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March 31, 2008

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Chris

Surely whoever holds congress has more to do with the true state of the economy than whoever holds the white house?

James Ament

Although I have libertarian tendencies, abhorring the nanny state proclivities of Democrats, I have always made more money when Democrats have been in power, even during the Carter years.

James Ament

Although I have libertarian tendencies, abhorring the nanny state proclivities of Democrats, I have always made more money when Democrats have been in power, even during the Carter years.

James Ament

Although I have libertarian tendencies, abhorring the nanny state proclivities of Democrats, I have always made more money when Democrats have been in power, even during the Carter years.

robertdfeinman

This and the prior entry about disagreement both are implicitly discussing psychology.

The key question is why are some people immune to facts? The most convincing description of this phenomena I've found is summarized in the work of psychologist Robert Altemeyer. His free, online book is at theAuthoritarians.com

He explains how people behave, not why. He does find a high degree of correlation between ideological blindness and political conservativism. Once again an observation, not an explanation.

For ideologues their worldview depends upon a set of axioms which they "know" are true. For them to admit doubt would mean re-evaluating everything. The self-protective mechanism becomes a combination of avoiding hearing counter arguments, dismissing those that one hears as false, or ignoring them altogether.

Over the past 50 years the number of left leaning ideologues in the US has dropped sharply, so these days they are almost always to be found on the right. There is no current faction similar to the Soviet apologists of the 1930's and 40's. This may be changing as the passions in the current Democratic primaries illustrate.

Leaving this group aside, "liberals" are, in general, more open to considering all sides of an issue and letting the best ideas win. Conservatives are not. They prefer to follow strong leaders who provide them with the axioms.

If we look at international development, we can see the same dynamic at work. "Free trade", democratic reform, privatization, and lowering subsidies are all offered as absolutes, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

The alternative to assuming that the IMF and WB are ideologically blind is to assume they are capitalist tools.

One cannot win an argument with the ideologically blind, facts are irrelevant. This is why I doubt that appeals to bipartisanship will work in practice. One side is willing to negotiate, the other isn't.

jsalvati

I share Chris' question. These results seem shockingly large given the amount of control over the economy that the president has. It also seems odd because I would imagine that quite a bit of what a president can influence would have relatively long lag times. Though, perhaps most presidents' economic influence is at the beginning of their terms.

Bertil

Do you think similar work could be done in other democracies?

Patrick

Discussing pyschology and asking whether people are "immune to facts" may not be the most effective way to address the question posed. The problem with political economy is that it's rarely as cut and dry as pure economics. It is often difficult to analyze political/group preferences from a purely self-interested (in the economic sense) point of view. In addition to economic policy preference, a Republican (or Democratic) presidency also signals a host of non-economic policy preferences (issues such as security/foreign policy spring to mind). Even if voters were presented with the conclusions drawn here, one would not expect to see a drastic shift from one party or the other. Caplan's thoughts on voter altruism may provide an additional useful way to think about voting preferences.

Bertil

Oh: there might be one tiny over-simplification in your presentation of the result.
Is the ratio calculted between the quintile on election year and the quintile four years afterwards (not necessarily the same people if there has been some redistribution), or is it the growth of the people from the initial quintile, no matter what quintile they end-up in?
It is certainly the same thing for a vast majority of each quintile, but being a hair-picking statisticien. . .

Barkley Rosser

I am sure that myopia and psychology can be invoked to partially explain poor people voting Republican. But I seriously doubt that Bartels "demolishes" the argument that many of them are doing so for cultural reasons. Poor whites who attend fundamentalist churches and listen to Christian Right preachers are not voting for Republicans for cultural reasons? Give us a break, please.

