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Source: (consider it) Thread: Why Do The Poor Keep Voting For Poverty?
fletcher christian

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I can point to the success of Trump and the Brexit vote (based on the BBC report) both of which appear to have had success on the grounds that those in poverty tend to be the ones who voted for Trump or for Brexit. Now they are but two examples close to home for many on these boards, but I think the same observable pattern might be able to be plotted for equivalencies throughout Europe. For me it raises a question of why, if you were living in poverty, would you then vote to ensure that the next phase of your life will remain impoverished? I know that it could be successfully argued that a vote for Hilary (for instance) probably wouldn't have exactly improved things for those on the bread line, but surely it couldn't possibly be worse. I just can;t shake the feeling (and the facts if they are to be believed) that the political fat cats rely on the poor to retain their power yet will in all likelihood do nothing to help them out of poverty (other than selling them some vain and fantastical hope).

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
I know that it could be successfully argued that a vote for Hilary (for instance) probably wouldn't have exactly improved things for those on the bread line, but surely it couldn't possibly be worse.

So let's discount the guns'n'abortions voters, for whom economic outcomes are not the most important factor.

I think the answer is simple. Trump told them that he was going to make their lives better, and they believed him. His brand of populist protectionism appealed to them.

It's the same deal with the populism attached to the Brexit vote. Why don't you have a job? It's because an immigrant has got your job. Get rid of the immigrant, and there will be work for you. US steel can't compete with cheap Chinese imports. Tax the imports, tax people who buy Chinese steel, and you can have a job at the steel mill like your father. The Mexicans are stealing our factories: Trump will stop companies moving their production to Mexico.

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quetzalcoatl
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I'm not convinced that the poor were intentionally voting for poverty in the Brexit vote. It seems very complicated, with many factors, e.g. anti-elitism, anti-immigration, the 'left behind' in revolt, patriotism, and so on. The fact that they have been landed with a right-wing government is ironic, well, you might say, tragical/farcical.

[ 22. February 2017, 14:14: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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SvitlanaV2
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The poor will mostly be poor anyway. There aren't enough jobs for all of them, or not enough reliable jobs, and the authorities don't provide good enough schools in poor areas, so these folk often don't get the education required for a decent career. And those who succeed don't stick around in dodgy areas to encourage the others.

Voting is important as a community-building activity, but I don't think any of the recent options in the UK or the USA were likely to make a significant difference to many of the poorest people - although I'm sure there are exceptions. The relevant politicians should have hammered home the advantages of the status quo for those at the bottom, but that's apparently difficult to do.

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RuthW

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
I think the answer is simple. Trump told them that he was going to make their lives better, and they believed him. His brand of populist protectionism appealed to them.

And why not? Various Democrats told them that they were going to make their lives better, but things are as bad in Youngstown, Ohio as they were in the 90s. There are folks who voted for Obama twice who turned around and voted for Trump, and not out of irrational hatred of Clinton. They've been hearing the same old thing for ages and nothing's changed, so why not try something new?
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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
I can point to the success of Trump and the Brexit vote (based on the BBC report) both of which appear to have had success on the grounds that those in poverty tend to be the ones who voted for Trump or for Brexit.

It may appear to be the case because of the ceaseless narrative being pushed by the media to that effect, but as best we can determine "the poor" voted for Hillary Clinton, and by a wider margin than the rest of the voting populace.

I don't know the demographic breakdown of the Brexit vote, so I can't speak to that.

I think a more important question is why it seems so important to falsely blame the poor for the rise of Trump.

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quetzalcoatl
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The Brexit vote seems complicated. Most Labour voters voted Remain, but in the North, some Labour areas voted Leave. And in Scotland, most people voted Remain.

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clarity eats into freedom. (Bellow).

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
It may appear to be the case because of the ceaseless narrative being pushed by the media to that effect, but as best we can determine "the poor" voted for Hillary Clinton, and by a wider margin than the rest of the voting populace.

Across the whole nation, that's true. But it's also true to say that Trump won the election
because he swung Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania - and to the best of my knowledge it was poorer, formerly-Democrat-voting people who swung it for him.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Most Labour voters voted Remain

Maybe in London, but in the rest of England every other traditionally Labour area went Leave.

