Wednesday, July 13, 2005

What's the Matter with . . .

This article does a pretty good analysis of the change in economic growth between the Red and Blue states. He mentions the book, "What's the Matter with Kansas" in showing that in America, more people want to be rich, even though they are not, than want to hate the rich.
One thing about the Kansas book though, why hasn't anyone wrote a book about "What's the matter with Washington D.C., New York, Massachussettes," etc?
Washington D.C. typically votes among the highest for Democrats. Yet their schools are failing even though the per capita education spending is the top or near the top of all of the states. They have the tightest gun control legislation, yet used to rate the highest in per capita murder statistics. The District has one of the highest per capita tax rates of the country, yet is populated with the largest percentage of poor people, (mostly based on white flight to VA and MD).
If repeating the same acts and expecting different results, (adherance to the Democratic Party) is the definition of insanity, maybe that is the best explanation for wy the District will never be a state.


Wulfgar said...

That's fairly unfair to pick on Washington D.C. in that manner. They vote heavily Democratic in the Presidential election and in the mayoral races, but they have no representation in Congress. They have no state infrastructure, because they are not a state, and yet they face the same difficulties and challenges as any small state would.

Now you may be right in your analysis, but it is flawed to the degree that you ignore the issue that DC is the model of taxation without representation. I think that's a pretty big flaw.

Steve said...

Actually, having had time to think about it, I know that there are more areas of flaws, than just what you were mentioning.
I used D.C. because it is so exclusively Democratic. The same could be said for Massachussettes, but D.C. is more dramatic in that it is confined to a smaller area that is more coherent than say, Bay area Mass compared to Western Mass.
But the point that I should have made is that party affiliation does not seem to be rationally based on either side.
There are poor Republicans and rich Democrats, but in our shorthand measure of identity, these should be impossible to exist.
Or, for that matter African Americans went Democratic at the rate of 89%. Yet the group has a growing black middle class.
I guess that what I am trying to say is that party affiliation is probably more defined by what you want to be, rather than what you are.

Wulfgar said...

I tend to agree with your last conclusion, and posit that most people vote on perceived image presented as opposed to any actual founded expectation of a particular candidate.

By way of example, one of the reasons I am rabidly anti-Burns has nothing to do with his party, but rather his failure to keep a promise. He initially ran a populist campaign, as a supposed outsider founded on the Western Rancher mystique. As part of that campaign, he promised never to become a Washington insider, that he would retire after his 2nd term. Yet here he is, gearing up to run for his 4th, with a great deal of his local support coming from folks who still hold on to that Cowboy image (partly fostered by his party affiliation). These people have certainly read the shorthand, and figured that was good enough.

GeeGuy said...

Wulfgar, I agree with you about Burns. It flat pissed me off when he broke his promise not to run again, and it still bothers me when I think about it.

That being said, though, that was then and this is now. I cannot bring myself to support Morrison or Tester, and therefore feel constrained to support Conrad.