Who's the Real Party of the Rich?

Charles Murray's Coming Apart documents the growing alienation among adults with differing levels of formal education.  This lack of connectedness has grown in tandem with government expansion to generate a de facto ruling class that is profoundly out of touch with small-town America.  In this interview, Murray explains how some Americans are chafing under this recent development:

[A]gain and again you've had people who were experts who were advocating and passing policies that ordinary people looked at and said, "This is absolutely nuts." ... Another problem with the experts — and I think that this gets to a lot of the visceral anger that people have — is that the experts have been recommending policies for other people for which they do not have to bear the consequences.

People in the managerial class are unaware of these consequences because they rely on bogus studies legitimized by a clerisy of media columnists and college professors who never met a big government program they did not like.  This passage from "America's Ruling Class" by Angelo Codevilla sums up the nature of this groupthink:

Today's ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits.  These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. 

According to Codevilla, these values are shared by establishment politicians from both parties, but only the modern Democrat Party openly embraces them.  This is why today's mainstream Democrats are backed by the most powerful corporate forces in post-industrial society.  The unholy alliance between big government and big business became a permanent fixture of the political landscape during the New Deal, but thanks to the left's special relationship with the media and higher education, few Democrat voters are aware of this development.

How do we shed light on the party of the ruling class?  Where can we reliably compare and contrast the effects of Democrat and Republican policies on common Americans?  Since Washington, D.C. is a moral swamp where Deep State bureaucrats use all means at their disposal to destroy all adversaries to the ruling class, more can be learned at the state level.

Small businesses are in a sense the "canary in the coal mine" because they lack the resources and social connections to reasonably navigate burdensome regulations.  The owners of these businesses also tend to have an independent streak that does not sit well with many of the credentialed elites who regulate them.  The tight correlation between political affiliation and small business friendliness presented in Table 1 and Graphs 1 and 2 torches any reasoned case for Democrats representing ordinary Americans.

It is no paradox that the same political party that receives nearly all donations from big labor unions also drove away blue-collar jobs (Table 2).  This job loss had a bigger impact on minorities who disproportionately relied on them (Tables 3 and 4).  This is why black Americans are fleeing in droves from the Northeast and West coasts and settling in Southern states with right to work legislation.

In the NYT opinion piece "The Pathway to Prosperity is Blue," college professors Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson make a case for the blue state model by citing data on education, standard of living, and life expectancy.  It is almost common knowledge that the northeast states have the highest percentages of adults with college degrees (Table 5).  This region's world-class universities and cultural amenities play a major role in their snob appeal, but the oppressive environment for small business, and the ongoing losses of working-class residents with concurrent gains in more affluent professionals demonstrates that these blue states have been gentrifying at the expense of very people Democrats claim to care about the most.  Hacker and Pierson's shallow analysis reminds us why America's most prestigious universities are a laughingstock to people living in the real world.

Root columnist Michael Harriot compared racial disparities between North and South and concluded that black-white disparities for employment, education, criminal justice, and political participation are on average smaller in the South.  Harriot speculated that the racial disparities in the North are a result of northerners who "politely tuck their racism in their pockets" while discriminating in their hiring decisions and school district choices.  Though I am tempted to concur with Mr. Harriot, I do not blame these disparities on hidden racism.  I think the main causes of racial inequality in blue states are pride and privilege — not pride or privilege based on race, but the self-congratulatory pride that comes with voting for the party that pays more lip service to minorities and the privilege of being sheltered from the adverse consequences of the policies you support.  Both of these reinforce a smug complacency that discourages these holier-than-thou progressives from exploring facts outside their echo chamber.

Hacker and Pierson insist that the key drivers of growth are not low taxes or lax regulations, but "science, education, and innovation."  In other words, the benighted plebs who do not contribute this highbrow economy need to put up and shut up while more qualified experts run their lives and their livelihoods.  This elitism might explain why eight of the states highlighted in blue were ranked among the worst for widening pay disparities.

America is not slouching toward Gomorrah.  It is on a trajectory to Babel, a power-hungry metropolis founded upon the utopian delusion that human expertise could bring Heaven to Earth.  If you look to Washington as a panacea for the ills of society, you may get your way, because despotism is the path of least resistance.

Enjoy your new overlords.  They may not grant your every wish, but they will stop those Bible-clinging "deplorables" from triggering your delicate sensibilities.

Antonio Chaves teaches biology at a local community college.  His interest in economic and social issues stems from his experience teaching environmental science.  His older articles with graphs and images are available here.

