Are Liberals More Educated Than Conservatives?

Update: Click here for the most recent statistics.

A surprising amount of anti-conservative bigotry on the web asserts that conservatives are inherently less intelligent than liberals. Admittedly, some prominent conservatives make statements that go against the mainstream scientific consensus on topics such as global warming and Darwin’s theory of evolution. That said, these examples do not mean that being a conservative automatically implies a lower IQ or education level than being a liberal does.

I decided to run the numbers to test this assertion, and it turns out it is not true. However, a far more interesting pattern emerges that confirms a theory I have always held, but had never taken the time to test.

In my opinion, certain liberal policies appear to have an underlying paternalistic tone. They hold that the poor and uneducated need the help of wiser government bureaucrats to protect them from themselves. Many liberals believe it is unfair for society to hold people accountable for their own condition. Therefore, the ignorant and benighted conservative voter should just fall in line and let the ivory tower intelligentsia dictate how society ought to run people’s lives. The intellectual is, after all, so much smarter than the average working stiff.

Of course, average working stiffs and/or business owners who have some college or are college graduates have made their own way in the world, have taken risk, and have a strong desire to control their own fates. They resent fiats from a central authority led by a group of over-educated individuals with little or no prior business experience.

To implement this idealistic worldview, mainstream liberalism needs muscle, and that muscle comes from the undereducated masses who stand to benefit from a dogma seeking to redistribute the income earned by others directly to them.

As such, the distribution of liberal and conservative education levels should differ sharply. Liberal education levels should have fatter tails at the low and high ends of the educational spectrum, while conservative education levels should be more concentrated in the middle.

To test my theory, I looked at education levels by voter in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 presidential elections, as well as the 2006 and 2010 midterm elections. In every case, the share of people with no high school education was higher among people voting for Democratic candidates than it was among people voting for Republican candidates. On the opposite end of the spectrum, in every case, the share of people with a postgraduate education was higher among people voting for Democratic candidates than it was among people voting for Republican candidates.

The voting trends by party and education for each of these elections are listed below:

The 2000 Presidential Election

The 2004 Presidential Election

The 2006 Midterm Election

The 2008 Presidential Election

The 2010 Midterm Election

Based on the above data, it seems clear that people at both the high and low ends of the educational spectrum tend to favor Democratic candidates. Therefore, the assertion that liberals are smarter than conservatives is an overly simplistic notion with little basis in the actual data.

About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Conservative clean energy crusader, national security hawk, financial analyst, engineer, and former military officer.
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219 Responses to Are Liberals More Educated Than Conservatives?

  1. Ben Hoffman says:

    The problem with surveys is: people lie. I guarantee you some of those “college graduates” only have a certificate in some kind of trade. And those with “some college” might have only taken a photography class or something. And as far as “post-graduate”… some of those surveyed might think that that’s anything beyond high school.

    • That’s a very fair point. The interesting thing is that the results still seem to have remained remarkably consistent over the last ten years.

      • Kipper Allan says:

        It would be more interesting if you could provide your questionnaire for an independent survey to ensure internal validity.

        • Dave Ellis says:

          Go back to Rusha or China or wherever you come from commie! (just kidding) I read another article that higher level of education correlates with liberal voting because blue states spend more on educating their kids than do the red states. Therefore, voting tendency comes before education or education is the result of living in a better environment. Personally, I used to be very conservative. I did not begin college until I was 28 years old. I was still conservative after earning my BA from a VERY liberal private university in Connecticut (Wesleyan). I went back to working in construction and joined the IBEW (electrical workers’ union) at age 42. It was labor issues that began to turn me liberal, and I began to see what conservatism actually is. Both I and conservatism seemed to change a great deal between 1980 and 2000. I just finished my master’s degree in mental health counseling, and I have seen a great deal of poverty, both in my education and in real life. Now at age 55 I am very liberal. I detest injustice, the different treatment people receive in or judicial system based on socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity.I also despise the advantages that wealthy and powerful people give themselves, buying political influence and legislation to further tilt the playing field in their own favor. What it all comes down to is point of view. For people who are very successful, the status quo seems just fine. They want lower taxes so they can accumulate more wealth faster, and decreasing government spending on social services seems to be the way to lower taxes. So that they won’t feel guilty for taking away basic necessities from the elderly, the disabled, and children who are born into poverty, they prefer to conceptualize people on public assistance as lazy able-bodied adults who just do not want to work, drug addicts, and “Betty Babymakers”. blame the victim. They even believe that cutting off food stamps, welfare, and public housing would be doing these people a favor, since if they have no other choice but to go to work or starve, they will all go out and find great jobs, become better people, and have better lives. One conservative told me a few months ago that Black people were better off as slaves because they were happy and treated very well in the vast majority of cases. I could not believe that there are still people alive who think this way, and this guy isn’t even very old (maybe in his late 40’s) In the end it all comes down to human nature–people are very selfish, especially if they have never experienced real suffering or had to really struggle to survive. How awful it must be to watch a sick child waste away and die because you cannot afford food, clothing, shelter,medicine, or healthcare. What anxiety and grief it must be to become homeless and have your children taken away by the authorities because your family is living in your car. How convenient it must be to believe that other people’s hardships are entirely their fault and that they live this way by choice. How sad that many of the people who are more fortunate can say “hooray for me, and to hell with you” and still feel good about themselves!

    • Rick the Right-Winger says:

      WTF Ben?! When the stats agree with your idiot viewpoints theyre “facts” but as soon as they don’t you GUARANTEE that the people behind them are “LIARS”? OK then, let me try that –

      “I GUARANTEE THAT YOU LOVE TERRORISTS AND THAT YOU PUT PEANUT BUTTER ON CERTAIN PARTS OF YOUR BODY WHEN YOU PLAY WITH YOUR DOG.”

    • jef says:

      The problem with your argument, Ben, is that it makes no distinction between liberals and conservatives which would serve to indicate that one group lies more, or differently, than the other. Therefore, as long as a large enough population was used, the data remains relevant. The fact that people lie, however, could mean that the categories (No HS Education, HS Graduate, etc…) are perhaps blurred and therefore inaccurately labeled. To correct for this all you have to do is rename the categories, say, 1. Little to no education, 2. Some education, 3. More education, 4. Lots of education, and 5. Maximum education. Therefore, based on the proposition that people lie, the trend remains the same, and the only difference is the specificity of the categories.

      It seems (based on some peoples’ reactions to your comment) that perhaps your thinking is that the ones who lied about their college education are the conservatives, but not the liberals? If this is the case then we’d need some sort of justification for this theory.

  2. efgd says:

    For some of those who have achieved they see that in some cases their ‘class’ or ‘status’ has been the way for them to achieve – Daddies money if you like – and not necessarily their academic or intellectual nuances. They therefore want to, shall we say, make amends for that one upmanship. Lets say these are the Liberals. Of course there are those who achieved in this way and think they are smart when they are not really. Lets say these are the Conservatives; lets face it, who is going to tell a British Royal’s son or daughter they are not up to scratch, and in the USA who is going to tell a Kennedy, Clinton or a Bush that they don’t make the grade and it would be better for them to work in manual labour rather than pretend they have the brains for a high powered job which they will automatically walk into – that effects a majority of people – or that it would be better if they did not take up a space in higher education even though daddy is paying for it??? This is different from localised daddies money or business success. Their ineptitude is not a wrath against the masses per se. I am not saying there can be a level playing field or that we all should go to the same schools etc. regardless, but when one is looking at reasons why certain groups of people from certain backgrounds say and do what they do there is another level to look at and not just how ‘educated’ or not, they are. Liberals are not so much more ‘educated’ than Republicans – interesting to relate that question to UK politics – as their backgrounds point a different way forward. Since a lot of Republicans state they are Christian, it should be the other way around regarding helping those who do not have the means to be educated, have health care and or be able to get out of the situation they are in. That does not mean it is up to the state to be paternalistic, but it does mean that it is important to look at who we reward, honor and why.

    A very interesting ‘article’ Sean.

  3. Scott Erb says:

    I don’t think most liberals are motivated by paternalism than a desire to assure equal opportunity. I think liberals and conservatives share the idea that markets function and people should be rewarded based on work and innovation. Conservatives tend to think everyone has equal opportunity as long as there are no legal barriers put in the way. Liberals tend to see barriers constructed by class (the wealthy have access to better health care and education, meaning their children are advantaged from the start), social factors (neighborhoods, peer learning, even family role models (a hard working father vs. someone despondent and unemployed). The goal is to make sure everyone has a chance to succeed so that you don’t get locked into a situation where birth is more of a factor in determining success than effort and creative intelligence. Clearly structure plays some role — the stats are clear that birth is a major indicator of where you’ll end up. Clearly structure isn’t the only factor, people do rise from poverty. And truth be told, Republicans and Democrats aren’t really in disagreement on this, no one reasonable wants no regulation and no social welfare programs, and no one reasonable wants a government conrolled economy. The issue is less the goal of governance/social welfare programs than an empirical question of what works best. I switched from GOP to independent/leaning Democratic after seeing in Germany that programs can work well. Moreover, in Germany conservatives embrace universal health care and efforts for equal opportunity on the basis of traditional Christian values.

    • “I don’t think most liberals are motivated by paternalism than a desire to assure equal opportunity.”

      Scott, I don’t think it is the paternalism that motivates them. I think the actions many liberals proscribe are simply paternalistic whether they intend them to be or not.

      “Conservatives tend to think everyone has equal opportunity as long as there are no legal barriers put in the way. Liberals tend to see barriers constructed by class (the wealthy have access to better health care and education, meaning their children are advantaged from the start), social factors (neighborhoods, peer learning, even family role models (a hard working father vs. someone despondent and unemployed).”

      I would agree with this characterization.

      “I switched from GOP to independent/leaning Democratic after seeing in Germany that programs can work well. Moreover, in Germany conservatives embrace universal health care and efforts for equal opportunity on the basis of traditional Christian values.”

      I have a friend who was stationed in Germany who saw the same system, concluded it was superior, but for vastly different reasons. His view was that a social welfare state works best in homogenous societies where one group’s gain is not at the expense of another group’s loss. Germany, Sweden, and Japan all have excellent social services for this reason in his opinion.

      • Dan says:

        So you’re telling me, since we have too many minorities (aka we are not “homogenous”), therefore we can’t adopt programs that verifiably work in other nations, because we’ll see it as racism? Was there an argument in that line of reasoning somewhere or am I just that stupid of a liberal to not see it?

        • Dan,

          My point is that in any government that has to govern over multiple groups with highly defined differences, works less efficiently than it does for one that serves only one homogenous group. The differences could be race, religion, or some other distinct difference that serves to split people into factions. The failure of multiethnic nations like the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia are all extreme historical examples of this trend.

      • Chris says:

        “Scott, I don’t think it is the paternalism that motivates them. I think the actions many liberals proscribe are simply paternalistic whether they intend them to be or not.”

        Sean, I don’t think they are paternalistic any more than saying a woman cannot have an abortion is paternalistic or that a homosexual couple cannot get married is paternalistic. In both of those cases, even more than most of the liberal policies, Conservatives are trying to dictate morality because they think individuals cannot figure it out for themselves.

        I think most liberal and progressive policies are democratic. Liberals and progressives want people to not only be created equal but also have equal resources from which to succeed or fail. That is democracy. Conservative policy leads to oligarchy as the wealthy of our society get to decide who gets to have resources and who do not. From your comments I assume, possibly incorrectly, that you do not believe education or wealth equals wisdom. Why would you then put the power of deciding who gets opportunity in the hands of a few wealthy or educated? Why not provide equal opportunity to everyone and see who succeeds from it?

        • “Sean, I don’t think they are paternalistic any more than saying a woman cannot have an abortion is paternalistic or that a homosexual couple cannot get married is paternalistic. In both of those cases, even more than most of the liberal policies, Conservatives are trying to dictate morality because they think individuals cannot figure it out for themselves.”

          Chris, on abortion, it all depends on whose rights you support. Conservatives believe a fetus is a living being worthy of survival, while liberals believe it is nothing but tissue. If you believe the former, there’s nothing paternalistic about protecting a human being from being murdered. If you believe the latter, the state is imposing on your right to remove an organ. It all depends on your point of view.

          That said, I agree with you on your point about marriage. The state simply should not be involved. It should issue civil unions for homo and hetero couples and let people call their relationships whatever they want.

          In terms of paternalistic policies pursued by the left, examples abound. The previous ban on assault weapons for instance. Or the creation of the consumer financial protection bureau. Or affirmative action.

          “Liberals and progressives want people to not only be created equal but also have equal resources from which to succeed or fail.”

          I disagree here. I think they want equality of outcomes, not equality of opportunity. Think Occupy Wall Street, for instance. Arbitrarily ceding an advantage to someone over another based on something as superficial as the color of one’s skin is no better than oligarchy.

          • chris says:

            Sean, I agree that it all depends on where you put your values on the fetus. While a fetus is not independently viable outside of a woman’s body, I do consider it to be the same as any organ and thus I leave it to the judgement of the woman as to what should happen with it. During that time the two are not independent beings.

            Beyond this, I find it interesting that Conservatives have such an amazing concern about a fetus before it is born, but once it is, it’s on its own. If you are going to take on the authority to force a child to be born into this world, likely to a living situation where it is not wanted, you better be ready to take on the responsibility of providing for it once it is here.

            You said, “I disagree here. I think they want equality of outcomes, not equality of opportunity.” Believe what you will, I can say that I am a progressive and I spend a lot of time talking to progressives and I can tell you that I want people to have the equal resources from which to succeed or fail. You being a Conservative, I would appreciate if you would simply accept that I know what I want.

            As for your comment “Think Occupy Wall Street, for instance.” What about the Occupy movement? Are you saying that OWS stood for “Arbitrarily ceding an advantage to someone over another based on something as superficial as the color of one’s skin”? Or are you saying that they were looking for an equality of outcomes. Having been involved with the Occupy movement, I can tell you that I have never heard a single member of the movement push for either. Most of the people in the movement do want to get the power of money removed from our political system so that democracy can actually work. They also want to stop voting systems that are set up to disadvantage the poor, including the working poor, or the homeless. Do minorities have higher percentages of these groups? Yes. But we are not asking for special privileges based on people’s skin color. We are asking that they not be treated differently because of their skin color.

            I can certainly go on about the various points that the Occupy movement stands for, but I would sooner look to you to explain what you meant.

            • “I want people to have the equal resources from which to succeed or fail.”

              This sounds a lot like wealth redistribution, which is precisely why I am not a progressive.

              • Mike says:

                Of course. Conservatives prefer aristocracy over a meritocracy. The original right-wing did stand for aristocracy, monarchy, the clergy, and tradition after all.