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sabine
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I found Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance to be very helpful in understanding why some people vote against their own interests. It was advertised as a memoir, but it is more than that.


sabine

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Most Labour voters voted Remain

Maybe in London, but in the rest of England every other traditionally Labour area went Leave.
[citation needed]

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
It may appear to be the case because of the ceaseless narrative being pushed by the media to that effect, but as best we can determine "the poor" voted for Hillary Clinton, and by a wider margin than the rest of the voting populace.

Across the whole nation, that's true. But it's also true to say that Trump won the election
because he swung Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania - and to the best of my knowledge it was poorer, formerly-Democrat-voting people who swung it for him.

Oh, if only we had state level exit polls to use as a reality check against "best of [your] knowledge"!

Hmmm, it still looks like the poor voted for Hillary Clinton in all those states, too. Maybe one could make the case that voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a slightly smaller margin than they voted for Barack Obama in 2012 was the tipping point, but that reframes the question as "why did the poor vote against poverty by slightly smaller margins?", which is a very different question than all the assumptions freighted in to "why do the poor keep voting for poverty?".

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Most Labour voters voted Remain

Maybe in London, but in the rest of England every other traditionally Labour area went Leave.
Well, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bristol and Norwich voted Remain, but I suppose you are going to say that they're not Labour areas.

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lilBuddha
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In terms of voting against one's own interest, I had thought it was those who were not poor but threaten that status by voting Brexit/Trump.

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Dafyd
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I can't speak to the US, though my impression there is that the best predictor of voting Trump was race (white), followed by wealth (richer people were more likely to vote Trump). Even then the impression isn't so much that people switched to Trump from Obama (though journalists have found some) as that people who voted Obama didn't vote at all.

In Britain the major predictor of voting Brexit was education levels: people who went to university largely voted Remain, and people who didn't voted Leave. Since wealth correlates with education that means that support for Brexit looks like it correlates with wealth. But if you break it down by education levels the reverse is true. The representative Leave voter turns out unsurprisingly to be a well-off elderly Conservative voter: Disgusted from Tunbridge Wells.

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balaam

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
It may appear to be the case because of the ceaseless narrative being pushed by the media to that effect, but as best we can determine "the poor" voted for Hillary Clinton, and by a wider margin than the rest of the voting populace.

I don't know the demographic breakdown of the Brexit vote, so I can't speak to that.

Here you go.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
I found Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance to be very helpful in understanding why some people vote against their own interests. It was advertised as a memoir, but it is more than that.

Supremely unimpressed by that book for a number of reasons, at the same time I could see why it had salience for some evangelicals. It read like a Elizabeth/John Sherill transformation tale (minus the religious turn).
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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Most Labour voters voted Remain

Maybe in London, but in the rest of England every other traditionally Labour area went Leave.
Though actual Labour voters, were about as equally likely to vote Remain as SNP voters were:

http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/LR-by-party.jpg

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Kwesi
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Ignorance and Despair. I think, too, that a high proportion of the poor do not vote.
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rolyn
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Think I shall always remember the night of the Referendum count. A small written box on the corner of the screen read 'High voter turnout from estates'. Then presenter Dimble made some comment as to the effect that a high turnout from Estates did not bode at all well for the Remain camp.
Draw your own conclusions.
Seemed to me it wasn't much different to the masses tossing their caps in the air on Aug 4th 1914. I guess the poor are generally looking for an exit door to the tedium of their predicament, can't see that they can be blamed for that.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Think I shall always remember the night of the Referendum count. A small written box on the corner of the screen read 'High voter turnout from estates'. Then presenter Dimble made some comment as to the effect that a high turnout from Estates did not bode at all well for the Remain camp.
Draw your own conclusions.
Seemed to me it wasn't much different to the masses tossing their caps in the air on Aug 4th 1914. I guess the poor are generally looking for an exit door to the tedium of their predicament, can't see that they can be blamed for that.

