
    2000: Bush

    Kentucky
    Median income: $42,091
    Poverty rate: 17.3% (6th highest)
    Without health insurance: 15.5% (18th highest)
    Unemployment rate: 9.5% (13th highest)

    2008: McCain
    2004: Bush
    2000: Bush

    Alabama
    Median income: $42,218
    Poverty rate: 16.1% (tied for 9th highest)
    Without health insurance: 14.4% (21st highest)
    Unemployment rate: 10.0% (10th highest)

    2008: McCain
    2004: Bush
    2000: Bush

    North Carolina
    Median income: $43,275
    Poverty rate: 16.1% (tied for 9th highest)
    Without health insurance: 16.7% (13th highest)
    Unemployment: 10.1% (9th highest)

    2008: McCain
    2004: Bush
    2000: Bush



    Most of these states are "top ten" poorest in more than one category, with Mississippi top ten poor in all 4, so, the question I think remains a good one: why do the poorest states vote Republican?

    Also, I think it would be worth while to compare state obesity rates with tendency to vote Republican. It will show fairly clearly I fear that the fattest states vote Republican.

    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
  8. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    It doesn't matter, as there are all sorts of categories to compare. Is there a discussion there? sure. Is it based strictly on political party? No. The latest national poverty rate data was released Thursday, and that means there?s finally one thing both liberals and conservatives can agree on: The way we measure poverty is flawed.:

    CLICK HERE

    or

    TRY THIS ONE

    These couple of links contain much better foundations for discussion, and there are more out there which question assumptions made by both sides of the political spectrum in a more productive manner. It's not about identifying with one party or the other. It's not about sitting on one side of the political spectrum or the other. It should be about looking at issues like poverty without having it framed as a name calling exercise right from the beginning. I swear, when I have time, I'm going to find the most politically sided, partisan blog I can find...post it without discussion..and then sit back and act all surprised when it's questioned. Something along these lines:

    title- WHY ARE THE ONLY STATES IN THE US WITHOUT MORALITY, ALL LIBERAL STATES?
    body-Joe Redhead Blogger says that all of the worst aspects of the US sit in blue states, because the blue states are all immoral, dishonest, hypocrites.
    my sole contribution for "discussion"- So everyone.. I don't want to start a partisan argument, but look at this, democrats sure are bad, aren't they?

    I would suspect that the first question on anyone's mind-from either party, would be "hey, how is morality being defined here...?" And it would be so nice, if just one time, I could even pretend that I would feel nice about just sitting back and answering something along the lines of "it doesn't matter, because if you don't understand, you never will..." because that's not any kind of reply at all.

  9. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    That's unusually irate for you. I don't understand the ire, or your point. Is your point that in fact, those states are not poor relative to the rest of the country, that in fact it's a measure of their wealth and success that makes them vote Republican?

    I don't understand how whether the way we measure poverty is flawed (no doubt) makes the slightest bit of difference in how we address how being poor (relative to other people) affects voting habits, at least in this particular subdiscussion of the thread topic.
  10. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    I think his point is to whine about how biased everyone on the side of the poor are while posting his usual biased bull**** to show us how wrong he thinks we are. At least that's what I took from it. More of a, 'Look, we can't even define poor in this country,' I imagine it sounding like a mix between Hayden Christiansen and Elmo.

    But anyway, since up after 1956 or so my father was poor through most of his childhood I can define it clearly, at least in my view: poor is being unable to buy clothes of your own and having to used hand-me-downs and the clothes you owned before that are patched up. Where you have to depend on government food and hand-outs, eating tomato sandwiches, or ketchup sandwiches, or hell, even carrot sandwiches because that's all you can afford. Having two shoes that don't match. Depending on the charity of others or having a mother do unmentionable things because that's the only way to make money. Living in subsidized housing. Etc.