Table 1: Political affiliation and small business friendliness

Graph 1:

Graph 2:

Graph 1, Graph 2, and Table 1: Democratic advantage scored by Gallup in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Small business friendliness scored by Thumbtack. This ranking excludes Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Vermont because they were scored by Thumbtack less than three times from 2012 to 2016. All the data compiled for Graph 2 is available here.

* GPA scores are based on the following numerical equivalents: A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, F = 0, A+ = 4.3, A- = 3.7, etc.

** Based on a one-tailed T-test the difference is significant at P = 0.00001.

 

Table 2: Political affiliation and share of blue-collar jobs

Table 2: Democratic advantage scored by Gallup in 2012201320142015, and 2016. Share of non-agricultural blue-collar jobs compiled by Blue-Collar Jobs Tracker. This ranking excludes Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Vermont because they were scored by Thumbtack less than three times from 2012 to 2016.

* Based on a one-tailed T-test the difference is significant at P = 0.00001.

Table 3: Political affiliation and unemployment by race

Table 3: Democratic advantage scored by Gallup in 2012201320142015, and 2016. Unemployment by race compiled by 24/7 Wall Street. This ranking excludes Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Vermont because they were scored by Thumbtack less than three times from 2012 to 2016.

* To provide more realistic data on black communities, states where African-Americans make up less than 5% of the state population are excluded from the average.

** Based on a one-tailed T-test the difference is significant at P = 0.005.

*** Based on a one-tailed T-test the difference is significant at P = 0.02

Table 4: Business friendliness and unemployment gap between white and black

Table 4: Small business friendliness scored by Thumbtack. Unemployment by race compiled by 24/7 Wall Street.  The states highlighted in blue are among the ten most progressive. The states highlighted in red are among the ten most conservative.  This ranking excludes Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Vermont because they were scored by Thumbtack less than three times from 2012 to 2016.

* Based on a one-tailed T-test the difference is significant at P = 0.005.

Table 5: Political affiliation and percent of adults with college degrees

Table 5: adults with college degrees compiled by the US Census. Democratic advantage scored by Gallup in 2012201320142015, and 2016. This ranking excludes Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Vermont because they were scored by Thumbtack less than three times from 2012 to 2016.

* Based on a one-tailed T-test the difference is significant at P = 0.00002.

Image: OccupyFightsForeclosures via Flickr.

Charles Murray's Coming Apart documents the growing alienation among adults with differing levels of formal education.  This lack of connectedness has grown in tandem with government expansion to generate a de facto ruling class that is profoundly out of touch with small-town America.  In this interview, Murray explains how some Americans are chafing under this recent development:

[A]gain and again you've had people who were experts who were advocating and passing policies that ordinary people looked at and said, "This is absolutely nuts." ... Another problem with the experts — and I think that this gets to a lot of the visceral anger that people have — is that the experts have been recommending policies for other people for which they do not have to bear the consequences.

People in the managerial class are unaware of these consequences because they rely on bogus studies legitimized by a clerisy of media columnists and college professors who never met a big government program they did not like.  This passage from "America's Ruling Class" by Angelo Codevilla sums up the nature of this groupthink:

Today's ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits.  These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. 

According to Codevilla, these values are shared by establishment politicians from both parties, but only the modern Democrat Party openly embraces them.  This is why today's mainstream Democrats are backed by the most powerful corporate forces in post-industrial society.  The unholy alliance between big government and big business became a permanent fixture of the political landscape during the New Deal, but thanks to the left's special relationship with the media and higher education, few Democrat voters are aware of this development.

How do we shed light on the party of the ruling class?  Where can we reliably compare and contrast the effects of Democrat and Republican policies on common Americans?  Since Washington, D.C. is a moral swamp where Deep State bureaucrats use all means at their disposal to destroy all adversaries to the ruling class, more can be learned at the state level.

Small businesses are in a sense the "canary in the coal mine" because they lack the resources and social connections to reasonably navigate burdensome regulations.  The owners of these businesses also tend to have an independent streak that does not sit well with many of the credentialed elites who regulate them.  The tight correlation between political affiliation and small business friendliness presented in Table 1 and Graphs 1 and 2 torches any reasoned case for Democrats representing ordinary Americans.

It is no paradox that the same political party that receives nearly all donations from big labor unions also drove away blue-collar jobs (Table 2).  This job loss had a bigger impact on minorities who disproportionately relied on them (Tables 3 and 4).  This is why black Americans are fleeing in droves from the Northeast and West coasts and settling in Southern states with right to work legislation.

