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Thread: Why the wealthy voted for Obama and higher taxes...

  1. #1
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    Why the wealthy voted for Obama and higher taxes...

    [url]http://www.newsweek.com/id/168333[/url]

    [QUOTE]For several years, I've been writing about Bushenfreude, the phenomenon of angry yuppies—who've hugely benefited from President Bush's tax cuts—funding angry, populist Democratic campaigns. I've theorized that people who work in financial services and related fields have become so [B][U]outraged and alienated by the incompetence, crass social conservatism, and repeated insults to the nation's intelligence[/U][/B], of the Bush-era Republican Party, that they're voting with their hearts and heads instead of their wallets.

    Last week's election was perhaps Bushenfreude's grandest day. As the campaign entered its final weeks, Barack Obama, who pledged to unite the country, singled out one group of people for ridicule: those making more than $250,000. At his rallies, he would ask for a show of hands of those making less than one-quarter of $1 million per year. Then he'd look around, laugh, and note that those in the virtuous majority would get their taxes cut, while the rich among them would be hit with a tax increase. And yet the exit polls show, the rich—and yes, if you make $250,000 or more you're rich—went for Obama by bigger margins than did the merely well-off. If the exit polls are to be believed, those making $200,000 or more (6 percent of the electorate) voted for Obama 52-46, while McCain won the merely well-off ($100,000 to $150,000 by a 51-48 margin and $150,000 to $200,000 by a 50-48 margin).

    Right-wingers tend to dismiss such numbers as the voting behavior of trust funders or gazillionaires—people who have so much money that they just don't care about taxes. That may explain a portion of Bushenfreude. But there just aren't that many trust funders out there. Rather, it's clear that the nation's mass affluent—Steve the lawyer, Colby the financial services executive, Ari the highly paid media big shot—are trending Democratic, especially on the coasts. Indeed, Bushenfreude is not necessarily a nationwide phenomenon. As Andrew Gelman notes in the book "Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State," the rich in poor states are likely to stick with the Republicans.

    But in the ground zero of Bushenfreude, Fairfield County, Conn., it was practically an epidemic last week. Bushenfreude's most prominent victim was Rep. Chris Shays, the last Republican congressman east of the Hudson River. For the past several cycles, Shays, who played a moderate in his home district but was mainly an enabler of the Bush-DeLay Republicans in Washington, fended off well-financed challengers with relative ease. Last week, he fell victim to Jim Himes. Himes, as this New York Times profile shows, is the ultimate self-made, pissed-off yuppie: a member of Harvard's crew team, a Rhodes Scholar, a former Goldman Sachs banker, and a resident of Greenwich.

    Shays claims he was done in by a Democratic tsunami in Fairfield County and the state. And Connecticut's county results show Obama ran up a huge 59-41 margin in the county, which includes Bridgeport and Norwalk—densely populated cities with large poor, minority, and working-class populations. But an examination of the presidential votes in several of Fairfield County's wealthier districts (here are Connecticut's votes by town) shows the yuppies came out in the thousands to vote for a candidate who pledged to raise their taxes. In the fall of 2003, I first detected Bushenfreude in Westport (No. 5 on Money's list of 25 wealthiest American towns). The telltale symptom: Howard Dean signs stacked in the back of a brand-new BMW. The signs of an outbreak were legion this year. On our route to school, my kids would count the number of yard signs for Obama and McCain (the results: 6-to-1). On the Saturday morning before the election, I stopped by the Westport Republican headquarters to pick up some McCain-Palin buttons, only to find it locked. On Election Day, Westport voters went for Obama by a 65-35 margin. (That's bigger than the 60-40 margin Kerry won here in 2004.) Bushenfreude spread from Westport to neighboring towns. In Wilton, just to the north, which Bush carried comfortably in 2004, Obama won 54 percent of the vote.

    Perhaps most surprising was the result from Greenwich, Conn. The Versailles of the tri-state metro area, the most golden of the region's gilded suburbs, the childhood home of George H.W. Bush, went for Obama by a 54-46 margin—the first time Greenwich went Democratic since 1964. Who knew the back-country estates and shoreline mansions were populated with so many traitors to their class? (In the 2004 cage match of New England-born, Yalie aristocrats, George W. Bush beat Kerry 53-47 in Greenwich.) Some towns in Fairfield County were clearly inoculated from Bushenfreude. In New Canaan and Darien, which ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in Money's list of 25 wealthiest towns, McCain-Palin won by decent majorities. (In both towns, however, the Republican margins were down significantly from 2004.) What's the difference between these towns and their neighbors? Well, New Canaan and Darien are wealthier than their sister towns in Fairfield County. (In both, the median income is well more than $200,000.) So perhaps the concern about taxes is more acute there. Another possible explanation is that these towns differ demographically from places like Greenwich and Westport, in that they are less Jewish, and Jews voted heavily for Obama.

