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Which party do the poor support?

CriticalThought

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I've heard it both ways. I've heard that the poor overwhelmingly support Democrats and that the poor overwhelmingly support Republicans. Does anyone actually have any data to support the notion of which party the poor are more likely to support?
 

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I've heard it both ways. I've heard that the poor overwhelmingly support Democrats and that the poor overwhelmingly support Republicans. Does anyone actually have any data to support the notion of which party the poor are more likely to support?

I did a few years ago and those making under 30K strongly supported the dems. I know HS dropouts (who tend to be the poorest of any educationally stratified cohort) have been the dems most reliable bloc of voters of any group ranked by education
 

CriticalThought

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I did a few years ago and those making under 30K strongly supported the dems. I know HS dropouts (who tend to be the poorest of any educationally stratified cohort) have been the dems most reliable bloc of voters of any group ranked by education

I'm already aware of education levels as related to party affiliations.

Election Polls -- Vote by Groups, 2008
Election Polls -- Vote by Groups, 2000-2004

Those with less than a high school education generally support democratic presidential candidates and that is correlated with lower socioeconomic status but post graduates also support democratic presidential candidates and that is correlated with higher socioeconomic status. However, being a high school dropout does not necessarily mean you are "poor".

But I can't say that those with less than a high school degree "overwhelmingly" support Democrats. Going back to 1980 the span has generally been 50%-60% of dropouts favored Democrats. Only with Obama did that number jump beyond that range, but Obama had a record number of first time voters (generally people who are still in high school) and so you have to wonder if that may have influenced the numbers somewhat. And since the 1980's the GOP has been steadily losing the highschool through post grad vote.

Exit Polls - Election Results 2008 - The New York Times

The only thing I think the Democrats get "overwhelmingly" is the black vote and maybe Hispanics and Jews.

If anything, they have 5 to 10 point advantage among those who are most likely to be poor by education group and in political terms that is a slight to moderate edge. Also, the poor are the least likely to vote, so in terms of votes, it would be virtually meaningless.
 
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Diogenes

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I submit that it depends on the aspirations of the individual. Almost all of us are "poor" at the time we first enter the work force; those who are ambitious and plan to become wealthy will support conservatives, those who have no such ambition or hope will support liberals.
 

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I submit that it depends on the aspirations of the individual. Almost all of us are "poor" at the time we first enter the work force; those who are ambitious and plan to become wealthy will support conservatives, those who have no such ambition or hope will support liberals.

I submit that you're wrong.

I'm ambitious, hard-working, self-sufficient, and quite liberal.
 

Jetboogieman

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I submit that it depends on the aspirations of the individual. Almost all of us are "poor" at the time we first enter the work force; those who are ambitious and plan to become wealthy will support conservatives, those who have no such ambition or hope will support liberals.

On the assumption that Conservative and Liberal means the same to everyone.

And that Republicans actually represent conservatism.

And Democrats actually represent Liberalism.

Which I don't feel either do.
 

tacomancer

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I submit that it depends on the aspirations of the individual. Almost all of us are "poor" at the time we first enter the work force; those who are ambitious and plan to become wealthy will support conservatives, those who have no such ambition or hope will support liberals.

I find your stereotype to be interesting. I plan to be wealthy by the time I retire (and have made concrete steps towards that goal) and I started off poor (and do quite well for myself today), yet I am a liberal.
 
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I submit that you're wrong.

I'm ambitious, hard-working, self-sufficient, and quite liberal.

Yes, but just because you are what you are does not make you a majority.
 
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tacomancer

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Poor people have been voting for Democrats for over a hundred years now...and they are still poor.

Yes, however, being poor is substantially better than it was 100 years ago.
 

MKULTRABOY

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I submit that it depends on the aspirations of the individual. Almost all of us are "poor" at the time we first enter the work force; those who are ambitious and plan to become wealthy will support conservatives, those who have no such ambition or hope will support liberals.

Does anyone actually have any data...

Ummm...

I submit your submission has no real world value.
 

tacomancer

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Ummm...

I submit your submission has no real world value.

His post seems based on the idea that people are only concerned for their personal best interest. However it is known that people are social creatures who have qualities such as love and compassion, so ultimately, the scope of his reasoning is inadequate to explain human nature, motivation, or action.

In other words, he is only looking at this through a selfish lens and is assuming that people are like him.
 
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MKULTRABOY

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You love the tribal stuff :p :)
The implication is there, also implications of the virtuosity of a particular political lean over another.

those who are ambitious and plan to become wealthy will support conservatives

I don't know how they're going to be class mobile by empowering the right.
Whose got data on class mobility across democratic-republican governments?
 

Barbbtx

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I submit that you're wrong.

