The Madera Tribune

The poor and modern politics

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webmaster | 11/08/12

Last week, I wrote about an issue (teen births) which I consider to be a major national social problem. However, I pointed out that neither candidate ever made mention of the phenomenon that ruins not just the lives of the current generation, but also of the generations to follow. Today, I’ll address another social problem that was never dealt with during the long months of campaigning: poverty.

In a sense, it’s easy to understand why neither topic surfaced during the debates: teens and poor people don’t vote.

In fact, there is a direct correlation between age groups and income that shows voting behavior increasing in percentage as both age and income increase. The highest percentage of voter turnout is among the wealthiest Americans and people who are 65 years of age or older. The lowest turnout is for those between 18 and 25 and also for those in the lowest income category. Between the two extremes, there is a straight-line correlation for both age and income categories.

Interestingly, the correlations never change, with one exception. Until 1980, men voted in a higher percentage than did women. That year, the percentage of women surpassed men, but only fractionally. In 1982, men voted more than did women, as had been the traditional pattern. But, since 1984, women have outvoted men in every election. And, as you probably noticed, there was considerable comment made during the 2012 election regarding which way the women’s vote was leaning...


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