    And yes, all of that stuff happened to my father from '56-'68 because there was no money, but hey...according to 44's ****head logic he wasn't 'poor' because he had electricity and a refrigerator. Anyway, that's poor to me. Or at least that's about how I see being in poverty except with minor changes and modern conveniences.
  11. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    That's unusually irate for you. I don't understand the ire, or your point. Is your point that in fact, those states are not poor relative to the rest of the country, that in fact it's a measure of their wealth and success that makes them vote Republican? I don't understand how whether the way we measure poverty is flawed (no doubt) makes the slightest bit of difference in how we address how being poor (relative to other people) affects voting habits, at least in this particular subdiscussion of the thread topic.

    FID's typical signature analysis aside, my point is that there are so many other factors that could be looked at that would actually form the basis for a positive discussion. This is what you, or FID, or whoever, don't seem to understand. Someone like FID will take a blog..."ie CommonDreams News's Molly Ivins says that republicans suck!" and use it to bolster their own personal view without stopping to realize that it doesn't really have anything to discuss. It might as well say "I like chocolate ice cream!" because both sit equally low on the debate scale. Again, the problem with Merk's link isn't the topic, it's that there is absolutely no discussion there except for what he says he didn't want... "I don't want to start a partisan argument, but look at this completely partisan blog...." A blog which actually, either intentionally or unintentionally, omitted facts that don't agree with its own conclusion.

    (Whenever someone adds in a "BUT," you know that they are going to do exactly what they say after the but..."Oh, honey, I don't want to lie about why I'm home so late, BUT, I accidentally tripped into a lipstick display when I was buying you flowers....")

    For your other points, we can look to all sorts of examples. Jabba, we're both from Illinois. Illinois sits at the crossroads of the Midwest. Demographically, there's the top 1/3 of the state which houses Chicago/Cook Co, and is democratic. And the rest of the 2/3 of the state, which goes to the GOP. (of course, there are voter mixes within each, this is the broad trend) Both "sections" share about the same amount of population.

    Well, Chicago (the demmie section) has about an average 71% high school graduation rate. (and in some areas, it's much lower) The suburbs (the GOP areas) have about a 97% graduation rate. Chicago (demmie area again) has about 20% of its population hold an advanced college degree. The GOP areas have about 36% of the population with advanced university degrees, one of the highest rates in the country. Chicago (the demmie area) has 16.6% of people below the poverty line, while the GOP suburbs only has about 1.7% below the poverty line. So what's the point? Taking that information at face value, and using your own criteria, the democratic party influenced areas are dragging the entire state of Illinois down, because the GOP areas are so far advanced than any area that goes blue. And in fact, while Illinois is a "blue" state, it's always only blue by a few points, and its about an even split when the time comes to elect the governor... Would this be a fair assessment? Would you completely agree with a blogger who only focused on political party and suggested that Illinois would be vastly improved if it only voted republican? Or are there other factors at play here? The funny thing is that none of this information is even mentioned in the original blog.

    Or we can look to any other state. In California 2008, 7.4 million people voted for Obama, but 3.5 million people within California still voted for McCain, (which is 3 times the number of the entire state of Montana.) Could it be true that all the McCain voters in CA are the educated, wealthy voters like in IL, and all the rest of the uneducated masses are what turn California blue? We don't know, but remember, you only want to focus on political party and nothing else... Texas went red last election with 4.5 million people voting for McCain, but 3.5 million people voted for Obama...(which is equal to the amount that went to McCain in California) What is Texas's demograph
  12. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Or Jabba, FID, here's the perfect illustration of what I mean. Below is a table from the US Department of Labor (so it isn't even filtered through a partisan blog, it's the direct source of information.) which ranks the states by unemployment rate for Aug, 2011, so it's current information:

    1 NORTH DAKOTA 3.5
    2 NEBRASKA 4.2
    3 SOUTH DAKOTA 4.7
    4 NEW HAMPSHIRE 5.3
    5 OKLAHOMA 5.6
    6 WYOMING 5.8
    7 VERMONT 5.9
    8 IOWA 6.1
    9 HAWAII 6.2
    10 VIRGINIA 6.3
    11 NEW MEXICO 6.6
    12 KANSAS 6.7
    13 LOUISIANA 7.2
    13 MINNESOTA 7.2
    15 MARYLAND 7.3
    16 MASSACHUSETTS 7.4
    17 MAINE 7.6
    17 UTAH 7.6
    19 ALASKA 7.7
    20 MONTANA 7.8
    21 WISCONSIN 7.9
    22 NEW YORK 8.0
    23 DELAWARE 8.1
    23 WEST VIRGINIA 8.1
    25 PENNSYLVANIA 8.2
    26 ARKANSAS 8.3
    27 COLORADO 8.5
    27 TEXAS 8.5
    29 INDIANA 8.7
    30 MISSOURI 8.8
    31 CONNECTICUT 9.0
    32 OHIO 9.1
    33 IDAHO 9.2
    34 ARIZONA 9.3
    34 WASHINGTON 9.3
    36 NEW JERSEY 9.4
    37 KENTUCKY 9.5
    38 OREGON 9.6
    39 TENNESSEE 9.7
    40 ALABAMA 9.9
    40 ILLINOIS 9.9
    42 GEORGIA 10.2
    43 MISSISSIPPI 10.3
    44 NORTH CAROLINA 10.4
    45 RHODE ISLAND 10.6
    46 FLORIDA 10.7
    47 D.C. 11.1
    47 SOUTH CAROLINA 11.1
    49 MICHIGAN 11.2
    50 CALIFORNIA 12.1
    51 NEVADA 13.4

    SOURCE HERE

    Out of the 10 states at the bottom-ie the worst states-7 out of the 10 are blue states. Rhode Island, as an example, is decisively blue by 2/3 ratio. Is this high unemployment due solely to political affiliation? In fact, to reverse that, 4 out of the first 5 "best" states are GOP ones. If Bill O'Reilly wrote a blog which was no different than the one Merk posted that said "if you want a job, vote republican!" Would you guys completely agree with it based on your own criteria, which is to look at nothing but party affiliation?

    Or, is there more value at looking at things like manufacturing base, population density and other factors which impact this? Combining the two sources of information, one can even begin to explore all sorts of other topics. Is it better for a state to have low unemployment across the board, if it means that the income spread is also tightened? Or is it better to be a state like California, which has a wide spread of income levels, but much higher unemployment? At any rate, what should be clear is that looking at political affiliation in isolation is the least important of all these factors...
  13. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    I'd say people in rural areas are generally more conservative. And because they generally share the moral values of right-wing parties, they generally vote right-wing. This phenomenon is not exclusive to the USA.

    I guess people lean towards trusting the politicians whose values they share more than they lean towards politicians with sound economic plans. More so because nobody is really sure what a sound economic plan actually is, or how it can be executed.

  14. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Watto, sure, and in the U.S. the rural difference has a racial element as well. Poor and lower middle class rural white vs. the urban black and other minority poor. The Republicans have made the argument that white rural poor should vote their values rather than their economic interests, but also have made the more insidious argument, successfully, that their economic interests are at odds as well. The rural poor are not helped any more than the urban poor by lowering the marginal tax rates of the rich, but there you are.

    42 GEORGIA 10.2
    43 MISSISSIPPI 10.3
    44 NORTH CAROLINA 10.4
    45 RHODE ISLAND 10.6
    46 FLORIDA 10.7
    47 D.C. 11.1
    47 SOUTH CAROLINA 11.1
    49 MICHIGAN 11.2
    50 CALIFORNIA 12.1
    51 NEVADA 13.4


    And the three poorest of these in terms of median income vote Republican.

    I still don't understand your point 44. I didn't read the blog link that made you so angry. I'm just interested in the question of what is it about rural southern poverty in particular that seems to make people so eager to vote Republican? You don't seem to want to discuss it. Why not?
  15. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    44, you say that I wanted to use the blog as a starting-point for dialog, and in that respect you?re spot-on. I added that ?but? in there because I know just how easy it is for people to scream ?zomg teh bias!11!!1!!? rather than discuss the issue at-hand. Lo and behold?o_O

    Yes, I do find it puzzling that so many poor people vote for a political party that continues to show such disdain for them. It?s kinda like how I?m puzzled as to why so many black people wholeheartedly embraced the religion of their oppressors (full disclosure: I?m black, and was raised Christian; but that?s a topic for another thread)

    Say what you will about whether or not Democratic policies actually help the poor, but at least their rhetoric espouses a desire to help, as opposed to the ?**** ?em!? attitude that conservatives display. Example.

