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Census Bureau: Majority of Affluent Counties In Northeast US

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the water-runs-downhill dept.

Stats 285

An anonymous reader writes "I'm not a big fan of heat maps, but the US Census Bureau has just released a set of maps that succinctly capture average income distribution across the US. BusinessInsider points out that well over half of the most affluent counties in the US are concentrated in the Northeast (counting Virginia, presumably for the suburbs of Washington, D.C. located in that southern state). Of course, the cost of living is higher in those counties as well. Meanwhile, poor counties tend to be clustered in the southeast and in southwestern states on the Mexican border. There is good news for the northern prarie states, though, particularly North and South Dakota, as they lead in the number of counties with gains in household income over the past five years."

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285 comments

red v blue (3, Interesting)

Jack Griffin (3459907) | about 4 months ago | (#45693989)

I'm not from the US, so I never understood why poor people vote conservative? All the red states seem to be poorer yet these are the people that would benefit most from a "socialist" left govt. In every western democracy I've been in there's a clear cut bias, rich white people vote right and all the multi-coloured worker-bees vote left. Why is the US the opposite?

Re:red v blue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694019)

We have a very very very stupid population. Public school systems of the poor are very bad. If your rich and you live in a well to do area of an impoverished city for instance you send your kids to private school. If your poor in a city you send your kids to public school. If your city is poor your schools are poor. If you live in a more rural area with money such as the suburbs (NJ) then your kids are probably attending a good public school which has lots of money from the wealthy which surround that school. The public schools are paid for by the local populations and not at a national level. Its up to each state to decide how to fund its public school system. Technically there may be some states that do it differently although I think most are like this (ie poor areas have bad public schools, rich kids gets sent to private schools, etc). This is how we keep black people and people who lack education from integrating with the rest of us rich folks. It's a two-class system without actually defining class.

Re:red v blue (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694073)

BS.... Schools receive plenty of federal funding... Look at Chicago Illinois, one of the worst school records in the US and the last time I look the majority of citizens were pretty damn poor (Democrat voters too).. Teachers avg salary? WAY above the national average.

Get a clue sheeple.

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694127)

It's irrelevant. Cherry picking examples that may or may not show your viewpoint is statistically unsound.

There are other issues besides the way schools are funded. Kids living in poverty are also negatively impacted by crime, lack of parental involvement (because the US doesn't ensure a basic standard of living adequate to enable parental involvement), lack of an educated population that is intelligent enough to influence ones offspring, and more.

Re: red v blue (1)

alen (225700) | about 4 months ago | (#45694227)

There Are a lot of public schools in the northeast better than most private schools. Too bad most them cost a lot of property taxes to get into

Re: red v blue (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694301)

I just want to tell you that while others may try to pick apart your answer, you were dead on. I grew up in suburban New Jersey, went to public school, never finished college and still managed to land a $150k job just based on my skills and public school education. Ignore the naysayers. You nailed it.

Urban versus rural [Re:red v blue] (5, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 4 months ago | (#45694639)

I'm not from the US, so I never understood why poor people vote conservative?

Liberals don't understand this either, so your lack of understanding doesn't stem from not being from the US.

Liberalism is, overall, the urban and suburban political philosophy; conservatism is typically the rural political philosophy. Rural counties are poorer than urban ones, resulting in the political split you see.

Liberalism is not really marketed to people outside of the urban centers. Most liberals don't seem to have much interest in what people in those areas think, other than making quips like that one: "We have a very very very stupid population". (The people in rural areas think exactly the same thing.)

Re:Urban versus rural [Re:red v blue] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694747)

Amusing to know that most people in the Urban centers would starve to death of not for the Rual areas.

Of course, if New York was wiped off the face of the planet, people would have to do without....um...what?

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694021)

There is a positive correlation between religiosity, lack of intelligence and formal education, and conservatism. Why is that so I can only speculate.

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694053)

really?? Because the real poor have been voting democrat all their lives... Now we have generational welfare!!! YEAAAAA.... And their as poor as ever.. Bet that's all the conservatives fault too?

LOL, sheep - get a clue.

Actually I've heard it's a curve (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 4 months ago | (#45695197)

Where the really poor/stupid and the really rich/smart tend to vote democrat. The group that I've heard that tends to vote republican is the middle class, especially the upper middle class. (No I don't have a site for that. Also I'm not going to say lib/conservative because to be blunt they don't seem that different to me.)

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694443)

You missed the belief that I am really a down on my luck Billionaire but one day my ship will come in, ignoring the fact that those already there are doing everything to pull the ladder up behind them and will find some way to take a large % of that ship if it ever does.