DrewDruncan

This exactly matches the data in my Social Security lifetime earnings statement. My earnings increased under a Democratic president and fell under a Republican presisdent, every time, from 1971 to 2007. Guess how I vote>

corvad

I'm with Barkley. For a fascinating documentary analysis on the politicization of the religious right in the 1970s, as a calculated play to gain foot soldiers for the Republican revolution, check the BBC documentary widely available on line "The Power of Nightmares." draws some interesting parallels between the neocons and the rise of political Islam ...

but still the question, well, how does it work? what material conditions were present that made moral conservatism so attractive as a political message? How , in other words, does cultural difference resonate as a plausible source of insecurity -- ie a threat to the fabric of (whoever's) society that must be warred against? Surely times of economic crisis have something to do with why people embrace the politics of fear, or at least loook for a different paradigm for understanding theirs, and others, relationship to their imagined communities.

sparks

"Nanny State." The first time I heard the term was when I got here to Australia. Australians are complaining their governments take care of them. COMPLAINING?!? How absurd.

Willie

But how does Bartels calculate all the vote fraud? Did W really get the most votes in 2000 and 2004? The US is crooked from top to bottom, and, unfortunately, it's not exactly a new phenomenon.

Willie

But how does Bartels calculate all the vote fraud? Did W really get the most votes in 2000 and 2004? The US is crooked from top to bottom, and, unfortunately, it's not exactly a new phenomenon.

dale

Read Dean Baker and David Cay Johnston for their exposes of the Conservative Nanny State. It just depends on whether you want our democracy to help wealthy or ordinary people. When we look at this graph- are we pleased at the growth of lower income folk's incomes under Dems or do we yearn for more years of Republican based growing inequalities of wealth and power? It's a Rorschach test of moral-political sensibilites.

greatzamfir

Are these data for income before taxation or after?

Also, I really don't see how this puts an end to the idea that 'poor Americans vote Republican for cultural reasons'. This graph at least would be evidence in favor of that idea, wouldn't it? Perhaps the book uses other info?

Manuel Moreira

The cause could be found in a sociological illusion. According with a survey during the first Bush mandate 39% of Americans consider themselves as being in the top 1% of the richest (19%) or that they will be part of this select group in their time life (20%).

Divorced one like Bush

If you would like to read more about this, Crooked Timber posted on the original symposium in Political Science and Politics showing the above chart by Bartel
http://crookedtimber.org/2006/03/16/inequality-and-american-democracy/

Note the date, 3/16/06. It is unfortunate that it takes so long for such info to come to light.

James

If this weren't pretax income it would be a telling chart indeed. Since it is pretax income it tells almost nothing without a corresponding graph of partisan change in tax rates as a percentage of income.

Batocchio

Wild. I agree with other commenters that there are other factors worth exploring (poor whites voting conservative because of social issues), but that's very interesting.

M. Hodak

Where does Bartels get this data from? It assumes a huge amount of with regards to data, beginning with pre- vs. post-tax, but almost innumerable other assumptions besides.

I ask because having looked at numerous studies on income distribution, I have yet to see one that actually proves (rather than suggests) any meaningful difference in outcomes based on governmental policies, so this would be groundbreaking...if it's true.

By the way, this picture is immediately suspect based on the lack of any good studies showing a difference in economic growth under one party or the other. Anecdotally, stagflation resulted from a joint effort between Republicrats.

Robert Stacy McCain

Why is control of the presidency isolated and singled out as a factor? Congress and the judiciary have influence in economic affairs, too. And why aren't different presidencies shown separately? The policies of Ike and Nixon were different from the policies of Reagan, and the policies of the two Bushes were different. Furthermore, each president enacts policies that continue to have economic effects after he leaves office. Given such glaring flaws, this chart is clearly not economics, it's political propaganda.

luci

I've seen this claim many times before, and I still think there won't be enough data points to generate a significant result. How many presidents have we had in the modern era? Sure, we could use monthly data or something to pad out the # of observations, but how many times has the presidency changed party?

Business cycles are relatively long-lived creatures too. How many tech-booms did we experience?

I know Mr. Rodrik said, "Bartels shows in his book that this difference is not a statistical artifact [...] and it is not the result of Democrats coming to power during better economic times", but I just don't see how.

Not enough time, not enough presidents, not enough business cycles. Not to mention the President/Congress assumption, or the slim marginal difference between Democratic and Republican economic policies.