                My little theory about Republican elites is that they were raised spoiled brats and don’t know how hard it is to work your way from the bottom up. You have the Koch brothers, Bush, Romney, Paul Ryan, etc. They were born into money and then look at the little people and think If I did it on my own (laugh) why can’t they.

    • Shannon says:

      What you call “paternalism” everyone else calls “compassion”.

  4. nickgb says:

    That’s some pretty low-hanging fruit Sean. “Liberals are smarter than conservatives” is the type of thing you see on an internet chat board, not really in an editorial. Meanwhile, you do see anti-intellectualism at all levels of the Republican machine, from editorials to speeches to platforms. Pointing that out isn’t calling Republicans stupid, though; it’s pointing out that Republicans attack science and logic on a pretty routine basis.

    As for the paternalism, most of the policies aren’t about protecting people from themselves, it’s about preventing the rich and powerful from taking advantage of the less-so. That’s why we protect unions, regulate large businesses, etc. When it comes to protecting people from doing things to themselves that doesn’t affect anybody else, especially in the privacy of their own home, the modern GOP has it on lock. To me, that’s far more paternalistic than progressive tax rates or whatever it is that tweaked you when you wrote this.

    • “That’s some pretty low-hanging fruit Sean. “Liberals are smarter than conservatives” is the type of thing you see on an internet chat board, not really in an editorial.”

      Very true. A commenter on this site made this claim, so I decided to turn my rebuttal into a full-blown post. But there really were bloggers out there in 2004 making a serious argument that liberals were smarter than conservatives.

      “As for the paternalism, most of the policies aren’t about protecting people from themselves, it’s about preventing the rich and powerful from taking advantage of the less-so.”

      In California, my nine-year old daughter still must wear a car seat and can not stay home alone. If I knew I wouldn’t be arrested, I would have relaxed these constraints years ago. Yet, big brother deigns to know better than me. This kind of paternalism drives me insane.

      • Shannon says:

        Ummm….as I’ve mentioned before, leaving a nine-year-old girl home alone is incredibly irresponsible, no matter how smart you think she is.

        As for the car seat, if say you were an idiot and let her ride in the front seat (I’m not saying you are), why should it be your daughter that pays the price for your stupidity? You’re not just protecting idiots, you’re protecting people from becoming the victim of idiots.

      • efgd says:

        Seat belts and home alone children. Dead toddler who died on impact when a car crashed into her dads vehicle and she hit the seat in front. Madeleine McCann who vanished from her holiday – family resort good neighbourhood holiday home – whilst her parents went out for a drink and meal in a restaurant, leaving behind with her also a younger brother. Sometime accidents happen and tragic events can be at least attempted to be prevented. Sometimes tragic events happen through irresponsible parenting. We either do something to prevent and make accountable parenting become the norm or we say never mind that’s life. Personally I go for prevention every time. We must have a choice for how we treat ourselves but we have responsibilities and duties for the welfare of our loved ones, and children at the very least. They do not have a choice in which way to protect themselves. That is why we are called the grown ups and the adults.

        • efgd,

          All these instances you cite are for children who are four years old or younger. I am fine with laws for child seats and restrictions against leaving them at home. But nine years old is a bit ridiculous don’t you think?

          Heck, I had my first job when I was ten.

          • Chris says:

            So Sean, you agree we should have the laws you just disagree where the line should be drawn. Let’s not act like you don’t believe that these laws should exist and only liberals do.

        • Shannon says:

          Oh, and your head was indestructible after you got your job?

          My understanding, the recommendation is for children ten and other to ride in the back, as in the event of a collision the force of the passenger-side airbag is enough to kill them.

        • Shannon,

          My children do ride in the back, as I think your recommendation is a smart one. What I like about it is that it is a recommendation, not a mandate.

      • nickgb says:

        To be fair, CA law requires car seats or booster seats, and that’s only till age 8 or up to a certain height. According to JAMA, booster seats can cut injuries to children by 60% (http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/289/21/2835.abstract?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hit/). I understand your frustration that you don’t get to do what you want with your kids, but if you are going to argue with a regulation that is THAT effective, then I have to assume you’re against all safety regulations for children…

        • You got me. My daughter is short.

          I don’t dispute the effectiveness of a car seat. I dispute the state dictating what parenting decisions I can and cannot make.

          If the state prevented people who have had three or more car accidents from driving, I guarantee car accident rates would decline. That does not make it a good regulation.

          Plus, some regulations simply harm the economy. For instance, my wife and I would go out more often if my nine year old could watch my other children. She is intelligent and responsible, and it would only be for two hours. But because some idiots left their kids home over a weekend to travel to Vegas, the liberal intelligentsia has the temerity to enact a law that punishes us all. Therefore, we never go out, and won’t do so until my daughter is 13. And it’s a shame, because my daughter is more literate than most union members.

          This is the very definition of paternalism.

        • nickgb says:

          I didn’t mean to make fun of your daughter’s height, I was just trying to point out that the regulation is a little more nuanced than what you presented. A car seat for a 9 year old is ridiculous. A booster seat for a shorter 9 year old is pretty reasonable (imho).

          You view this as an infringement on your rights as a parent, but I view this as the state protecting children from negligent parents. It’s not like the state is telling you how to raise your kids, they’re saying “Look, there is no good reason not to use a booster seat. Do it.” Just like mandating minimum nutritional standards, forbidding beating your kids as discipline, and requiring medical care for young children regardless of your religious beliefs. It’s hard to make a clear rule why you have a fundamental right to not use a booster seat when they are so important, but you don’t have a fundamental right to use a belt on your kids for disobedience. If you want to distinguish the two, it’s a hard line to define.

          As for leaving your 9 year old at home, that’s a tougher call. This falls in one of those murkier areas of law; the state isn’t going to conduct random inspections to make sure you’re obeying that law, you just run the risk that, if anything bad ever happened, you will be presumed to have been negligent. In a society where gay people can’t be married, I have a hard time finding that regulation to be too intrusive… I’m sure you’d agree that the former is stupid, but I’m sure you can think of lots of regulations I find obscene, too. We’re in a democratic society, and on things like this we just have to put up with some intrusive crap sometimes.

          • “didn’t mean to make fun of your daughter’s height, I was just trying to point out that the regulation is a little more nuanced than what you presented. A car seat for a 9 year old is ridiculous. A booster seat for a shorter 9 year old is pretty reasonable (imho).”

            I didn’t think you were making fun of it. To me, car seat/booster seat are synonymous. Why not extend booster seats to all short people then? That way, if they need to use a cab, they have to carry a booster seat along with them?

            My issue is with the standard. I think it is ridiculous.

            “As for leaving your 9 year old at home, that’s a tougher call. This falls in one of those murkier areas of law; the state isn’t going to conduct random inspections to make sure you’re obeying that law, you just run the risk that, if anything bad ever happened, you will be presumed to have been negligent. In a society where gay people can’t be married, I have a hard time finding that regulation to be too intrusive… I’m sure you’d agree that the former is stupid, but I’m sure you can think of lots of regulations I find obscene, too. We’re in a democratic society, and on things like this we just have to put up with some intrusive crap sometimes.”

            I actually have a weird view on gay marriage. My view is that the state should not be issuing marriage licenses at all, but civil union licenses – gay or straight. The reason is that the state should be fully separated from the church, so if a Catholic church refuses to marry a gay couple for religious reasons, for instance, the ACLU cannot target them. That said, gay couples should have the same rights from the state as straight couples. And yes, I find the regulation of when I can leave my child home obscene as well. The state simply has no business in that realm whatsoever.

            As a an Army officer in California, I once had to send a soldier out of California to avoid the state from taking his child away from him. Of course, we sent him to be near his parents so that they could help him out. If the state had taken his child, the Army was convinced that the child and the tax payer would have been far worse off.

        • nickgb says:

          Sean, you can’t compare a law about child safety with a law mandating that short people use booster seats. Child safety laws are about protecting children from parental negligence, but the state has different goals for adult safety laws.

          As for the standard, it relates to whether the lap belt goes over the hips of the child (good) or the stomach of the child (bad). This isn’t arbitrary, there’s studies and reason behind it. I think you might be a little irrational on child booster seats…

          • “Sean, you can’t compare a law about child safety with a law mandating that short people use booster seats. Child safety laws are about protecting children from parental negligence, but the state has different goals for adult safety laws.”

            A fair point. But what about nutrition in the home? How about clothing standards?

            My point is when does it stop?

        • Shannon says:

          Um, seems to me it would be a pretty damn good regulation. Learn how to drive, or stay off the road.

          I’d make it 3 DUI’s, and your driving license is taken away permanently. You got a problem with that?

          As for that union member crack – there goes the rest of the respect I had for you, and then some. It’s on.

          By the way, how did you manage to get out of the Army in 2003 with all the stop-loss going on? Hmmm..quit in 2003..about when you might have actually had to go into battle. Sucks when they start shooting back, doesn’t it?

        • @Shannon,

          I spent five years in the Army precisely because of stop loss. I was slated to get out in 2002, and the Army kept me for an additional year. On my own I arranged for two separate deployments to either Qatar (just before the Iraq invasion) or Afghanistan. My bosses boss denied my request because he didn’t want to signal to the Army that it was okay for it to raid our unit for one off deployments.

          You speak as if you have extensive experience on this matter. How many years did you serve?

        • Shannon says:

          In other words, you arranged for other people to go to Iraq and Afghanistan while you stayed at home.

          And to answer your next question, I spent at least as much time in Afghanistan than you did.

          We never sent any troops to Iraq, because we didn’t fall for that b.s. you were selling about WMD’s.

          • Actually, if you are Canadian, you did send troops to Iraq. I’ll defer to Vern for the details.

            First, I couldn’t control whether I was sent there. I did my best to volunteer, but it didn’t work out.

            Second, unless you spent a day in uniform, you don’t have a leg to stand on. I served my country while you sat in your living room, probably consuming services from the Canadian government while sacrificing nothing.

        • Shannon says:

          Sigh. Marriage is a LEGAL institution, not a religous one. Or are you saying atheists or agnostics can’t get married?

          That’s why we have the state get involved. Because of the legal aspects of marriage.

        • Shannon says:

          Uh huh. How many Canadian troops were in Iraq? Numbers, please.

          Actually..I believe YOU were the one consuming government resources. By the truckload.

          Did your best to volunteer, huh? So you walked out in 2003 to improve your chances?

    • Shannon says:

      So what? You could say the same thing about traffic lights.

  5. Although it’s somewhat splitting hairs, I’d have to disagree with you a bit here, Sean, even though I agree with your main point.

    Based on my experience the attitude I’ve seen generally from the left is more a maternalistic one than paternalistic one. They seem to want to prevent the fall (or the “fail”) and the skinned knee because they see it as the ultimate worst thing that can happen, and they see it as permanent. For instance, let’s tax the rich so we can save people from losing their houses, or tax the rich so we can extend unemployment another 99 weeks and keep people from supposedly ‘starving’.

    Someone losing a business, or losing a house, or losing a job, or even going hungry for a few days isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can be that “wake up call” that many people need to start seeing how their attitude might have caused their situation and how a different attitude (to begin with) might get them out of it. In my experience most liberals want to protect people from these wake up calls.

    I know the argument back might be, “I’m sure someone who is starving clearly knows their situation”, but I would argue from my own experience that’s not always the case. Someone starving who believes someone else caused their situation and also that someone else will have to pull them out of it doesn’t know the reality of their situation as much as someone who accepts full responsibility for their lives and says no one is obligated to rescue them does.

    I’d prefer no “istic” approach at all, but based on my own personal experience (working with the poor plus my own situation where at one point I was living out of my car), the liberal view on poverty and the maternalistic approach to it is the worst one because I find it shifts someone’s attitude furthest away from resourcefulness and self-reliance rather than towards it.

    Further to that, here’s an article describing what many poor consider to be the “cause” of their poverty:
    http://www.npr.org/programs/specials/poll/poverty/:

    Of all the problems mentioned (circumstances, education, drugs, etc.), I find that the only solution liberals ever seem to discuss or focus on is throwing more money or people at a problem. Anyone in business, however, knows this doesn’t ever work – especially long-term. You need more resourcefulness, more effectiveness, more efficiency as a real solution. Anyone who has pulled themselves out of poverty knows that as do the millions of self-made business people, so why don’t these highly-educated liberals know this in their ivory towers? You would think that with more so-called “education” at a post-secondary level they would be the ones pushing more for a smarter and more efficient way to approach a problem rather than trying to simply throw more money at it? With that, I think it begs the question: “Do formal education levels really make a difference in how successfully a democratic country is run?”

    • nickgb says:

      So if a person with a higher education disagrees with your world view, your assumption is that higher education is worthless?

      I’m a little tired of the accusation that liberals “throw money” at every problem. The government can pretty much only do two things: make things legal/illegal, or throw money at a problem. The Bush tax cuts are “throwing money at a problem”, as are grants to charter schools or charitable institutions. Accusing liberals of throwing money at problems is just a rhetorical device to imply that liberals don’t have solutions, as though the money isn’t being spent according to a plan that has been thought out and researched. Building highways was just throwing money at a transportation problem, after all.

      As for the idea that people in business know that more money “doesn’t ever work”, I suppose you aren’t objecting to taxing corporations at a higher rate then? After all, they can just become more resourceful, more effective, and more efficient!

      • “So if a person with a higher education disagrees with your world view, your assumption is that higher education is worthless?
        If you read what I said, i didn’t say it was worthless. I asked why someone with a higher education wouldn’t strive for more efficiency within a system rather than simply/blindly throwing more money at it, which is what they do. What world view says that simply throwing more money at something is right?

        Granted, I did direct this at liberals – I would normally take a step back and direct it more generally towards any highly-educated politician in how they address most problems (Republican or Democrat), but since the context was helping the poor and helping entrepreneurship I Ieveled it squarely at highly-educated liberals who, based on what I deal with directly in my job (specifically working with improving conditions for the poor and minority entrepreneurs) I’ve found that liberals in business, government, and academia pay relatively very little if any attention to efficiency when it comes to these issues and instead do just what I said – simply try and throw more money and people at a problem to try and solve it.

        “Accusing liberals of throwing money at problems is just a rhetorical device to imply that liberals don’t have solutions.”
        It’s far more than a rhetorical device since I deal in an area where these so-called “solutions” have an immediate and real impact on those we work with. If someone wants to make a post about how some conservative business owners’ greed causes their companies to perform poorly which creates unnecessary displacement, job loss, or even a loss of the entire company, I would happily and easily support that because I work with those types, too, but I can tell you from experience that most liberal solutions aren’t really “solutions” at all – they’re too broad-reaching, too vague, and too inefficient to be practical.