It's just that isolating the poor or the working class in the Brexit vote, leads to distorted conclusions. For example, in my area, East Anglia, the whole area voted Brexit, and I don't think this was about council estates, but Tory voters voting Brexit. The exception was Norwich, which voted Remain. The same is true if you drive across Surrey and other Tory heartlands - they were solid Brexit.

I suppose the point is that people expected Labour voters to vote Remain, and most did, but some areas didn't.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
Ignorance and Despair. I think, too, that a high proportion of the poor do not vote.

This, this and this.

In Britain at any rate the desperation has its roots in the lower-middle classes who, since 2007-08 have seen:

  • Real or actual cuts in pay with real fear of losing your job
  • Reductions in welfare payments to everyone including working families (tax credits)
  • The continuing struggle to buy a home and raise a family
  • An uncertain future for their children

All of which is attributed to Brussels, inefficiency of public services, welfare payments, immigrants and terrorism. The opportunists have played their hand brilliantly although the government has helped immensely by using the welfare cuts to shore up busted banks and financial markets.

That's it folks: a quick, cheap fix, presented simplistically has carried the day twice in 2016. I expect it to do more in the next few years. I wasn't around in the 1930's but I heard enough about that time from my parents and in-laws and it seems horribly similar. We've had our equivalent of the Wall Street Crash, let's see, where are we now?

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I suppose the point is that people expected Labour voters to vote Remain, and most did, but some areas didn't.

That's the thing. Too many people assumed that if people were voting Labour it meant they signed up to socialism as a political theory in all its applications, when in fact they were just doing so because they thought it was the best option for improving their own lives. But given that their lives hadn't actually improved under Labour, as soon as another proposed solution to their problems came along they latched onto it.

ETA: this also works if you replace "Labour" with "Democrat".

[ 23. February 2017, 13:11: Message edited by: Marvin the Martian ]

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L'organist
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Who are "the poor"?

I'd suggest the title of this thread gives the game away and that the question being asked isn't about "the poor" but about those who are assumed to be less well-educated and/or well-informed than "us".

And that sums up why "the poor" voted LEAVE, voted for Trump, and are more likely to vote for Le Pen and Wilders. Further, every time a commentator or pundit makes remarks questioning the intellectual capacity of the LEAVE/Trump/Le Pen/Wilders voter it is likely to push another of "the poor" into voting for them.

Nobody likes to be patronised and the campaigns for Clinton and REMAIN did that all the way through: result, they didn't get the vote.

And before anyone points out that HRC gained more of the "popular" vote than Trump, it is the geographic spread of Trump's voters that put him into the White House - where he is likely to remain until professional politicians learn to take the concerns and aspirations of "the poor" seriously.

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Helen-Eva
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
In terms of voting against one's own interest, I had thought it was those who were not poor but threaten that status by voting Brexit/Trump.

I think people make choices and vote based on emotions and gut reactions not logic. I'm quite capable of making decisions to my own detriment because I'm irritated or I want to cut of my nose to spite my face or all kinds of other reasons.

Example of an emotion-led political decision: although I can rationalise why I voted against changing the voting system in the UK a few years back, in my heart of hearts I know I did it because I was annoyed with Nick Clegg (the guy proposing the change).

So there's no reason to be surprised particularly if people don't vote on logic.

[ 23. February 2017, 14:34: Message edited by: Helen-Eva ]

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Who are "the poor"?

I'd suggest the title of this thread gives the game away and that the question being asked isn't about "the poor" but about those who are assumed to be less well-educated and/or well-informed than "us".

And that sums up why "the poor" voted LEAVE, voted for Trump, and are more likely to vote for Le Pen and Wilders. Further, every time a commentator or pundit makes remarks questioning the intellectual capacity of the LEAVE/Trump/Le Pen/Wilders voter it is likely to push another of "the poor" into voting for them.

Nobody likes to be patronised and the campaigns for Clinton and REMAIN did that all the way through: result, they didn't get the vote.

And before anyone points out that HRC gained more of the "popular" vote than Trump, it is the geographic spread of Trump's voters that put him into the White House - where he is likely to remain until professional politicians learn to take the concerns and aspirations of "the poor" seriously.

