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RocketGuy's avatar

What is your interpretation of these Conservative vs Liberal statistics?

Asked by RocketGuy (6870 points ) October 13th, 2012

This site gathers statistical studies, dividing the results by Conservative vs Liberal states:
http://conservative-truths.com/

Seems life in Conservative states is not as good as in Liberal states. To me it looks like a correlation with the average amount of education. What do you think?

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11 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

Breaking news: populations that hold different values enact policies that result in different outcomes.

In other news, 1 + 1 = 2.

wundayatta's avatar

Perhaps poverty causes conservativism? Or is it that conservativism causes poverty? Or is it historical?

How are conservative and liberal states defined?

glacial's avatar

@SavoirFaire Yes, but is it a direct outcome (specific values -> specific policies), or is it a case of the voters’ values being used to manipulate them? The latter could be due to poor education, as the OP suggests.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@glacial I’m not commenting on the direction of fit. I’m just suggesting that it is no surprise that, say, median income is lower in states where the political outlook of the majority is that median outcome is not a good indicator of whether or not a particular fiscal policy is sound. Whether people are being manipulated or not, people certainly aren’t going to be bothered by statistics that do not diverge from how they think the world should look. Therefore, they aren’t likely to do anything to change the situation.

jonsblond's avatar

I live in a conservative county in a liberal state. With the exception of Chicago, much of Illinois is conservative. Many of my conservative friends and neighbors are college graduates and are doing quite well. They have a decent home, nice cars and get to vacation at least once per year. Many of the liberals I know are working poor. Of course I also know liberals who are college graduates and they are getting by financially, but I can honestly say I don’t know many poor conservatives. The same can be said for all of my old high school friends in Las Vegas, Nevada. Another state that is liberal but has many college educated Republicans. The majority of my old school buddies are college graduates, professionals and Republican. This is all anecdotal of course, but the complete opposite of what many people here at Fluther have to say about them ignorant Republicans. This is why I’m surprised when I hear such comments. How do I interpret all of this? It’s hard for me to believe some of these studies when my life shows me something completely different.

RocketGuy's avatar

Maybe not enough educated Conservatives in those states to skew the averages up?

Coloma's avatar

My 2 cents is that most of everyones preferences are based on personality/temperament as well as conditioning. Amazing how many people just adopt or inherit, unconsciously, their value systems. Very few people ever even bother to examine just where and WHY they feel the way they do. Sheeples.
BTW…I do not have the reference material at hand but…it has been shown that conservatives are of lower IQ than liberals.

jerv's avatar

Correlation is not always causation, though I do find it more than a coincidence that poverty is higher in “Red” states than in “Blue” states. That said, most of the problems I see are caused more by poverty than by political ideology; poor people are less educated, less healthy, and by definition less prosperous.

@jonsblond I know plenty of poor Conservatives, and few prosperous ones. Also, most of the people I know that have education beyond High School are either Liberal, Moderate, or apolitical whereas none of the Conservatives I personally know went beyond the 12th grade, and a few didn’t even get that far.

I guess our experiences really are opposite. Then again, New England is rather different from other parts of the country. Also, to tie in with what I said above, notice that the lowest poverty rates were in NH, and guess where I lived until three years ago?

wundayatta's avatar

I know very few conservatives. I assume that conservatives are rich unless told otherwise. I know many artsy people. Some of them have money. But I have no idea about most of their finances. They seem to be somewhere or the other in the middle class.

But who we know is always going to be a biased sample. It means nothing as far as making generalizations. At least, not on the matter of wealth.

jonsblond's avatar

@jerv I find it all very interesting. =)

Coloma's avatar

Well, rack one up for the minority. College dropout here and liberally apolitical.
Aaah, to dwell in shades of gray. I have always been told that I am in a “league of my own”. lol

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