        Even when I look at other blogs, I see posts about how badly the Republicans have cut programs and how badly we simply need to put more money back into them, and yet no specifics. Just look at the whole “tax the rich” mantra and the Occupy movements as general proof. Do they say specifically how much the rich should be taxed? No. Do they say specifically how or where the tax code should be changed? No. And how about the very liberal Occupy Movement? They don’t say anything specific at all. The only specifics they offer are a common set of ridiculous twinkly-fingered hand gestures and big bright “No Rape Here” signs. They offer zero solutions, and zero suggestions of efficiency. Again, based on my own work whether it’s a business or a social issue, if there’s actually a liberal solution out there that makes sense and would work I’ve yet to see it (and would love to).

        “…as though the money isn’t being spent according to a plan that has been thought out and researched. Building highways was just throwing money at a transportation problem, after all.”
        Sure but who makes the plan? Who designs the research conditions? How many hoops and layers does the project have to go through before implemented, and what criteria are they using to measure the results?

        You reference roads – the Boston Central Artery was supposed to be $3b after being researched yet it ended up being over $15b with federal taxpayers, and we all know the “Bridge to Nowhere”. Surely these weren’t just junior accountants and planners on this project, yet more highly educated people who were tasked with figuring out what this project would cost could be so far off? A cost overrun in the billions and being over 500% of the original cost for the Boston Artery is hardly an “oops” on a spreadsheet or someone abusing their overtime. With such supposedly smart people on a project, why such inefficiency?

        In my experience, no matter how highly educated a liberal business owner happens to be, there’s only one place their company goes, and that’s under. They don’t like to drill down on the numbers and they can’t make the distinctions and sacrifices necessary to truly get results that will change things either with a person or a company’s future. Just look at how many liberals right now can’t even make the distinction between a “corporate raider” and an “venture capitalist” when it comes to someone like Mitt Romney.

        “There are 44 federal employment and training programs that overlap with at least one other program in that they provide at least one similar service to a similar population”. That’s from the GAO. Liberal “solutions” can only survive at this government or government-supported level because of the all the inefficiency, waste, and overlap that inherently comes with them. What 44 companies in the real world could provide the exact same product and survive? When it comes to helping the poor or helping people create their own jobs, instead of making a smaller number of agencies more efficient, they prefer just to increase the size of the agency or better yet, let’s just make 43 more. :)

        I’m not against higher education or liberalism. i have a higher education myself, and I also work closely with those in both government and academia that I admire greatly. What I’m against, however, is the idea that all solutions have to come from there because to them, only solutions that come from some “ivory tower intelligentsia” or something chock full of with some liberal pseudo-altruism or white guilt can be right.

        I see poor people and successful businesspeople of all races and walks of life change and improve their future with no formal education, and yet I continue to see liberals with a high degree of formal education and no street experience whatsoever look down upon them as second class citizens or lab rats because “the research doesn’t support the results” – all the while these liberals ruining potentially good programs or even their own companies into the ground. In my opinion, their views regarding these things move people far more towards dependency and entitlement which is the opposite direction of where they should be going, in spite of any good intentions.

        • nickgb says:

          I understand where you’re coming from, I think. I don’t totally disagree either, there’s a lot of inefficiency that could be fixed. Your original triggered a knee-jerk (over)reaction to the usual argument that conservatives propose solutions while liberals just spend the money, but conservatives spend lots of money, too. When you really get down to it, when you’re in power you tend to want to keep what you have and get more, especially in terms of power and money. But I feel like there’s a double standard where, if you’re liberal, you are accused of throwing money at something simply for doing anything. But liberals are also in favor of more regulation and supervision, which isn’t throwing money at problems at all. Meanwhile, when the government cuts a public program in order to pay for a tax cut, they’re just reallocating money, too. Any time you mess with funding or taxes, you’re “throwing money at a problem”, it’s just not as obvious when you’re taking money out of the public sector and reallocating it to the private sector (through lower taxes or increased “partnerships”).

          As for this paternalism debate, I think it’s funny that conservatives find us to be so paternalistic. We don’t view it in those terms at all, for us it’s about fairness. On the conservative side, however, there’s all this talk about teaching poor people to be self-sufficient and so on. To me, that message is actually paternalistic. Democrats don’t want to teach people a lesson, but Republicans do (at least according to their messaging).

        • Nickgb,

          Vice versa, i agree with pretty much everything you say even if not perhaps full agreement on all the points. Like Scott said, I don’t think there’s anyone here who truly doesn’t want to help those in need, it’s just a question of what exactly “help” is and to what degree one believes it’s needed. On the other hand, I believe fully that Republicans are just as able (see G.W. Bush) to throw money at a problem simply for the appearance of solving it. For clarification, you’re right – money is usually required in solving any problem. When I say “throwing money at a problem”, that’s my shorthand for “throwing more people and/or money into an already inefficient/bloated program that is certain to produce minimal returns in relation to the amount invested.” My reply was already long as it was. :)

          You said, “Democrats don’t want to teach people a lesson, but Republicans do (at least according to their messaging).” I agree that it would seem this way. The part of me that’s Libertarian would add that perhaps the best lessons around personal finances though comes from life or the market rather than from some Republican. I’d prefer to get my lessons from there anyways, because I think that’s where we learn the most, assuming we’re in good health.

      • Pino says:

        The Bush tax cuts are “throwing money at a problem”

        It’s fascinating that you consider allowing an individual to keep his income as somehow throwing money at the problem. It’s as if the government owns all the money and they just decide how much of it they’ll let us keep.

        • nickgb says:

          That’s not at all what I’m saying. If I pay $10 and you pay $5, and the government decides to create employment by spending $5 on a new program, you’d say that they were throwing money at the problem. If the government instead decides that I’m going to create jobs if they lower taxes, so now I only pay $7 and you only pay $3, then there’s the same amount all around as long as our money goes to the purpose that the government expects.

          Unless you’re an anarchist, you have to accept some level of government taxation and funding. I think that money is better allocated in government programs to benefit everyone, but a tax cut is a decision that money should be taken out of that public benefit and given to the private sector. And when you do so because “they are job creators” and so on, you’re throwing that government funding at the problem of unemployment. I’m not saying that the government is entitled to all your money, I’m saying that a tax cut, from a policy perspective, is a decision that a purpose is best accomplished by relinquishing that money to private citizens.

          And of course in many situations I disagree, because the government can accomplish many things on a very different scale (and much more fairly).

        • Pino says:

          Unless you’re an anarchist, you have to accept some level of government taxation and funding.

          Yeah, I’m not that; clearly taxation is a burden we must accept.

          but a tax cut is a decision that money should be taken out of that public benefit and given to the private sector.

          Yet it’s the mentality of that statement that I balk at. You can not take money out of the public sector and give it to the private. It’s the private’s to begin with; it can only go one way.

          I’ve been spending a great deal of time thinking about this, and I think it may describe many differences liberals and conservatives have. Some of us think that government should be an impartial “referee” only here to adjudicate rules and contracts. Others think that government should take a more active role and compensate some group of individuals for another group’s advantage; real or perceived.

          I trend toward the ref; liberals not so much I suspect.

        • Shannon says:

          On the contrary, that’s exactly what it is. Giving money to people with absolutely no control how it is spent. I believe the idea was to stimulate the economy. How’d that work out for ya?

          And by the way, fixing problems usually takes money. You get what you pay for.

          • Joe says:

            One can’t give someone else something that is theirs to begin with. Hello !

            Where did you get your education ? The former Soviet Union ?

      • 99ways2die says:

        “The Bush tax cuts are “throwing money at a problem”

        Tax cuts do not throw money anywhere, they simply cut taxes so businesses and tax payers can keep the money they earn and use it on bigger projects. Like if a small business wants to expand or if a working citizen wants to add on to their home. Raising taxes and then giving everything away while turning a safety net into a lifestyle off the tax payers backs is throwing money at the problem.Not only that but it’s taking money away from those WORKING to feed their families while those who would rather stay home are getting child support off the Government when you don’t even know the people that are collecting. Right now there’s a guy in California whos been living off of the tax payers for years, never worked a day in his life but yet drives around in a nice Cadillac SUV and has brand new Fender Strats in his basement connected to a big Martial stack amp., is that right to you?

    • Scott Erb says:

      There is nothing inherently contradictory between liberal ideas and a desire to enhance personal responsibility. At its best liberalism is helping people overcome barriers that otherwise keep them from using their abilities to thrive and allowing people who choose to take responsibility to be able to succeed. At its best liberalism is about expanding opportunity and making society stronger, and helping individuals become more responsible and resilient.

      • “There is nothing inherently contradictory between liberal ideas and a desire to enhance personal responsibility.”

        I disagree here. I think most liberal ideas are inherently incompatible with personal responsibility. If someone gets fired, it must be racism, sexism, or some other ism. If you have too many kids, you get even more money from the government. The incentives are simply skewed to encourage more, not less, dependence on the state.

        I agree that there must be some social net for society, its just that I also believe the left has simply gone too far.

        • Shannon says:

          Republicans may give lip service to personal responsibility, but their actions suggest otherwise. How many of the Wall Street barons who created the financial crisis have gone to jail? They didn’t hold Bush responsible for his screw-up in Iraq. They don’t call their pundits out when they get caught in a lie. When Blagoevich got busted, Democrats were the first to castigate him. But Republicans didn’t have a problem with John Ensign staying in office as long as possible. And then of course there’s Scooter Libby,

          Oh, and finally, we have the Republican Congress essentially holding the country hostage during the debt-ceiling debate. I haven’t heard many cries for accountability on that one.

          • So Wall Street is single-handedly “caused” the financial crisis, huh? Consumers taking out HELOCs to use their overvalued homes or people knowingly entering contracts they knew they could never afford we’re just blameless victims.

            Any reasonable person would agree that the crisis had no single root cause, but was the result of many factors that happened over the past thirty years.

        • Shannon says:

          Yes, that’s right. Consumers should have been expected to reject their own loan applications. In fact, let’s cut out the bank altogether. Let’s just have customers fill out the application, appraise it themselves, and then give it a yea or nay. It would save a ton of paperwork for the bank.

          Why not apply that kind of logic to more real-world situations? “Were you speeding back there?” “No, officer, I wasn’t.” “Oh, all right then.”

          Now, in the real world…

          I don’t know what they taught you at Harvard, but it’s the BANK that’s responsible for determining if the borrower can be depended on to repay the loan. Some customers have poor financial skills? No shit, Sherlock. It hasn’t been that way for the last thirty years, but ever since banks have been in existence. That’s why you have people WITH the skills to approve thew loan.

          • If you expect businesses to do their own due diligence on themselves for heir customers, then I’ve got a bridge I’d love to sell you.

            The concept is so old, the Romans had a term for it: caveat emptor – buyer beware. Everyone is responsible for the details of contracts they enter. Mortgage contracts are no different.

        • Shannon says:

          Ummmmmm…..yes, I DO expect the banks to give due diligence to their customers. It’s called competence. Or just plain doing your job. You say this is a rare thing in America? Somehow, I’m not surprised.

          Due diligence is what the banks did up here, which is why we gave that whole financial crisis thing a pass.

          And the Romans had another saying…”Caveat Vendor”. Wanna take a guess at what that means?

    • Paternalistic, maternalistic, you get my point. ;-)

      Though technically, maternalistic is probably a more accurate term. ;-)

  6. Shannon says:

    What your data shows is that very smart people are predominantly liberal.

    Not that there aren’t smart conservatives. The problem is that smart conservatives are somewhat sociopathic. I remember very clearly Ron Paul’s supporters shouting “let him die”!

    And there is plenty of evidence that Republicans aren’t all that bright – in fact a remember posting a fair bit of it. Don’t 40% of Republicans think Obama was born in Kenya? Or that an obscure thirty-year old government program caused the financial crisis?

    Not to mention thinking that people like Sharon Angle, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, or Rick Perry are credible candidates. ANd let’s not forget their last pick for President. If you keep picking idiots to run, it kind of suggests you’re an idiot as well.

    • Now Republicans are sociopathic?

      Is that a serious argument?

      I agree that the Republican Party has been fielding a lot of terrible candidates. It’s a major reason I started this blog. That said, the Democrats have their own share of morons, Nancy Pelosi being the most notable example.

      • Shannon says:

        Really? What did Nancy Pelosi do that was so stupid? Examples, please.

        And yes, it is a serious argument. Most Republicans seem to be empathy impaired. They don’t even like to say the word “empathy”, they like to say “paternalism” instead.

        • Shannon, than you for asking this question. Just do a search on this site for “Homage to Nancy Pelosi” and you will find a compilation of her greatest hits. I am using an iPhone, so I had trouble posting the link. I will post it later today when I can use a computer.

        • Big difference between paternalism and empathy when dealing with grown adults. Is a parent that finally cuts off an entitlement-ridden teenager who’s sponging off them and not learning any life skills all of a sudden being selfish and cruel when they kick the kid out on their own, or cut off their allowance? Is a female bird being cruel when they kick their young out of the nest over the side of a cliff? If you have kids, do you insist that they never bruise an elbow, or skin a knee, or even fall down?

          “What did Nancy Pelosi do that was so stupid? Examples, please.”
          Um, she talked, and then she talked again. Isn’t this the same Pelosi that said sign the health care bill so we can find out what’s in it? Or the one that believes natural gas is a great alternative to fossil fuels?

          And the real beauty, her stupid, fully dodging, blubbering, backpedaling idiot response to 60 Minutes about her insider trading:

        • Shannon says:

          Posting with an Iphone? Wow. You must have a LOT of time to waste.

          And after posting that many words, you can’t post an extra line for a link? I smell b.s.

        • Shannon says:

          Your point? He accused her of benefitting from legislation, she said it wasn’t true. He suggested that she passed the bill because it was friendly to credit card companies she had invested in. She pointed out that she passed several bills that hurt credit card companies, so suggesting she’s giving them some kind of preferential treatment is kind of stupid. Like you. Your comment makes me wonder if you even watched the damn thing.

          Oh, and do you seriously want to put up Pelosi’s record of slips of the tongue against Bush’s? Really?

          Oh, and let me tell you a little story about natural gas. In 1988 when I was working at Royal Roads, we took a heavy duty pickup up and down Vancouver Island, taking core samples from Vancouver Island lakes. We spent the better part of a week doing that, driving hundreds of kilometers, and we didn’t burn a drop of gasoline. The secret: a propane-powered truck. And this was in 1988, technology that’s more than twenty years old today! So don’t bother telling me that natural gas ISN’T a viable alternative to oil-based fuels. ANd yes, I know that natural gas is a fossil fuel, but anyone with half a brain could figure out what she meant. You DO have half a brain, don’t you?