Speaking as a non-American (3, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | about 4 months ago | (#45694037)

But I have observed that whether there is a big D or R as POTUS, it doesn't really affect political outcomes as much as it may seem. Take for example the relatively new in vogue maneuver of 'redistricting' and 'gerrymandering', perhaps the true root of systemic dysfunction. Essentially a practice of 'divide and conquer', where private interests successfully co-opt larger societal movements. Witness the dysfunction in Congress --- the power players love it! All those political lobbyists, media manipulators, spin doctors, fringe politicians preaching destruction of the government, fat cat hedgefunders, and sycophants of every political and religious affiliation ect... Who would want to change the status quo when they're making so much money from it?

Re:Speaking as a non-American (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694077)

Hardly new. Gerrymander is the first thing taught in Texas H.S. civics at least since I went, which was several wars back. There is nothing new about it unless you are of the it's so old it's new set.

Re:Speaking as a non-American (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 4 months ago | (#45694083)

Take for example the relatively new in vogue maneuver of 'redistricting' and 'gerrymandering',...

Considering that the term "gerrymander" was coined in 1812, I am not sure how you conclude that it is relatively new. I remember reading in the 1980s about a Congressional District that snaked its way across a state. The district was 1 or 2 miles wide and about 100 miles long. This practice has been going on for basically as long as the United States has been around.

Re:Speaking as a non-American (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694187)

It's as if it was named after someone [wikipedia.org]....

Re:Speaking as a non-American (1)

Weh (219305) | about 4 months ago | (#45694405)

it's called gerrymandering I believe. Democracy in the US is absurdly broken, corporate and special interests campaign money, gerrymandering, fillibustering, all degrade the once shining example of democracy that the US once was.

Re:red v blue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694049)

Republicans are self righteous and believe that they don't want or need hand outs and hate people who take them. This includes many people who are on government support as they will then say that those programs are OK or that 'other' people are the problem not them, etc. For all the supposed religious fervor they also tend to believe strongly in survival of the fittest and saving face is more important than doing better.

Re:red v blue (3, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 4 months ago | (#45694061)

The key difference between the U.S. and other countries in this regard is that in most countries your choice is between a "left" and "right" that both favor increased government power over the economy. In the U.S. the "right" actually proposes reducing government power and, to the extent it actually does so, thus opens greater opportunities for those who are not yet wealthy. As government power increases and it regulates ever more minutely the opportunities for those who do not have wealth and/or political connections are diminished.

Re:red v blue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694115)

In the U.S. the "right" actually proposes reducing government power

Like when they impose laws requiring [completely irrelevant] vaginal ultrasounds prior to aborts, or outlawing sodomy? Or when they act in order to increase military spending? Probably you're referring to the privatization of services, or "corporatization" of the government... an excellent way to hinder accountability and increase costs to the citizens. But don't think you're "reducing government power"... it is still the same, only you're being governed by corporations. There go the humans, here come the pigs, yet the farm is still the same.

and, to the extent it actually does so, thus opens greater opportunities for those who are not yet wealthy.

:D
Thank you, I was in need of a good laugh.

Re:red v blue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694769)

What a fucking moron you are.

Re:red v blue (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694235)

If you really believe what you just wrote (that the "right" actually proposes reducing government and that less government opens greater opportunities for the poor), then your comment explains the situation perfectly, but not in the way you intended.

Re:red v blue (4, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | about 4 months ago | (#45694333)

Bullshit the "right" wants to reduce power.

The "right" only say they want to reduce prower, but in reality want to expand it as much as the "Left"

Take the TSA, Dept of Homeland Security, etc. Or if you want something more recent the "right" republican author of the patriot is pissed the law is being used the way it is. He thinks it is gross over step and proposed a law to change it. His solution? Spend tens of millions of dollars annually on high priced lawyers with top secret clearances to act as a legal advocate for the people so it wouldn't just be the NSA and the judge in FISA court room.

If you actually believe in the bullshit about power reduction then you are a fucking idiot. Because not one of their laws actually will reduce government power. They just want to push that power to the corporations. The "spending" cuts basically only take away services that the poor use. while taxing them for the privilege of being able to use the remaining. If the "Right" really wanted smaller government the the DHS, TSA, and DOD each need to be cut in half. Cut those down and i will agree to cut equal cuts elsewhere.

But no one on the "right" will ever actually make the government smaller just shuffle it around so their Rich friends gets all the benefits.