I'm ambitious, hard-working, self-sufficient, and quite liberal.

Liberal agendas would probably benefit me, yet I'm a conservative because I think liberalism is bad for the country.

I guess we cancel each other out.
 

MKULTRABOY

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Liberal agendas would probably benefit me, yet I'm a conservative because I think liberalism is bad for the country.

I guess we cancel each other out.

Im a liberal because I think what conservatives think about 'liberals' is an instance of false consciousness.
Thats cause Im crazay :)
 

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Yes, however, being poor is substantially better than it was 100 years ago.

That may be true, but being middle class or rich today is also substantially better than it was 100 years ago. The fact is that the poverty still exists and no amount of government handouts to the poor is going to cure poverty - it only perpetuates poverty. But I really don't know what voting for Democrats or Republicans has to do with any of this seeing how both Democrats and Republicans tend to be all for handouts.

Without the handouts and "safety nets" the poor would have to work, and work tends to increase income. And without the expense of handouts and "safety nets", taxes which tend to hold many in the upper middle class back from becoming wealthy could be reduced. Potentially all economic classes could climb a rung or two on the economic ladder if we eleminated giveaways.

So my question is, if the poor all suddenly made more money and had a higher standard of living, along with everyone else, would the poor still be poor? And if the poor are now less poor than they were 100 years ago, does that mean that they are still poor? Could it be that what we call "poor" is actually middle class and what we call middle class is actually quite rich?
 

MKULTRABOY

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And without the expense of handouts and "safety nets", taxes which tend to hold many in the upper middle class back from becoming wealthy could be reduced. Potentially all economic classes could climb a rung or two on the economic ladder if we eleminated giveaways.

I dont know where you got this idea.

Could it be that what we call "poor" is actually middle class and what we call middle class is actually quite rich?

In general I would agree, but there are a few isolated EFFING POOR places out there in the third world, err... some places in america.
 

Diogenes

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I submit that you're wrong.

I'm ambitious, hard-working, self-sufficient, and quite liberal.
Are you poor?

On the assumption that Conservative and Liberal means the same to everyone.

And that Republicans actually represent conservatism.

And Democrats actually represent Liberalism.

Which I don't feel either do.
I partially agree with your characterization of the parties - Republicans have done a very poor job of representing conservatism over the last few years, but Democrats have certainly represented a lot more liberalism than the country is willing to accept.

My response to the original post was formed by a call Rush took back in early 1993 when Clinton came into office an promptly raised taxes retroactively. The young man calling was about to graduate from college, qualified as poor, and was saddled with student loans he would have to repay as he entered the work force. His position was "I'm not rich, but I intend to be and I don't appreciate Clinton taking more of the money I earn!" He was quite passionate about his convictions, and I suspect he did better in life than those who waited for the government to hand out benefits.

His post seems based on the idea that people are only concerned for their personal best interest. However it is known that people are social creatures who have qualities such as love and compassion, so ultimately, the scope of his reasoning is inadequate to explain human nature, motivation, or action.

In other words, he is only looking at this through a selfish lens and is assuming that people are like him.

That's an interesting, if myopic, viewpoint. In my experience, conservatives tend to take their responsibilities personally by volunteering their time and spending their own money to support various charities; liberals tend to demand other people's tax money to support the causes they like. It's not a definitive split of course, and there are exceptions, but I contend it is generally accurate.
 

tacomancer

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That may be true, but being middle class or rich today is also substantially better than it was 100 years ago. The fact is that the poverty still exists and no amount of government handouts to the poor is going to cure poverty

I agree.

- it only perpetuates poverty.

That statement needs proof.

But I really don't know what voting for Democrats or Republicans has to do with any of this seeing how both Democrats and Republicans tend to be all for handouts.

I agree.

Without the handouts and "safety nets" the poor would have to work, and work tends to increase income.

The majority of poor people have jobs, in cases, more than one.

And without the expense of handouts and "safety nets", taxes which tend to hold many in the upper middle class back from becoming wealthy could be reduced. Potentially all economic classes could climb a rung or two on the economic ladder if we eleminated giveaways.

Possibly, but I have my doubts.

So my question is, if the poor all suddenly made more money and had a higher standard of living, along with everyone else, would the poor still be poor?

There are two componants of being poor. One is the fairly obvious necessity of resources and whether one can get an adequate supply. Another definition of being poor is more psychological and depends on what the people around you are doing. So, the most factual answer I can give is both yes and no.

And if the poor are now less poor than they were 100 years ago, does that mean that they are still poor? Could it be that what we call "poor" is actually middle class and what we call middle class is actually quite rich?

