Larry Bartels

People ‘Concerned’ With the Poor Have Political Power. But the Actual Poor Are Pretty Powerless.

Ezra Klein wants you to know that the “conventional wisdom on Washington,” that “corporations win every fight and everyone else—particularly the poor—gets shafted,” is “wrong, or at least incomplete.” The “comforting” fact, according to Klein, is that the ”altruists” who champion the poor have “quite a lot” of political power, “at least in recent years.” Not the… Read more »

The White Vote by Income, 2012

Jeremy Johnson asks: “Do we have information yet about voting among whites based on income from the 2012 election?  Did lower-income whites in every state again vote more Democratic than upper-income whites?” I don’t know about every state; but here is the picture for the Non-South and South, based on survey data from the 2012 Cooperative Campaign… Read more »

Who Needs Math?

E. O. Wilson has an interesting brief essay (excerpted from a new book entitled Letters to a Young Scientist) on the role of mathematics and mathematical expertise in science. “Most of the stereotypical photographs of scientists studying rows of equations on a blackboard,” he notes, “are instructors explaining discoveries already made. Real progress comes in… Read more »

The Very Rich Are Different From You and Me

Wealthy Americans, by a sizeable margin, consider the federal debt to be the nation’s most important problem. Unlike the public as a whole, they support cutting spending on a wide variety of government programs, including health care and social security. They are much less supportive of corporate taxation, and they strongly oppose redistributing wealth by heavy taxes on… Read more »

The Economy and the Campaign

Income growth was slow through most of 2012, and prospective voters were correspondingly pessimistic about the state of the economy. So how was Barack Obama reelected? An important part of the answer is that perceptions of the economy became significantly less pessimistic in the fall than they had been in the summer—a shift coinciding with the beginning of… Read more »