Re:red v blue (0)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 4 months ago | (#45694353)

So, what you are saying is that politicians claim to be on the "right" and then once they get into power, they operate from the "left's" perspective that increasing government power is in their own interest? And your answer to this problem is to vote for politicians who openly ADVOCATE for increasing government control over your life?

Re: red v blue (2, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | about 4 months ago | (#45694467)

You would rather vote for some one who would lie to you about their Intention's?
The first thing republicans do in office isn't to make a smaller government. It is to force Christian values on everyone. Usually in government run and paid for systems.

Re: red v blue (-1, Flamebait)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 4 months ago | (#45694521)

As opposed to Democrats who proceed to make Christian values illegal?

Re: red v blue (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694723)

As opposed to Republicans, who read the clause in the First Amendment about Freedom of religion as "freedom of Judeo-Christian beliefs." It's one thing to practice your religion. It's another to use the law to force those values on others. If you believe that, Attlila, I can get you a white hood or a brown shirt that would fit you better.

Re: red v blue (-1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 4 months ago | (#45694559)

I forgot to mention, you would rather vote for someone who promises to enslave you than someone who promises to free you because you think the person who is promising to free you is lying. If the person promising to free you wins and was lying you are, at the worst, no worse off than if the person who promised to enslave you wins. On the other hand, there is always a chance that the person who promised to free you will, this time, prove to be a person of their word. There is little chance that the person promising to enslave you will not do so, since their own interests are served by doing so.

Re:red v blue (1, Informative)

gtall (79522) | about 4 months ago | (#45694609)

You are not making the right distinctions, in some sense the gp wasn't either. The Tea Party is not the old right wing of the Republican Party in the sense of Reagan. The Tea Party is essentially composed of libertarians who really do want less government including the TSA, the military, no EPA, no OSHA, no federal money for schools, etc. The older right wing of the Republican Party believes in a strong TSA, a strong military, no EPA, no OSHA, no federal money for schools, etc. The Republicans in general in the country are probably somewhere in between...at least until the terrorists acquire real weapons (chem, an odd nuke or two). The current debate over NSA and its reach is also only applicable up until the terrorists get those weapons, then there won't be that much opposition from the Libertarians except the die head Paul supporters.

Re:red v blue (5, Insightful)

immaterial (1520413) | about 4 months ago | (#45694355)

As an AC pointed out, your (delusional) reply illustrates the problem perfectly.

Common sense and hard data both point to strong social safety nets improving opportunity, and increasing entrepreneurship and the number of small businesses [reuters.com]. There are two main reasons for this:
1. The safety net makes it much more possible to take the chance of starting your own business. Failure means you may lose your investment capital, but your family won't starve, won't lose their healthcare, won't lose their retirement, and won't lose access to a thorough education.
2. The safety net levels the "benefits" playing field between small business and large corporations. Not only does the US's system of employer-based healthcare make it more difficult and risky for those who try to start a small business, but it gives large, established companies an advantage because they have the size and weight to push for better deals.

The ONLY people whose economic opportunities are strengthened by the lack of a social safety net are the people who are already on top, who already own large companies and already make loads of money. They don't want competition from employees who can easily quit and start their own company. But even the rich would probably benefit in the long run, because pushing your customer base into abject poverty is not a way to increase sales (IMO right now they're coasting along on their ability to make goods dirty cheap by using third-world labor).

Re:red v blue (2, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 4 months ago | (#45694381)

Of course, the flip side of that is that the increased regulations of every kind of business that are implemented alongside of those "safety nets" make it harder to start a business. You are correct that employer based health insurance (not actually health care itself, but merely the way that it is paid for) make it more difficult to start your own business. Of course, the solution to that is NOT the government taking control of health care and being the only source of a way to pay for health care. Rather the solution is to eliminate the tax preferences given for employer provided health insurance.
The question I have is, if the only people who benefit from times when the political philosophy of reducing government power are those already on top, why does income inequality increase when the President favors income redistribution (such as currently) and decrease when the President favors empowering people to take control of their own lives by reducing federal regulations (such as when Ronald Reagan was President)?

Re:red v blue (3, Insightful)

mjm1231 (751545) | about 4 months ago | (#45694585)

If you are looking for empirical evidence, maybe instead of looking at the wish lists of Presidents, you might want to look at what was actually implemented by the congress at the same time.

