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Bush/Cheney '04: The rich won this election ...

 
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Nov, 2004 10:38 pm
nimh wrote:
Next time anyone on this board is going to go on about those "liberal elites" and how it's the Republicans who represent "the common folk", I'm gonna remind them of that. The poll shows: the richer, the more likely to have voted Bush.
That's exactly right. But it is just as important to remember that those who intend to be rich, tend to vote like they are rich... which translates to Bush in this case. Income makes a poor measuring stick anyway. The vast majority of millionaires in this country have never earned $150,000 per year. I know people who earn more than that, who will likely never be millionaires. Wealth doesn't come from earning, it comes from saving. A penny saved is a whole lot better than a penny earned.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Nov, 2004 11:10 pm
Finn d'Abuzz wrote:
Putting aside the fact that there are not enough "wealthy" people in this country to elect a president, what if there were, and they did?

Are the votes of the "poor" somehow more sacred than the votes of the "wealthy?"

No. Already answered that (rhetorical) question, see post above yours.

Finn d'Abuzz wrote:
The "poor" vote for candidates who promise to use the taxes paid by the "wealthy" to benefit them.

An elitist who is out of touch with the common person is perfectly capable of recognizing this dynamic and exploiting it.

[..] That someone is "poor" doesn't necessarily mean that they are poorly educated, irresponsible or lacking a proper work ethic.

That someone is "wealthy" doesn't necessarily mean that they are well educated, hard working and responsible.

However, far more often than not, these characteristics go hand in hand with the socio-economic status. In America at least.

Before you go on claiming that the Democrats only pull the "poor" vote because those are people looking for hand-outs and are "more often than not" more "irresponsible or lacking a proper work ethic", please note that Kerry led in all income groups up to $50,000 in family income.

That's a lot of people to be putting down.

Its also a lot of people to be excluding from those mythical "common persons", which the liberal elites apparently are out of touch with, and the majority of all those people earning less than $50,000 are not part of either.

There's something primitive in the rhetorical bashing of the rich, of course. But confronted with a bashing of the poor of the same rhetorical quality, I know which turns me off more.

Makes it very easy to choose sides.
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Nov, 2004 11:30 pm
nimh wrote:
Finn d'Abuzz wrote:
Putting aside the fact that there are not enough "wealthy" people in this country to elect a president, what if there were, and they did?

Are the votes of the "poor" somehow more sacred than the votes of the "wealthy?"

No. Already answered that (rhetorical) question, see post above yours.

Finn d'Abuzz wrote:
The "poor" vote for candidates who promise to use the taxes paid by the "wealthy" to benefit them.

An elitist who is out of touch with the common person is perfectly capable of recognizing this dynamic and exploiting it.

[..] That someone is "poor" doesn't necessarily mean that they are poorly educated, irresponsible or lacking a proper work ethic.

That someone is "wealthy" doesn't necessarily mean that they are well educated, hard working and responsible.

However, far more often than not, these characteristics go hand in hand with the socio-economic status. In America at least.

Before you go on claiming that the Democrats only pull the "poor" vote because those are people looking for hand-outs and are "more often than not" more "irresponsible or lacking a proper work ethic", please note that Kerry led in all income groups up to $50,000 in family income.

That's a lot of people to be putting down.

Its also a lot of people to be excluding from those mythical "common persons", which the liberal elites apparently are out of touch with, and the majority of all those people earning less than $50,000 are not part of either.

There's something primitive in the rhetorical bashing of the rich, of course. But confronted with a bashing of the poor of the same rhetorical quality, I know which turns me off more.

Makes it very easy to choose sides.


I am not bashing "the poor." I am bashing people who are irresponsible and lacking a work ethic, and noting that it is hardly a coincidence that the majority of such people are "poor."

Your desire to defend the poor and malign the wealthy is born of politics and European politcs at that.

I am also not claiming that Democrats only attract the poor votes, and your indignation that I might be, is somewhat amusing considering the thrust of your post: The wealthy elected Bush.

You also, apparently, are reluctant to appreciate that an elitist need not be in touch with the common man (irrespective of how you define him) to exploit him. Not all Liberals are elitists, but there is absolutely nothing in your statistics that proves the notion that Liberal politicians are elitists out of touch with the common man to be inane.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 12:30 am
Finn d'Abuzz wrote:
I am not bashing "the poor." I am bashing people who are irresponsible and lacking a work ethic, and noting that it is hardly a coincidence that the majority of such people are "poor."

Which you define, apparently (considering its how you explain why a majority of them would vote Democrat) as anyone with a family income of below $50,000. Because those all in majority vote Dem. Thats a lot of people to be assumed to be irresponsible and lacking a work ethic.

Finn d'Abuzz wrote:
I am also not claiming that Democrats only attract the poor votes, and your indignation that I might be, is somewhat amusing considering the thrust of your post: The wealthy elected Bush.