But maybe it's explained fully in the book. I actually believe such an effect could exist, but it would be small, the causal mechanism subtle, and take a lot of data to tease it out.

Wilson

In what way is the Eisenhower administration substanitively similar to the Bush administration, or the Kennedy Administration similar to the Clinton administration?

Just one of the 10,000 questions raised by this completely absurd claim. You'll have to read the book to find out!

luci

I've seen this claim many times before, and I still think there won't be enough data points to generate a significant result. How many presidents have we had in the modern era? Sure, we could use monthly data or something to pad out the # of observations, but how many times has the presidency changed party?

Business cycles are relatively long-lived creatures too. How many tech-booms did we experience?

I know Mr. Rodrik said, "Bartels shows in his book that this difference is not a statistical artifact [...] and it is not the result of Democrats coming to power during better economic times", but I just don't see how.

Not enough time, not enough presidents, not enough business cycles. Not to mention the President/Congress assumption, or the slim marginal difference between Democratic and Republican economic policies.

But maybe it's explained fully in the book. I actually believe such an effect could exist, but it would be small, the causal mechanism subtle, and take a lot of data to tease it out.

Andrew Leigh

I've done some analysis using top incomes data, and just posted the key table on my blog - http://andrewleigh.com/?p=1857

Steve Dutch

So who's got the worse myopia? Conservatives who vote cultural issues despite their economic interests? Or liberals who champion cultural issues even though they keep the Religious Right energized? If the cultural issues are all that trivial, why not let the Right have their prayers in school and overturn Roe vs. Wade? And if they're important enough to fight for, then it's rational for people to value them over their economic welfare. If economic corruption is such a deep problem, shouldn't we be praising people who value principle over their pocketbooks?
If you want to pull the fangs of the Religious Right, give in on the cultural issues. Abortion and school prayer are the Iraq and Vietnam of the left: an interminable quagmire against an enemy that will not give in or admit defeat.

John H

So what I would like to know is who thinks the Internet would have blossomed like it did in the late 90's (with the US taking point) if GWB was leading the way instead of Clinton/Gore?

Maybe not - we can surely point to the explosion in alternative energy, green technologies, and newly developed sources of independent energy which have occurred over the past eight years . . . . .

I like to distill it down to a simple point - Most republicans tend towards the status quo. They like how the rules work and abide by those rules to move their way up the ladder. Most democrats I know are far more open to change and more likely to question the rules - find a way around them.

Kyle McCullough

Chris and jsalvati have a reasonable question, asking just how much power does the President have, to have such a large influence--especially given Congress's control of the purse? The simple answer is MUCH. The President's veto and bully pulpit gives his party effective control, even over those matters where congress has nominal control. Probably even more important--at least for the short term--is his control of the Bureaucracy. A good example here is the recent bailout of Bear Sterns. No special legislation was passed--just the President's men deciding to spend a few billion of our dollars.

Then there's his ability to wage war, if not declare it.

Sebastian

First about the "culture" question: Bartels has written a much cited paper, ingeniously cited "what's the matter with what's the matter with Kansas" on this topic, a relatively easy read:
http://www.princeton.edu/%7ebartels/kansas.pdf
(note Tommy Frank's response though, "Class is dismissed" -
http://www.tcfrank.com/dismissd.pdf
Personally I think Bartels comes out the winner, but I don't think clear enough for "demolished".
As for the graph above, the fact that everyone does better under Democrats makes me suspicious(although I'm ideologically very favorable to the argument) - it seems much more plausible that Democrats just came to power under different economic circumstances.

As for what data - it's Census Bureau Data on family income and I'd assume it's post tax, but Bartels doesn't tell us.

I don't think this exists for others countries (although it would be much more convincing for European parliamentary democracy, where we don't have divided gov't) - Kenworthy and Pontusson make some interesting points suggesting that higher voter mobilization leads to more redistribution:
http://www.u.arizona.edu/~lkenwor/pop2005.pdf

ClayMcReynolds

Unfortunately we aren't told in this post whether or not this is real income or income adjusted for inflation. If not adjusted for inflation it is meaningless so I would rather hope that it is. I guess I'll have to find a copy of the book to find out.