Re:red v blue (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 4 months ago | (#45694655)

Well, considering that a significant factor in the increased income inequality under our current President is a result of laws passed during his first two years, when Congress was controlled by people who also favor wealth redistribution. It is worth noting that 1/2 of Congress is STILL controlled by the Democratic Party which openly espouses wealth redistribution (while being composed of some of the richest people in the country and whose think tanks and political action committees receive the bulk of corporate political contributions).

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694813)

Well, considering that a significant factor in the increased income inequality under our current President

You're trolling, right? If you want to find out who paved the way for the absurd disparity between wealthy and poor, you don't need to look further than Reagan. No doubt both parties are working in unison to fuck the average citizen, but republicans are much more engaged and explicit in their actions.

Re:red v blue (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 4 months ago | (#45694789)

You are correct that employer based health insurance (not actually health care itself, but merely the way that it is paid for) make it more difficult to start your own business.

You don't know what you're talking about. Companies don't even have to think about employee health insurance until they have 50 employees.

Now what are these other "regulations" that you speak of that supposedly make it so difficult to start a business in the US?

Re:red v blue (3, Interesting)

tranquilidad (1994300) | about 4 months ago | (#45695111)

We just started a training business last year.

It cost us about $10,000 to start that business. $4,000 was spent on the material we needed, web site, logos, etc.

$6,000 was spent, mostly on legal fees, on licenses and making sure we adhered to government regulations at multiple levels.

Those things we needed to build the business that came from private parties (bank accounts, uniforms, office supplies, etc.) could be satisfied in a matter of days. The longest and most difficult was getting an extended validation SSL for our web site - that took two weeks because we needed a letter from our attorney.

Anything we needed from a government agency took months with multiple calls.

All items that came from the private sector came from companies that wanted our business and we had choices of providers. This created an incentive for good service and responsiveness.

All items that came from regulatory agencies generally came from organizations that said this is how it is, live with it and you better not fail any of the steps or you, literally, won't be in business.

I can say that there was one agency that approached the problem like the private sector and that was a state agency responsible for issuing state-level trade and service marks. This particular state had a web-site and 24 hour response to our applications.

We used a particular service to walk us through the various government regulations at a total cost of about $1,500. Without that service it would have taken months and months just to figure out what regulations we needed to follow and, frankly, we probably wouldn't have even attempted the exercise.

Re:red v blue (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 4 months ago | (#45695285)

We used a particular service to walk us through the various government regulations at a total cost of about $1,500. Without that service it would have taken months and months just to figure out what regulations we needed to follow and, frankly, we probably wouldn't have even attempted the exercise.

Almost every town and city has an economic development office which can help you with all of this for free. There is also the Chamber of Commerce and other quasi public/private entities such as the SBTDC that can help you with this for free.

That being said, if you had to spend $1500 for help figuring out the gov't stuff, either the people running your company aren't too sharp, or you're doing something absurdly complicated, like generating power for public utilities.

THAT being said, a few grand to start an apparently complicated business is NOT a large barrier to entry.

For most simple, small businesses in the US, it's a matter of forming an LLC with the Secretary of State, getting a town/city permit, getting an FEIN, and you're good to go. You seem to be describing a business that is a web site. Again, unless that web site is doing something very exotic, it shouldn't take that much effort.

Re:red v blue (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694883)

Ok, if your post is true then nobody would be a conservative. Many people, including intelligent ones (and most doctorate level people outside of academia) are conservative. QED you didn't answer the question but instead substituted your own rationale for being liberal, which is somewhat irrelevant.

Southerners traditionally favor autonomy and distrust the government for various historic reasons. Those who rise out of poverty often overly value initiative and hard work, and would rather keep more of their earnings than to support those without it. Finally, from my experience in living in ground zero for poverty, welfare doesn't do much except make you dependant on the government. My home county has lost essentially all non-government jobs due to the free money, so people live a humiliating and destitute existance on $710 per month.

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45695183)

Let me point out, as a cancer patient, I DARE NEVER stop working at a large company with a group health policy. The Obamacare policies do not cover chemotherapy, nor will they cover my specific doctor. I've looked numerous times at how the "previous conditions" are handled with it and they basically aren't. The Obamacare care treatment of cancer is you need to die quickly and cheaply, and if you DARE say anything to the news outlets about it the IRS will target you.

Because of "safety nets" I will NEVER have the opportunity to start my own business. Not sure where you get your line of crap, but reality does not match up.

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694563)

"In the U.S. the "right" actually proposes reducing government power and, to the extent it actually does so"

they haven't done anything to that effect in decades. and in fact the right, with their unholy alliance with religion are the biggest threat to civil liberties in the country.

you are also wrong about other countries 'left and 'right'. other countries have more then 2 choices.