It depends on where society is, once you get past necessary resources. If you look at Maslow's heirarchy of needs, physical needs are only part of the picture.
 

tacomancer

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That's an interesting, if myopic, viewpoint. In my experience, conservatives tend to take their responsibilities personally by volunteering their time and spending their own money to support various charities; liberals tend to demand other people's tax money to support the causes they like. It's not a definitive split of course, and there are exceptions, but I contend it is generally accurate.

Yes, that tends to happen. Liberals, I think, tend to want to engineer solutions to problems as if society was a machine (at least I know I do). I don't think that is a bad thing personally.

Ultimately, society is our creation (our being the collective human race) and we are free to do what we want with it since it is ours.
 
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The majority of poor people have jobs, in cases, more than one.

How can that be? A job, well, yes, maybe a part time job, but certainly not anything that most of us would consider full employment. Minimim wage is now $7.25/hr, times a MINIMAL workweek of 40 hours a week, times 50 weeks a year is $14,500 a year, almost $4k over the federal government guidline for being "poor". A newly married couple could make nealy $30k/yr without even working any overtime on minimum wage, certainly that is not wealthy, but it can indeed pay for a modest apartment or in-law suite and a used car.

Most poor people are chronically poor. Poor forever. Poor people who are chronically poor are poor because they don't work. If they did work (grown up hours at a grown up job) they wouldn't be poor. Maybe poor if they live in some expensive areas, but no one forces them to live in those areas. People who choose to have children that they cant aford are also poor by choice - babies don't just spontaniously appear.
 

CriticalThought

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How can that be? A job, well, yes, maybe a part time job, but certainly not anything that most of us would consider full employment. Minimim wage is now $7.25/hr, times a MINIMAL workweek of 40 hours a week, times 50 weeks a year is $14,500 a year, almost $4k over the federal government guidline for being "poor". A newly married couple could make nealy $30k/yr without even working any overtime on minimum wage, certainly that is not wealthy, but it can indeed pay for a modest apartment or in-law suite and a used car.

Most poor people are chronically poor. Poor forever. Poor people who are chronically poor are poor because they don't work. If they did work (grown up hours at a grown up job) they wouldn't be poor. Maybe poor if they live in some expensive areas, but no one forces them to live in those areas. People who choose to have children that they cant aford are also poor by choice - babies don't just spontaniously appear.

First off, the minimum wage was set at $5.15 an hour only a few years ago. Try doing calculations for that amount. Given all the beef people had about raising it, people have adapted it into their calculations rather quickly of how good the poor have it.

The federal government determines "poverty" by 3 times the anticipated cost of food. Obviously not a very good measure given the rapidly rising costs of health care.

That is why people are trying to determine what constitutes a "liveable" wage. That is a wage that accounts for food, shelter, and health care. As such, we do have a large segment of the poor by liveable standards who are working. Given the spending trends, the middle class will likely be "working poor" by liveable standards within this decade.
 

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That is why people are trying to determine what constitutes a "liveable" wage. That is a wage that accounts for food, shelter, and health care. As such, we do have a large segment of the poor by liveable standards who are working. Given the spending trends, the middle class will likely be "working poor" by liveable standards within this decade.

OK, I don't entirely disagree with that. So how much is a "livable" wage? Regardless, minimum wage is for minimum work skills. Minimum wage jobs are for teenagers, and are not intended to be living wages. And anyone who is not capable of performing a job that pays more than minimum wage should probably be realatively poor.

I know a lot of people that may be considered "working poor", but they still have realitively middle class lifestyles. One couple I know has two children, one is attending college, the other is in high school. I was shocked last week when one of them told me that their high school kid qualified for free lunch. This family has two cars, owns their own house (them and the bank that is), and don't seem to be lacking for food on the table or money to pay the electric bill. They recently donated $150 to a non-profit group that we both support. He is on unemployment (former executive chef) and she is a kitchen manager at a modist restaurant.

I get really confused about people like them, are they poor or not? Seems to me, that as long as they have adequate food and shelter and transportation and their offspring are able to have educational opportunites, that they really arn't poor. I can certainly agree with lower middle class though.

Quite a few years ago I was a department supervisor in a large manufacturing plant. All of the people I supervised made about the same amount of money, my department only had three different wage levels. Some of these people seemed to be dirt poor, never any money to do anything with, not enough money to fix their car, no money for Christmas presents, others seem to do quite well off the same wage, with nice cars, nice cloths, and even had some extra to contribute to their retirement plan. Granted that was 20 years ago, wages were in the $18,000-$20,000 per yr range - I guess that may be something like $25k-$30k per year today.

Is it spending trends or is it wage trends that is likely to make our middle class "working poor" within this decade? And if our middle class disapears, then where did all the wealth go to?
 
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