Likewise on the question of taxes. The numbers must also be after taxes or they don't really mean much.

OTOH, every study of this nature that I've seen yields the same results. Dem presidents better for income. Dem congress better for income. No studies that say otherwise making it amusing the way the naysayers find ways to ignore these results with no data to back up their contention that it isn't true that dems are better for you income than republicans.

BTW, the most interesting result I've seen is the study (I don't have time to look for it now) that purported to show that while dem congress was better than gop congress and dem president was better than gop president, the best results were obtained when the white house was held by one party while congress was held by the other. (I don't recall which was best of gop WH/dem congress or dem WH and gop congress.)

Either way, I'm with DrewDuncan. You can tell from my social security statements who controlled the WH. (That would make me guess that dem pres and gop congress is the most profitable but I am but a single data point...)

Ed Al-Hussainy

Can't argue with the pretty figure, but the jury is very much out on whether this correlation is actually causal; I lean towards research that views economic performance as driving elections, rather than the other way around.

Here's a nice summary of what other economists think about this:
http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB116240116581410311-JyXJXeDVPrYETGgoEliOYcxxnD8_20061109.html

ClayMcReynolds

"I lean towards research that views economic performance as driving elections, rather than the other way around."

As in the gop screws up the economy causing democrats to get elected to fix it after which people can start worrying about social issues again and they elect republicans who screw up the economy again and the cycle begins again?

McLovin

Forced to wager, I'd guess that the answer to the why incomes fare better under Democrats is that the sample is far too small to have statistical significance. It's coincidental, in other words.

But for the purpose of discussion, here are my favorite explanations for why a Democrat president is better for your bank account:

1. Oil prices. Republican incompetence in foreign affairs, and their political dependency on military adventurism inevitably creates global tension that pushes prices of oil higher. Same for gold, steel, wheat and other commodities. Such increases act as a tax on consumer spending and retard economic growth.

2. Democratic presidents use their media power to focus the nation's attention on solving domestic problems and on being optimistic about the positive role government has on the economy. Republican presidents, again with the warmongering, use their media power to inflame paranoia about communists, or Muslims. Republicans foster optimism about America's military prowess, rather than its ability to solve important domestic economic and social problems.

3. Fiscal responsiblity. Democrats end up being more responsible guardians of the treasury. The policies they advocate, broadly, tend to call for more spending than Republicans do. But because of their political position, Democrats tend to fail to push those spending programs through. Republican presidents, on the other hand, advocate parsimony, but spend far more in the end, because they are better at creating political distractions, like hating Muslims or fearing communists--and, in they end, they need to please their constituents with pork just as much as Democrats do.

Chris

The economic answer is easy, income and wages are not the be all and end all of economic indicators.

Under Reagan, for example, even if wages stagnated in the lower income brackets, the fed tamed inflation which brought gas prices back down and slowed the erosions of purchasing power that had occurred in the prior administrations, all the way back to Nixon.

Again, ignoring all non-economic factors like personality, party organization, etc., another reason that Republicans do well is that their policies tend to expand wealth, not wages. Anyone who owns a house, or a business, typically sees gains under a Republican administration. When housing values go up, people have more leverage, etc. Yes, this has caused the recent bubble, but it makes people very happy.

Finally, you have to understand the relationship if income distribution to voting. Younger people tend to make less, representing a large portion of low income voters, but they also tend to vote less. In fact, young people are the least likely to vote. So the people who would benefit most from a wage increase, people under 30, are the least likely to go the polls.

Marty

Correlation is not causation. Assuming that the data is real and actually says what it is claimed to say (a very big IF with this kind of thing), what causes this?

First, I would want to understand the data, in all its limitations. Then, if the relationship is still apparent, what caused it.

Otherwise I'm just associating hemlines with sunspots. When I was growing up I was told that Republicans ALWAYS bring depressions and Democrats ALWAYS get us into wars... same level of reasoning.