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694869)

Not no, but hell no.

When the Right gets into power, they have extended it further than ever, the left isn't much better by don't flat out lie about it.

The Right want to get the government to back entrenched business as much as possible while erecting barriers to entry on the newcomers and screwing the bottom as much as possible in the process while claiming they want smaller government but at the same time also funneling countless of billions of dollars to the military and prison systems to be funneled to private contractors through them and using them to further suppress the bottom.

The Left is actually also very right leaning in the US as well and are doing the same thing just to a lesser extreme while attempting to say they are trying to help the lower class and hold the top accountable but never actually doing it.

We have ZERO left leaning parties in the US right now, we just have the left and right branch of the business party where each of them is trying to sell us out to the highest bidder and the only difference they have in practice is which sponsor they are selling us to.

Re:red v blue (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694081)

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” --Steinbeck

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694249)

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” --Steinbeck

I can think of nothing that needs to be added to that, and it isn't even a modern quote.

Re:red v blue (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about 4 months ago | (#45694737)

A true statement today as well as then; but AFAIK this quote has yet to be verified. Undoubtedly matches Steinbeck's views, but nobody's been able to track the wording down.

Re:red v blue (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#45694101)

Re poor people vote conservative?
Think of the USA as a vast melting pot of people escaping the poverty and evil of a faith/class/wealth/royal systems of their old countries.
When entering the USA they saw that they had many new 'freedoms' but still had a wealth/power structure to consider if they every wanted to move up in society.
In different parts of the US the party machines where unique to each region and over generations set patterns of votes.
Local issues of farm taxes, hunting rights, corruption, inheritance taxes, faith, crime rates, gov spending (unemployment spending or military industrial complex) can all shape regions or not.
Some parties can just ignore regions or people knowing they will never get their 'vote' - over generations it becomes a way of life no matter the total corruption.
Add in think tanks and massive spending on shaping voters emotions and the US can be very interesting per region swapping out a political duopoly :)
Other parts of the world have a more clear rich vs poor, working class vs power systems and faith.

Re:red v blue (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694113)

Some insight may be that poor people tend to have less education, therefore more believe in a personal Jesus in the US, and the party that wears Jesus on their sleeves? Republicans.

Personal speculation, correlation is not causation, etc. But something to consider.

Re:red v blue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694119)

Watch this an you'll understand why Americans are so stupid. At least half the population watches nothing but fox news and/or the '700 club'. These programs literally tell people what to think and twist news (or make up news) in such a way that it sounds that they're being threatened or going to lose something if everybody doesn't attack gay people/Jews/Muslims/civil liberties groups (who by the way continue to fight for religious freedom of all things, but you won't hear that from the right wing nut jobs!) then your not a good Christian and these groups will persecute you. They even turn social programs to help the poor into programs that benefit the rich and steal from the poor! "Obamacare" is a perfect example of this. I don't know if it was the religious right which came up with this legislation orginally although its ultimately directly funding the pockets of the elite by taking money from the poor (by forcing those who can't afford health insurance to get it, and those who can't afford even that, to get it via government funds). So in essence the government literally refuses to pay for peoples health care costs but has not problem paying large health insurance companies that are making a profit on it to pay for very limited health insurance!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL4dXfiXR7M

Re: red v blue (1)

JWW (79176) | about 4 months ago | (#45694797)

I just love hearing liberals complain: you ignorant fucks should vote for us because you're stupid.

I'm sure that'll convince them. Perhaps they don't support you libs because you hate and ridicule them. It's your prerogative, you can do that if you want. But if you think ridiculing people will make them want to vote your way, then who is the stupid one?

Re:red v blue (2)

mjm1231 (751545) | about 4 months ago | (#45694123)

Or look at it the other way around. Overlay the blue state/red state voting patterns. Now tell me which party's economic policies lead to more favorable outcomes.

Re:red v blue (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694131)

Truth vs Reality. The media would have you believe that evil white republicans are all from the S. and W. part of the country. While the educated liberal elites who want to help humanity are all from the N. and E. parts of the country. In reality in order to help someone you have to be better than them. A poor person can't do much good for a poor person. However a rich person can do a great deal of good for the poor. In order to be rich you have to have more money than a poor person. How do you get more money than a poor person. You provide low cost housing to the poor. The liberal east coast do gooder elite are all in bed with the centers of power in the United States. They offer subsidized housing and food for the poor because they are such nice guys. In the process they make billions. It is only right that the rich educated east coast elite should make some money of their generosity. The stupid white racist living in the S. and W part of the country see what is going on and object. They are therefore conservative (not republican, which is pretty much the same thing as a demoncrat it is just spelled differently). They are therefore painted as rabid right wing idealogs who want ot kill president Obama. The media is making money of the present system so they are content to let things pass the way they are and keep reporting the news; and by news I mean discuss important things like Mylie Cyrus twerking.

