The Cause of Liberal Thinking
I was driving around the other day and started thinking about politics for some reason. I think it was perhaps because of all the talk of presidential candidates recently in the news and possibly because I bought both of Barack Obama’s books to read. My mind tends to wander a lot when I drive and that’s when the best ideas and theories come to me.
Anyway, I realized that the most liberal states in the union are also the richest states, while the most conservative states tend to be the poorest states. However, the stereotype of rich people is that they’re very conservative. How is it possible that the rich states are liberal?
Perhaps it’s not people with lots of money that make California the 5th biggest economy in the world, but the sheer population of it? However, if that was the case then Texas would be liberal since it has the 2nd largest population of the states and it’s known as one of the most conservative states.
Population doesn’t directly correlate to wealth either. If that was the case then India would be the second richest country in the world, but that’s not the case. It does have the 12th biggest GDP in the world, but ranks 132nd in terms of GDP per capita. Compare that to the United States, which has the biggest GDP in the world and ranks 4th in GDP per capita. Our wealth is definitely more spread out among the people than in India due to our large middle class, but that still doesn’t seem to answer my question.
Perhaps maybe it is population density that leads to a more liberal state of mind? Here are the population densities of some of the most liberal cities in America:
- New York City: 27,083/sq mi
- San Francisco: 15,834/sq mi
- Chicago: 12,470/sq mi
- Boston: 12,327/sq mi
- Berkeley: 9,823.3/sq mi
- Seattle: 6,901/sq mi
Major areas that are more conservative like San Diego and Orange County fall way under this mark with population densities of 3,871.5/sq mi and 3,606/sq mi, respectively. I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule as there are lots of hippie communes in the middle of Oregon, but for the most part I think that a higher population density leads to more liberal thinking.
I’d love to hear other thoughts or ideas on this matter.