Use your heads

This is only slightly less absurd than buying into the super bowl stock market correlation.
http://www.forbes.com/2004/01/28/cz_jd_0128inlwatch.html

Like has been said before - how are Ike and GWB similar? how are clinton and JFK similar? congress and the Fed have more power over economic growth than presidents do. correlation does not equal causation. historical currents have as much to do with economic growth as government policies. etc etc


this party affiliation of the president is a parlor trick. nothing more. (that is not to say that once you actually do the proper comparison that the results won't be the same)

VentrueCapital

I haven't read the book yet, or even the original symposium from two years ago, so I have no idea if these questions are answered there:

1. Is "real income" (on the vertical axis) defined as pre-tax or post-tax, and does it include transfer payments such as welfare, farm subsidies, etc.?

2. What other factors have been tested to see if they have an even stronger correlation with income growth and/or distribution?

3. Is "income percentile" (on the horizontal axis) defined as income per household, or per person, or what? And does it include subsidies? (I assume, of course, that it is pre-tax income.)

Sarge6

1) Whoa, let's wait for the book so the methodology can be fully explored.

2) This is essentially W-2 gross income, right? I'd be far more interested in deposit income reflecting "Republican versus Democratic" tax rates.

3) Right there that implies you have to look at the question of divided government, i.e., a Congress in opposition to the Administration.

McLovin

Forced to wager, I'd guess that the answer to the why incomes fare better under Democrats is that the sample is far too small to have statistical significance. It's coincidental, in other words.

But for the purpose of discussion, here are my favorite explanations for why a Democrat president is better for your bank account:

1. Oil prices. Republican incompetence in foreign affairs, and their political dependency on military adventurism inevitably creates global tension that pushes prices of oil higher. Same for gold, steel, wheat and other commodities. Such increases act as a tax on consumer spending and retard economic growth.

2. Democratic presidents use their media power to focus the nation's attention on solving domestic problems and on being optimistic about the positive role government has on the economy. Republican presidents, again with the warmongering, use their media power to inflame paranoia about communists, or Muslims. Republicans foster optimism about America's military prowess, rather than its ability to solve important domestic economic and social problems.

3. Fiscal responsiblity. Democrats end up being more responsible guardians of the treasury. The policies they advocate, broadly, tend to call for more spending than Republicans do. But because of their political position, Democrats tend to fail to push those spending programs through. Republican presidents, on the other hand, advocate parsimony, but spend far more in the end, because they are better at creating political distractions, like hating Muslims or fearing communists--and, in they end, they need to please their constituents with pork just as much as Democrats do.

Matt

I think if you disagregate the periods 1948-1980 and 1980-2005 its pretty easy to explain the results of that data. Whatever dataset is being used to show growth in income inequality almost certainly shows much greater growth in income inequality from 1980-2005 than 1948-1980 because emerging economies weren't providing nearly as much competition for low income labor between 1948-1980 vs. 1980-2005. Then you've got the fact that Democrats controlled the White House 50% of the time during the 32 years from 1948-1980 and only 32% of the time in the 25 years from 1980-2005 meaning that they're a far smaller part of the 1980-2005 sample when income inequality was increasing.

That makes this an argument that the income inequality growth from 1980 is because we've had more Republican Presidents since then, but income inequality almost certainly continued apace during President Clinton's period in office. However, without seeing the dataset its impossible to be sure.

ConservativeScientist

If you plot the same data, but include Bartels' published standard deviations, taken from his website (http://www.princeton.edu/~bartels/income.pdf), you get an outright laughable graph. Here is a quick plot of it.
http://www.conservativescientist.com/bartels.jpg

From data that looks like that, you can't draw any conclusions. But if you leave off the error bars you can easily deceive a lot of people.

Eric H

I also agree with both Chris and Barkley.

In fact, if Robert Feinman actually read the study he keeps posting without his ideological blinders on, he might have noticed that Altemeyer caveats mixing "conservative" and "authoritarian", that libertarians score very low on the authoritarian scale (Robert has a bad habit of conflating them with conservatives), but most germane to this point is that there is a high correspondence between Altemeyer's authoritarians and religious belief, i.e. culture. Those authoritarians are just as likely to vote for Obama or Hillary if their promises to put a halt to cheap imports are credible enough.