Re:red v blue (1)

davide marney (231845) | about 4 months ago | (#45694199)

The reason why some poor people vote conservative is because they are still independent-minded. They believe that to be beholden to another is to be in their debt, which puts one in a lower social position. To be self-sufficient is to be proud and free.

However, there aren't actually that many poor people who vote conservative. Large cities attract poor people precisely because of more liberal government programs, and large cities are overwhelmingly liberal. Look at http://www.politico.com/2013-election/results/map/#/Governor/2013/VA [politico.com] as an example. Liberals live in big cities. Conservatives live in the country.

Re:red v blue (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 months ago | (#45694297)

The reason why some poor people vote conservative is because they are still independent-minded.

Far from it. They believe whatever Fox News or Talk Radio tells them to think.

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694345)

The reason why some poor people vote conservative is because they are still independent-minded.

Far from it. They believe whatever Fox News or Talk Radio tells them to think.

Unlike the enlightened liberals, who believe whatever MSNBC/CNN or The New York Times tells them to think.

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694357)

MSNBC is undisguised liberalism. It's like Fox tried to fake out the world, and MSNBC took the bait.

CNN International is not great, but is alright. It's what you get these days.

New York Times actually has journalists. Maybe the opinion page is slanted... I never read that. Who can afford to pay for a paper everyday?

And no one speaks of ABC, but they used to be really good....

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694963)

Conservatives existed long before talk radio and Fox News. While I'm not conservative (far from it), much of family is and none listen to Rush or watch Fox News.

Re:red v blue (0)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 months ago | (#45694253)

Poor people are usually poorly educated and often unintelligent.

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694321)

If Democrats are so smart why don't they win more often?

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694281)

Because in other countries race and religion are not as big a factor in the voting trend.

Re:red v blue (4, Interesting)

djmurdoch (306849) | about 4 months ago | (#45694293)

I'm not from the US, so I never understood why poor people vote conservative?

They don't. In each state, the poorer people are more likely to vote Democrat, the richer people are more likely to vote Republican.

However, richer states are more likely to vote Democrat, and poorer states are more likely to vote Republican.

So perhaps the question should be posed the other way: if your state votes Republican, why is it poorer?

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694341)

Maybe some people think there's more to life than just money.

Economics does not explain all of human behavior (something the libertarians desperately need to learn).

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694395)

I'm not from the US, so I never understood why poor people vote conservative? All the red states seem to be poorer yet these are the people that would benefit most from a "socialist" left govt. In every western democracy I've been in there's a clear cut bias, rich white people vote right and all the multi-coloured worker-bees vote left. Why is the US the opposite?

Let John Steinback explain the phenomenon to you:

"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694505)

It doesn't really matter. The left wing elite lives in the Northeast, Washington D.C., and in California, and do their best to take all the money using the power of government and cultural influence. The reason the Dakotas are doing well is because of vast oil reserves, but the left is doing their best to put a stop to that and make sure that money stays in the northeast, D.C, and California.

In other words, what most people think about the U.S. is wrong.

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694527)

religion and fox news.

Re:red v blue (1)

Kilo Kilo (2837521) | about 4 months ago | (#45694577)

Not all poor people vote conservative, look at how all the inner city areas vote. Also, "conservatives" don't like the idea of govt handouts. Not that this would prevent the trailer trash from taking the welfare check, but this would go against a basic conservative belief.

Re:red v blue (1)

Livius (318358) | about 4 months ago | (#45694663)

Normally, people embrace beliefs that favour their own self-interest. People who are rich believe in capitalism, people who are poor believe in socialism, and people with nothing believe in communism.

For all their talk, the US, especially the less educated, subconsciously believe in the Great Chain of Being, the mediaeval notion that people have a divinely ordained place in a social hierarchy. Since God choose the rich to be rich, and the poor to be poor, it is God's will that the rich steal from the poor, and the poor are expected to be grateful when it happens to them.

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694669)

Here, the divide is basically the same it was for the Civil War. Virginia is a battleground state, as it was in the war. The Midwest is neutral. The Northeast is more liberal. The South is conservative. The Southern culture has tended to be resistant to change, holding on to the ideals of the past. The Northeast has always been the bastion of the "liberal elite". In the past ten years, especially, politics has gone from being a means to an end, to being the end that justifies the means.

