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Stats United States The Almighty Buck

Census Bureau: Majority of Affluent Counties In Northeast US 285

Posted by timothy
from the water-runs-downhill dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I'm not a big fan of heat maps, but the US Census Bureau has just released a set of maps that succinctly capture average income distribution across the US. BusinessInsider points out that well over half of the most affluent counties in the US are concentrated in the Northeast (counting Virginia, presumably for the suburbs of Washington, D.C. located in that southern state). Of course, the cost of living is higher in those counties as well. Meanwhile, poor counties tend to be clustered in the southeast and in southwestern states on the Mexican border. There is good news for the northern prarie states, though, particularly North and South Dakota, as they lead in the number of counties with gains in household income over the past five years."
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Census Bureau: Majority of Affluent Counties In Northeast US

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  • red v blue (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jack Griffin (3459907) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @06:55AM (#45693989)
    I'm not from the US, so I never understood why poor people vote conservative? All the red states seem to be poorer yet these are the people that would benefit most from a "socialist" left govt. In every western democracy I've been in there's a clear cut bias, rich white people vote right and all the multi-coloured worker-bees vote left. Why is the US the opposite?
  • Re:red v blue (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15, 2013 @07:24AM (#45694081)

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” --Steinbeck

  • Re:red v blue (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15, 2013 @07:34AM (#45694113)

    Some insight may be that poor people tend to have less education, therefore more believe in a personal Jesus in the US, and the party that wears Jesus on their sleeves? Republicans.

    Personal speculation, correlation is not causation, etc. But something to consider.

  • Re:red v blue (Score:5, Interesting)

    by djmurdoch (306849) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @08:47AM (#45694293)

    I'm not from the US, so I never understood why poor people vote conservative?

    They don't. In each state, the poorer people are more likely to vote Democrat, the richer people are more likely to vote Republican.

    However, richer states are more likely to vote Democrat, and poorer states are more likely to vote Republican.

    So perhaps the question should be posed the other way: if your state votes Republican, why is it poorer?

  • Re:red v blue (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @09:28AM (#45694381)
    Of course, the flip side of that is that the increased regulations of every kind of business that are implemented alongside of those "safety nets" make it harder to start a business. You are correct that employer based health insurance (not actually health care itself, but merely the way that it is paid for) make it more difficult to start your own business. Of course, the solution to that is NOT the government taking control of health care and being the only source of a way to pay for health care. Rather the solution is to eliminate the tax preferences given for employer provided health insurance.
    The question I have is, if the only people who benefit from times when the political philosophy of reducing government power are those already on top, why does income inequality increase when the President favors income redistribution (such as currently) and decrease when the President favors empowering people to take control of their own lives by reducing federal regulations (such as when Ronald Reagan was President)?
  • Re:red v blue (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:22AM (#45695031)

    I grew up in the deep south so I can explain. Most of middle America is very rural and homogeneous. You grow up white, protestant, and middle class around people who all share similar conservative beliefs and are rarely exposed to different ways of thinking that would challenge those beliefs, and you are sheltered from life experiences that would challenge your beliefs. So, a sort of group think takes hold. Politically, the group think revolves around social conservative issues: gay marriage, abortion, taxes, guns, etc. You live your whole life never knowing anything else and you become afraid of anything that might challenge that.

    Where as on the coasts, the population is more exposed to immigrants, there is more trade activity involving foreign countries, the larger population density allows more opportunities for people to exchange ideas, etc.

  • Re:red v blue (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tranquilidad (1994300) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:32AM (#45695111)

    We just started a training business last year.

    It cost us about $10,000 to start that business. $4,000 was spent on the material we needed, web site, logos, etc.

    $6,000 was spent, mostly on legal fees, on licenses and making sure we adhered to government regulations at multiple levels.

    Those things we needed to build the business that came from private parties (bank accounts, uniforms, office supplies, etc.) could be satisfied in a matter of days. The longest and most difficult was getting an extended validation SSL for our web site - that took two weeks because we needed a letter from our attorney.

    Anything we needed from a government agency took months with multiple calls.

    All items that came from the private sector came from companies that wanted our business and we had choices of providers. This created an incentive for good service and responsiveness.

    All items that came from regulatory agencies generally came from organizations that said this is how it is, live with it and you better not fail any of the steps or you, literally, won't be in business.

    I can say that there was one agency that approached the problem like the private sector and that was a state agency responsible for issuing state-level trade and service marks. This particular state had a web-site and 24 hour response to our applications.

    We used a particular service to walk us through the various government regulations at a total cost of about $1,500. Without that service it would have taken months and months just to figure out what regulations we needed to follow and, frankly, we probably wouldn't have even attempted the exercise.