FT Woods

Perhaps this is too over simplified an explanation, but the President presents an Annual Budget based on the administration's priorities. The budget in turn effects incomes across the nation.

So it would seem that Democratic presidents prefer policies that benefit everyone while Republican presidents prefer policies that benefit the few.

addicted

Even if this is pre-tax income, it is a telling graph. (Obviously, I am not convinced of the implications of the graph before I read the book and the methodology, but I am assuming it is what it is presented as in this blog). If taxes during Democratic Presidencies are lower, or equal to that during republican presidencies, then people earned more money in total. If that is not the case, then it puts paid the argument that higher taxes are the sole reason for lowered productivity. As is quite visible in this graph (assuming that D Presidents have presided over higher tax periods), that despite these higher taxes, people are earning more, and so the economy is doing better.

Sean Kelly

Democrats get into power. Increase gov expenditure, aggregate demand increases. Poor people who were previously unemployed now finds work, they’re made better off. Rich people already had work, so little direct effect on them.

Republicans get into power. Decrease gov expenditure to tackle inflation. Aggregate demand decreases, poor people who were previously employed now finds themselves unemployed, made worse off. Rich people have safe jobs, so little direct effect on them.

Theo O'Brien

You're probably aware of this, but I thought you may like to know that your posting of Bartels' chart has attracted lot of attention. Notably from Paul Krugman:http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/02/bartels-alfred-wegener/

He seems to doubt the credibility of the chart but I think it was just an inevitable finding that supports what a lot of people already know.

Nathan Smith

Given the scarcity of data points-- there have been, what, fifteen or so presidents in the 20th century-- I'd be amazed if this chart stands up to serious econometric scrutiny. This is not to deny Bartels' good faith. But.

skeptonomist

Here are graphs of income growth over time for each quintile:

http://www.skeptometrics.org/IncomeGrowth.htm

See also the graph of Gini coefficient (measure of inequality) by the Census:

http://www.census.gov/prod/2000pubs/p60-204.pdf

Of course it will be interesting to see Bartel's discussion, but these graphs tend to show that the difference is mainly a temporal trend, not so much due to presidents. The real question may be whether the temporal trend is due to conservative philosophy and policies.

Eric H

One wonders if robertdfeinman has actually read Altemeyer's book. If he had, he might have noted that Altemeyer's RWAs are psychologically, not politically, right. They are people who defend the status quo, i.e. the government, the existing order, etc., and could therefore oppose change like reform and privatization.

Funny how people who (in their own opinion) "consider all sides" seem to always come down on the side of "more state" when "more cowbell" is clearly the panacea.

Otherwise, I'm with Chris and Barkley. How can you explain late Nixon and Ford except in terms of their weakness in the face of a Democratic Congress? How can you explain Clinton except in terms of the 94' election and the massive influx of freshmen (who stopped being reformers when they stopped being freshmen)? And can you seriously believe that people aren't voting cultural values? If they aren't, why would politicians waste valuable money advertising them?

shah8

guys, it would probably help if you read some stuff about race, some history about federal social spending history, a dash of gender, and maybe re-read Thorstein Veblen.

It's not that Republican Southern Strategy encourages the hack-the-nose-for-spite attitude so much as that Republicans use race sentiments to drive an economy focused on sumptuary issues. And presidents most certainly *do* influence the economy through permissive regulatory environment. The majority of permissive regulatory is applauded or allowed in the context of race (environmental racism, no OSHA or EPA for Native Americans wrt mining, the use of illegal immigrants for dirty-dangerous-underpaid work, that sort of thing).

Then we have the Veblen aspects...Heightened association of certain programs with undesirables. Driving suburban growth, using military spending and foreign adventures for economy and morale...

I'll stop before ranting to much more...

Jonathan Newton

Fooled by randomness?

(1) Is it surprising that presidents of one party have had average higher income growth while in power? No, it is guaranteed to be true.