Except that, as has been shown, not just asserted, that the poor did indeed vote preferentially for Hillary. And that the less educated did vote for Brexit. You can have your alternative facts if you wish, but what you really need is a different narrative.

A lot has been made of the dissatisfaction of previously well-off blue collar workers whose jobs have either disappeared or gone abroad, and what successive central governments have done to alleviate the sudden unemployment and poverty (material and aspirational) that was left in its wake.

One of the ironies of Brexit was that the EU, through its regional development funding, was about the only institution to invest in former industrial areas, while the Westminster government was busy shovelling cash at the South East of England. And, for what it's worth, the Labour government of the late 90s onwards did make a material difference to some of the basic problems of education and childcare.

Post 2008, that money vanished. Eight years of unparalleled cuts in public services, none of which were down to the EU, provoked a backlash against not against those who caused the cuts, but because of the lies that were told against immigrants.

It won't bring shipbuilding back to the Tyne or the Wear, it won't reopen steel mills in Consett or Corby, it won't dig new mines in the Valleys or along the Durham coast. And essentially, like many of the towns of the US rust belt, there is no reason for those communities to exist any longer.

But while they retain a beleaguered, embittered population who vote, then they will retain some degree of electoral power - not normally enough to make any difference, but in a referendum or where there is an electoral college, it's enough to tip the balance of power.

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Bullfrog.

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I think, for some, 'tis considered better to die with your pride intact than to take help from a nanny state.
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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Except that, as has been shown, not just asserted, that the poor did indeed vote preferentially for Hillary.

"The poor" is not a single block. To have a hope of analysing US voter demographics, one must at least divide the poor by race ('cause there's a big racial selection bias there: the poor are more likely to be of darker hue.)

And race was, unsurprisingly, the biggest dividing factor in the vote. Black voters preferred Clinton by an 80 point margin. Hispanic voters preferred Clinton by a 36 point margin, and white voters preferred Trump by a 21 point margin.

Sure, the two lowest income groups were the ones where Clinton had a clear victory over Trump (Trump has a narrow win with middle-income folks, and the rich are split 50-50), but the "poor" - people making less than $30,000 a year - went for Obama by a 2:1 ratio both times. Trump got a 16% swing in that demographic, and a 6% swing in the $30,000 - $50,000 bracket.

If you're looking for why someone won or lost, it's the shifts that count, not the base vote.

White folks with college degrees shifted 10 points towards Clinton. Whites without college degrees went 14 points Trumpwards. There was no shift in the non-white groups.

Put all these together and you get a picture. Trump won because he gained 15 points among blue-collar white people.

quote:

A lot has been made of the dissatisfaction of previously well-off blue collar workers whose jobs have either disappeared or gone abroad,

This was the group that saw the biggest vote shift between Obama and Trump.

quote:
backlash against not against those who caused the cuts, but because of the lies that were told against immigrants.
Yup. Trump voters were much more likely to say that their most important issue was immigration or terrorism. Send 'em home, keep 'em out, your rightful job has been stolen by a foreigner.

[ 23. February 2017, 15:50: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Most Labour voters voted Remain

Maybe in London, but in the rest of England every other traditionally Labour area went Leave.
Well, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bristol and Norwich voted Remain, but I suppose you are going to say that they're not Labour areas.
Bristol has a Labour mayor and most of its MPs are Labour

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Bullfrog.:
I think, for some, 'tis considered better to die with your pride intact than to take help from a nanny state.

Except that's almost exactly what's not happening.

These left-behinds want well-paid jobs that require little education exported to just-down-the-road from them. There's no reason for those jobs to be there any more, and it's only state intervention on a massive and truly expensive scale that's going to put them there.

I have a great deal of sympathy for them. But like the ex-mining towns of north Durham and Northumberland, there is no longer an economic reason for those communities to exist where they are.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

These left-behinds want well-paid jobs that require little education exported to just-down-the-road from them. There's no reason for those jobs to be there any more, and it's only state intervention on a massive and truly expensive scale that's going to put them there.