In the NYT opinion piece "The Pathway to Prosperity is Blue," college professors Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson make a case for the blue state model by citing data on education, standard of living, and life expectancy.  It is almost common knowledge that the northeast states have the highest percentages of adults with college degrees (Table 5).  This region's world-class universities and cultural amenities play a major role in their snob appeal, but the oppressive environment for small business, and the ongoing losses of working-class residents with concurrent gains in more affluent professionals demonstrates that these blue states have been gentrifying at the expense of very people Democrats claim to care about the most.  Hacker and Pierson's shallow analysis reminds us why America's most prestigious universities are a laughingstock to people living in the real world.

Root columnist Michael Harriot compared racial disparities between North and South and concluded that black-white disparities for employment, education, criminal justice, and political participation are on average smaller in the South.  Harriot speculated that the racial disparities in the North are a result of northerners who "politely tuck their racism in their pockets" while discriminating in their hiring decisions and school district choices.  Though I am tempted to concur with Mr. Harriot, I do not blame these disparities on hidden racism.  I think the main causes of racial inequality in blue states are pride and privilege — not pride or privilege based on race, but the self-congratulatory pride that comes with voting for the party that pays more lip service to minorities and the privilege of being sheltered from the adverse consequences of the policies you support.  Both of these reinforce a smug complacency that discourages these holier-than-thou progressives from exploring facts outside their echo chamber.

Hacker and Pierson insist that the key drivers of growth are not low taxes or lax regulations, but "science, education, and innovation."  In other words, the benighted plebs who do not contribute this highbrow economy need to put up and shut up while more qualified experts run their lives and their livelihoods.  This elitism might explain why eight of the states highlighted in blue were ranked among the worst for widening pay disparities.

America is not slouching toward Gomorrah.  It is on a trajectory to Babel, a power-hungry metropolis founded upon the utopian delusion that human expertise could bring Heaven to Earth.  If you look to Washington as a panacea for the ills of society, you may get your way, because despotism is the path of least resistance.

Enjoy your new overlords.  They may not grant your every wish, but they will stop those Bible-clinging "deplorables" from triggering your delicate sensibilities.

Antonio Chaves teaches biology at a local community college.  His interest in economic and social issues stems from his experience teaching environmental science.  His older articles with graphs and images are available here.

Table 1: Political affiliation and small business friendliness

Graph 1:

Graph 2:

Graph 1, Graph 2, and Table 1: Democratic advantage scored by Gallup in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Small business friendliness scored by Thumbtack. This ranking excludes Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Vermont because they were scored by Thumbtack less than three times from 2012 to 2016. All the data compiled for Graph 2 is available here.

* GPA scores are based on the following numerical equivalents: A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, F = 0, A+ = 4.3, A- = 3.7, etc.

** Based on a one-tailed T-test the difference is significant at P = 0.00001.

 

Table 2: Political affiliation and share of blue-collar jobs

Table 2: Democratic advantage scored by Gallup in 2012201320142015, and 2016. Share of non-agricultural blue-collar jobs compiled by Blue-Collar Jobs Tracker. This ranking excludes Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Vermont because they were scored by Thumbtack less than three times from 2012 to 2016.

* Based on a one-tailed T-test the difference is significant at P = 0.00001.

Table 3: Political affiliation and unemployment by race

Table 3: Democratic advantage scored by Gallup in 2012201320142015, and 2016. Unemployment by race compiled by 24/7 Wall Street. This ranking excludes Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Vermont because they were scored by Thumbtack less than three times from 2012 to 2016.

* To provide more realistic data on black communities, states where African-Americans make up less than 5% of the state population are excluded from the average.

** Based on a one-tailed T-test the difference is significant at P = 0.005.

*** Based on a one-tailed T-test the difference is significant at P = 0.02

Table 4: Business friendliness and unemployment gap between white and black

Table 4: Small business friendliness scored by Thumbtack. Unemployment by race compiled by 24/7 Wall Street.  The states highlighted in blue are among the ten most progressive. The states highlighted in red are among the ten most conservative.  This ranking excludes Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Vermont because they were scored by Thumbtack less than three times from 2012 to 2016.

* Based on a one-tailed T-test the difference is significant at P = 0.005.

Table 5: Political affiliation and percent of adults with college degrees

Table 5: adults with college degrees compiled by the US Census. Democratic advantage scored by Gallup in 2012201320142015, and 2016. This ranking excludes Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Vermont because they were scored by Thumbtack less than three times from 2012 to 2016.

* Based on a one-tailed T-test the difference is significant at P = 0.00002.

Image: OccupyFightsForeclosures via Flickr.