  • Re: red v blue (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jmac_the_man (1612215) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @12:10PM (#45695417)
    You have a $150k/yr job in NJ with no college education? What are you, a state legislator?

    Seriously, though, I graduated from a public high school in Morris County. (This is Slashdot, so I'm guessing at what TFA says rather than reading it, but I bet Morris County, NJ is on this list.) The public schools were set up to defend the New Jersey Education Association. You give 90% of the teachers I had in high school half a chance, and they'd shoehorn pro-teachers' union propaganda into whatever they were supposed to be teaching us.

    On issues of politics (civics and history classes, but also tangentially related classes like English, which was taught by the head of the union), expressing any opinion other than the approved doctrinal opinion of the teacher would get you shouted down.

    A few years ago, I was going to donate money to a candidate who wanted to take a harder line in the upcoming negotiations with the NJEA

    I live and work in Morris County today, but my wife and I are going to move before we have kids, because there's no way I would send my kids through that.

  • Re:red v blue (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich.aol@com> on Sunday December 15, 2013 @12:56PM (#45695729) Journal

    It's simple, really.

    They believe more in personal responsibility than shared responsibility. I live in the South, and the overwhelming majority of people I know would rather work hard for what they earn than take it from someone else without working for it. They believe that you must earn what you have, rather than simply be given it. And, they are okay with the fact that they don't have as much as others. They are happy with what they have.

    I've lived in ultra-liberal and ultra-conservative parts of the country, and everywhere in between. The liberals I know are miserable. They can never be happy with what they have - they always see the grass being always greener elsewhere. They are also overwhelmingly underachievers with expectations that their slack will be taken up by "someone else."

    Also, you have to take the data with a grain of salt. I live in a "poor" area by national standards - the median individual income in my city is approximately $30,000. However, the median home price is only about 2.5x. You can buy a "nice" home for $120-140k. My wife and I recently purchased a 2000 square foot home on 2 acres for $140k.

    So, it's important not to confuse "poor" with "behind in the inflation race."

    As far as my personal beliefs, I would rather shovel shit for minimum wage that reach into your wallet and steal your money. That is wrong, and I won't do it. So, it's not about voting in my own self interest, it is about voting for what is right.

  • Re:red v blue (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ganjadude (952775) <pmalloy4391.gmail@com> on Sunday December 15, 2013 @01:31PM (#45696089) Homepage
    Talk about hypocracy, you got flaming liberals that are all for killing unborn humans but are aghast that we would kill someone for something like , i dont know shooting up a school. This is why Im not a democrat or a republican, they are both hypocrites, and until one can take the blinders off and see it from both sides, you always will think "the other side" is the bad guy, because "your side" conditioned you that way
  • Re:red v blue (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hey! (33014) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @02:20PM (#45696551) Homepage Journal

    Having done business with local governments around the country, I can tell you that the stereotypes about southerners or northeasterners are inaccurate. It's not like everyone from Georgia is a conservative and everyone from Massachusetts is a liberal. You find the same *kinds* of people everywhere, but in slightly different mixes.

    Control of most states happens at the margins. If you have slightly more conservatives in a state, you get consistent conservative victories and if you have slightly more liberals you get consistent liberal victories. Incumbents tend to get re-elected too; that gives the ascendant fringe leverage over the low-information middle voters, and puts the weaker side in an up-hill battle for success. Lack of success for a minority party powerfully weakens that party, and it may have difficulty fielding strong candidates. Things tend to *look* hopeless after several decades of dominance by one party, but I think that's an illusion. A strong centrist candidate can win anywhere against a weak majority party candidate, as with Scott Brown who won the Ted Kennedy Senate seat in Massachusetts 2010.

    Red states tend to have a history of hard luck and social upheaval, and this produces marginally more skepticism about government. By contrast Massachusetts, indisputably the bluest state in the nation, has enjoyed remarkable good fortune since the founding of the nation, and that produces *marginally* less skepticism about government here. But it's still there. In Massachusetts you still hear *exactly* the same range of opinions as you would in a red state. It's just that minority parties are structurally disadvantaged in states where one party has had a long record of success.

    We just had a special election here to fill Ed Markey's congressional seat. The Democratic winner walked away with 65.9% to the Republican's 31.7%. That may seem like a landslide, but consider this. Almost a third of the voters came out for a totally unknown Republican, a political neophyte who nobody thought had a chance of winning against a well-known and popular politician. That strikes me as a remarkable showing, and I think it shows that even the bluest state is more purple than we imagine.

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