          And yes, we will keep blaming Bush until the problems he caused go away.

          • @Shannon,

            Did you even watch the videos?

            I have nothing against natural gas. Pelosi is a moron because she referred to natural gas as an alternative to fossil fuels when it is a fossil fuel. And she said it three times. If you can still defend her after viewing those videos, you are hopelessly partisan.

          • 99ways2die says:

            Ooooo WOWWWWwwwwwwww, Good for you, you figured out how to tie propane into a diesel engine. See that all the time in the states, it’s used for 1, to help save on fuel when towing and 2 it adds horse power for climbing and some actually use it drag racing with diesel engines. Good job Mr. IQ

            Epic fail.

        • Shannon says:

          Oh, and unemployment cheques and food stamps DO stimulate the economy. That’s been proven. So she isn’t the idiot, you are.

          http://www.selectsmart.com/DISCUSS/read.php?16,682215,682360

    • I think the jury’s still out on what constitutes “smart”, as we’ve been discussing.

      “If you keep picking idiots to run, it kind of suggests you’re an idiot as well.”
      And yet with all their brilliance the only thing the Dems could do to beat Dubyah and his “strategery” second term was John Kerry. Four years ago Carville figured the Dems had 40 more years, yet two years later he’s changing his tune.

      Personally, I don’t think Americans fit as neatly into the two categories of Republican and Democrat which is why I think we’re seeing more discussion around Conservative vs. Liberal and Tea Party vs. Occupiers in the hopes of adding some distinction. Perhaps it’s time for some redefinition of party ideals on both sides.

      • Shannon says:

        Kerry was not an idiot. He was a pussy, but he wasn’t an idiot.

        And Carville, like myself, failed to account for the sheer magnitude of American stupidity. Do all of you forget everything that happened more than six months ago?

  7. dedc79 says:

    I think it’s paternalistic to say “you poor people need to learn how to pick yourselves up by your bootstraps and fend for yourselves. Sure you have no money, no chance at a college education or at career advancement, but we think what’s best for you is not to help you at all but let you help yourself. Trust us, we know what’s best for you. And as it just so happens, this worldview lets us hold onto more of our money. It’s win-win!!!” This is the modern conservative, not liberal.

  8. dedc79 says:

    One other point – i don’t think level of education is a measure of intelligence of voter/supporter. You’d want to look at how people did at these schools, which schools they attended, how they scored on exams. Not going to college doesn’t mean you aren’t smart – it may mean you just didn’t have the resources to go to college.

    • I completely agree. Many of the folks who worked for me in the military were extremely intelligent. One kid literally had a 1400+ SAT score (before recentering) and was accepted to Columbia. He decided to join the Army instead because he could not afford it.

      That said, it is the only proxy for intelligence I had available. I’ve seen other arguments that use state IQ averages and than give the entire state to whichever candidate won the election. These analyses are also unfair. My gut tells me that the least intelligent probably rarely vote at all. Furthermore, it is unfair to count an entire state when in some case half the population voted for the other guy. Plus, it also doesn’t handle population differences.

      • Shannon says:

        I’m not sure what your math skills are, but here’s a hint…population size doesn’t make much difference to an AVERAGE.

        I don’t need your gut, the data I showed you clearly shows the least educated rarely vote. Not that this is a bad thing.

        And oh, if half the population voted for the other guy, he would have won or at least tied. Where did you learn math again?

        And you had extremely intelligent people who had to join the Army instead of going to college..and this is a GOOD thing in your mind?

        • You might want to revisit your argument because it doesn’t make sense.

        • Shannon says:

          I’ll explain in smaller words:

          If the other candidate got fifty percent of the vote, then chances are that he won. You do know how democracy works, don’t you?

          And here’s how you calculate an average IQ for a state: You total up the IQ scores, then divide by the population. So differences in population are accounted for. Got it now?

          • I viewed the second analysis and it is highly flawed because it assumes a winner takes the entire state. In the last decade I lived in both MA and CA. My IQ would have dragged the average up, but would have counted in the “average” Democrat IQ.

            You are going to have to do better than that.

        • Shannon says:

          Only if you have above average IQ. The fact that I have to argue this with you suggests you don’t.

          Besides, for every person that moved from MA to CA, there’s probably one that went from CA to MA. It all evens out in the end.

          • Shannon, both of those states have higher IQs than the average. I am not sure what you are trying to get at. My point is that many conservatives have higher than average IQs which would get lumped into the average for liberals if they happen to live in a left-leaning state. The analysis is flawed because it does not take that into account. That’s all.

  9. middleagedhousewife says:

    There are many insultingly arrogant liberals who really do think that they are smarter than conservatives. They spend their time pursuing higher degrees and are educated beyond their usefulness. Whereas you have blue collar conservatives who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty or sweat a little bit and are actually doing something useful and productive. It may be a simplistic way of looking at it, but it seems to me that the liberal philosophy is to give a man a fish and the conservative one is to teach him how to fish. Higher education does not necessarily equall wisdom. Only life experience can give you that.

    • “It may be a simplistic way of looking at it, but it seems to me that the liberal philosophy is to give a man a fish and the conservative one is to teach him how to fish.”

      I agree to some extent.

    • nickgb says:

      The liberal philosophy is to give everyone free access to fishing school while subsidizing free fish lunches for the school children. The modern conservative philosophy is to get rid of taxes because, if you don’t give free fish to starving people, they’ll learn to fish somehow.

      • middleagedhousewife says:

        nickgb, that’s actually a pretty good analogy. When you plug in human nature here’s what you get. The kids in the free fishing school have no incentive to do well. After all their bellies are full with the free fish lunches so they see no need to learn how. They will all be allowed to pass because the teacher didn’t want to injure the self esteem of the kids who were not able to pass the final exam by catching a fish on their own.

        Many of the starving people who had to learn how to catch a fish by using their wits and common sense will become excellent anglers who can catch enough fish to feed themselves and then sell the excess. This will be bought by other starving people who had no aptitude for fishing, but learned other skills that would be in demand such as net tying and boat building and that’s how they earned enough money to buy the fish they needed.

        The kids who went to the free government fishing school are now adults without any useful skills to be able to earn an income to feed themselves. They see that the fishermen, boat builders and net tiers have plenty to eat and feel that they should share, so they seek to elect officials who will force the fishermen, boat builders and net tiers to share the fish that they have earned with those who did nothing to earn them.

        • “They will all be allowed to pass because the teacher didn’t want to injure the self esteem of the kids who were not able to pass the final exam by catching a fish on their own.”
          Love it! The fish equivalent of the “fat kid trophy” a la Adam Carroll.

        • nickgb says:

          Yup, and if you get rid of unemployment checks all those poor people will use their wits to become investment bankers and CEOs!

          I can only hope you’re joking, but with some of the commentariat on this blog it’s hard to tell.

        • pino says:

          if you get rid of unemployment checks all those poor people will use their wits to become investment bankers and CEOs!

          The unemployment check that continues to come every week is $335. A 40 hour a week job paying $8 is $320. Do you think that a rational human being is going to work 40 hours to make $320 or not work and make $15 more?

          Employment goes up when unemployment benefits go away.

          • nickgb says:

            Employment goes up when unemployment benefits go away.

            Pino, you’ve been pushing this Herman Cain-esque oversimplification for way too long. In the 1930s unemployment reached 25%, long before the advent of unemployment benefits. The situation is far more complicated that “Get rid of benefits and everyone will find a job”.

            But if you really truly believe this, you’d be in favor of raising the minimum wage, too. You’ll probably counter that businesses will be less likely to hire an employee at a higher wage, but that’s simply not true:
            “Several studies have concluded that modest changes in the minimum wage have little effect on employment. A study two months ago by an economist at Washington State University seemed to back the experience of Clarkston and other border towns in Washington. The economist, David Holland, said job loss was minimal when higher wages were forced on all businesses. About 97 percent of all minimum-wage workers were better off when wages went up, he wrote.”
            (NYTimes)

        • Shannon says:

          Riiiiigggggggghhhhtttttt…..that’s gotta be the dumbest analogy I’ve ever heard. You’ve twisted it like a pretzel to get it to output the answer you want.

          I don’t know about American schools, but up here, if you don’t learn the material, you don’t graduate. And we’ve also figured out that hungry people don’t make the best students.

          And finally, that stuff about “using their wits and common sense” to learn how to fish? You do realize you just proved your opponent’s point and contradicted yourself, right? According to you, conservatives DON’T teach people to fish, the exact opposite of what you originally claimed. It’s called consistency, bubblehead, look it up.

          In other words, if that’s how you “teach” someone to fish, God help us all if you start teaching kids how to swim.

    • Shannon says:

      “There are many insultingly arrogant liberals who really do think that they are smarter than conservatives.”

      That’s because they are.

      And funny how when those same blue collar conservatives who aren’t afraid to get their hands a little dirty decide to join a union, you disown them. Yeah, Republicans are the working man’s friend, riiiiiiigggggghhhhhhtttttt.

      And it seems to me, conservatives want to neither give a man a fish or teach him to fish. That’s why Sean had all those high-IQ guys doing his grunt work for him. On the other hand, not only do liberals teach you to fish, they also give you a fish so you don’t starve to death before you finish learning.

      • Kathryn Paine says:

        You really are arrogant. That is my definition of unwise and unintelligent. Why? Because this character flaw is based on a narcissistic, over-inflated OPINION of one’s higher knowledge and intelligence based on a biased perspective. Your own. Anyone with the propensity to believe they are a better judge of others loses objectivity and therefore makes decisions not based on the understanding of topics/issues in an unbiased (scientific) manner, but from their arrogant viewpoint. Accusations about conservatives being less caring, less compassionate, more controlling, less intelligent, is not being born out in these arguments. The bulk of money for the programs for the poor come from the hard working conservatives. The super rich do not ever give up their precious style of living for the poor, and they are predominantly liberal. Look up who the rich are. Did they give up their private jet travel for the poor? Conservatives tend to be family oriented and loving to their families and those in true need. This is my experience with all of the Conservatives I know. But I reserve the right to raise my children with our viewpoints and not be interfered with by the government. And that means, my discernment of what my children are capable of and should learn is much better than the governments.

      • 99ways2die says:

        New flash for you buddy. All those “Conservatives” you keep blabbing about generally ARE the ones that are working on the floor for the 1%er Libtard business owners and allot of times THEIR the ones that decide to make everyone sign on as union when the workplace was before a normal private business when they got the job. You know why GE and Mobil 1 don’t have to bow down to Obamacare and it’s tax raising service destroying policies? Because they sup[ported it to pass so they wouldn’t have to worry about competition through it’s heavy regulations and it’s job killing tax add ons. Funny how the ones he vowed to protect (Pore and Middle class) are now having to pay for hire premiums while the rich Liberals that supported it don’t have to deal with it at all plus they get all the tax breaks on top of that. When does the small business get a bone?

  10. middleagedhousewife says:

    nickgb, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have a safety net for those who have hit hard times, many American are just a paycheck or two away from living on the street. But unemployment and welfare programs should be a temporary solution to help people get back on their feet. Instead we have generations who have made a career out of mooching off the taxpayers. The problem is that the programs are not really designed to help as much as to buy votes. When I got out of high school, I worked in a grocery store. It was not uncommon to see women in designer clothes paying for their name brand junk food with food stamps. I had a job but could only afford K-Mart clothes and store brand groceries. Surely there are those who are suffering, and they should be helped, but it’s a little hard not to be angry when you work hard, and scrimp and save and get by without assistance when there are those who do nothing, get their government checks and I’m paying for them.

    • nickgb says:

      Right, but we’re in an economy where jobs are very hard to come by. People remain unemployed for incredibly long periods of time, outstripping the government benefits available to them. Yet the Republican line right now is that we can’t extend unemployment benefits because it’s just creating dependency, which is ridiculous.

      As for those food stamp ladies, if they’re getting food stamps they must be low income, so the designer clothes are coming from someone else’s pocketbook. Your problem there is with the lazy trust fund kids. Sure, food stamps are all the rage with hipsters now, too, but they’re getting $150/month. Not exactly enough to live on.

      Yes, it’s frustrating to work hard and barely get by, while other people skate by without doing anything. The American dream is supposed to be about working hard to achieve something, and yet we have an entire elite class that has captured large parts of the government, owns much of the capital, and has all the bargaining power. The ultra-rich are the ones who are skating by, not these mythical “lifetime welfare mothers” or whatever it is that haunts the Republican mind.

      • pino says:

        As for those food stamp ladies, if they’re getting food stamps they must be low income, so the designer clothes are coming from someone else’s pocketbook. Your problem there is with the lazy trust fund kids. Sure, food stamps are all the rage with hipsters now, too, but they’re getting $150/month. Not exactly enough to live on.

        They’re probably also eligible for subsidized heating. And housing. They’re probably receiving Medicaid. If they are pregnant or the mother of a young child, they are receiving WIC benefits. If they have kids in school, they’re getting free lunches and free breakfast; sometimes even when school isn’t in session.

        Is there a reasonable end to when you would propose the benefits end? Certainly you cannot advocate for lifetime assistance for the physically/mentally able?

        • Shannon says:

          So, in other words, you Republicans don’t want to take responsiblity for the people you put out of work with your policies. Gotcha.

          Yeah, I’m sure your economy will recover muuucccchhhh faster if you turn your country into a third-world nation.

          • 99ways2die says:

            I’m not rep or dem, but guess what! GOOD NEWS! Thanks to Oblamers tax hikes to smaller and middle class through Oblamercare and his regulations jobs are still slumming and not hiring like they should and the ones that are, allot of them are cutting workers hours in half because OIblamer care is allowing the insurance companies to raise the hell out of their premiums that Oblabber said would not happen, mean while their service they provide is SHIT! Great job Libtards and thanks for the improvement. ;)

  11. middleagedhousewife says:

    As for those food stamp ladies, if they’re getting food stamps they must be low income, so the designer clothes are coming from someone else’s pocketbook.

    That pocketbook would have been mine. When your housing is government subsidized, and your groceries are paid for, you can spend your low income on those duds. The lazy trust fund kids are another issue entirely.
    I have no problem with ultra-rich people who have worked hard made good decisions and have accumulated wealth as a result.
    As for those “welfare mothers” they are no myth. In my husband’s line of work, he deals with them almost every day.

    • nickgb says:

      I’m going to go ahead and assume this is pitch-perfect trolling, at this point. Well played!

    • I find it ridiculous when middle or upper class people try and defend the poor when they a) haven’t ever been poor themselves, and b) have zero contact with them outside of a bum they might see on the street or on the evening news.

      There’s two simple questions you can ask anyone poor: 1) what book are you currently reading (or what is the last book that you read), and 2) what are your friends doing right now. The majority will have the answer “nothing” to both of those questions.

