Blue state madness

Steve Sailer and others have developed lists of factors that appear to correlate fairly strongly with voting patterns in the most recent Presidential election and prior ones (white birth rates, among them).  The February 2005 edition of Chicago Magazine (not yet online at www. offers a new insight.

The tens states (including the District of Columbia ) with the highest ratio of psychologists per 100,000 residents, were, with the exception of Colorado, all blue states which supported John Kerry (D.C, Vermont, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, Colorado, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, in rank order from one to ten).  The ten states with the lowest ratio of psychologists per 100,000 residents, all were red states supporting Bush (Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Nevada, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky, Indiana). Louisiana with the lowest ratio is listed first.

Economists will tell you that the number of psychologists per 100,000 residents is related to the percentage of the population who make use of their services. Psychologists, after all, do not work for free. Are there a higher percentage of people with mental health problems in blue states than red states?  The listed red states  have much higher regular church attendance ratios, by and large, than  the listed blue states.  Could religious affiliation be a factor in preserving mental health? Will Michael Newdow sue me for suggesting this?

Undoubtedly, some sociologists would proffer that the level of psychologists per 100,000 in a state is really a factor of income, and the top ten states in this ranking tend to be higher per capital income  states than the bottom ten. But the per capital incomes for the top ten states with high psychologists per 100,000 residents  are on average perhaps 1.5 times the per capital incomes for the bottom ten, and the psychologists per 100,000 ratio is almost 4 times as high for the top ten states as compared to the bottom ten, even excluding D.C, which is in another orbit entirely with a ratio that is more than twice as high as that in any state.  Something other than income differential is going on here.

The well publicized story of angry and unhappy Kerry supporters in Florida receiving treatment for the newly named 'post—election distress syndrome'  suggests that  even in the red states, the patients who need mental health treatment may be disproportionately blue. And after November 4th, even more so.