by Tyler Cowen
on March 6, 2014 at 9:15 am
1. Robot journalism.
2. A group blog run by Hutterites.
3. The IBM Watson food truck.
4. The decay rate on the value of stolen credit card information.
5. Brian Eno’s book recommendations. Brief economic profile of Ukraine.
6. Wealthy people are more musical.
7. The evolution of the Democratic Party.
#6 In England on an online survey. You’d think something as cultural as music would perhaps have a cultural element. But no, of course the hamfisted economists need to bang about correlation with money, because of course culture is irrelevant, right?
First, the study was by psychologists. Second, don’t be too facile about this– it would make perfect economic sense that musical training is a normal good, and so we see an increase in some measure of musicality in adults with the income of their parents (highly correlated with own income). This is not to suggest any innate ability, or lack of cultural influence. Indeed, I would suspect that the culture of England had a lot to do with the result.
Personally, I’d be more concerned about the internet survey and a potential for severe sample selection problems.
7. The GOP shouldn’t be concerned. They just need to continue to work on their “messaging”, and I’m sure that trend will turn around.
Gee, I wonder why that graph started in 1968, and not a century earlier…
The trend of whites fleeing the Democratic party?
You’re reading the chart incorrectly. The chart shows the race within each party, not the party for each race. Looking at this chart, http://www.people-press.org/files/2012/08/8-23-12-2.png, you’ll see your claim of “whites fleeing the Democratic party”. I for one do not see a secular trend of “fleeing”.
Exactly, the first chart in isolation does not say whether there was “fleeing” or just a greater number of non-white voters, preferring the Democratic party. The second graph shows pretty conclusively that it is the second … leaving me to wonder about Tyler (the troll?)
a 7% swing since 1992? That’s more than 10 million people. I’d want to see more history here, but surely this graph does not refute Cliff’s view.
Sure, more data is great, but beware argument from absent data. (Feel free to supply that data.)
Take your own advice- I’m not the one drawing “pretty conclusive” answers from this chart.
Oops…above comment was me. The Ned Ludd sock puppet was used to make a point on a different post. Guh.
Brian, can you read a chart? That one shows “Dem/LeansDem” for whites oscillating between 40 and 44 percent for most of the last twenty years. It sure as heck does not show a downward slope for those twenty years.
jp, I just took the end points, but that’s why I suggested more data would be helpful.
I have made zero claims here. You made a pretty strong claim, then lecture me about arguing from absent data. The marginal return from just a teeny bit of introspection on your part here is, I think, large.
Good lord, Brian. You should know that “I just look at end points” is a fail in middle school math. I know I’m a bit lazy by just eyeballing it, rather than actually fitting a line … but you really just roll in the “stupid and proud” there.
It’s just now dawning on you where my 7% came from?
Please fit any sort of trend line to this data that you feel is appropriate to show me how this “shows pretty conclusively” no trend of white people leaving the Democratic Party.
You won’t. You can’t. You will change the subject.
I don’t know why I bother, but rereading this thread, you deride my middle school math approach in favor of your “eyeball” analysis. LOL.
A simple OLS regression produces a -0.224% per year decline in whites who identify as Democrats, abut 4.5% over 20 years. So yeah, this “shows pretty conclusively” no such thing.
Ok, so I won’t be so lazy, and will use http://www.xuru.org/rt
Result: y = -9.47257384·10-2 x + 43.08797468 Correlation Coeficient: r = -2.370570286·10-1 Residual Sum of Squares: rss = 93.98896624
That is, a slope of 0.0947 per year. Essentially zero slope and poor correlation.
The average of those years was 42.11, and so a slope of 0.0947 is a change of 0.00169, or 0.1 percent per year.