      Similarly, you can go outside the social services office in our area and find two types of people lined up outside the building early on a Monday morning: those who are embarrassed to be there, and those who are perfectly fine being there because it’s better (easier and more guaranteed) than having a job. Ask the same two questions I mention above, and you’ll you get two different answers based on which of these two categories the person is in. And btw, their answer has nothing to do with race, gender, or background.

      Two countries, 4 provinces, 4 states, and about 5,000 people through programs over the past 5 years and it’s still the same – “poor” is an attitude. One can redefine it as “lazy” as hopeless, desperate, drunk, stoned, unresourceful, whatever, but it’s starts with an attitude no matter which way you slice it. I simply refer to it as “lazy” because in all cases, they feel like they’re doing enough and that someone else is doing more.

      With that, i agree with Middleagedhousewife. We need to be making the distinctions regarding the poor and the needy that the government (and those bent on political correctness) refuse to make. Someone whining about not having a job yet running around with an iPhone wearing designer clothes is one such distinction. The majority of the poor are lazy and do not deserve the benefits they receive, which makes it harder and worse for the people who aren’t lazy and are more deserving. Like I said in earlier responses, I think “tough love” would go a long way in correcting some of these problems but we’re too worried about being PC as a society to go there.

      • nickgb says:

        Who are these people you’re so worried about? I live in DC, and I don’t see a lot of kids walking around in designer threads or pulling out iPhones. In fact, I don’t see any. I do see lots of mothers getting off work to go buy really poor quality food with food stamps.

        As for asking what they’re reading, what’s your point? I know lots of rich people who don’t read, I know lots of poor people who do. And vice versa. You’re drawing some connection between reading for pleasure and personal worth. Want to elaborate on that?

        • I’m on the other side of the country in LV and for the most part I’m right smack-dab in the middle of food stamp (food stamp debit card) heaven. Not sure what DC has, or what amounts they offer, but here it’s pretty generous considering cost of living and the cards buy pretty much anything besides booze and cigarettes.

          My comment re: reading is not necessarily about books per se, but simply a more elaborate comment re: being resourceful even when someone doesn’t have typical “resources”. Being around healthier and more proactive people is a resource. Reading/watching/hearing stories about how people overcome hardship is a resource. An attitude that suddenly shifts and believes one can turn their own negatives into positives is a resource. If you were below the poverty line, how did you get above it? Another question I often ask is on a scale of 1-10, how much does one attribute their circumstances to luck, be it good or bad?

          None of the programs I’ve been involved with have done really anything to get at the underlying beliefs/attitudes that are usually associated with poverty from the bottom up, which is why we’re taking a different approach in the work that we’re doing. Those who have escaped poverty have done so with, among other things, an attitude similar to those who are relatively successful in either the middle or upper “class” of society. This isn’t coming from me, it’s coming from them, that once they started to change their thinking, things started to change. They continue to tell there story, and invariably, someone will put their hand up and give a “friendly reminder’ to people that just because this person changed his/her stars, that doesn’t mean everyone else will, and that it’s “very likely” and “perfectly OK” if people don’t have success like this person did.

          We get scolded sometimes, because apparently giving people a real-life example of someone among them that overcame hardship and succeeded creates an unrealistic expectation that hurts some peoples’ self-esteem. I say “boo hoo”.

        • Shannon says:

          Yeah, I’d also like to know what knowing what your friends are doing right now have to do with it. Poor people don’t use Facebook? Is that what you’re saying?

          I wonder how many poor people that idiot has actually worked with. Me, I’ve known plenty of people who became poor through no fault of their own. Including myself.

        • Shannon, it’s simple: if your friends are losers, and lazy bums on a couch, then there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll be a lazy loser bum on a couch as well. Our life conditions are a direct reflection of the 5 people we associate with the most. Get around a different group of people and you start to have different beliefs, use different language, and get different results. Want a new life? Get new friends.

          You became poor through no fault of your own? Barring a tragic accident, I seriously doubt that you didn’t make one single decision that contributed to your poor financial state. Maybe you’re spending too much time on Facebook.

        • Shannon says:

          I said, I WAS poor, idiot. I didn’t say I stayed poor. And unless you think I caused the 90’s recession, I can safely say it was through no fault of my own.

          I take it from the rest of your screed that you abandon your friends as soon as they fall upon hard times. Can’t say I’m surprised.

  12. middleagedhousewife says:

    I plead guilty to getting carried away. It’s a touchy issue with me. However trolling was never my intention. Sorry for wandering off topic.

    • nickgb says:

      No apologies necessary, we all wander off topic regularly. God knows I use plenty of rhetoric myself. I really thought you were just yanking my chain.

      I just have a hard time accepting these bugaboos that are always trotted out to attack social programs. I’ve lived below the poverty line before. So has my family. Many of my clients now are below the poverty line. I can say that in my experience the vast majority of welfare recipients are people who need it for legitimate reasons and who don’t stay on it any longer than they need to. Most are people with pride who hate that they have fallen into the social net. No one WANTS to live in Section 8 housing, or be on food stamps.

      Then again, my mother works in social services. I know lots of other people that do. And everybody gets horror stories about people who abuse the system. But they’re a small minority of recipients. And we can’t punish the legitimately needy people because of a few bad apples. We can make the systems more efficient, sure, but it gets under my collar whenever people go off on welfare programs as though it’s some sort of free ride for lazy people.

      In DC, a housing voucher covers 70% of your housing. Food stamps offer $150/month. You only get food stamps if your income is at or below 130% of the federal poverty guideline. For DC, that guideline is $14,710, so you don’t get food stamps unless your two person household earns, at most, $19,123. Even with housing vouchers, you’re probably spending $6,000 in housing. $2,000 in taxes. So now you have two people living off $10,000 a year, some of which will go to food (it’s hard to feed two people on $5/day), clothing, transit, etc. And if your assets rise above $3,000, you’re no longer eligible. And this is the HIGH end. If you are making $10,000 a year, you pay $1,000 in taxes, you’re still out $6,000 in housing, and now you’re at $3,000 per year for two people.

      There’s a lot more people slipping through the cracks that defrauding the government. But for some reason, people focus on the latter and get frustrated with the system as a whole.

      • “I’ve lived below the poverty line before. So has my family. Many of my clients now are below the poverty line. I can say that in my experience the vast majority of welfare recipients are people who need it for legitimate reasons and who don’t stay on it any longer than they need to. Most are people with pride who hate that they have fallen into the social net. No one WANTS to live in Section 8 housing, or be on food stamps.”

        Nick, I get a different ratio in my work – would rather have your clients sometimes than mine! I hear many say they don’t want to be on welfare, but usually then the next sentence is “someone should give me a job”, or that they’ve send out dozens and dozens of resumes “with no luck”. We get people who are then told of our program as an alternative, and I swear some are in it just for a change of scenery.

        • nickgb says:

          Does your program require applicants to prove that they’re searching for a job? Most programs I’ve seen that provide benefits to unemployed people ask for three references of jobs applied for in the last week or so, so they can check it.

          If your program is just based on income, however, obviously that doesn’t apply, but the idea that people like being poor is pretty ludicrous.

        • Yep, they have to show that they’re looking, but the State doesn’t have enough resources to be making all the calls to follow up, and the people know this so they do things like copy the job listings from their friends, take their chances on getting caught with a warning, or flat out just make the references up altogether. The checks are spot checks at best. Most staff simply check the classified ads and say it’s at least good that someone’s actively looking through the paper. As to whether they call or not, someone with a job listing in the paper doesn’t appreciate a bunch of calls in a day to verify that 10 applicants on some pogey program actually submitted.

          On the other hand, however, I’ve heard (but not yet seen) that they’ll put “bait ads” in the classifieds with a fax # and cross-reference them.

          “but the idea that people like being poor is pretty ludicrous.”
          I get your point but really, it’s not that ludicrous at all. If given the choice of being poor or not being poor, certainly everyone’s going to say that they’d rather not be poor. However, it helps to view it from the perspective of human nature: most people at the lower levels will do more to avoid pain than risk to gain something better.

          The better question in that context would be, “Would you rather face rejection and dejection 100x from potential employers, along with the hassle of getting to job fairs, waiting in long lineups, being reminded daily that you used to have a $50k/year job and now are fighting for a $15k/year job, etc. or is it simpler and easier just to collect a crappy, but guaranteed, government check where no one giving out that check is going to judge you?” And how many would actually make it through 100 potential employers, or just quit after, say, 5 or 10 tries? To some, that’s more painful than a lower wage.

          Now of course there are different situations. Watching someone’s kids starve may add that extra leverage for one person, but for another person, maybe not. They may simply sit there and get stoned or drunk to try and avoid the pain of responsibility for the situation they’re putting their kids through. That pain, to them, is worse than their kids starving. Doesn’t make sense, but it happens, and in some States, we’re arguably Ok that it happens because we won’t cut off their benefits if they’re drug abusers. (I’m split either way on the issue).

          So yes, there are people who prefer to stay poor because just like with people in middle and upper classes, they are more prone to doing things to simply avoid pain than they are to doing things that are painful and yet are the right thing to do. Any smokers in the room? ;)

        • Shannon says:

          Uh huh. And your line of work is….

    • I don’t think you were off-topic at all. Touchy issue for myself as well! If the lazy no longer have to spend their last $200 on food for the month, they’ll now spend it on designer clothes, or booze, or a bigger TV, or HD cable, or whatever. I see it time and time again.

      “Poor”, I believe, starts with an attitude, so there should be no harm in calling out a particular attitude as lazy when it’s the opposite kind of attitude that’s always necessary to turn someone’s circumstances around.

      • nickgb says:

        Poor starts with coming from a poor background. If your parents are poor, you are far more likely to end up poor than if your parents were rich, and vice versa. (http://www.economicmobility.org/assets/pdfs/Upward_Fig_1.pdf)

        And seriously, after this whole conversation about how we need to fix poor people’s attitudes, I can’t believe this all started with calling liberals paternalistic.

        • Ok, not to try and trail this off in yet another direction, but I’m making the distinction between poor as in attitude and poor as in finances. You can be born into a poor family and still not have a “poor” attitude. Many successful people came from poor families, and many successful people have been broke and/or bankrupt any number of times. Part of my argument is that being truly “poor” has less to do with money than it does with attitude. The parents can be broke but they can still raise a child with a “rich” attitude who goes on to be successful. On the other hand, if the parents are broke but also have a “poor” attitude, it’s highly likely that if the kid is not a stubborn hardass that he/she will adopt that attitude as well and end up in the same situation.

          “And seriously, after this whole conversation about how we need to fix poor people’s attitudes, I can’t believe this all started with calling liberals paternalistic.”
          Um, I called them “maternalistic”, actually… haha! ;)

          No worries. You’ve either been knee deep in the poverty thing before or are knee deep in it now, so based on that alone I totally respect your viewpoints even if we may have slightly different perspectives on the problem and how we can solve it.

          To the question about “my program”, it’s not “my program” in an ownership sense. What I’m directly involved with are the classroom lectures, plus advising and counseling 1:1 on the issues where it’s either people who are trying to make themselves more marketable for a job (or do better in an interview), or trying to start their own home-based business, for instance. Someone else or another group handles how they actually come to us (via a Community Outreach, or Unemployment Benefit, or charity, or otherwise).

          In front of and behind that we’re currently doing research for some academic institutions, large enterprise companies, and govt agencies (combined) on entrepreneurship and minority business development.

        • Ben Hoffman says:

          Ok, not to try and trail this off in yet another direction, but I’m making the distinction between poor as in attitude and poor as in finances.

          You’re referring to the “victim mentality.”

        • Exactly, Ben. I believe there’s a direct correlation between the degree of someone’s victim mentality and the degree of their sense of entitlement and I reject that whether someone is sleeping on the street, living in a penthouse, or sitting on a plane when its Internet goes down…

          My man Louis C.K. says it so well.

        • Ben Hoffman says:

          Funny! :) We adapt to technology and are always looking for something novel to give us more pleasure, which often leads to innovation.

        • Shannon says:

          Yeah, but like I pointed out, “paternalism” is rightese for “compassion” or “empathy”.

          It should come as no surprise that a political philosophy based on the principle of “to hell with the other guy” would consider empathy and compassion to be faults.

  13. Shannon says:

    And here’s my take on the statistics:

    First, out of a 10000 sample field, I calculated the number of postgrads. Out of 1700 post grads, 986 were Democrat, 680 were Republican. A Democrat/Republican ratio of 1.45

    Then, I did the college grads. Out of 10000, people with college degrees only, there were 1400 and 1344 Democrat and Republican, respectively. Now, post-grads are also college graduates, so I added those numbers as well, bringing them up to 2386 and 2024 respectively. A Democrat/Republican ratio of 1.18.

    Then, people with HS degrees only. Out of 10000, there was 1040 Democrats and 920 Republicans. Of course, college and postgrads are also HS grads, so I added those numbers to get 3426 and 2944 HS grads out of 10000. A Democrat/Republican ratio of 1.16.

    I’m not sure what your math skills are, but 1.45 > 1.18 > 1.16. In other words, the higher the education, the more likely you voted Democrat. Exactly the claim that was made.

    • Ben Hoffman says:

      That explains why democrats are more reason based and republicans are more faith based.

    • Given your superior math skills, I’m assuming you noticed that there are more Democrats in the sample than there are Republicans. Therefore, your comparisons are skewed to the upside because there are more Democrats in every category than there are Republicans. Don’t you find it curious that you never end up with a single ratio that is less than one? The only valid comparison one can make is by relative percentage. Otherwise you are not comparing apples to apples.

      Again, never bring a knife to a fight when your adversary wields an ICBM.

      • Ben Hoffman says:

        That’s true. The entire study is flawed.

      • Shannon says:

        Well, duh. Could that be because Obama won the election? That’s what generally happens when you have more voters than the other guy.

        That’s why I compared relative ratios. And they proved exactly what I said. If I were to scale the results to allow for differences in turnout, the results would still be greater than one for the democrats, and they would still increase toward greater education.

        And an ICBM is a lousy weapon to bring to a knife fight. By the time you can get it to launch I’ll have poked you full of holes. Like I just did.

        • Shannon,

          I think my point went way over your head. Your results didn’t normalize for the differences in the number of Republicans and Democrats. Therefore, it compares apples to oranges. You might want to review my comment again and think through it before dismissing it simply because you don’t agree with the result. If you were buying two goods, and there were fewer numbers of good A, and you wanted to buy the good with fewer defects, you would buy a good that had a lower defect rate, not one that had the lowest absolute number of defects. The same principle applies here. This is just common sense.