This is absolutely true, but what it shows is that a lot of people don't have particularly coherently worked out political positions, and that they tend to define 'living off the state' in different ways depending on who the subject is.
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rolyn
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Who are "the poor"?

I'd suggest the title of this thread gives the game away and that the question being asked isn't about "the poor" but about those who are assumed to be less

Nobody likes to be patronised and the campaigns for Clinton and REMAIN did that all the way through: result, they didn't get the vote.

That has put it in a nutshell, particularly your last sentence.
There was an undercurrent of feeling that was tangible at the 2015 Election and what caused it could be debated til the cows come home.
Those who voted Leave may well have voted for there own financial demise. There is already talk of a massive rise in the business rate which could wipe many a Little Englander small business off the map.
Some pundits see the a Post-EU British Isles as being like the new Cayman Islands. A haven for the absent rich with comparative squaller for many many more. Time will tell.

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. full stop for the purpose of leaving gap under post.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
I think people make choices and vote based on emotions and gut reactions not logic.

Which is why I think the electorate are stupid.
I have made, and likely will continue to make, decisions that are of detriment to me. Most are the result of high emotion and are impulsive. So I understand the mechanisms, but I do not excuse them as anything other than stupid.
Politics generally happens in slow motion. There is plenty of time to gather information, so the excuses are fewer.

quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

Put all these together and you get a picture. Trump won because he gained 15 points among blue-collar white people.

People he expressed nothing but disdain for prior to running for office. People the Republicans have demonstrably hurt in everything except religion of a certain type.

quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
and that they tend to define 'living off the state' in different ways depending on who the subject is.

I am receiving what I contributed
You are getting more out than you put in
They are free-loading, lazy filth

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Ricardus
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I think with Brexit there are two additional factors:

1. People don't trust economists. Given economists' recent failures, that might be unfair but it's understandable. Consequently, people don't believe that Brexit would lead to poverty.

2. Remainers campaigned on the basis of 'If you vote Leave, we will lose all the benefits of EU membership'. If you perceive your life to be shit, then you will probably imagine the Remainers are lying about those benefits.


Regarding Trump, I'm not convinced that actual supporters are all that numerous, although they are very vocal. A significant number of people seem to have voted for him fully aware that he is a dickhead, but thinking either that Clinton was worse, or that he is a price worth paying for a conservative SCOTUS nomination.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Given economists' recent failures, that might be unfair but it's understandable.

Not sure you can blame economists, but that is probably too nuanced for most people.


quote:

2. Remainers campaigned on the basis of 'If you vote Leave, we will lose all the benefits of EU membership'. If you perceive your life to be shit, then you will probably imagine the Remainers are lying about those benefits.

And likely didn't understand them to begin with.

quote:

Regarding Trump, I'm not convinced that actual supporters are all that numerous, although they are very vocal. A significant number of people seem to have voted for him fully aware that he is a dickhead, but thinking either that Clinton was worse, or that he is a price worth paying for a conservative SCOTUS nomination.

Some exchanged the belief that Clinton is dishonest for a person who blatantly, and self-admittedly, doesn't care if something is true.

[ 23. February 2017, 19:47: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Morgan
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It is the dissatisfied who vote for change. Of course people may be unhappy for many different reasons.

Astute politicians know not only which buttons to press to whip up and increase that dissatisfaction with particular issues but also which particular issues are best suited to their own messianic image.

As complete satisfaction with the status quo is rare, most of us are vulnerable to this sort of campaigning. It's just the faces and the issues that vary.

Some politicians make some effort to talk beyond what they would do to why it would/might improve things and why they have the capability and the determination to actually do it. Some very few of these also give some factual support for their claims.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Morgan:
It is the dissatisfied who vote for change. Of course people may be unhappy for many different reasons.

I understand this, but it is still foolish to vote for that which is unlikely to change your concerns for the better.
quote:

Astute politicians know not only which buttons to press to whip up and increase that dissatisfaction with particular issues but also which particular issues are best suited to their own messianic image.

I think astute is giving a bit too much credit, but yes, politicians say what they feel is advantageous.


quote:

Some politicians make some effort to talk beyond what they would do to why it would/might improve things and why they have the capability and the determination to actually do it. Some very few of these also give some factual support for their claims.