Fine. Lets take your numbers. Please tie this back to what the chart “shows pretty conclusively…”
Here is my data: ((0,47), (2,39), (3,41), (4,44), (5,43.5), (6,43), (7,43.5), (9,40), (10,38), (11,42), (12,42), (13,43.5), (14,44), (15,44.2), (16,44), (17,43), (19,39), (20,39.5), (12,40));
Are you showing further innumeracy Brian? Do you think that 0.1% change per year, with a lot of noise, is showing you “whites fleeing?”
I hate it when Mommy and Daddy fight!
More insults- the metaphorical equivalent of the guy outta bullets throwing his gun. You crack me up.
Could there be anything smaller than 0.1% Brian? Oh yeah, 0.0%.
Don’t bring this “I just took the end points”, complain that you shouldn’t be lectured, and then complain that you shouldn’t be insulted.
Just hang it up and get yourself a new sock puppet. One that does math.
“Please fit any sort of trend line to this data that you feel is appropriate to show me how this “shows pretty conclusively” no trend of white people leaving the Democratic Party.
You won’t. You can’t. You will change the subject.”
Damn, I’m prescient.
I did the opposite, troll. I brought the data and it matched my “eyeball” result, spot on.
At this point I’m afraid you have too little math to even know how lost you are.
Now I’m starting to feel bad for you. You seem to possess some sort of weird inability to retract erroneous statements about what the chart “shows pretty conclusively”.
You yourself have demonstrated that the chart really doesn’t show anything close to conclusively one way or the other. There is a suggestion of a downward trend, but the noise/signal ratio is very high.
No Brian, you admit that the data shows no clear trend, which was my position from the beginning. In fact, more than anything it shows stability and variation around a mean. Let’s say your “suggestion was real, and that 0.0947 was a real slope. How long would it take for the population of Dems/LeansDems to halve?
(42.11 / 2) / 0.094 = 223.98
Just 224 years, right Brian? Have I got that math right, troll?
(Incredible innumeracy that you don’t understand that values close to zero are in fact close to zero!)
I think I’d like to play cards against you, because, damn son, you NEVER fold, regardless of how shitty your cards are.
Lemme give you another chance. In one sentence, what does this chart “show pretty conclusively”?
It shows very clearly no consistent decline, which was the original claim.
To prove the initial claim, of decline, of white voters fleeing, you should show a significant negative slope.
You should not rely on a misty suggestion that if things keep going the way they are for 40 or 50 years, we might see “something.”
So, “shows pretty conclusively” is now “shows very clearly no consistent pattern”. You are a slippery one, but I will take this as some kind of progress.
Still, this is a straw man. Not even Cliff claimed a “consistent pattern”.
Your second paragraph is only relevant in a universe where you challenged Cliff to provide data in support of his view, You did not.
YOU made the strong claim based on the chart. Own it. My ONLY claim all along has been that YOUR claim (“shows pretty conclusively”) was unwarranted. It was and is.
Are you even following your own logic at this point? The data show no sign of decline among whites, just a noisy near steady state. Of course that means that a fall of whites, as a percentage, in the Democratic party therefore must come from an influx of non-whites.
Don’t forget, troll, that this is where you started: “a 7% swing since 1992”
“The data show no sign of decline among whites.” Is that what they show, Mr. Numeracy? Pretty conclusively, no doubt.
Now that I’ve thoroughly thrashed you on your preferred grown of nerdy, pedantic statistical interpretation, I invite you to take a step back.
I called for more data- extending the series back to 1968 (like the original chart) or even farther, say 1963. Do you know what LBJ said when he signed the Civil Rights Act? Something about losing the South for a generation?
In 1963, the Democrats were dominant AND the country was a lot whiter AND (I think) blacks were more likely than they are now to be Republican. What do you suppose this suggests about this chart in 1963?
I don’t know if the data exist- they prolly don’t, which is I’m sure good news for you.
My own dad – a good Stevenson man – said the Democratic Party left hm in 1968. Anecdotal yes, but a story oft repeated.
OK, Watergate prolly reversed this trend for a time, but then came the Reagan Revolution. You know, working class white idiots who buy guns instead of 401(k)s voting Republican.