  14. nickgb says:

    Okay, Sean, I think you may getting getting sucked into a spiral of comments that you really shouldn’t be getting into. Step back and remember the wise words: http://xkcd.com/386/

    In getting sucked into that spiral, you said the occasional stupid thing, like: “Second, unless you spent a day in uniform, you don’t have a leg to stand on.” I get what you’re saying, sort of, but this is one of those phrases that needs to go away. Having done service is admirable, but it doesn’t mean you get to claim superiority on arguments, even about the military. I know, it’s hard not to pull such an easy trump card, but it’s an unfair and pretty irrational argument.

    • Nick,

      She is effectively calling me a draft dodger. My only point is that I served and she clearly did not. As such, she is making a pointless argument that she neither has a legitimate basis to make nor the moral authority to stand on. It is not an irrational argument. It is merely a statement of fact.

      Furthermore, the argument was not over some policy change like the repeal of DADT, in which case asserting my service record would not be a sufficient argument against said repeal. This was an insultingly personal attack on me from someone who has no reasonable basis upon which to make such an attack.

      I agree with you that folks rely on this argument a bit too much, but surely you see the context in which I used it is completely and entirely rational and appropriate.

      I don’t mean to challenge you here, but how would you respond to someone who challenged the sacrifices you made? What would you say, when they asserted they weren’t enough because of factors beyond your control, and especially since they did not make any similar sacrifices?

      I am honestly very interested in your answer, because most of my comrades would have responded far more aggressively to such an unwarranted challenge to their service and patriotism.

      The comments you saw that evoked my response are indications of the caricature of what many conservatives have in mind of the left – that they hate the military and will spit on them at every opportunity just as they did in the 1960s and 1970s.

      Shannon spit on my service. I simply cannot characterize it in any other way.

  15. “And to answer your next question, I spent at least as much time in Afghanistan than you did.”
    I call pure b.s. on this one – no one who’s ever truly served could have such disrespect for another officer. If I’m mistaken and you did in fact wear a uniform and spend time over there, I will start by saying a sincere “Thank You” for that, but I’ll quickly add that your disrespect for anyone else in uniform is embarrassing as a fellow Canadian. Maybe you were a paper pusher or were put in charge of guarding sandwiches over there, who knows, but based upon your discourse we one could be pretty sure that anything you were put in charge of failed miserably, and likely, anything around you would probably die from simply having to listen to your self-righteous, cynical, vitriolic babble alone.

    “We never sent any troops to Iraq, because we didn’t fall for that b.s. you were selling about WMD’s”
    Haha. Ok. It’s no secret that Chretien didn’t like or believe Bush about anything, and that he officially he said “No” without UN approval. But he was no more right than a broken clock is. Even with him officially saying “No”, however, that doesn’t mean that we still didn’t go in. How do you think Canada gets to be part of Tier 1 forces, through nostalgia alone for what we did in WWII? Give your head a shake.

    And later, here was Martin’s position: “Prime Minister Paul Martin says he believes Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and they’ve fallen into terrorists’ hands. Martin said the threat of terrorism is even greater now than it was following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, because terrorists have acquired nuclear, chemical and biological weapons from the toppled Iraqi leader.

    “The fact is that there is now, we know well, a proliferation of nuclear weapons, and that many weapons that Saddam Hussein had, we don’t know where they are,” Martin told a crowd of about 700 university researchers and business leaders in Montreal. “That means terrorists have access to all of that.”
    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2004/05/11/pf-455210.html

    Lastly, everyone here’s free to have and express their opinion, but if you’ve got such a hard on against Republicans, the U.S., and its military, then have the balls to create your own blog site and spew your venom there rather than trolling here. You seem to love to sit there and call everyone a phony when you’ve got nothing that shows you’re anything but a phony yourself. And if you’re going to try and pull this “Canadian Moral Superiority” bull$hit, as a Canadian myself I’d kindly ask you to create your own blog and take your crap over there, because here you’re embarrassing your country and yourself.

    • Shannon says:

      Wrong. Many officers who served in battle would be contemptious of an officer who never spent a minute in a combat theatre and yet portrays himself as some war hero. Hazlett gave the bare minimum of what he was required to in order to get his free education, if he wanted respect he should have served longer, instead of bailing when it looked like he might get shot at.

      Chretien was wrong? Ohhhhhh, so you found the WMD’s? Or the link to 9/11? Please, tell us when so we can all bask in your wisdom. As for Martin’s assinine statement, it’s one of the reasons he got the boot in 2006.

      I don’t have a thing against the Canadian military; I think did an exemplary job of defending the United States against terrorist attack while most of their forces were busy making the world safe for Haliburton. It’s the US military I despise, and man of my friends who have served in Afghanistan do as well. Not to mention retired General Romeo D’Allaire, who constantly takes them to task for killing more civilians than terrorists. Remember Tarnak Farm? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarnak_Farm_incident

      Four Canadians dead, eight injured, and the US military doesn’t even bother with an apology. There’s your “heroes” for you.

      I’m not the disgrace..you are. Even Conservative voters can see what a mess the Republicans have made of that country, but you would have us blindly follow them to destruction, even to the point of standing with their country instead of ours. Why don’t you move down there, it should be easier to kiss Hazlett’s ass when you’re closer.

  16. (Re original post)

    Thanks for running those numbers. I think the results are interesting, and make sense (by which I mean I think I can understand why it would work out that way).

    Even if liberals as a group were more educated or more intelligent (not the same thing, but related) than conservatives, arguably a more interesting question, for politics, would be whether one side is paying more attention to current events, understands them better, and so is making more informed decisions in the voting booth. I examined Pew’s data on the subject and concluded that conservatives as a group are significantly better informed.

    • Chilliworth,

      That was a very thoughtful and well-argued post. Very interesting.

    • Shannon says:

      Sorry to disappoint you, but your cherry-picking study has provided the wrong answers. It’s not Republican/Democrat that’s the chief indicator of how well one is informed, it’s age. The study clearly shows that older voters (who trend Republican) are more informed than younger ones (who vote Democratic). Simply because younger people generally don’t have the time to sit around watching the news.

      Here’s a more interesting study:
      http://www.alternet.org/story/149193/study_confirms_that_fox_news_makes_you_stupid/
      http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/11/22/374434/fox-news-viewers-misinformed-study-jon-stewart/?mobile=nc

      So much for that idea.

      • Sorry to disappoint you, but “cherry-picking study” doesn’t mean “study that tells me things I don’t like to hear” (and “wrong answers” doesn’t mean “answers that don’t agree with my preconceived notions).

        I didn’t pick any cherries; I dealt with the data from every Pew news quiz, including the one time (count ’em: one) that conservatives didn’t outperform liberals. (Even that time, conservatives and liberals tied overall—and conservatives beat liberals, and by bigger margins, on 6 out of the 11 questions.) I seem to have omitted mention (though not consideration) of one quiz, March 2011, but that appears to have been only because Pew (perhaps beginning to learn and adapt) omitted mention of how conservatives compared to liberals in the simple format (average questions answered correctly by each conservative respondent vs. average for each liberal) they had used before, and which I found so useful for my discussion.

        Pew didn’t pick any cherries, either. If anything, I think Pew can be trusted to err in liberalism’s favor, not conservatism’s. (I’m not assuming that Pew was erring in either direction in these studies.) In any case, I discussed the particular questions Pew was using, and conservatives outperformed liberals on both the questions I would have thought they would and the questions where I thought liberals would have done better.

        As for “wrong answers”, no one (until you) was asking what the “chief indicator” was of how much a person pays attention, or how informed he is. Mr. Hazlett, in his original post, was asking whether conservatives or liberals were more educated (or, actually, how their distribution curves differed). I was asking whether conservatives or liberals were better informed. I think the Pew studies answered my question. Yes, Pew certainly points out that age is correlated with answering questions correctly (though not just age—“Republicans tend to be older, more educated, higher income and are more likely to be male; each of these characteristics is strongly associated with political and economic knowledge”). Which direction does the cause-effect relationship flow? Are older voters more conservative because they’re paying more attention, or do they pay more attention because they’re more conservative? Does being old make them both become more conservative and pay more attention, while those two dependent variables have zero influence on each other? That last explanation strikes me as unlikely and simplistic, but you’re right if you’re saying that it remains a logical possibility after the Pew studies. They don’t answer any of these causation questions one way or another. They’re reporting the correlation, which is what I thought was interesting and reported.

        For whatever it’s worth, in January 2010, Pew admitted that the correlation (conservatives are better informed) remained even after they controlled for age:

        These differences are partly a reflection of the demographics of the two groups; Republicans tend to be older, well educated and male, which are characteristics associated with political and economic knowledge. Still, even when these factors are held constant, Republicans do somewhat better than Democrats on the knowledge quiz.

        Was that true in most of the other quizzes? We don’t know, because Pew usually didn’t mention it one way or the other (possibly because Pew doesn’t want to make liberals look any worse than they already do).

        I realize that our poor host has almost 150 comments on this blog entry, but if anyone is still reading at this point, and thinks there may be something to Shannon’s criticism, I encourage you to read my blog entry (the object of said criticism) for yourself, and judge for yourself.

        Shannon, then you link to some guy saying things like “The body of evidence that Fox News is nothing but a propaganda machine dedicated to lies is growing by the day,” and “The conclusion is inescapable. Fox News is deliberately misinforming its viewers and it is doing so for a reason.” Why must it be “dedicated to lies” and “deliberately misinforming its viewers” rather than merely mistaken? Well, because he assumes bad intentions on the part of those he disagrees with. It’s not something he proved with logic; it’s an assumption he made. It speaks ill of liberalism that its proponents assume bad motives of their opponents as often as they do.

        As to the evidence he does offer, he mentions and links to a study from the University of Maryland purporting to find that viewers of Fox News are more uninformed or misinformed than consumers of other sources of news, but it’s clear that it’s more circular logic. You want to talk about cherry picking and the wrong answers? Take the very first question he lists, as just one example: Did the “stimulus” in fact result in a net gain or loss in jobs? Well, it’s disputed. The economists I’m aware of that have made a serious effort to answer the question have concluded that it resulted in a loss of about half a million jobs. Reasonable minds can differ, which means this is a terrible question to ask if the researcher wanted a neutral measure of whether the respondent is paying attention to current events or how well informed he is. (Much better for that purpose are questions like Pew’s What is “cap and trade” legislation about (the climate or global warming), What is the “public option” about (the health-care bill), etc.) In other words, the researchers might almost as well have asked respondents, “Is liberalism good or bad?” and then called conservatives “misinformed” when they said “bad”.

        Actually, it’s worse than that, because according to the World Public Opinion page your link linked to, the question that was asked in the survey was whether the respondent thought “most economists who had studied it concluded that the stimulus legislation had created or saved several million jobs,” but the only source World Public Opinion’s summary of the study mentions is the Congressional Budget Office. So one government office that is asked by the government to do a government analysis, using artificial government assumptions, equals “most economists”? It sounds as the researchers expected their respondents to have done more research on the subject than they themselves were willing to do!

        Anyway if you really want to talk about cherry picking and wrong answers, no one was talking about Fox News until you brought it up. I don’t get my news from Fox. If we’re interested in as true a measure as possible of how conservatives and liberals compare (e.g., who’s more informed), doesn’t it make sense to take as broad a sample as possible (e.g., Mr. Hazlett’s choice, all the people who voted for one party or the other according to CNN’s exit polls)? If you artificially limit yourself to a smaller subset, such as people who watch Fox News, you needlessly introduce a whole host of potential confounding variables.

        • “I realize that our poor host has almost 150 comments on this blog entry”

          Indeed. I think I am reaching the point at which I am overwhelmed. But everyone else seems to be doing a fantastic job debating without me, so please let it continue! ;-)

          I also think I already mentioned that your post was excellent. If I didn’t, I repeat: your post was excellent. ;-)

      • Ben Hoffman says:

        Well, it’s disputed. The economists I’m aware of that have made a serious effort to answer the question have concluded that it resulted in a loss of about half a million jobs.

        You’re only aware of economists who support your ideology. Their “report” has been totally discredited, yet you right-wingers continue to use it.
        http://mediamatters.org/research/201105180030
        But of course, MediaMatters has a liberal bias because they don’t spin the facts to the right. :)

        • Well, which is it? Is it so easy to measure the net effect of the stimulus on jobs that many economists have produced credible studies of it, “most” say the net effect was positive, and only the existence of “a propaganda machine dedicated to lies” could explain the fact that not everyone is aware of this obvious truth, as Shannon’s links think? Or is it disputed and difficult to know for sure (perhaps even unknowable), as Paul Krugman (in your links) suggests, and as you suggested the last time I argued about this with you?

          Krugman:

          To tease any effect of the stimulus out of these interstate differences, if it’s possible at all, would require very careful and scrupulous statistical work — and we’d like to see some elaborate robustness checks before buying into any results thereby found.

          You:

          Economics is an inexact science at best, if you can call it a science. Their models almost always fail and their predictions are about as reliable as a Yugo with 200,000 miles on it.

          You can’t have it both ways. You and Shannon should be arguing with each other, not with me.

          I tried to drill down through the links behind your link (to Media Matters), and I looked at the Feyrer and Sacerdot paper (which Dean Baker, and presumably Krugman as well, prefers) and the government paper Media Matters copied and pasted from. As far as I can tell, those studies were set up to examine the positive effects on the receiving end of stimulus spending, but not to take into account the corresponding costs or negative effects on the other end, the impact that money would have elsewhere if the government had not taken it and spent it. Can you confirm that? I’m not sure what I’m looking at for some of this, and I’m having trouble drilling down any further to look at the sources behind that government paper.

          Actually, I probably can’t ask you to confirm that, because it was clear in our last conversation about this that you didn’t understand these ideas, although you certainly wanted to have an opinion on them.

          For anyone else reading, then: In other words, if the answer to the question I’m asking him is Yes, he’s using circular logic: He’s taking studies that were only ever intended to measure the positive effects of the stimulus, and then saying, Well, these studies don’t support your claim that the negative effects outweighed the positive effects!

  17. Ben Hoffman says:

    Studies have shown that conservatives are far more emotional than liberals. They make their political choices based on fear and hatred more so than looking at actual policies. They are also willing to defend their emotional views with lies. Just look at all the lies directed at Obama. Most of his criticism is not based on reality, yet conservatives just eat it up.

    • Far more? I could see a study concluding that Republicans are more emotional than Democrats on social issues simply by reason of Republicans being largely faith-based, but on fiscal issues?

      Also, are we talking Republicans vs. Democrats or Conservatives vs. Liberals here? By definition wouldn’t a fiscal conservative be basing much of their choice/decision on math whereas a Liberal would hardly care about the math at all? Hence no clear answers on how much to ‘tax the rich’ by when they’re demanding it, or in a much broader sense, how about the whole Occupy Movement in its entirety? If that movement’s not 100% emotional and “hopey changey”, I don’t know what is. I don’t know – lots of labels and the lines get fuzzier and fuzzier.