    Soooo?if you say you have no problem with my topic, then by all means, let?s discuss it: Why do so many poor people vote Republican?
  16. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6

    So, there's protests in New York and elsewhere right now, about income inequality. They were called airheads and basically just big-government Democrats with an authoritarian streak in the Wall Street Journal. I think that it's fair to say that the average protester likely doesn't have the most nuanced view of how America should work, but I think that that's equally true for most movements.

    I'm more than a little curious if this turns into the Democrat's version of the Tea Party. A lot of noise and fury, not much in the way of actual practical ways to change things for the better.
  17. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Maybe it's time to consider God.
  18. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    You're onto something SW. God wants southerners to be poor because he likes them more (they hate homosexuals and abortionists) and wants to improve their odds of getting into Christian (eye of the needle!) heaven. God wants them to vote Republican so they stay poor. It's obvious once you think about it.
  19. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    So now I have to ask: When they figure out the income for those bottom 10 states, does that include the fixed incomes of the unemployed or is it a median income for the employed?
  20. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    Mr44


    According to CNN exit polls, Obama trounced McCain amongst voters with advanced degrees, 58-40, and won with people whose income was over $200k by 52-46.

    http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#USP00p1

    I also very quickly looked at Cali, Texas and Illinois. In Cali and Illinois, those with advanced degrees and income over $200k voted for Obama. In Cali it was particularly pronounced in favor for Obama. In Texas, both demographics broke for McCain.

    And I hear what you are saying, but based on the unemployment chart that you present, I?d add that 14 of the top 25 states are ones that went for Obama. In other words, it?s more mixed, whereas with one exception, NC which went for Obama barely in 2008, according to Jabba's chart all of the poorest states went for McCain and generally consistenly vote Republican.

    I?d add this:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/retirement/article/113611/most-least-taxing-states-bloomberg

    The states that are have higher taxes also have a far wealthier, better educated, healthier population. The states that have lower taxes are the opposite. Now, various factors are the reason for this. But I doubt you?ll find many people that would argue that higher taxes are always the solution, rather that there are instances where it isn?t the end of the world. I posted an article in the 2012 thread about how Reagan agreed to raise taxes to tackle the deficit. However, current Republicans believe that lower taxes (especially for the wealthiest and corporations) are the solution for everything, every time and all the time, with no exceptions...regardless of the facts, factors or situation.

    While this conflicts with the premise that poor/southern/rural whites, or lower/middle class whites in general vote Republican, I think this misses a lot of the reason. A lot of the reason is race, but not racism. I think lower/middle class whites resent affirmative action and the crapification of public schools, and not without justificaiton.
  21. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I think white resentment of affirmative action is completely unjustified. Median household income for non hispanic whites as been consistently higher than African Americans, in 2010 $54,620 for white households, $32k for African American households. At the height of affirmative action, African American household income was not increasing faster, or decreasing slower, than white household incomes.
  22. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    44, you say that I wanted to use the blog as a starting-point for dialog, and in that respect you?re spot-on. I added that ?but? in there because I know just how easy it is for people to scream ?zomg teh bias!11!!1!!? rather than discuss the issue at-hand. Lo and behold? raised_brow

    But you didn't, because you didn't supply any dialog. no discussion or analysis. All you basically did was say "look at what Cafferty told me to think..does everyone agree?"

    Soooo?if you say you have no problem with my topic, then by all means, let?s discuss it: Why do so many poor people vote Republican?

