Saturday, January 10, 2009

Government workers are not liberal

N = 11, 827

N = 2,835

N = 15, 072

I assumed that government workers lean left. The GSS disagrees with me. The top chart shows that the political orientation between government and private employees differs little. Well, maybe public employees are not liberal but vote for Democrats nevertheless. You can see that in the middle graph that, once again, the difference is slight.

As a side note, look at how the percent of workers employed by the government has not grown much in the past two decades. I thought it had.


  1. Anonymous6:33 PM

    I think the type of job one has in government matters more in determining one's political affiliation than government vs. private. Government workers run the gamut from teachers to military to espionage to civil engineers to IT.

    I'm also dubious of the oft-cited difference between the government and private sector work environment. Generally, large bureaucracies are not radically different whether their management has a profit motive or not.

  2. Hasn't grown? Ah, the right has its own propaganda just like the left. Everyone lies, it's just a matter of which liars you happen to prefer. ;)

    Anon hits the nail on the head: a bureaucracy is a bureaucracy and any large organization tries to preserve itself and grow, from the DoD to ANSWER. Also, military people lean right. You might want to try filtering out military people; I don't think spies are going to admit their line of work to the GSS! (Or if they do, this country's in even more trouble than I thought.)

  3. Mark Seecof8:29 PM

    The Federal government has grown a lot, and rapidly, using "contract" rather than civil service employees.

    The GSS isn't the right way to gauge the government workforce because contractors give unintentionally misleading answers.

    State & local governments have been growing as well.


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