I have a strong intuition that more data will not be helpful to your position.
What’s the old line about lawyers, when all else fails, pound the table?
You are pounding the table because I have the data.
#1. The Simpsons were there first. As always.
The lead-in to that story is pretty strong .. “A recent study by a pair of Oxford professors estimated that nearly half of all workers in the United States could eventually lose their jobs due to automation. “ Hence, robot socialism.
The underlying paper is THE FUTURE OF EMPLOYMENT by Frey and Osborne (pdf Sep. 2013)
Hence, robot socialism
How smart do robots have to be before socialists will consider them not the means of production but part of those workers by hand and brains to whom the most equitable distribution of the full fruits of their labor is due?
Personally, I think the phrase “workers by hand or by brain or by hydraulically operated claw” lacks a certain something. And I am sure that right after the invention of robot socialism will come the invention of the robot scab strike breaker.
New SAT test designed to be less like an SAT test http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-03-05/the-new-sat-is-a-better-b-worse-c-both
everyone is getting richer than ever http://www.cityam.com/article/1393897507/world-s-richest-made-wealthier-stock-surge
i’m not concerned http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/In-growth-of-wealth-gap-we-re-No-1-5281174.php
good news http://www.moneynews.com/economy/college-graduates-educated-jobs/2014/03/06/id/556399 more evidence there is not a tuition bubble
#7: It is an interesting dynamic. As Liberal-Democrat strongholds become less NAM, the party of the CML becomes more dependent on the NAM vote. Liberals driving minorities out of their cities will have consequences at some point. There’s a glimpse of it already with the end of stop and frisk in NYC.
Yes, it’s the liberals who don’t like living near minorities. Conservatives like Z just love ’em.
It’s entirely possible that both liberals and conservatives dislike living near minorities.
A recent flame war on my (expensive, very liberal) town’s email list made me aware of just how much “McMansion” is actually code for “Asian.” It makes perfect sense when you think about it, but nobody ever spelled it out for me before.
Perhaps, but I’m not making claims that the ‘liberals are driving minorities out of their cities’.
Also, let’s be clear, no one is driving anyone anywhere. Cost of living is rising, especially housing in cities, and minorities are a higher proportion of the poor. They’re getting priced out, not driven out. Poor whites too.
“Prices discriminate so we don’t have to.” This is not even a secret.
Prices discriminate against poor whites and Asians too.
Minimum lot sizes, setbacks, historic districts, and regulatory tools like that are claimed to be pro-white and anti-asian.
Agree. It’s an economc issue rather than racism
The reason for the rules was claimed to be that they catered to white preferences, while asians preferred big new houses built to the edge of small lots. The asian houses are no less expensive than the white houses.
Link?? “Asians” love lots of giant houses crammed together?
What am I supposed to cite to?
I’m relating a private email conversation and telling you what people claimed. I have privacy concerns and don’t really want to specify that Fancytown, Liberalstate is surprisingly racist. The town did commission a study a few years ago to find out why asian participation in town government was so low per capita, and despite their being a significant fraction of the population, wealth, etc, so there was a fair amount of documentation that those rules were put in place but white people. I’ve heard that stereotype about wealthy asian housing more than once before, and spending a lot to make a small old house jewel-like is totally a white woman thing, but neither of those statements constitutes a citation.
I have no idea why the term “Asian” offends you. I’ve never heard that before. By origin around here it mostly means Chinese, but the term is used inclusively.
This might be geographically localized. I could see that being true in coastal California. It’s not true in the South.
It’s the northeast. I’ve also heard it in the west, but this was much more direct.
Reminds me of the Flannery O’Connor line, that in the South whites don’t mind blacks getting close, as long as they don’t get too high, and in the North whites don’t mind blacks getting too high, as long as they don’t get too close.
I always thought McMansion meant, gaudy, cheap oversized home with a long commute and house-poor white folk middle class strivers. Never the asian thing.