    Well, again, you have to define what you mean. The simple answer is that your statement is not a true one. But the actual answer can only be determined by facts. In IL, Texas, and Michigan, the situations are reversed. "So many poor people" vote democratic, not republican. In IL and Texas specifically, the educated middle/upper class also goes for the GOP. Are there other states like that? We'd have to look. But there is also different kinds of "poor," which I explored in one of my above replies, and which J-Rod also mentioned. Are the poor in rural Mississippi the same as the poor in urban Chicago? Are fixed income retirees in Florida, who probably have a pension and health care, even if they don't have a lot of disposable income, the same as an unemployed 25 year old in Detroit? None of this is examined by your question.

    What also isn't examined at all is how the voting process affects the topic. All Cafferty did was make a list based on something...(as it wasn't census data...)and then he wrote about his assumption, and you went along with it as if it was a declared truth. But again, a state like Tennessee is "red" only by about 400,000 votes. Oregon is "blue" by about a 1.4% difference in population, which is extremely close. Illinois has always been close. If in the next election, Illinois goes for the GOP, do all of IL's policies suddenly switch to the other column? This makes no sense. Are you suggesting that the successes or failures of each state is solely determined by these voting percentages, and not by specific policies or other economic realities? That doesn't make sense either. For example, if you take Mississippi, which is the lowest on either list, Harrison County is solidly blue. Lee County is solidly blue. Harrison County is the seat of Mississippi's shipping centers. Lee County has Mississippi's cultural attractions. Hinds County, where Jackson, the largest city sits, is red. In other words, Mississippi's business and financial centers are republican, while the urban center is democratic. This probably doesn't come as any great surprise. But it also isn't reflected in a blanket statement like "Mississippi is the "poorest" state, it must be because it votes GOP..."

    So now, I've looked at 4-5 states where the reality is different, and more complicated than, simply saying "oh, this state is blue, it must be this...or oh, this state is red is must be something else..." So the question back at you is, if you're going strictly by a state's political party affiliation as indicated by election results, which makes no sense whatsoever, which factors determine a state's economic standing according to the criteria you're using?



  23. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    Lee County per capita income: 18,956 (4th in state)
    Harrison County per capita income: $18,024 (6th in state)

    Jackson County per capita income: $17,768 (8th in state)


    Anyhow, what I'm basically getting from you Mr44, is that it's incorrect to say that Mississippi votes Republican and is poor? All this time it's been a wealthy blue state?
  24. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Really Gandy, is that all you see? What I'm saying spans both parties.

    Lee County per capita income: 18,956 (4th in state)
    Harrison County per capita income: $18,024 (6th in state)
    Jackson County per capita income: $17,768 (8th in state)
    Anyhow, what I'm basically getting from you Mr44, is that it's incorrect to say that Mississippi votes Republican and is poor? All this time it's been a wealthy blue state?


    Seriuosly, though, that's my mistake-stupid US color representations being reversed. Switch those color designators. Harrison and Lee are red, ie GOP... Jackson is blue, ie Democrat... So in other words, the most wealthiet areas of Mississippi are the republican voting areas. The financial and culutral areas in Mississippi go to the GOP, then I switched the colors in my post.

    But regardless, it's all relative. Mississippi has the lowest per captia income, but it also has the lowest costs of living. A decent house in Mississippi still might cost $90,000, where the same house in San Fransisco might cost $500,000.. Is that a true measure of wealth? Could someone say "Mississippi is the poorest state and it votes republican?" Sure, they're not wrong, but what's the point? That's meaningless on its own. Because Mississippi is a mixture of both, and in fact, the democratic voting areas are among the most poor for Mississippi. Someone could also say that California also has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, and its democratic. That would be accurate as well. But again, to what end? Is California's crippling unemployment the result of simply voting democratic? Do Democrats shun jobs as a political party? I don't know, you tell me if that makes sense on its own.

    There are ways to explore and examine such things as poverty and unemployment, and simply looking at blanket voting percentages makes the least amount of sense.
  25. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Then maybe I misunderstood, because I thought the point of this part of the discussion was how income and poverty influences voting habits particularly in the red south, not necessarily how voting habits influence income and poverty. Why do rural white poor think of their own interests as fundamentally different than those of, say, urban black poor?