As far as the rich/poor part, you can blame that on the success of Republicans to corner their base(white males), and the Democrats' failure to give a strong message in words that would attract such a group. Poor, working class whites tend to be patriotic, religious, and very NIMBY in their views. For many, they are against gun control, for the military, and against the government, in their view, "telling them what to do." They believe in the conservative view that, left alone, the economy will run smooth, and all will share in the benefits. Of course, every year, a survey like this shows just how wrong they are.

If you have a culture of beliefs among a certain demographic, it takes a LOT to change those beliefs.

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694677)

They actually don't. The middle class and wealthy in areas with lots of poor people vote very conservative. Or depending on how you see the causation, areas where the middle class and wealthy vote very conservatively end up with lots of poor people.

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694691)

I understand that it would be immoral to use government to steal other peoples property simply because doing so might benefit me. If you believe otherwise you have a criminal mentality.

Re:red v blue (1)

fatphil (181876) | about 4 months ago | (#45694731)

This "left" you speak of, where is it?
Certainly not in the UK: http://www.politicalcompass.org/images/enPartiesTime.gif
Duverger's law in action...

Re:red v blue (1)

elbonia (2452474) | about 4 months ago | (#45694821)

That's not that case AT ALL. Take a look at California which has a very wealthy population, the rich there lean more to the left. The rich put [slate.com] Obama into office. Also in the South, Republicans tend to provide the people with most of their jobs since Republicans are very heavy on defense spending. Most military bases [csmonitor.com] and recruitment [startribune.com] are in the South and with the US spending [wikipedia.org] nearly 3/4 of a trillion dollars each year on defense the South gains the most.

Re:red v blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694911)

It is called God and Christian Fundamentalism. Poor people in the SouthEast follow the teachings of their church more than the teachings of their schools. Since the Republicans are the Christian party (even though nothing Christ taught is anywhere close to the Republican party, except the stance on abortion) they all blindly vote Republican then go back to their hovel and starve.

Re:red v blue (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45695031)

I grew up in the deep south so I can explain. Most of middle America is very rural and homogeneous. You grow up white, protestant, and middle class around people who all share similar conservative beliefs and are rarely exposed to different ways of thinking that would challenge those beliefs, and you are sheltered from life experiences that would challenge your beliefs. So, a sort of group think takes hold. Politically, the group think revolves around social conservative issues: gay marriage, abortion, taxes, guns, etc. You live your whole life never knowing anything else and you become afraid of anything that might challenge that.

Where as on the coasts, the population is more exposed to immigrants, there is more trade activity involving foreign countries, the larger population density allows more opportunities for people to exchange ideas, etc.

Ask a silly question... (0)

arcite (661011) | about 4 months ago | (#45693991)

Why do wealthy people live in those areas? Because that's where the money is. Meanwhile, Republican supporters (predominantly living in lower income areas), will continue to vote against their own best interests.

Re:Ask a silly question... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694331)

People don't vote conservative because they hate poor people. They vote conservative because conservative policies are better for everyone, including poor people.

Let's look at say, Social Security. Social Security, like all liberal policies, sounds good. But in reality, it fucks poor people. In a thousand different ways. They pay more and get less. And that's ignoring that it goes broke in less than twenty years. When it does, benefits will be cut across the board by 25%. Everyone under 40 is being fucked by social security right now. We pay 12.4%. The program will literally run out of money before we collect a cent. But if you even suggest making any change to the program, liberals, the "defenders of the poor" will run advertisements showing you running seniors off a cliff.

People vote conservative because they are paying attention.

Gains in North Dakota (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694095)

That's mostly due to the oil boom. 3 years ago, you'd be lucky to make $9/hr at the local Wal-mart when at that point apartment rates had already hiked up to $900-$1000/month.

While the oil found is certainly helping economic stimulation, apartment rent prices and food prices have traditionally been higher and only continue to spiral out of control while all standard forms of common labor drag their heels.

Imagine my surprise moving to a major metropolitan area on the west coast where prices on apartments around the same price or cheaper and where a gallon of whole milk went from $4.99 down to $3.59 and all prices matched about fairly while pay rates are significantly higher.

If you're not in the oil industry or something that pays well (farmers?) then there is literally no reason to stay there.

Could RACE have anything to do with it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694133)

If only those damn 'racist' white people would stop 'holding black people down', I'm sure the genetic IQ gap would magically disappear...