Everybody will pay a lot for white/Asian school districts. Not just conservatives.
When/if the other minorities get some money they pay up too. I prefer to see it as wealth wants to live around wealth, the color is less important.
And somehow Olympia Fields is a terrible school district with very few white and Asian students
You can pay very little to live in an all-white school district anywhere in rural America. Not a lot of wealthy folks do.
Wealthy people don’t have to leave the city limits. They send their kids to private schools. Alternatively, they navigate the district’s byzantine charter or magnet requirements. And if they are in one of those cozy little in-town districts, they will fight like hell to avoid any redistricting.
Again, you don’t have to pay a lot for an all white school district in 90% of this country.
You can pay very little to live in an all-white school district anywhere in rural America. Not a lot of wealthy folks do.
Correct. The wealthy can buy into tony urban neighborhoods and private schools to stay near their high-g jobs. The schleps have to move out if they want white neighbors, just not so far that they lose connection with important economic centers.
I’m not sure if you’re American and/or older, but suburban developments really started rolling out from the cities after judicial desegregation orders across the country in the 1960’s. Of course, the process is working in the other direction these days, and Spike Lee et al. are beginning to notice.
But it’s about class, not race. Blacks and Latinos that can afford to live in the nice areas are welcome to. It’s just harder, because those groups have proportionally fewer wealthy people.
msgkings – “You can pay very little to live in an all-white school district anywhere in rural America. Not a lot of wealthy folks do.”
Yes they do actually. Aspen? The Hamptons? Cape Cod? Rich White people have a long history of paying a lot of money so that they can live in rural White areas – and only rural White areas, Florida aside. They do not pay any money at all to move to rural non-White areas. You can even see this with the White liberal flight out of California. They are, naturally, headed to more White states like Colorado. Which, predictably, they are trying to make just like California.
Conservatives may not like living next to Blacks. But they may be conservatives because they do.
“Again, you don’t have to pay a lot for an all white school district in 90% of this country.”
That’s just clueless.
I covered your war on brown people yesterday: http://tinyurl.com/ltjarlt
All of the hipster enclaves sprouting up in major cities are very white and very liberal. Gentrification is nothing more than rich white people chasing off blacks and browns so the the kids of said rich white people can have a safe place in the city.
What is the mechanism for ‘chasing off blacks and browns’?
NYC had their police stopping and frisking black males between the ages of 15 and 25. That’s a pretty clear message, if you are a black guy.
Perhaps. And how about the other ‘hipster enclaves sprouting up in major cities’?
Again, gentrification is just prices rising. More whites can afford higher prices, because proportionally more of the upper middle and upper class is white.
I don’t doubt you guys can rationalize anything. That’s just how cults work.
you’re sounding like ta nehisi coates
whites aren’t chasing off anyone. blacks are being displaced because their incomes cannot keep up
And those blacks and other minorities whose incomes do keep up, gentrify also. Witness Atlanta and Southfield MI in particular.
#7 – the cultural shift from the Democrats as the ‘party of the working man’ to the party of identity politics began in the 1960’s. The Hardhat Riot in NYC was something of a watershed event. The Democrats have tiptoed away from the American working class as too (mostly) white, too patriotic, too armed and too religious. Unfortunately, the Republicans care even less about the working class than the Democrats do.
My anecdotal observation is that the working class is increasingly not bothering to vote. They are buying a lot of firearms and ammo, however.
That last sentence, not too far from Obama’s ‘clinging to guns and religion’ comment that got him in hot water. Was Obama right?
Yes. When the public institutions start failing, that’s where people go.
Paranoia enjoys the shampoo effect. On each “rinse and repeat” you get more foam.
They haven’t gotten a raise in 40 years, and they’ve got people like you sneering at them. Historically, these kind of fights don’t end well.
There is your paranoia right there, buddy. I didn’t sneer. In fact, I’m behind the whole Mike Rowe thing
Oh, I definitely sneered at the paranoid. Yes. Just not the working class.