    While there has been job loss and economic anxiety throughout Fairfield County, I don't think that economic problems alone explain the big Democratic gains in the region. In Greenwich, economic stress for many people means flying commercial or selling the ski house (while maintaining the summer house on Nantucket). There's something deeper going on when a town that is home to corporate CEOs, professional athletes, hedge-fund managers, and private-equity barons—the people who gained the most, financially, under the Bush years and who would seem to have the most to lose financially under an Obama administration—flips into the Democratic column. Somewhere in the back country, in a 14,000-square-foot writer's garret, an erstwhile hedge-fund manager is dictating a book proposal to his assistant, a former senior editor at Fortune who just took a buyout, that explains why many of the wealthy choose to vote for a Democrat, in plain violation of their economic self-interest. Working title: What's the Matter With Greenwich?[/QUOTE]

    Interesting. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Bushenfreude

  3. #3

    reason

    a lot of these people were bankers and corporate lawyers who, if they are still employed, are facing years of lower incomes. But mostly it's because people are stupid... the same way most of the young communists in the Soviet Union and China were fairly well off students, not the poor peasants on whose behalf they claimed to be acting. History has shown those people to have been fools, these people will be shown to be the same (I hope I am wrong).

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2852023]



    Interesting. Thoughts?[/QUOTE]

    This week Newsweak admitted they were biased in favor of Hussein.

    For God's sake man post from a reputable source.

  5. #5
    I'm going to say that these people don't really know/care about policy. Just like keeping up with the Joneses in material gain, they voted for Obama because it was the en vogue thing to do, and didn't give a second thought to possible tax repercussions.

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    [QUOTE=dermlord;2852053]a lot of these people were bankers and corporate lawyers who, if they are still employed, are facing years of lower incomes. But mostly it's because people are stupid... the same way most of the young communists in the Soviet Union and China were fairly well off students, not the poor peasants on whose behalf they claimed to be acting. History has shown those people to have been fools, these people will be shown to be the same (I hope I am wrong).[/QUOTE]

    Or maybe it's because, like the author hypothesized, because they are sick of the Republicans utter lack of competence and their obsession with social conservatism over fiscal conservatism.

    Maybe they give a **** more about balancing budgets than homos getting hitched. But don't blame the lefties. You allowed your party to be hijacked by religious zealots in an attempt to garner more votes...

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    [QUOTE=DeanPatsFan;2852055]This week Newsweak admitted they were biased in favor of Hussein.

    For God's sake man post from a reputable source.[/QUOTE]

    That's why I said "Thoughts?" Captian America....


    But for you...I will post more articles from World Net Daily and the fabulously new right leaning Prison Planet.com....

  8. #8

    Young communists= American upper classes

    [QUOTE=dermlord;2852053]a lot of these people were bankers and corporate lawyers who, if they are still employed, are facing years of lower incomes. But mostly it's because people are stupid... the same way most of the young communists in the Soviet Union and China were fairly well off students, not the poor peasants on whose behalf they claimed to be acting. History has shown those people to have been fools, these people will be shown to be the same (I hope I am wrong).[/QUOTE]

    Good points. Revolutions are always started by the Intellectual class- not the peasants as is often thought. Eric Hoffer once said- If the intellectuals gain power in America-- it could be the end of our free society. The intellectual will rape your soul. The wealthy and Academic class went for Obama in part because they think McCain-Palin was not intellectual enough and they were tired of the bumbling Bush years. But History may show that Bush was another Truman; unpopular during his Presidency, but making correct decisions regarding threats to America. We won't know for 25 more years.

  9. #9
    I think people had such huge losses in current crisis they figure at least 4 years of tax writeoffs - so no worries about increases.

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2852068]

    Maybe they give a **** more about balancing budgets than homos getting hitched. But don't blame the lefties. You allowed your party to be hijacked by religious zealots in an attempt to garner more votes...[/QUOTE]

    You think any balanced budgets are in Obama's future? Ha, ha, when have liberals balanced the budget?

