Thursday, January 31, 2008
Percent who voted for Clinton in 1996
Fundamentalist whites 11.6
Blacks with no religion 96.6
Let me say it again: income predicts nothing. Pat Buchanan is right: it's a culture war. It ain't the rich against the poor. Immigrants pick up on this and regardless of income, if they're non-white or irreligious, they generally join up with the--what does O'Reilly call them--secular progressives. Those who loathe what white fundamentalists cherish: traditional Christianity, old-time values, and freedom.
Wall expresses my concern that Mormons for doctrinal reasons tend to be soft on illegal and legal immigration, and while Mitt is clearly running to the right of McCain on the issue, his real views are probably influenced by his religious beliefs. Specifically, he is likely to have more-than-usual affection for Hispanics because of the Mormon belief that the indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere are sort of a chosen people. They have joined the Church in very large numbers (more than half of the membership worldwide is Spanish-speaking) and so white Mormons feel a kinship with them.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
One question I haven't answered is, which of these factors--income, religiosity, or race--is most important in determining whether immigrants vote for Republicans? Below, I show the results of a multivariate analysis. For race, I created a variable I called "social distance from white" where whites=1, other=2, and black=3.
Voted for Bush in 2000 (OLS standardized coefficients)
distance from whites -.294*
personal income .037
church attendance .171*
N = 129
* p < .05, one-tail test
Contrary to conventional wisdom, higher income immigrants are not more likely to vote Republican. Religious immigrants were more likely to vote for Bush, but the most powerful predictor is being white.
Based on this model, 69 percent of immigrants who are white and attend church more than weekly are predicted to vote for Bush; the percent for black immigrants who never go to church is 16 percent. For other non-whites who never attend church (e.g., Asians, Hispanics) 23 percent are expected to vote Republican.
The obvious implication for conservatives is that if they want to conserve themselves, they should favor one of the following: 1) an end to all immigration, 2) an increase in immigration among people who are white and religious, or 3) a reduction in the numbers of their counterparts (or 2 and 3 together).
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Percent who voted for Bush in 2000
Christian immigrants start out split and move right as their incomes increase. Non-Christians, by contrast, start out liberal and move left as they move up.
But maybe it's simply religion, and not specifically Christianity:
Percent who voted for Bush in 2000
Has a religion 50.0
No religion 35.7
Has a religion 64.0
No religion 18.2
So, it appears that people who are affiliated with any religion--not just Christians--move right as they assimilate--while immigrants with no religion move left. (This helps explain why Chinese and Japanese immigrants aren't conservative: 44% and 40%, respectively, belong to no church.)
Tying this in with earlier points, as the number of immigrants who are non-white or non-religious grows, Republicans lose support. Improving incomes does not fix the problem; it only gets worse. Upward mobility only moves immigrants to the right if they are white or belong to a church. Other immigrants may become wealthier, but they become even more turned off to Republicans. The idea that people vote with their wallets, and so immigration of the upwardly mobile is a long-term winner for conservatives, is simply false.
Friday, January 25, 2008
The General Social Survey asked 1,008 people about the contributions of Jews to American society. Here are the percentages who answered that they have contributed little that is positive:
Percent who say that Jews have contributed little to American society
American Indian 14.0
This is the second time I have analyzed data showing that Mex-Ams have the most negative attitudes toward Jews, so importing massive numbers of Mexican immigrants is likely to make the sentiment more widespread.
For fun (admittedly nerdy fun), let's see the numbers who answered that Jews have contributed more to America than any other ethnic group:
Percent who say that Jews have contributed the most to American society
American Indian 6.0
You Jewish folks are patting yourselves on the back here just a little, but not without reason. What do you think respondents were thinking of? Jonas Salk? Einstein? (I'm sure some would think he counts.) Abraham Lincolnowitz? Myself, I was thinking the Marx Brothers (see above).
By the way, these numbers support the idea that people of English descent are philosemitic.
This is a serious problem when it comes to the issue of immigration. New immigrants are by definition outsiders. Moving to the inside--and I'm talking here about something psychological and not economic and social--is not easy for immigrants, especially if they are not white. As I have shown in recent posts, non-white immigrants move left as they move up economically and socially.
Someone who sees himself as an outsider also perceives himself as weak--the inside is where the power is. He naturally joins up with other self-perceived outsiders to play the role of David against Goliath. He is both insecure and morally superior at the same time. His stance is oppositional: he wants to tear down whatever it is that the giant wants to hold up. That role is a an alluring one, and the psychological payoff is large enough to keep its hold on a person, even after achieving economic success. The role is so appealing, the children of non-white immigrants are likely to adopt it, even though they were born here and may have enjoyed an easy life.
