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Poor States Are Conservative; Rich States Are Liberal. Why, and Where?

By       Message Eric Zuesse       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   47 comments

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(Article changed on February 2, 2014 at 12:41)

On 31 January 2014, Gallup issued their latest report on the "Liberal" and "Conservative" affiliations of residents within the 50 states plus D.C., and these ideological rankings of the states plus D.C. were almost identical to the rankings of the states plus D.C. along the high "Per Capita Personal Income" versus low "Per Capita Personal Income" from the U.S. Census Bureau (see page 26 of that document, p. 44 of the .pdf). The most liberal was D.C.; the richest was also D.C. The second-most conservative was Mississippi; the poorest was also Mississippi.

Here are the ten most liberal states, in order: D.C., Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, California, Maine. 

Here are the ten richest (PCPI) states (also in order): D.C., Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Wyoming, Virginia, New Hampshire, Alaska. 

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5 states are on both of those top-10 lists.

And here are the ten most conservative states: Wyoming, Mississippi, Idaho, Utah, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, North Dakota, South Carolina. 

Here are the ten poorest (lowest PCPI) states: Mississippi, Idaho, West Virginia, Utah, South Carolina, Arkansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Alabama, Arizona. 

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6 states are on both of those top-10 lists.

The liberal states are the rich states, and the conservative states are the poor states.

How can one explain the exceptions, such as Wyoming's being (and it is by far) the most conservative state, and also being the 7th-highest on per capita personal income?

My theory to explain this is that conservatism has actually two components: aristocratic, and theocratic. Both the aristocracy, and the clergy, tend to be strongly conservative; aristocrats love the status-quo because they've got most of the wealth -- the status-quo is good for them; clergy love the status-quo because they're committed to worshipping the very personification of power -- The All-Powerful One, the All-Mighty, the Creator-God -- the supposed person who made things the way they are. Clergy believe: Might makes right. Aristocrats believe: A person's wealth is a measure of his worth. Both beliefs are conservative.

In Wyoming, the aristocracy are more in control; in Mississippi, the clergy are more in control. They're conservative for different reasons: greed in rich states, faith in poor states. In liberal states, neither the aristocracy nor the clergy are in control (though both always try to be).

On 13 February 2013, Gallup headlined "Mississippi Maintains Hold as Most Religious State; Vermont is the least religious," and reported a states-ranking that was, yet again, very close to the one for poverty. The ten most-religious states were: Mississippi, Utah, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Oklahoma.

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5 of those 10 are also among the 10 poorest states.

The ten least religious states are: Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, D.C., Washington (state), Connecticut, Alaska.

5 of those 10 are also among the highest PCPI states.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that (more...)
 

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