Brexiteers and Trump didn't even try. They went straight for the fear-mongering. And that is the scary thing. It is one thing when people fall for rubbish dressed as reason, but when naked bullshit prevails, we are in a precarious position.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Brexiteers and Trump didn't even try. They went straight for the fear-mongering.

In the Brexit referendum, so did the remainders.

The Brexit campaign was "be scared of hordes of immigrants coming for your job" with a side order of "The EU: it's expensive and a bit shit".

The Remain campaign was "Don't leave. It'll be horrible." There was precious little positive said about the EU.

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lilBuddha
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True.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Who are "the poor"?

I'd suggest the title of this thread gives the game away and that the question being asked isn't about "the poor" but about those who are assumed to be less well-educated and/or well-informed than "us".

And that sums up why "the poor" voted LEAVE, voted for Trump, and are more likely to vote for Le Pen and Wilders. Further, every time a commentator or pundit makes remarks questioning the intellectual capacity of the LEAVE/Trump/Le Pen/Wilders voter it is likely to push another of "the poor" into voting for them.

Nobody likes to be patronised and the campaigns for Clinton and REMAIN did that all the way through: result, they didn't get the vote.

And before anyone points out that HRC gained more of the "popular" vote than Trump, it is the geographic spread of Trump's voters that put him into the White House - where he is likely to remain until professional politicians learn to take the concerns and aspirations of "the poor" seriously.

Or another way to put the title is why do the poor not vote the way we, much more intelligent and better informed, want them to. The title itself and more than a few posts are quite paternalistic.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by Bullfrog.:
I think, for some, 'tis considered better to die with your pride intact than to take help from a nanny state.

And benefits are hard to get and to keep--even unemployment insurance (UI). You can get in trouble even if you follow the rules, because the UI reps don't understand the dense, intricate, arcane book that's just handed to them. And they may hold up your checks, while you try to straighten things out. Plus your UI payments are taxed, even though that's money that was paid into the system for you--so it's a tax on a tax.

There was something in the news, several years ago, about people in economically-depressed areas of the southern US who ran out of UI, and went on disability--allegedly falsely. It was their only option for survival. Thing is, the news story pretty much discounted their disabilities, and didn't really check as to whether they had those disabilities. Some of the disabilities might seem minor to someone who doesn't have them. But people who develop disabilities during their working life often work (if they can), until they just can't do it anymore. It might well be that those unemployed folks had been working when they *should* have been on disability, and finally went on it when they had no other choice.

I was lucky to get on it within a couple of years after applying. (All properly verified by docs and gov't.) But it often takes many years and several court cases to be approved--even if you have a very visible, documented disability.

I don't know what the current rules are. But when I applied, I was able to get food stamps while waiting for the process to play out, but wasn't allowed to get welfare. Fortunately, friends were able to step in and help with rent, for a while. Otherwise, I would've been on the street. Once you're approved, you get paid back to the time of your application, but that's a long time to wait.

Basically, benefits programs assume that you're lying, until you prove otherwise and/or they can't find any more reasons to turn you down.

Plus, on several kinds of benefits, you're allowed to keep some assets--a house, a car, and a ring, but only something like $25.00 in cash or a bank account. But they don't make any adjustments for people who *don't* have a house, car, or ring. So, in some respects, you can be worse off if you go on benefits.

Moving somewhere else to look for work takes money, and lots of people don't have it. If they did go looking elsewhere, they well might not get a job, and would've lost their money, and be somewhere far from home.

Sometimes, people are well and truly stuck. I can understand voting for someone who promises jobs, so you can get unstuck. It's just that T is crazy; his team is incompetent; some things they put forth, they probably can't/won't do; and other promised actions (like repealing Obamacare) will likely make the stuck people's situation worse.

[Votive]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Or another way to put the title is why do the poor not vote the way we, much more intelligent and better informed, want them to. The title itself and more than a few posts are quite paternalistic.