People on the Right, by contrast, have no such insecurities: they belong here and they know it. The guys in suits are not your enemies: you're on the same team. But it is much easier to get to that place psychologically if you are white and Christian.
I say Christian because I can think of two examples where it's not just about race. I mentioned already how many Jews see themselves as outsiders, even though they are white. I showed earlier that Filipino immigrants are one of the only groups to move right as they assimilate. That may very well be due to the fact that they are overwhelmingly Catholic (in addition to being economically successful).
My comments so far have focused on an individualistic orientation, which shows my Western bias. Non-white immigrants are probably more clan-oriented than their European counterparts, so they might simply vote Democrat because they are concerned about the ease with which family members and co-ethnics can move to America in the future, and the Democratic Party is reliably an open borders party. Clan loyalty for these folks trumps economic interest.
You might respond that if non-whites are less individualistic, perhaps that is the reason they move left after immigrating here. There are a couple problems with that idea. It might be able to explain why they arrive here more collectivist than the average American, but why would they move farther left as they assimilate? Second, they might be more clan-oriented than Europeans, but one wouldn't expect them to be more big government than European immigrants who come from countries more liberal than the U.S. And perhaps the most important item is the direction they move after they get here, regardless of their politics when they arrive. Non-whites move left as they move up; Europeans do not. Something about the experience here convinces successful non-whites that the Democrats better represent their interests, while high-income European immigrants do not feel the same way. Successful people from Europe appear to be focused on economic concerns like low taxes, while their non-white counterparts are insecure about their place here in America, and they worry about relatives and co-ethnics who might want to emigrate in the future.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Percent who are very proud of America
American Indian 92.2
All Americans 78.1
Blacks and American Indians have responded very differently to the injustices they have experienced. Not only are they on opposite poles here, blacks overwhelming vote Democrat, while Indians lean right. (In 2004, 50% voted for Bush).
No one can compete with the Indian number, but it is encouraging to see that Mex-Ams are prouder of their country than Americans of English ancestry. Jews are similar to blacks, but do not have the same kind of history here that would explain the low number. It is probably the case that more liberal groups accept the idea that it's unseemly to cheerlead too loudly about one's own country.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Having been both a believer and an atheist, I'm not sure if atheism is a sign that a person is unanchored and thereby vulnerable to kooky ideas, or just indicative of a person with a sharp BS detector.
Let's have the General Social Survey shed some light on the question. In 2006, 1,782 Americans were asked if they believed in God, and if they considered astrology to be scientific. Here are the answers:
Percent who think astrology is somewhat or very scientific
I don't believe in God 28.8
There is no way to know 22.3
There is some higher power 28.9
I believe sometimes 31.5
I believe but have doubts 31.8
I know God exists 34.3
Compared to people of faith, atheists are not more likely to believe in crackpot ideas (at least in the case of astrology). Agnostics, however, seem to have the most acute BS detectors. Some atheists may be the tough-minded type, while others may be the kind who grab onto just about any idea if it irks Mom and Dad (and respectable society).
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Percent who received traffic ticket after drinking--past year
Percent who received traffic ticket after smoking marijuana--past year
Skipped a whole day of school in past month
Folks who claim that mass Mexican-American immigration improves our quality of life must never leave their Manhattan penthouses.
Myself, I got bored at Wal-Mart today while waiting for my car's oil to get changed. So I went to the huge magazine and book rack, and could not find one decent magazine to read. Roughly two-thirds of the customers are Latinos, and there was not a single news or political magazine except for one lonely Time review of 2007. There was one book on Che in Spanish, and I studied the language in college, but it is way too much of an effort. In fact, most of the books were in Spanish, and most of the others were self-help books, both religious and psychological. Yuck.
Since there was not a damn thing to read, I decided to count the ratio of Hispanic groups talking Spanish versus those speaking English that passed by. Thirty-four Spanish, eight English. Roughly 4 to 1. Mercifully, I was paged, I retrieved my car, flipped on the radio, and found an acceptable station out of the five that were in English. Don't imagine for a second that I would have found Placido Domingo if I had given the Spanish language stations a chance. I'm sure you wouldn't think that either unless you live in one of those penthouses.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Percent who voted for Bush
Less than high school 44.4
High school 45.0
Junior college 76.5
Grad school 25.0
Less than high school 35.0
High school 43.9
Junior college 33.3
Grad school 33.3
Low-prestige job 49.3
High-prestige job 46.9
Low-prestige job 31.9
High-prestige job 22.8
The differences are clear. While white immigrants appear to help Republicans to some degree, non-white immigrants, regardless of the ease to which they move to America's mainstream, push the country left. As white immigrants make more money, they become more conservative. So do non-whites, but 38% of high-income non-white immigrants voting for Bush is still a big loss to Republicans.
