I have often been labeled a republican conservative. Truth be told, I am more of a centrist with strong opinions on both sides of the aisle. My
roommate is more left-wing leaning than I am, and loves to debate so we debate a lot, and overall, I find it wonderful since he is very sharp. We were
vacationing in Portland, Oregon and he smirked at me and said "This is one of the most prosperous cities in the United States." He started telling
me that the Republicans were the entitled ‘takers’ and Democrat run cities were always so clean, nice, and rich giving examples of New York,
Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. That the poorest states were Republican and taking way more from the Democratic made social systems. He stated
that Democratic policies were to contribute to the financial success of everyone in these Democratic cities, and Republicans still reaped the
benefits. Thus the debate began.
I pointed out these cities also had the largest disparity of income with the largest swaths of homeless and unemployed persons with areas which were
too expensive for the average American to live in. That places like Portland, and San Francisco have an overwhelming problem with poverty and
displaced individuals. It devolved into a debate of Republican Cities versus Democrat Cities, and Republican States versus Democrat states. He pointed
out 'of course there is more poverty there, there's more people so there's more of everything'. After a long discussion on our way through
Portland traffic and out to the coast I conceded. He won. I had not done enough research on the financial and economic rationale for the financial
successes of various geographical areas.
So I started looking and reading, and oh boy is this debate a hot topic. There wasn’t one side that didn’t have skewed data or some sort of slant
on how they presented their ‘wins’ for their political allegiances. After hours of reading I decided I would do a simple thing. I found a US
Census map which displayed poverty from 2014, and the voting map from 2016 for the county votes. I overplayed them and adjusted the transparency. I
found some interesting results. The maps are below, with transitional images between.
Poverty indicators are not the same as wealth and the best I could do for that was find an income county map of the United States from 2016 and put
the same presidential voting map over this as well. The maps are below with the transitional pictures between them.
So I started consider cost of living, like, how much of this income were people actually keeping in these areas. Finding a county map of this adjusted
or ‘real income’ was next to impossible so I instead started looking at new wealth maps. Places generating more wealth than previously from 2012
Overall, I think my roommate was correct. People who vote Democrat do live in the richest cities in the USA. But it was difficult for me to determine
if this was true county-wide, but it appears that people who vote Democrat (especially in metropolitan areas) are making more money, but not so
elsewhere. Further people who appear to vote Democrat also live in the poorest counties in the USA. Further wealth generation seems to be
overwhelmingly situated in counties that voted Republican in 2016.
What to you all think?