      Regardless, I think there’s too much emotion on either side of the aisle, whether it’s religious fanaticism on the one side or overwhelming white guilt on the other. More numbers and facts get discussed in the blogs rather than around the dinner table or water cooler, and that’s what worries me.

    • Kathryn Paine says:

      That is funny! I go look at the bloggers and the Youtube responders and it is always the liberals who are mouthing off and calling names. The conservatives are usually expressing their views calmly. Liberals seem to have foul language more often than not when they get heated. Lies… oh boy! What lies? Give some details. Right now, I am really believing that Obama is so clueless about the Benghazi tragedy “wink”. The liberals cannot have it both ways. Either they are smart enough to know what is going on and they are letting people get killed for a reason, or they are incompetent suggesting the leadership is not so knowledgable after all. And the Democrats are always blaming the Republicans for why they cannot get anything done. Right. Two terms is not enough? You guys won, so you are in charge, right? Wonder why you are not able to get anything done? Maybe conservatives are smarter than you think. Maybe the American people do not want the liberals to get everything going their way. Bottom line is that right now the current democratic president is bringing the U.S. down economically and his “change” is not much of a change from the previous administration. We still go around policing other foreign countries. We are still overspending. People do not feel more secure by the increasing governmental spying on and over-regulation of its’ own citizenry. There is less transparency than ever, and there is clearly a movement to trample on the Constitution. I can go on in more detail and post sites to read from, but most people do not really research things that contradict their viewpoints.

  18. middleagedhousewife says:

    Geeesh Shannon, and Nickgb thought I was a troll. Give it a rest already.

  19. jenny oh says:

    “In my experience, no matter how highly educated a liberal business owner happens to be, there’s only one place their company goes, and that’s under. They don’t like to drill down on the numbers and they can’t make the distinctions and sacrifices necessary to truly get results that will change things either with a person or a company’s future. Just look at how many liberals right now can’t even make the distinction between a “corporate raider” and an “venture capitalist” when it comes to someone like Mitt Romney. ”

    Would that include such “liberal” businessmen like Warren Buffett or Bill Gates? To make a wild assumption like that shows that you are not really thinking clearly, you are thinking from a place of political discrimination.

    • VR Kaine says:

      Are you really trying to argue that either of those guys became successful based on their Liberal principles, or that they run more “socialist” or egalitarian organizations first and care about the dollars and cents second? How about Soros? I’m sure he was tree-hugging all his way to the top. In contrast, do you think Solyndra was more a liberal decision or a conservative one, or that a company is “saved” by adding useless jobs, or by it’s employees unionizing? Not likely.

      If instead you’re talking about Gates and Buffett’s charitable contributions, consider that those are far more in line with conservative habits rather than liberal ones based on a number of sources, including this one: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/conservatives_more_liberal_giv.html

      Regardless, my specific statement was “in my experience”. I’ve never worked with Gates or Buffett (I wish!) I have, however, worked with dozens of small and medium-sized businesses as well as departments within large companies directly and the bulk of that work is spent helping them mitigate the effects of some stupid “fair share” liberal mindset that these people are now having to contend with. Example: creating an entire business unit within a multi-billion dollar utility company that they know from the start will lose money, never produce anything worthwhile, and cost jobs in other areas yet they have to start this unit in order to appear “green” to the general public.

      In the smaller businesses, it’s usually helping them mitigate the effects of the “culture of entitlement” that has caused the company to become ignorant and non-competitive. Many times this is because of the person running it at the top, other times it is because of the people working against that person from underneath, but nevertheless it is always a more “fair share” liberal attitude that is the problem in either case.

      The only “truly” liberal organizations are not-for-profits or charities where the fact is that without government handouts taken from the people by force they’d be exactly where I said – in the ground. It’s only someone who doesn’t think clearly – and who has obviously never run a company with employees – that would think a company running under a truly liberal “fair share” mindset wouldn’t (and doesn’t) get absolutely destroyed in an open marketplace, taking all its employees down with it.

      • Ben Hoffman says:

        The only “truly” liberal organizations are not-for-profits or charities where the fact is that without government handouts…

        They don’t get any more liberal than Google, which, last time I checked, was not a charity or a not-for-profit.

        • Cobra says:

          Google, just like Microsoft is a near monopoly. Part of Sean’s reasoning here is that many liberals think and act liberal… because they can afford to do so.

          The point earlier about feeling guilty for being born wealthy is a strong motivator in this. When you don’t have to work hard and you can retire off the effort of your parents… your chances of being liberal are just over 70%.

          This is why only 19% of the fortune 500 actually inherited their money. Rich kids don’t tend to perform well. Middle and upper middle class kids are where the next generation of billionaires will come from.

          • VR Kaine says:

            Yes. For one Ben confuses “Liberal” with “charitable” when in fact charitable has been shown to be a more conservative trait.

            Google’s founders, just as Bill Gates, may think Liberal or be Liberal but my point was that as a company, they can’t run fiscally like a liberal company otherwise they’ll go straight into the ground. Google’s trying to monetize everything to do with the Net, they’re huge on profits, they deliberately and openly invade peoples’ privacy and I can be almost certain that they’re not producing any free rides in their company for their employees. Not sure how anyone would think Google is “Liberal”, and beyond that, I would imagine that competition to get into either Microsoft or Google is still fierce so they’re not likely to hire any of those loser Occupiers anytime soon.

            And to your point (and Sean’s) about freedom of choice to become Liberal due to inherited wealth, I totally agree. When we have tons of excess cash we can afford to be Santa Claus and decide to be Liberal. If someone tries to take a Liberal stance with their company as a startup, with the exception of a small few they can pretty much kiss their startup and their billionaire dreams goodbye.

  20. kev says:

    The bar charts are VOTERS. Have you considered that above and beyond the likelihood that not everybody understood the questions (e.g. a conservative base that might think “post-graduate” meant anything past high school), many of the educated chose NOT to vote? How many of the highly educated believe that it matters? How many had too much “work” to do? When you have no earthly idea of why voters chose not to turn out, you have no earthly idea of what the totals that did turn out signify, period. All I know is what I’ve seen in the 47 U.S. states I’ve been to/through, and what I’ve seen is that people who think outside the box, get good educations, and become critical thinkers are far more likely to lean to the left.

    • I’ll be the first to admit that the sample set isn’t perfect, but I can assure you that any reasonably normally distributed sample set trumps an anecdotal opinion from one liberal who likely associates mostly with other liberals. I could make the same argument and it wouldn’t be any more valid. I went to Harvard and Stanford, and also served in the Army – all three institutions that have representation from all 50 states. In my experience I’ve met a wide range of liberals and conservatives. Most of the liberals I’ve met were either very bright or extremely stupid. Most of the conservatives I’ve met have been of mostly average intelligence, and some have had extremely high intelligence.

      That said, my experiences likely don’t include a statistically significant cross section of the population, and neither do yours. As such, I’m inclined to put more weight on a survey that does, rather than accept one of two anecdotal and biased data points.

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  22. Wayne says:

    What are your sources for the graph. Its so easy to lie with statistics when you just throw in numbers from things you chose to use. College graduates are more liberal, you see that in many universities, even in Texas. Also most students receive financial aid and other government assistance, Republicans want to cut off those lifelines. This article is flawed to the max.

    Cite the source for your graphs please.

    • Wayne says:

      Well let me correct myself, the article is not flawed to the max, it just doesnt take into account for alot of factors that can influence what you present.

    • “College graduates are more liberal, you see that in many universities, even in Texas.”

      I think you might be confusing college students with college graduates. While I cannot speak for Texas specifically, nationally the proportion of Republican voters having only a college education is greater than the proportion of Democrats having only a college education. And its been that way for the last several elections.

      “Cite the source for your graphs please.”

      From your subsequent comment, I think you noticed that my source is CNN and ABC News.

  23. Andrew Han says:

    Liberals =/= democrats. Most democrats are moderates who lean left. Liberals are a minority in the States.

    Self identified Liberals are by far the most educated group in the United States, and are tied with conservative businessmen as the most affluent. Look up studies that isolate the two parties by specific ideologies, and you’ll find that 48% of liberals hold college degrees.

    • “Liberals =/= democrats. Most democrats are moderates who lean left. Liberals are a minority in the States.

      Self identified Liberals are by far the most educated group in the United States, and are tied with conservative businessmen as the most affluent. Look up studies that isolate the two parties by specific ideologies, and you’ll find that 48% of liberals hold college degrees.”

      You’re arguing over semantics. To me, anyone who leans left is by definition, liberal.

  24. Demandra says:

    First, thank you for your service! Second,my goodness! So many comments. My apologies if someone has already pointed this out, but I went to check out the sources you cite, because your conclusions contradict the well-known Pew study–http://pewresearch.org/pubs/17/in-search-of-ideologues-in-america –with the now famous quote, “Liberals are far better educated than other groups (48% college graduates, compared with an overall average of 27%).” It’s important to note, however, that the Pew study takes into account segments that you do not.

    The first link (2000 election) is dead. Your bar chart for the 2nd (2004) is accurate.

    However, your 2006 citation, http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2006/pages/results/states/US/H/00/epolls.0.html, is not represented accurately in your bar chart. Some college and college graduate are incorrect. (In your source, the Dems have a higher some college rating and they are dead even for college grads.) The source you cited for the 2008 election is also represented incorrectly in your bar graph (Dems are higher in all areas–no ed, some college, college grad, etc.). Your final citation does not link to an actual exit poll, but rather an explanation of how polls are conducted.

    It would appear that yes, you’ve run the numbers, but you’re represented them incorrectly in more than one case. Given your educational background, I’m a little surprised by this. It’s pretty straightforward data, and it appears that you took one year that confirmed your hypothesis and ran with it, assuming it would be accurate for subsequent elections. That’s not the case, as is evident by the very sources you cite. Do you think it’s possible that a personal prejudice could have colored your perception of the data? I ask, because there is quite a passive-aggressive tone in this statement, “The intellectual is, after all, so much smarter than the average working stiff.” Data is grand. Stereotypes are generally pretty destructive. You are clearly an intellectual, and I suspect you don’t find yourself smarter than the average bear.

    As a non-relevant aside, I work in the social service sector, where I have been fortunate to work with people across the political spectrum. I have found both conservatives and liberals to be kind, caring individuals who are deeply committed to community and altruistic principles. I have found that commonality stems from compassion, not a sense of superiority. Oddly enough, I have found that folks are simply folks, regardless of political affiliation or education levels. Granted, my personal experience is not universal truth, but I am always a little suspect of folks who make passive-aggressive statements about those they see as “other.” That suspicion, combined with your misrepresentation of the data you cite, is a bit disconcerting. More relevant, your sources don’t support your hypothesis, nor does a more extensive and well-regarded study by Pew.

    This leads to a broader question that applies to all of us–how can we push past our personal prejudices if even in the face of data that contradicts it, we hold to our incorrect assumptions?

    • Demandra,

      You are correct that there are more Democrats in all the areas of college and above. However, there are also more Democrats in all areas of no college as well. Why? Well, because there were more Democrats overall in the study. My numbers are based on proportions, not absolute numbers. Otherwise, Democrats would lead in every category, because there were simply more of them overall.

      I am confident that if you break out an Excel spreadsheet, and do a proportional analysis (i.e., compare the percentage of Republicans with no college degree vs. the percentage of Democrats with no college degree), your numbers will foot with mine. There is no bias here. The math is what the math is.

      If you are looking for holes in my argument, a more effective argument would be that not all (not most) Democrats are liberal. I would disagree with you, but I could not come up with any empirical data to support or rebut such a contention.

      But I’m not wrong on the numbers. Moreover, unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about the broken links.

  25. Freebus says:

    Interesting Info here regarding this subject:
    http://getsector.com/blog/2012/04/24/whos-smarter-democrats-or-republicans/
    It appears, when broken down to smaller units than states (congressional districts), the distribution of education levels by Republican vs Democrat is statistically tied.

    So much for the ‘Democrats are better educated than Republicans’ argument.

    However, the ‘which party’s candidates say more dumb stuff’ debate still rages!

  26. Jordan G. says:

    I’ll jump in. Couldn’t the data be explained by the demographics of large cities? Urban areas vote overwhelmingly Democratic, and urban centers are concentrations of both highly educated individuals, and impoverished inner-city dwellers. In contrast, the poor rural voter tends to be uneducated also, but tends to be Republican. There are also fewer of these rural poor than inner-city poor. The suburbs are probably a healthy mix of both Democrats and Republicans depending on how expensive the neighborhood is.

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  28. 99ways2die says:

    So if liberals really are so smart, why is it a Proven fact Democrats where started by the KKK yet Minorities suck their lies up like sheep to the slaughter? NRA was started by white men showing slaves how to defend them selves through firearms. Just another fact the Libtards get all pissy if you bring up. Hitler was elected in and took everyones firearms away and like Obama uses kids as props in order to tug on the heart strings of idiots.

    Libtards go to private schools and Colleges that are run by libertarians pushing liberal beliefs on everyone so it’s a debunked fact there that Libtards are smarter, it’s just smart people are taught to be libtards, also proving they really can’t think for them selves to begin with (Which explains their inability to be original) but proves their the ones who are brainwashed and not us stupid conservatives. Libtards make death threats and accusations to people that don’t agree with them and conservatives prefer show with facts NOT ridicule (Unlike the super smart Libtrard nation) I go online it’s a death threat, personal attacks, false information backed by low grade publicists debunked by trusted ones. Libtards believe in the oldest idea of socialism that has never proven to work yet calls a time tested idea of democracy (The newest idea) and old idea and want to abolish the constitution slowly making America nothing more then another Roam or Britain. Not a single study ever proved gun grabs to slow down violent crime but all have proven the opposite and Libtards still want to do it like Hitler and grab every ones defense. All you have to do is Google “Violent crime lower since gun bans” then “Violent crimes higher since gun grabs” and its all the same site links showing not a single country in the world has gotten safer, BUT we have gotten lower violent crime through out the last 20 years. Only time Liberalism has ever worked is when it helps the Larger Government it creates to keep the people oppressed and keep the criminals in charge and that is a proven fact and in no way can any of you Libtards prove other wise.

