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The rich, the poor, and the religious
Michael considered fate at 11:04   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Whoa, influx. After my last post linking to the angry atheist it seems natural to discuss wealth, politics, and religion - right?

I've actually been sitting on a bit from The Washington Monthly on religion vs. wealth and now seems as good a time as any to bring it out:
As people get less religious, they get wealthier. Or perhaps the other way around. Or perhaps there's something else behind both trends.

At least they don't claim to know what is going on.

Meanwhile, on another virtual street on the internet, an ever-opportuned reader has sent me a semi-related blog post from some stats folks at Columbia comparing rich and poor states. For starters, they show maps of which states Bush and Kerry would've won if only the votes of the poor, middle-income, and rich were counted which, aren't all that surprising - most rich people vote republican. Otherwise, you need to go west to the badlands to find anyone poor and dumb enough[1] to vote for GW (or Texas).

What is surprising, however, is that the familiar red-blue divide of cosmopolitan coastal Democrats and heartland-state Republicans shows up among the rich but not the poor. You could argue that rich folk are more likely to be like-minded with their community. You could argue that poor folk are more likely to vote their own opinions, regardless of their neighbour's political bent. You could also fail to note the race differences between the Midwest and the Southeast[2]. You could make all sorts of arguments and mistakes, really. These are statistics - and we know what happens when you use statistics to prove things, right?

1 I jest.

2 In fact, one of the Columbia folks state in the comments:The patterns are similar but not so strong if you only look at white voters.

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