Wyoming (1)

LordNacho (1909280) | about 4 months ago | (#45694203)

Looks quite green. What do they get up to there? Big agro / natural resources?

Re:Wyoming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694209)

Oil and farming. There's not much else in Wyoming. Big names in drilling have their businesses based there.

speaking as an ex NOVA resident (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694217)

...living amongst the herd of government workers, let me be the first to say that it's wealthy but a complete shithole.

Yeah, people have lots of cars and well-maintained lawns, but the atmosphere is dull and the air is stuffy. :People walk nowhere, they can't hold a proper conversation, they demonstrate little knowledge beyond their own sphere (and even less ability to learn), their bigotry is palpable, and their imagination for leisure time extends little beyond bars and television.

I don't want to live in abject poverty, but give me somewhere with spirit any day. Give me people who speak to each other, who know each other, who express a culture, who welcome others. Sure, they have to live with fewer Things, but they are actually alive.

Sincerely,

A once over privileged cunt who gave away most of his shit and gained some humanity.

Re:speaking as an ex NOVA resident (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694969)

> A once over privileged cunt who gave away most of his shit and gained some humanity.

So please tell us where you moved? Perhaps an older big city neighborhood (close packed houses or brownstones), or to a college town like Ithaca or Madison?

Or did you just move to Burning Man for a week...

Something must be done (1)

davide marney (231845) | about 4 months ago | (#45694221)

Hey, this is an easy one. Just move 9/10ths of those people out of the cities and force them to live in rural counties. Problem solved! No more "inequality"

Something must be done
This is something,
Therefore it must be done.

Re:Something must be done (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 months ago | (#45694275)

Just move 9/10ths of those people out of the cities and force them to live in rural counties.

. . . or the other way around.

There is plenty of room on the sprawling Kennedy Mansion estate in Hyannis Port for a trailer park. The Kennedy's are always talking about helping out the poor folks like me. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I set up camp in my trailer on their front lawn.

The heat maps are misleading (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | about 4 months ago | (#45694263)

Those maps are reasonably accurate from a geographic point of view, but they hugely distort the actual distribution of wealth in the population, because the population isn't distributed evenly. They would be less misleading if they had used cartograms, e.g. this one of 2012 election results [dailykos.com]. Those would show that there is a big concentration of wealth on the west coast and near Chigago as well as the one on the east coast.

Possible link? (1)

jamesl (106902) | about 4 months ago | (#45694265)

Of course, the cost of living is higher in those counties as well.

If there weren't so many highly paid people living and working there, chasing housing, food and services with their dollars, perhaps the cost of living wouldn't be as high.

Or you could say ...

Of course, the cost of living is lower in the poor counties as well.

Liberalism Works! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694319)

Notice all the wealth is concentrated in Blue regions. From this it is reasonable to conclude that liberalism makes people rich!

We need more liberalism!

Ever wondered how many BLACK kids are shot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694383)

on the streets during a Chicago school year? You'll never know because no one counts those down on the south side of Chicago. It is the baddest part of town.

The Bakken Oil Patch Is the Plains Income Source (5, Informative)

jfischersupercollid (99938) | about 4 months ago | (#45694387)

The counties with the sudden increase in income match up with the Bakken oil patch. This is a decent article with a map to illustrate [npr.org]

Sadly, the oil will be extracted, the land will be poisoned, and the workers will leave for another boom and/or gold rush elsewhere, so the counties will be no better off unless they tax the oil extraction effort now.

Re:The Bakken Oil Patch Is the Plains Income Sourc (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694485)

"so the counties will be no better off unless they tax the oil extraction effort now."

And they don't really. The area of Dickinson already went through an oil boom in the late 70s early 80s.
They didn't learn from their mistakes. Most of the area around Villard and to the west was a testament to what happens when you think the money will never stop flowing.

eh (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 4 months ago | (#45694463)

Heat map by county seems like too blunt an instrument. In every county I've lived in there have been pockets of concentrated wealth and pockets of extreme poverty. In the same county. Not sure how useful a county-wide average is.

Re:eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45694547)

Well, it makes people spat over irrelevances instead of concentrating on the core problem: a society based on exploitation rather than cooperation, and people too dull to think the latter is possible.

Cost of Living (1)

Jon the Engineer (3464047) | about 4 months ago | (#45694929)

What about the map that shows the cost of living? The cost of living (food, gas, etc.) is higher in the north east than the south east. Just because somebody makes $100K in the north east doesn't mean they are living any more lavishly or comfortably than some one in the south east making $75K.
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