Nope. It is not that they are not voting "the way we want them to", the bloody rich conservatives do that as well. It is that they are voting against their own interest. Yes, I think it is bad to vote to screw others, but to vote to screw yourself for the sake of the wealthy and powerful is difficult to process.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Given economists' recent failures, that might be unfair but it's understandable.

Not sure you can blame economists, but that is probably too nuanced for most people.

Well, the Bank of England's own chief economist has described the profession as 'in crisis' due to its failure (with some honourable exceptions) to forecast the 2008 crash.

And economics students themselves are apparently revolting at the narrowness of university curricula, and specifically the degree to which students are taught to regurgitate the implications of economic models without challenging the validity of those models.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Morgan:
It is the dissatisfied who vote for change. Of course people may be unhappy for many different reasons.

I understand this, but it is still foolish to vote for that which is unlikely to change your concerns for the better.
I suppose that's why so many people don't bother to vote at all.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is that they are voting against their own interest.

Against what you think is their own interest. Apparently they disagree.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is that they are voting against their own interest.

Against what you think is their own interest. Apparently they disagree.
Well, quite. There's an assumption here that Brexit will make the poor poorer. I suspect many who voted Leave thought i) that Brexit wouldn't leave them poorer, ii) if it does leave them poorer that would be a short-term measure and in the longer-term they'll be fine, or iii) if they are poorer permanently, the loss would be slight and be compensated by other, non-economic benefits. None of these scanerios strike me as 'against one's own interest'.
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Nope. It is not that they are not voting "the way we want them to", the bloody rich conservatives do that as well. It is that they are voting against their own interest. Yes, I think it is bad to vote to screw others, but to vote to screw yourself for the sake of the wealthy and powerful is difficult to process.

Good try, but I don't hink you really get close to answering my point. You're predicating your comments on your assumption that they know that their vote is against their interests but still vote that way.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
There's an assumption here that Brexit will make the poor poorer.

I don't think that a falling pound and rising prices, continued austerity and deeper welfare cuts has any influence on those assumptions at all. Oh no.

quote:
I suspect many who voted Leave thought i) that Brexit wouldn't leave them poorer, ii) if it does leave them poorer that would be a short-term measure and in the longer-term they'll be fine, or iii) if they are poorer permanently, the loss would be slight and be compensated by other, non-economic benefits. None of these scanerios strike me as 'against one's own interest'.
If only what they thought would happen would actually happen, then you'd have a point. But if I voted for a politician that promised me a robot servant and a flying car, and then I didn't get either, and instead became the politician's servant and had to carry them around pretending to be a flying car, then ... yes, I'd have voted against my own interest.

And I'm also making the assumption that 'other, non-economic benefits' is code for 'fewer brown people'. Please tell me I'm wrong.

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Lost in Space

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
You're predicating your comments on your assumption that they know that their vote is against their interests but still vote that way.

I am saying they should know and that it isn't rocket surgery to do the maths.
Some people do actually knowingly vote against their own overall interest. An easy example of that would be American anti-abortion voters.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Ian Climacus

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Some people do actually knowingly vote against their own overall interest. An easy example of that would be American anti-abortion voters.

Perhaps I'm being thick here, but can you not see an instance where someone who believed abortion was wrong, and a massive wrong at that, would vote against it, despite the implications it may have on society? To them, any evidence you could give that societal good may result would be ignored as they believe it to be morally and absolutely wrong. In fact I'd suggest they'd dismiss any such arguments or not engage with them. Or am I massively missing the point?

I'm not sure if you approach every decision with a table of credits and debits, but I know for me, and perhaps it's a fault I need to rectify, do let issues I'm more passionate about [e.g. the environment, social services] colour my view in how I vote -- putting these above other issues, even financial, that may effect me. Is it possible poorer, and disaffected, voters simply saw someone not from the "establishment" who promised them a better life and, as Ruth wrote many posts ago, thought why not give them a go -- the current lot of career politicians are a bunch of lying arseholes.

I cannot see how they looked at Trump and thought him any better -- but he was different; and I, in my comfortable middle-class existence, cannot begin to understand what some of those doing it exceptionally tough are going through. Sympathise, yes; understand -- no.

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