(2) Then if income growth is heavily correlated across quintiles it is no surprise if statement (1) extends to each quintile considered separately.

Chris Ellison

This graph has been debunked finally. See here:

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OTVkNDlmZmJmOTNlYzRmZmM3N2Q5NjQyZWJkZTU5YzM=

The correlation is spurious and deflates when lag times are moved. Excellent work.

Michael

Jim Manzi, below, attempted to duplicate Bartels' result and makes a good case that it's a statistical artifact, arising largely from the fact that the observed secular increase in income inequality in the late 1970s (which is a lot more easily explained by things like the relative supply and demand for college graduates, or an acceleration of technical change) happens to coincide with a marginal increase in the likelihood of Republican presidents from 1980 on. It is not robust to lagging the effect of the President two years instead of one year as Bartels does, and similar results can be obtained for such non-policy variables as "Is the President from the Midwest"?


http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OTVkNDlmZmJmOTNlYzRmZmM3N2Q5NjQyZWJkZTU5YzM=

Jebs House

I'm not sure what the hold-up is... maybe they have re-thought their stance on how this is going to actually make the company any money. Or perhaps their lawyers pointed out the liability of providing agents a platform to stick their feet in their mouth. Whatever it is, it's hardly something I'd claim as being "Well done".
www.jebshouse.com

Alan

I'll wait to see the book but...
1. Is all life about $$$ - I thought democrats were about more than how much money you make in terms of determining lifestyle.
2. What other factors were analyzed (and rejected because they didn't prove the point)

Again, everything is politics and $$ to democrats. Nothing else is of value

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JDA

I have been waiting for someone to address this trend. It has been so obvious, but nobody wants to bring the topic to the forefront of discussion. I am looking forward to reading the book.

blewoutmyflipflop

Cactus at Angry Bear also did a series on Presidents and parties and reached similar conclusions.

This one shows the results of the president and party in Congress. God Punishes Us When We (Collectively) Vote Republican, Part 4.
http://angrybear.blogspot.com/2007/02/god-punishes-us-when-we-collectively_16.html

This page lists more in the series. Comparing Presidents, Comparing Parties.
http://angrybear.blogspot.com/2007/05/comparing-presidents-comparing-parties.html

Edie Frederick

For an excellent analysis of WHY people vote against their interests, please see the work of George Lakoff, professor of neurolinguistics at UC Berkely for 20 years. YouTube has at least three hour-long videos of Lakoff discussing his latest book on the subject, two of them presented at Authors@Google. Some familiarity with his analysis makes it possible to see the workings of the present political presentation process in a new light.

OurPlaybook

Interesting. Thanks for the read.

Joel

People often vote republican for non-economic reasons. In fact, a lot of the republicans' platforms are decidedly non-economic in nature (abortion, gay-marriage, nat'l security). This explains why democrats don't always win.

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I wonder if I could find some more examples by means of http://rapid4me.com/ or some other rapidshare search engine? Thanks for the post!

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Very interesting chart. Numbers can be interpreted in a lot of ways, but that is pretty clear.

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In response to the above commenter... I honestly can't see the Eisenhower administration being like the Bush administration in any way... seems TOO much of a stretch, in my humble opinion...

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Why is control of the presidency isolated and singled out as a factor? Congress and the judiciary have influence in economic affairs, too. And why aren't different presidencies shown separately? The policies of Ike and Nixon were different from the policies of Reagan, and the policies of the two Bushes were different. Furthermore, each president enacts policies that continue to have economic effects after he leaves office. Given such glaring flaws, this chart is clearly not economics, it's political propaganda.

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Many points of view are forced to be catorgarized under one of two major political parties.

There is a great divide in politics, from war, religion, and the divide between rich and poor.

There is breakdown in the role of media, which is to watch government and inform the populace.

There is a breakdown in elections where one never knows if a vote will count.

American politicians are for sale.

America has the best democracy that money can buy.

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Political parties are often seen as the source of conflict in our country on political issues.Despite this perception, we have had political parties since the very early years.List and justify three important contributions political parties make to the American political system.

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