You have misread me. My sentence read, "[Before you claim] that the Democrats only pull the 'poor' vote because those are people looking for hand-outs ...".

I didnt say you implied the Democrats only attracted the poor votes, period - I said you implied that the only reason the Democrats attracted the poor votes was because those are people looking for hand-outs.

Considering we are talking of everyone earning up to 50,000, 45% of the population in all (all looking for benefits?), I would suggest this is unlikely. Instead, the Dems might simply be attracting their vote because their experience is the Dems care more about them, are more in touch with their needs and concerns.

Finn d'Abuzz wrote:
You also, apparently, are reluctant to appreciate that an elitist need not be in touch with the common man (irrespective of how you define him) to exploit him.

Well, in order to be able to appeal to him, he would need to be, yes. How stupid do you consider - what is it we're talking about here, almost half the population - to be? The "bottom" 45% of the population in majority all votes Democratic because they all let themselves be exploited? Thats your attitude, but you accuse liberals of being "elitist"?

Finn d'Abuzz wrote:
Not all Liberals are elitists, but there is absolutely nothing in your statistics that proves the notion that Liberal politicians are elitists out of touch with the common man to be inane.

Well, I'm starting to wonder about your definition of "the common man" ... Would the Dems attract 51% of those earning 30-50,000$ if they were so hopelessly out of touch with "the common man", really?

The stat shows there's one group Kerry was definitely clearly out of touch with, resulting in an obvious inability to reach out to any great number of them -- those earning over $200,000.
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Instigate
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 01:00 am
Is it a mystery that people vote for what they feel are their best interests? Is it wrong? Whats the point of this thread?
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Idaho
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 08:20 am
Not, it's not a mystery that people vote for their own self interest. Is it wrong? Well, in a Presidential election - Yes, it could be. If your own self interest conflicts with our national interest of staying sovereign and safe, then yes, it's wrong. Voting for one single issue that is of minor consequence compared to larger issues, is wrong (okay, perhaps in some instances it's merely silly), and I'm talking about both sides if the political spectrum here. For instance, a Dem who votes for Kerry soley on the basis of gay marriage, or a Rep who votes for Bush sole on the abortion issue is, IMO, not looking out for the larger issue that if we are being blown up, those other things don't matter. Voting for Bush purely because I want to keep my tax cut (nope, not even close to the rich category), or voting for Kerry because he promises to tax the rich and for no other reason is kind of silly at this particular time. In times of peace, then we have the luxury of voting for less pressing issues. Won't it be nice if some day we can go back to squabbling about a bunch of little things?
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Larry434
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:21 am
Idaho wrote:
Not, it's not a mystery that people vote for their own self interest. Is it wrong? Well, in a Presidential election - Yes, it could be. If your own self interest conflicts with our national interest of staying sovereign and safe, then yes, it's wrong. Voting for one single issue that is of minor consequence compared to larger issues, is wrong (okay, perhaps in some instances it's merely silly), and I'm talking about both sides if the political spectrum here. For instance, a Dem who votes for Kerry soley on the basis of gay marriage, or a Rep who votes for Bush sole on the abortion issue is, IMO, not looking out for the larger issue that if we are being blown up, those other things don't matter. Voting for Bush purely because I want to keep my tax cut (nope, not even close to the rich category), or voting for Kerry because he promises to tax the rich and for no other reason is kind of silly at this particular time. In times of peace, then we have the luxury of voting for less pressing issues. Won't it be nice if some day we can go back to squabbling about a bunch of little things?


The voters will always vote based on their own value judgments of what is most important to what they believe is in their interest.
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CowDoc
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 06:35 pm
Hey, Idaho! If you're from the state of your handle, I must say it's good to see another Westerner participating in this forum. I find it necessary to add my two cents here. Across the West (or at least in Idaho) the percentage of Republican votes tends to be INVERSELY proportional to the per capita income. Blaine County (which contains Sun Valley) has the state's largest average wealth, and was the only Idaho county to vote for Al Gore. Those of us in the hinterlands, where survival itself is a struggle, tend to vote in excess of seventy-five percent to the Bush camp. From our viewpoint, an annual income of fifty thousand dollars is certainly defined as rich, and there are damned few here who qualify. At least in our area, income is not a factor in supporting Kerry or other liberals. Trying to make a living in resource-extractive industries (timber and ranching in particular) will certainly force people to vote non-Democratic. In short, if Bush was elected by the rich, the state voting maps hide that fact extremely well.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 06:57 pm
Nimh, if the US president was elected by popular vote, I would stand 100% on your side of the discussion. Yes, there is a positive correlation between income and Republican vote.

But it's electoral votes who determine who's President of the USA.