So the lesson here to conservatives is that if you want to ever win elections in the future, you had better shut down illegal and legal immigration--at least from non-white countries. Or just maintain the status quo, and allow neocons to eventually convince the country that universal health care is actually a conservative idea. Your choice.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Percent who voted for Bush in 2000
All immigrant groups
Focusing on income rather than education doesn't change a thing: money moves them left. Contrary to expectations, poorer, less assimilated folks are not especially liberal. It's more accurate to say they lean Democrat. They become hardcore as they assimilate. Assimilation for immigrants leads them to become politically more and more like blacks.
Let's look at one more indicator that immigrant groups are moving to the social mainstream--job prestige:
Percent who voted for Bush in 2000
All immigrant groups
Same story. As immigrants move up, they move left and vote Democrat roughly 2 to 1. If conservatives want to survive as a viable political force, they must oppose immigration across the board.
So, what has all the pandering to immigrants gotten the Republican Party? A very clear message: go to hell.
And I'll say it again: neocons are either fools or liars, or both.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I've listed below the mean scores:
Mean conservative score
Less than high school 4.12
High school 4.02
Junior college 3.50
Graduate school 3.93
Less than high school 4.03
High school 4.02
Junior college 4.08
Graduate school 3.57
Less than high school 3.14
High school 4.21
Junior college 4.33
Graduate school 4.40
Less than high school 3.74
High school 3.97
Junior college 3.65
Graduate school 3.20
Less than high school 4.31
High school 3.30
Junior college 3.00
Graduate school 3.67
Less than high school 4.05
High school 3.73
Junior college 4.14
Graduate school 3.65
Neocons concede that most immigrants are liberal when they get off the boat, but their upward mobility and Old Country values gradually move them right. Well, looking at the numbers above--data that any yahoo can access--we see a grand total of one immigrant group following the path they predict: Filipinos. One outta six ain't bad, right? And our largest group--Mexicans--beats a path to the left as they become more educated. Neocons are either incompetent analysts, or they secretly want this country to move left, and are simply lying to us.
(I'm sure skeptics will say that I need to analyze income and voting behavior rather than education and orientation. I'll do that next).
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Mean weight in pounds
less than one year in U.S. 164.65
1 to less than 5 years 160.78
5 to less than 10 years 164.36
10 to less than 15 years 165.36
15 years or more 172.56
All American men ages 31-35 181.03
less than one year in U.S. 132.71
1 to less than 5 years 131.99
5 to less than 10 years 133.67
10 to less than 15 years 137.93
15 years or more 139.68
All American women ages 31-35 143.82
It looks like people drop a little in the first few years, but after that they get fatter. But immigrants here even 15 years or more are still several pounds lighter than average. (If you're paying attention, you might be thinking that they remain lighter because they are shorter. I created a new variable by dividing weight by height. The mean score for all American men is 2.57, and 2.23 for women; for immigrants here 15 years or more, it's 2.51 for men and 2.19 for women, so you have a point).
There was a time when gaining a few pounds after reaching America's shores might have been a good thing, but I doubt it is now.
Monday, January 07, 2008
But my real interest here is to investigate the question of whether blacks are really interested in science, and if not, is it the Man's fault? Now white racists might be able to deny you good lab equipment at your local school, but they cannot dictate which TV shows you watch. The General Social Survey asked 1,468 Americans if they would hypothetically be interested in watching a TV program on the ozone. Here are the 8 ethnic groups with at least 50 respondents:
Percent who are likely or very likely to watch TV science program
Blacks are at the bottom of the list. No one put them there. As a group, they are simply not as interested in science as other groups. Haven't you ever heard a black comedian making fun of how white people like to do weird things like study bugs? Little E.O. Wilson, spending all day hanging out with ants, must have been retarded or something, right?
People are different. So what. Get over it.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Percent who have done it at least once in the past year
Given directions to a stranger
Offered a seat to a stranger
Carried a stranger's belongings
Allowed a stranger to go ahead in line
Given money to a homeless person
There is no evidence that Jews are much different than anyone else. Where their numbers are a little higher, they probably have the advantage of more opportunities to help because of living in urban areas in high numbers. For an altruistic behavior that requires more effort and is less opportunistic, like giving blood, Jews fall behind a bit.
And notice how people with no religion are just as altruistic as those claiming one--maybe more so.
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