November 17, 2004

The Red in the Blue

Justin Katz

Having been struggling for an interesting way to frame this, I was much relieved to read Marc's recent post about demographics and Republican states' receiving more government aid while (ostensibly) voting against Big Government. Blogger Sensible Mom has explored the data in a bit more depth (the bracketed comment is hers):

But let's focus on the election map by county. Those states with large cities, Illinois, New York and California, benefit from the corporate taxes payed by the businesses in those cities. In addition, in many of the blue states, there are large areas of red. Take a look at Illinois and California. One of the collar counties of Chicago, DuPage County, is wealthy. I would like to see the average tax bill per household in DuPage compared to the average in the city of Chicago [I'm going to try to find this data]. I bet it is higher in DuPage. ...

Next I looked at Illinois by county. I picked one blue county, Cook (includes Chicago), and three red counties, Lake, DuPage and Will. The US Census Bureau publishes the Consolidated Federal Funds Report by county. When that information is divided by the population in each county it shows that the blue counties receive considerably more federal funds on average than the red counties.

Of course, Illinois might be different than, say, Massachusetts, but some of the considerations are significant. First, we can't forget the disproportion of corporate taxes when assessing how much the Blue States "give." Second, it is apparently (and logically) the case that some Blue States concentrate the money that the feds give back to them in a limited number of Democrat-controlled areas.

So here's the (intentionally biased) question: Do the Republican poor vote principle while the Democrat poor vote self-interest? I don't have the time, right now, to dig into this as deeply as the turf appears to allow, but at initial glance, it would seem that living amid the Coastal Elite has a deleterious effect on one's character.

(Via Lane Core)