To prove your point, you'd need to find that in key states it was the people who earn over 150k who made the difference.
If that's what happened in Florida, Ohio, New Mexico and Iowa, THEN you have a case.

I can perfectly argue that rich people in New York, California, Illinois and Massachusets voted massively for Bush, are an important percentage of his "rich people's constituency", but gave him no electoral votes, while in poorer states (thinkin' about Mississippi and Louisiana, for example) there were factors other than income behind the Republican's victory.
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Idaho
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:18 pm
CowDoc - same goes for our neighbor to the West - Montana. Much more money and many more Dems on the Western end of the state. Regardless though, the vote of the wealthy is such a small number as to be nearly insignificant, unless we define wealthy at $75K or more, and I don't think I've every heard anyone define $75K as wealthy.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2004 09:06 pm
fbaezer, you are completely right of course. The final decision was made in the few battleground states that remained at the end of the race - and just like the roles of rich/poor-republican/democrat are completely reversed in idaho or montana, they might as well also have been in this or that battleground state.

I guess I wasn't making so much the point that, in terms of how which state leads to what Electoral Vote that casts the die this way or that, a specific group of wealthy persons in area X decided the elections. More that, unlike what much of the rhetorics about "elites" and who constitutes them would have one believe, the Democrats overall remain the party of the workers, the ordinary folk at the bottom half of the ladder, while the Republicans still are the party overwhelmingly favoured by the rich. And at least in terms of who weighed in to give the Republicans the edge nationally, the wealthy were as important a constituency as any other - only it's mostly not mentioned, least of all by the "we're in touch with the common folk mainstream" Republican machine.

But I'm not entirely the only guy picking up on it - as so often, I see my observation echoed in The New Republic a little while later. Here's one Philip Klinkner, associate professor of government at Hamilton College, noting that:

Quote:
Money Matters

TNR Online
Post date 11.10.04

Theories abound as to why John Kerry lost last Tuesday. A single question on the much-analyzed exit polls unleashed a week of discussion about how religious voters--that is, those concerned with "moral values"--may have decided the presidential election. On the left, Democrats bemoaned their party's inability to speak about faith. "Aside from Tipper Gore and a few others, liberals have failed to stress that ... they share conservatives' underlying unease with pop-culture values," wrote Robert Wright on Slate. Meanwhile, culture warriors on the right gleefully declared the election to be a vindication of their positions. "Ethics and moral values were ascendant last night," gloated Bill Bennett at National Review Online. Still others argued that the difference in this election was national security, with voters who might have preferred Al Gore in 2000 now convinced that only President Bush could keep them safe.

But in the rush to pin the blame--or the credit--for Bush's victory on religious Americans or security moms, almost everyone has ignored the group that may have made the biggest difference: wealthy voters.

The impact of a given bloc's contribution to a candidate's victory can be measured by something called "voter performance," the group's percent of the electorate multiplied by its level of support for a candidate. For example, if a particular group made up 50 percent of the electorate and gave a candidate 60 percent of its vote, that bloc's performance would be 30 percent. A group's performance can therefore rise or fall depending on two factors: its turnout relative to the rest of the electorate and how it votes.

For all the talk of how religious voters made Bush's victory possible, their performance didn't change from 2000 to 2004. Four years ago, those attending church once a week or more were 42 percent of the electorate and gave Bush 59 percent of their vote--for a performance of 25 percent (that is, 42 percent multiplied by 59 percent). In 2004, these voters were 41 percent of the electorate and gave Bush 61 percent of their votes, for a performance of 25 percent--no change from 2004.

By contrast, Bush improved his performance with voters at the upper end of the income ladder. Among those making less than $50,000, Bush actually lost ground, as his performance fell from 21 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2004. Among those making over $50,000, Bush's performance jumped 3 points, from 28 percent to 31 percent. And most of this improved performance was concentrated among the wealthiest of voters, those making over $100,000. In this group, increases in turnout and support for Bush raised the president's performance from 8 percent to 10 percent. In fact, Bush's gains among the wealthiest Americans account for a good chunk of his popular-vote margin of victory.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan famously asked, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" Among many of these upper-middle-class and wealthy voters in 2004, the answer is clearly yes. Bush's tax cuts were concentrated among those at the upper end of the income scale. Furthermore, since the last election, the share of the national income of voters who make over $54,000 per year has increased, from 72.8 to 73.2 percent. Not only did these voters disproportionately benefit from Bush's policies, but Kerry ran on a promise to raise taxes for many of them.

Perhaps then, it was no coincidence that at his press conference the day after declaring victory, Bush said little of interest to social conservatives and instead spoke of revising the tax code and privatizing Social Security, two measures likely to appeal to upper-income voters. Bush seems to understand who reelected him--even if his critics on the left and the wishful thinkers to his cultural right do not.

Philip Klinkner is an associate professor of government at Hamilton College.
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