    That’s why a libtard gets angry, no death threats on Romneys behalf but many on Obamas and that was after his approval rating hit the toilet. Sure Bush sucked, he was a piece of garbage that was more worried about his Hallibuton stock then he was anything else and proved that in many actions, but in the time of two wars his debt raised in 8 years the same it took Obama in 4 years. And Libtards are stupid enough to deny this, so Grey matter, no matter what’s it matter? If I had my choice between a working government of the conservative or a big dysfunctional government of the Libtards Ill take a president with a bad track record over a Neo Nazi that just blames everyone for the fact no one votes for his dictator policies including his own people so he illegally passes it and now everyones seeing the fake tax cut’s costing them more money any day of the week.

    Anyone who tries to kill the constitution deserves to go to Guantanamo Bay and their might be laws against a Prez going to a localized jail or prison but there is no law against Gitmo. And you Libtards can take your German attitudes and your socialist leader and all your death threats and go there where you belong.

    Oh and here’s some more Libtard scare tactics, now Jaba the hut is racist? You really should be attacking the Star Wars firm for the fact Darth Vader was based on Hitler and the Storm Troopers speak for them selves cause they are making fun of your kind on that one.d by white men showing

    • 99ways2die says:

      Oh and here’s some more Libtard scare tactics, now Jaba the hut is racist? You really should be attacking the Star Wars firm for the fact Darth Vader was based on Hitler and the Storm Troopers speak for them selves cause they are making fun of your kind (Some how there was a bit added at the end that was not supposed to be there)

  29. Fun Fact. Most Libtards are drug dealers, Illegal immigrants, Convicted felons, those who want to live off the government and not want to work, Dictators, Mafia and over all scum of the earth.

    Proof ; Obamacare, dropping ID laws during last election, Obamas illegal Immigrant relative that keeps getting deported and comes back, Obama lying to Egyptian citizens to get a Muslim Brotherhood leader in office, Infringing the rights of amendment 1,2and 4, Taking down security at Bengazi then lying time and time again about it being a terrorist act, refusing help to Stevens after being asked several times to send help THEN blaming Stevens for being out there when he was sent out there by Obama anyway, taking already screwed Chicago that WAS run by Mafia AND Cops and putting the Mafia IN AS THE COP’S then banning legal ownership of free weaponry RAISING the crime rate and murder/break in rate leaving no one to be able to defend them selves as he is trying to do to the whole country today. And anyone who’s looked up Crime rates before and after gun bans will see NO country and NO state has ever become SAFER after banning legal ownership of guns. MORE DEATH, MORE RAPE, MORE ROBBERY’S ENDING IN DEATH AND CRITICAL SUFFERING. And no one is allowed to say a thing.

    GOOD JOB YOU LIBTARD REJECTS, YOU HAVE OFFICIALLY MURDERED US ALL!

    You belong in Guantanamo Bay just the same as your HERO Dictator Obama.

  30. 99ways2die says:

    And DON’T bring this Bush this Bush crap to me either. That whole family is garbage too, but after 5 trillion in 8 years on Jr. and 6 trillion in 4 YEARS NObama as just a guide to see the time frame as how bad Obamas shoved us to the ground it’s pretty friggin hard to say Obamas not worse. Obama is the most evil, twisted lying piece of crap asside from maybe Carter or Nixon ever stepped into office and I’d STILL rather see them back in office over any Obama or Bush so libtards GO TO HELL!

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  32. Chris says:

    I wonder if you were to drill down a bit into this if you would see some different results. I think the research from the folks over at PolitiFact found a slightly different result.
    http://www.politifact.com/georgia/statements/2012/nov/05/larry-sabato/education-level-tied-voting-tendencies/

    • 99ways2die says:

      Research?! LMAO you idiot that crap is all run by Libtard Media that are lap dogs to the fake Liberals that pay them to allow the CIA to audit their fake news to tell the public what they want them to hear. Shut up idiot, heres some REAL research for you, All my own.

      Propaganda facts:

      F&F gun runner Eric Holder stated on video that they needed to “Brainwash” the public on how they think about guns.

      Saved auto industry was a lie after Ford refused bail out and GM and Crystler accepted. After the case Ford Improved sales and their cars with out any Gov assistance while GM and Chystler accepted bail outs of billions between the two. Later GM allowed the government to BUY 49% of their company then shortly after took another bail out while sending Cadillac to China where they are built today. Crystler gets bail out, sells to Fiat and now (As lied about as claimed) Jeep is now in China open for production.

      Obama tells Mexico it’s our fault for all it’s problems for our demand of drugs that Mexico supplies to our country when Mexico Supplies drugs to other countries as well as he also blames it on the Demand FROM the US when the real blame should be looked at from the supplier that also runs over 75% of their Economy as well as blaming guns that come from the US BUT how come he hasn’t blamed Mexico for their demand as he did us? And that brings us back to F&F, Eric Holder would you like to answer this question?

      So much for Politilie

    • 99ways2die says:

      Yeah the LapDog Media that run Politilie got a different result. Good for them, how great they did as their supposed to and produced the same garbage smut their political party tells them too. Must be nice to be such a brainwashed Libtard you think the high and mighty at MSNBC is giving you “Facts” because they know how to run a web site. Tard.

  33. bSpittle says:

    everything conservatives believe is false.

    whine about the deficit?
    (R)’s built it, and Obama’s reduced it faster than any time since WW2.

    whine about jobs?
    the one jobs bill Obama passed (feb 2009) created more jobs than the entire economy did under 8 years of GWB. Every jobs bill since has been blocked by (R)’s.
    we’d be under 5% unemployment without anti-american conservatives.

    • “everything conservatives believe is false.”

      Wow. This is a pretty bold claim. Please prove it.

    • 99ways2die says:

      Oh so you mean it wasn’t the fact he taxed the shit out of small and middle class business as he said he would never do? Or regulated the shit out of them as well?? Excuse me dumb f@#$, all those “Jobs” he created where all temporary government jobs and all the ones like Solyndra and ever single other he created he was warned they where destine to go under and every single one of them has, mean while thanks to Oblamercare and all these new regulations REAL businesses are having to cut back on their workers hours INCLUDING places like Walmart that supported the POS bill (Tax) because insurance companies are raising their premium 150% now said to be 300% in a few years as your hero stated would not happen. Not like you would know anything about that anyway considering you’re probably just another live off the tax payer back Obamafan that never has the need to worry about these sort of things. Better keep up on your research before you say some thing else that’s complete false and stupid.Now Unions want to back out, and you know there’s reasons for that and Congress was exempted from having to deal with the train wreck as well. Stay proud Libtard, everyone who ends up starving, dead or both is blood on your hands. Oh and please explain, why can’t we keep our doctors as was promised anymore and why is everyone’s benefits getting less and less while the price goes up and up?

  34. Mike says:

    Two things. Your data is wrong because I remember for a fact that Obama won the college educated vote in 2008. I looked at your link that you posted and I was right.
    http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#USP00p1

    Second, you are talking about liberals versus conservatives. Not every Democrat is a liberal. Liberals constitute only about 20% of the voting population. A poor uneducated person may vote Democrat because they are smart enough to know Democrats work for their interest. However, they are likely not liberal in terms of religion, abortion, equal rights for gays, etc, etc.

    • Mike,

      My data is not wrong, you just didn’t interpret it correctly. More college educated people voted for Obama because more people voted for Obama overall, but that’s not what my data shows. It shows the proportion of voters who voted for Obama who have college degrees vs. the percentage of voters who voted for Romney who have college degrees. Otherwise the analysis would be useless, because it would show that more people at every education level voted for Obama.

      Frankly, I’m a little tired if defending this point, because this isn’t the first time it’s been raised.

      • Mike says:

        The question is why are you doing it by proportion? Because it makes Republicans look better? More people are Democrats than Republicans. We are a big tent party. You should be comparing people to people. In 2008 Democrats won the majority of the college educated vote. It is pretty well known that Democrats consist of several sub groups. Among them is the well educated well off liberal and the poor Democrat who is still smart enough to vote for his self interest. Your title compared liberals to conservatives, not Democrats to Republicans. A person who votes Democrat but is socially conservative, against equal rights for gays, and for prayer in the school is not a liberal.

        • “The question is why are you doing it by proportion? Because it makes Republicans look better?”

          No. I did it that way because I am trying to get the profile of the average conservative and liberal as defined by whether or not they vote for a more conservative (Republican) or more liberal (Democrat) party. If I where to use absolute numbers, I couldn’t come to any conclusion. All I could say is that Democrats are both more educated and less educated than Republicans, which would be both pointless and nonsensical. You have to compare the average conservative profile with the average liberal profile to arrive at any logical and/or meaningful findings.

          To your second point, admittedly, the analysis is not perfect as some Republicans may have voted for Democrats, and vice versa, but it is the best analysis possible given the data available. In other words voting Republican is an indicator that one is most likely conservative as voting Democratic is an indicator that one is most likely liberal.

        • 99ways2die says:

          Yeah smart guy, not to mention the fact all these college educated idiots heard was free college, and didn’t think for a second that with all the regulations he adds and all the tax raises Obamacare is going to add they won’t have anywhere to use the college education he gave away so freely using up more money we don’t have nor will we ever get back due to his policies. It’s truly amazing how many morons colleges create. Gonna be hard to pay for that forced insurance written by the insurance companies when no one can find a job to pay the bill. And throw granny over the cliff?? My grannies medicaid just went UP over 100% thanks to you libtard hero. THANKS LIBTARDS :)

    • 99ways2die says:

      CNN also a hired actor to play the part of Robbie Parker so that says allot for CNN. And no reason to call it a conspiracy there Mr. Intellect, there’s footage all over showing jst how full of shit that was.

  35. cool tapes says:

    absolutely crazy. i’m 2000% left-wing but it does really grind all of my gears when i see people argue on the basis of “conservatives are stupid” or “liberals are all smarter and better educated, more attractive, and are better at call of duty” when meanwhile you ask them what the moral justification for left-wing-ism is and they can’t reply and yet i know that 6000% of conservatives i know could give me a coherent defense even if it completely fails to convince me. i don’t even understand the relevance of bringing up potential educationing or etc.

    i fully admit to more conservatives being more rational and logical too, i just don’t take that as a good thing that automatically means the argument is lost or that there is necessarily superior reasoning (had much experience of overlogic traps myself)

  36. 99ways2die says:

    Thomas Jefferson was 100% Liberal, and he was also the main writer and writer of the second amendment AND an avid believer that with out it the Government would be3 to tempted to grow to large, and get to powerful and the country would become a socialist PARASITE where people would live to much off the tax payers backs and the Government them selves would be sure it would happen to keep the those who prefer to live off welfare living off the backs of the poor and middle class while the 1% gets all the tax cuts and congress would give them selves total power and scrap the constitution and Bill of Rights. As is happening today, So to REALLY answer the question, Maybe there’s a small chance LIBERALS a are smarter. BUT LIBTARDS such as these idiots on this page are nothing but freeloader junkies ripping off anyone else from getting a chance to support their own families because LIBTARDS think the Government is their daddy and they should feel free to suck on their titty for the rest of their lives while the WORKING CLASS gets to flip the bill.

    Question ANSWERED

  37. lanemeyer says:

    The problem is that your whole argument is undercut by statements like this: “In my opinion, certain liberal policies appear to have an underlying paternalistic tone. They hold that the poor and uneducated need the help of wiser government bureaucrats to protect them from themselves.”

    While it’s your “opinion” so you leave yourself wiggle room, it’s so off base that it’s hard to take anything else seriously. Not a single one of my more liberal friends has that slightly in their heads. The fact is, I often tease the more left leaning for their do goodiness, but it’s invariably rooted in exactly that, doing good. Not the paternalism storyline that conservatives have been using forever to try and get more poor and minority votes.

    Now, the wealthy liberal guilt thing? That’s a thing, but painting liberals with that brush accounts for a small portion of liberals. I went to liberal elite schools with them, but they are a TINY fraction. My gun toting, midwest living, uncle who worked with his hands all his life falls on the liberal side and most of my town is just like that.

    • Lane,

      You are quite right that my statement is nothing but an opinion supported by my personal experience, much like your experience, of having attended two elite liberal universities. Just because your personal experience doesn’t support my opinion doesn’t invalidate my opinion, nor does my anecdotal experiences at elite liberal institutions invalidate yours. That’s why it’s an opinion, and why I labeled it as such.

      I agree with you that liberals want to do good, but that’s not inconsistent with their paternalism. You seem to confuse ends with means here. Most liberal policy solutions operate from the philosophy that government knows best. It’s why we have a Consumer Financial Protection Agency (to protect stupid people from entering into contracts that no intelligent person would consider). It’s the underlying spirit of Obamacare with that law’s mandates on the minimums health policies must provide (like birth control, etc.). It’s the overriding animus that drives gun control legislation. The ends of liberal policies are no doubt noble, it is their means that are paternalistic.

      • lanemeyer says:

        Are there any other lawyers here? Because this “stupid people” entering into contracts that no intelligent person would consider” happens so many times a day it’s comical. My doctor/banker/entrepreneur friends do it. You’ve done it. Everyone here has done it, Mostly because they did not read the contract at all. And MOST of the time it turns out fine, except for when it doesn’t and the fine print is actually applicable and then they come to me or some other lawyer friend. Being screwed over by a bad contract with bank, car dealership, credit card company, business partner has ZERO correlation with party affiliation, it has to do with people not being legal experts, which why I make money and we still need things like the CFPA. Really bad example.

  38. Suzy says:

    Why is it that the BLUE STATES pay MORE IN TAXES and the RED STATES use more of those taxes for ahhhhh, what do you call them “entitlements”?

    • Well, your point is not entirely true. As you can see from this Economist article (http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/08/americas-fiscal-union), some red states pay more in taxes (Texas) while others take in more than they pay (Mississippi). The same is true for blue states (i.e., California vs. New Mexico – and yes, it is a blue state now).

      If you look at the numbers, you’ll see a pattern that has less to do with political ideology and more to do with size and population. The bottom like is that larger and more populated states have the wherewithal to pay more taxes.

      Moreover, I bet if you took a deeper look at the intrastate demographics as to which groups actually receive those benefits, I’m pretty sure you’d find liberal constituencies receiving much of the tax transfers. Many of the southern states like Mississippi and South Carolina come to mind.

  39. Edward Knutson says:

    Vapid. that is a big word for Heather. I have a friend worth millions thanks to Daddy and Grand daddy during WWII helping nazi germany and she gives lots of it away to all kinds of things. She likes that word vapid too.

  40. rattleharmsway. says:

    If you have a masters degree, ie are among the most educated and presumably the smartest, you are more likely to vote democrat. See the columns on the far right of the graphs. It shows that the smarter someone is, the probability of them voting republican decreases significantly.

    • True. Though having a Master’s degree doesn’t necessary make one smarter. It could also mean that someone is simply richer. Also, the converse is also true. If you only have a high school degree (i.e., you are among the least educated), you are more likely to be a Democrat.

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