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Fri Jun 1, 2018, 10:55 PM

Seniors Are More Conservative Because the Poor Don't Survive to Become Seniors

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/05/poor-people-often-dont-survive-to-become-seniors-who-vote.html?


But it is important to note that some generational disjunctions in political behavior are driven by demography. It’s well understood that millennials are significantly more diverse than prior generations. But there is something else driving the relative homogeneity of seniors: Poorer people are often hobbled by chronic illness, and succumb to premature death. A new academic study featured at the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog explains:

Political participation of the poor is overall lower because of poverty, bad health and many other factors, but millions of impoverished Americans across the country also die prematurely. For instance, in 2015, research funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Social Security Administration revealed that, since 1990, among the bottom quarter of Americans with the least education, life expectancy has either stagnated or decreased. That’s for well over 40 million people.

Add to this negative trend the fact that mortality among the poor increases during middle age — which is when citizens generally get more involved in politics. The premature disappearance of the poor, then, occurs precisely at the moment when they would be expected to reach their “participatory peak” in society. But they don’t live long enough to achieve that milestone.

Since white people suffer proportionately less from poverty than nonwhite people, they do tend to live longer, and in better health, which is conducive to political and other civic activism. The most politically left-bent demographic racial group, African-Americans, has made progress recently in reducing the gap in life expectancy with white peers, but still lags in both lifespans and health, as a 2017 CDC study showed:

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 11:02 PM

1. People, in General, Tend to Grow More Conservative as They Age

This is as well as poorer Americans dying much younger than affluent Americans.

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Response to dlk (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 11:13 PM

5. Not me ... If anything, I've gotten more liberal the older I get.

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 2, 2018, 05:39 AM

15. Same here

I start any political conversation with strangers when they happen, “ before we get started, please understand that I believe Bernie Sanders to be far too conservative for my tastes, but he is about as close as I can find out there currently.”

That usually either sets the tone or they simply become quiet and we can then not talk politics.

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Response to dlk (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 11:27 PM

6. I've found I've become more conservative as I age

I want to conserve the values of my youth - freedom, equality and justice

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Response to DBoon (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 2, 2018, 12:58 AM

11. "Conservative" seniors these days are willing to blow the whole thing up

as long as straight white people are on top and the patriarchy survives. That's all they want to "conserve." Screw basic decency. Screw all norms of civil society. Screw what Jesus said. Screw the environment... and everything else.

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Response to dlk (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 2, 2018, 12:19 AM

7. I've never been more liberal than I am now.

No way I'm growing more conservative, that's for sure.

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Response to dlk (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 2, 2018, 12:39 AM

8. My grandmother was just the opposite

She voted Republican her whole life - until she called me in 1992 to tell me she'd voted for Bill Clinton. And she was born in 1900, so she was 92.

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Response to dlk (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 2, 2018, 01:23 AM

13. this is not true. people say this because of White Voters in the US

who have largely turned republican. but that has to do with their fear of losing privilege .

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Response to dlk (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 2, 2018, 08:04 AM

17. Not I. I was simply a liberal a decade ago, I appreciate some of the ideas of Marx today.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 11:09 PM

2. You realize as you get older that you are on a fixed income that tRump et al are threatening to take

away. And you worry about making whatever money you have last

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 11:12 PM

3. I'm one of those seniors who has gotten

more and more liberal/progressive as I age. To the point of being something of a nut case on occasion.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 11:12 PM

4. Seniors are liberals tooooooooooo.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Sat Jun 2, 2018, 12:40 AM

9. K & R

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Sat Jun 2, 2018, 12:51 AM

10. I've always been very liberal politically,

and I'm old.

But what I notice in our area is that the people driving around in beaters with duct tape patching and what appears to be not a pot to piss in seem to overwhelmingly support the right wingers. Scott Walker, Dubya, and now Trump. It's mind-boggling.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Sat Jun 2, 2018, 01:16 AM

12. When I was young I was liberal. Now that I'm old, I'm even more liberal.

Yeah, we live in KY and our area is fairly conservative. But there is someone up the street that has a bumper sticker that says "Persist". And there were several yard signs for one of the Democratic candidates in the recent primary (he won with 60% of the vote, btw). And we see a fair number of liberal bumper stickers at the grocery.

So not all old farts get more conservative as they age.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Sat Jun 2, 2018, 01:27 AM

14. The last thirty years have turned me into a Leveler.

Tired of the endless Return of the Stupids. Without liberals, conservatives eat themselves and their children. We protect them from Darwin's Razor.

We need a Reset of the basic social contract. As in, we need a social contract.

Shark tanks make one big shark that then dies. Let's not do that anymore.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Sat Jun 2, 2018, 07:49 AM

16. The greatest percent of poor is still white, and most vote republican...

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Sat Jun 2, 2018, 08:48 AM

18. If race determined voting, okay.

But those who are likely to live longest are those who are reasonable well off and who are educated. If you're white and in that category, you are more likely to vote (D) than (R).

If you're poor and white and likely to die at an early age, you're more likely (in recent years) to vote (R). In other words, poor =/= left. There's a correlation, but it's a correlation that varies by cohort.

Since whites are the largest cohort, this isn't a trivial point to include.

Even within AfAm, the same wealth/education = longevity standard still holds, and in that case prosperous =/= conservative.

What doesn't get included is how poverty's distributed within racial group and the effect that would be predicted. It's not the goal of the study, and outside of sciences (and even within sciences sometimes only uphold by absence) it's fairly rare to include any disconfirming evidence or arguments and deal with them. Most such studies seek to prove the authors' point, which is true, not to show that a claim has the greatest claim to likely truth.

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