Lately your posts have been agreeing pretty closely with Obama…kind of interesting.
You’re just now noticing the nativist / Democratic Party connection? They coalesce around their hatred of Libertarians.
Well sure, but A-G hasn’t struck me as a Democrat.
Republican invade-the-world/invite-the-world stalwarts like John McCain and Lindsey Graham hate them too.
BTW, it’s striking to me how libertarianism is probably the whitest political movement on earth.
‘libertarianism is…the whitest political movement on earth’
That’s the truest thing on this site today. I removed the ‘probably’.
Does the Klan count as a political movement? Then I might be wrong.
I dunno. The Aryan Nation and similar organizations seem pretty white to me.
Libertarians have Thomas Sowell!
A lot of people middle and below make poor investment decisions with respect to firearms and ammo. Oh, they’ll tell you how their XYZ has appreciated, but they won’t tell you about their empty IRA.
What calibers does the IRA come in?
(Guns and ammo are an incredibly expensive hobby for poor people to have. Throwing coins to bills at a target.)
You are either an insufferable snob or you have no idea how the majority of the population lives. Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, retail managers, HVAC techs and others can afford complicated hobbies if they are prudent with their money and stay married.
Now you are just calling names. I can easily link to actual shooters discussing actual costs:
“I responded to a thread about the Mini-14 and made the comment that I considered it expensive to rip off 200 rounds or more in an afternoon. My sense is that this is a light day for many here in terms of shooting. You add in shooting your favorite centerfire handguns and you just blew a couple $100 minimum. I doubt a majority of Americans can blow a few $100 in an afternoon just punching holes in things and not feel it financially.”
Having cable TV and internet access is more expensive than owning, and occasionally shooting, a couple of guns. People spend lots of money on things that aren’t good investments, vacations for instance, and I seem to remember something called a “time share”. Haven’t heard much about them lately, though.
Sure, but if we are going to be normative we can talk about what’s best. (In my area a base internet connection, no tv, is $15 from time warner)
Some of the poorer whites I know at the cottage shoot their .22s, for hours, at very little cost.
BTW, when you say “can afford complicated hobbies” do you mean “while paying bills” or do you mean “while building wealth?” That is, would Suze Orman allow it?
Who cares what old, childless Suze Orman thinks? The white working class will make their hunting and shooting a priority and if they can keep everything together long enough to have grandkids, they’ve won.
Have to agree with A-G on this point. I doubt anyone is not feeding the kids in favor of more ammo.
Feeding the kids is “paying bills” and not “building wealth.” The average net worth for the bottom two quintiles of income should give you both pause.
Revealed preference: some folks would rather spend their resources doing stuff they like and not building wealth.
People are conflicted, and or have cognitive dissonance. Both Orman and Dave Ramsey can make a career of it.
Or maybe they’d rather have fun here on earth. You can’t take it with you.
Why then the popularity of the personal finance industry? That’s what I’m saying. If people were clear about “spend it now” then Ormond and Ramsey would be speaking on a box in the park, and would not have highly paid gigs.
(IOW, there are two revealed preferences, at odds.)
john, there’s a lot of people out there. Some buy Suze Orman books. Some hire financial advisors. And some make just enough to eat, have some fun, raise some kids, and die without a lot of net worth.
And since they all end up 6 feet under, who’s to say which is the ‘better’ option?
msgkings, you have obviously never listened to an Orman/Ramsey caller. They are fully in both groups.
See also the whole field of behavioral economics.
I’m not following your point. This all started with your point that people who like to shoot guns for a hobby might have trouble building wealth. I just replied that’s obviously their preference.
Who’s ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ here? I guess both of us?
I also said, early, that people tend to be conflicted or show cognitive dissonance. The average “customer” or Ormond or Ramsey demonstrates this. They “want” to create wealth even as they “want” nice things.