    So are all those Negro "Christians" who voted in a much higher % against gay marriage in CA then their Caucasian counterparts "religious zealots" IYO?

  11. #11
    8 more years


    [QUOTE=asuusa;2852584]You think any balanced budgets are in Obama's future? Ha, ha, when have liberals balanced the budget?

    So are all those Negro "Christians" who voted in a much higher % against gay marriage in CA then their Caucasian counterparts "religious zealots" IYO?[/QUOTE]

  12. #12
    Its the change don't you know!

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=DeanPatsFan;2852055]This week Newsweak admitted they were biased in favor of Hussein.

    For God's sake man post from a reputable source.[/QUOTE]

    Is everything that does not follow your line of thinking Weak ? Stop being weak and refering to your President Elect as "Hussein." Its weak and Immature to try and compare your countries President to a Maniac Dictator that we put into power.

  14. #14
    I think many long time Republicans felt the party they put their vote behind no longer existed. It morphed into an unknown commody that they no longer supported. How could you blame them? They are waiting in the wings for the party to regroup and present a platform that they can rally behind. The majority of people that I know in Connecticut who always voted Republican really are complaining that the war was mishandled and the economy was being mishandled. Also they have really drifted away from social issues being a driving force behind their vote. Not that they don't care about the issues they just seem as though it is far from their top priority now. Not alot of people are caring that gay people are able to marry in Connecticut or are protesting in front of the Summit woman's clinic, when their retirement funds are shrinking before their eyes.



    I wasn't surprised that Shays lost. He has been struggling for a while. If not for anything else I give the guy credit for living in Bridgeport when he could have moved out long ago.

  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=chicadeel;2852955]Not alot of people are caring that gay people are able to marry in Connecticut or are protesting in front of the Summit woman's clinic, when their retirement funds are shrinking before their eyes.[/QUOTE]

    Are you sure?

    Are you sure it's not because:

    [QUOTE=SeaGirt]Revolutions are always started by the Intellectual class- not the peasants as is often thought. Eric Hoffer once said- If the intellectuals gain power in America-- it could be the end of our free society. The intellectual will rape your soul. [/QUOTE]

    :D

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    The intellectual class understands the current crisis and realizes that personal sacrifices need to be made for the good of the country.

    What good does it do to line your wallets now while the country around you is starting to crumble and threatening the future quality of life for you and your family? We are at a crossroads in our country's history, and the rich are choosing a better tomorrow over personal greed in the present.

  17. #17
    [QUOTE=parafly;2853050]The intellectual class understands the current crisis and realizes that personal sacrifices need to be made for the good of the country.[/QUOTE]

    So what personal sacrifices have you made thus far para?

    On the topic, I continue to await the day that the Fiscal/Defense Conservatives finally shed their archaic superstitious puritanical religious "conservative" shackles, and finally evolve into a party worthy of support.

    Of course, it doesn't help that Bush and the Republican Congress did not actually stand for ANY fiscal or traditional defense-related Conservativism. So it seems teh Republicans are only the party for conservatives if that conservativism is faith based.

    Fiscal and Defense Cons need not apply, it would appear.

  18. #18
    [QUOTE=asuusa;2852584]You think any balanced budgets are in Obama's future? Ha, ha, when have liberals balanced the budget?[/QUOTE]
    Bill Clinton left office with a record $255 billion surplus, which W pissed away in less than a year. I'm pretty sure Clinton was a liberal.

    So to answer your question, ha ha when have Repubs balanced the budget?

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=asuusa;2852584]You think any balanced budgets are in Obama's future? Ha, ha, when have liberals balanced the budget?
    [/QUOTE]

    Clinton left office in 2000 not only having balanced the budget but having a budget surplus as well.

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=Seagirt;2852086]Good points. Revolutions are always started by the Intellectual class- not the peasants as is often thought. Eric Hoffer once said- If the intellectuals gain power in America-- it could be the end of our free society. The intellectual will rape your soul. [/QUOTE]

    Yeah, that's real clever. So by that logic Jefferson, Paine, Madison, Hamilton, Franklin and John Adams were the end of our free society? Or do you believe that we should all still be British subjects, if not for those soul-raping intellectuals? Hoffer may have been referring to a specific group of intellectuals in a specific context, but to generalize the statement is to make yourself absurd.

    Besides, what's the alternative? Rule by the uneducated based on ignorance? You seem to be falsely equated "intellectual" with "liberal" which is an insult to conservatism.

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