Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And these guys want to "fix" our economy.

The GOP program is clear. Low taxes and more religion will lead to prosperity. So why then are the highest levels of poverty in the country in the south, where they are working that program? See picture, which is from the census department and I lifted from the NY Times Economix blog.


TheSauce said...

It says 2009 above the image, and we are at the end of 2010 seems a bit outdated.

Anonymous said...

Neat map, but it hardly tells a fair and balanced story. I wonder if a teakettler or teabagger would find other lines that can be drawn across the map as well. Sure, income is a good measure of income, but it completely ignores what the income is for, expenses. Income will naturally be lower where costs are lower. So what does that say about the poverty line? As best I can tell, not much...unless you look at some of the other factors that contribute to it. If there were no expenses, how impoverished would you be?

Agricultural south vs. Industrial north-differences in economic policies catering to far to one side helped cause the civil war.

Cheaper in less dense rural areas vs. more dense cities: If you sold a house in rural Alabama and bought one San Diego, how much would you owe? If you sold a house in New York and bought one in Oklahoma, how long could you go without earning any income? OK, ok, fair and balanced...the interest paid on a mortgage for a modest home in rural Arkansas wouldn't even be enough to beat the standard deduction on a tax return for a single person...let alone for a married couple!

Cheaper in warmer areas vs. more expensive in colder areas. There's more places in this world a human would die without having heat, than would die without having air conditioning. A lot less clothes are required in warmer areas, which, by this measure, more poverty.

Cost of healthcare cheaper in rural vs. urban areas: disease and sickness just can't travel quite as well in sparsely populated areas as they can in an apartment building. More healthcare is required, which means higher demand, which means higher prices, higher cost of living...might be less healthy, but it helps keep people further from the "poverty line"

Longer growing season vs. shorter growing season: not as much big ag manufactured farm food needs to be shipped in. Cheaper food can be purchased from local farms and farmers or personally grown for a tiny fraction of the cost. I'd be inclined to guess that the exchange of dollars will show up on some tax returns, but not others.

Right to work vs. forced into union: Unions are typically found in industries of forced profit: Telephones (more government contracts & eminent domain), Steel (military industrial complex), railroads (more government contracts for freight, and the steel industry likes this), cars (more roads, the steel industry likes this one too), construction trades (more buildings, many of the largest and nicest buildings are government buildings), OTR Transportation (more roads and less rail), airlines (more airports, steel, construction), farmers (subsidies), prisons (laws for more correctional offenses) the list goes on and on...all at the profits are at expense of the taxpayer. Then the unions come in demanding their fair share of the profits by force, further driving up costs, incomes, and taxes. (Dang, some of these industries are the biggest offenders of pollution and responsible for that climate change business.)

Free states vs. nanny states: gun laws, personal freedoms, cost of business regulation, fees and licenses, more laws make more criminals and more criminals...but more criminals means more fines, penalties, surcharges, and fees paid to the government, which require more income, but further from the poverty line.

State government debt vs. low state government debt: "low poverty" states have higher debt, which requires higher taxes, which requires a higher cost of living, which require higher incomes. States with low debt

High taxes vs. low taxes: Either corporate and individual rates are higher, or both. Either way, means higher cost of living, which means higher incomes are required to sustain a standard of living. But I guess that means further from the poverty line.

So what does poverty level REALLY mean?