The psychology of this is varied, but certainly the “opt in” vs “opt out” experiments on 401Ks demonstrate that people have conflicted behaviors.
Brian’s right, you’re pretty slippery.
This subthread was about whether the lower/middle classes can ‘afford complicated hobbies’ like shooting.
You claimed you can’t do that and also build wealth. Maybe you can, maybe you can’t, but it’s not really relevant. It’s their money, and if they want to spend it on guns and not 401ks they can, and most of them do just fine doing it that way, no matter what Suze Orman thinks.
So maybe we’re talking about two different things, I dunno. But I’m done with this particular merry go round.
Who’s slippery? Did you address the idea that people can be conflicted and spend money too fast while wanting to save and build wealth?
The personal finance industry tries with varying degrees of success to address that conflict.
Perhaps this different domain will help you. Consider overweight and the weight-loss industry. You are making a parallel argument to “people’s revealed preference just shows that they want to be fat.” I am making the parallel argument to “no, the existence of a weight loss industry says otherwise.”
You keep repeating the parallel of “but people eat too much” like that is all that matters.
I’ve often thought that in a true multi-party system, both of the major two parties would separate into their constituent parts and reassemble in various combinations. One of those would surely be a Labor Party, and it would probably be a lot more nativist and reactionary than American liberals currently try to portray that particular constituent.
Also, how long can the Democratic Party keep labor and immigrants under the same banner?
This seems to be playing out more in the Republican party, with the Tea Party schism.
It’s easy to overestimate the simplicity of the D/R divide. I think our party politics is far more nuanced than you think. There is a Democratic Party in Mississippi. There is a Democratic Party in Massachusetts. The two don’t have much in common.
Hm, the entire point of my comment was that the two party system obfuscates the nuances you refer to.
Does the D Party of Mississippi feel like it has to toe the line taken by the D Party of Massachusetts, or vice versa? Obviously not. Both sub-parties are free (within boundaries) to set their own agenda. Obviously they don’t have unfettered discretion, but then neither do coalition parties in a multi-party system.
Politics is local, which is something that people forget in the CNN age.
Again, I don’t think you’re understanding the point I was making.
“Does the D Party of Mississippi feel like it has to toe the line taken by the D Party of Massachusetts”
How did they vote on Obamacare? They’re obviously not identical, but party loyalty still counts for something
Actually, no — see below. Taylor also voted against Obama in the general election, and he was supported by the Nat’l Right to Life Committee when he sought reelection.
This is obviously a wild guess, but I imagine the median D-Mass has more in common with the median R-Mass than with the median D-Miss.
the cultural shift from the Democrats as the ‘party of the working man’ to the party of identity politics began in the 1960′s.
But the Democrats were always the party of identity politics. Always. They used to be the party of the Ku Klux Klan after all. Bull Connor sat on the DNC. When America was whiter, the Democrats were the party of those who did not like Northern Whites of British origin. They won over pretty much everyone else: the Irish, the Italians, the Jews – and the Blacks. All based on identity politics. The problem for them came when Black Civil Rights meant a conflict between Southern Whites and the Blacks. The Democrats chose Black identity politics over Southern White identity politics – and in turn that meant a weakening of their hold on what Steve Sailor calls Ethnic Catholics – the Reagan Democrats.
The Democrats have never been a party of anything other than identity politics.
They haven’t. Practically the only viable unions left in the country are the ones for government workers. That’s the Democrat rank and file. The white working class votes Republican or they don’t vote at all (Mitt Romney take note–not that he will).
judging by the activity, if Tyler wants more pageviews & comments he should just do political posts
Or bash bitcoin.
Or post something calling out john personna
Wow! That thread was filled with some of the finest trolling I’ve ever seen on the Internets.
The Dalai clique has been treated coldly frequently while it is still willing to be a pawn for the U.S, it said. Over the past 60 years, the Dalai clique has colluded, taken advantage of and supported each other and internationalized the “Tibetan issue,” the article said.
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