Wednesday, November 05, 2008

low income voters against prop 8?

By current tallies, Prop 8 to eliminate gay marriage is leaning toward passing, 52% to 48%. It's disappointing.

You can see the voting broken down by age, gender, race, education on this CNN page.

As expected, the younger the voters, the more likely they are to oppose the proposition (i.e. favor gay marriage). The more educated they are, the more likely they are to oppose it. The highest income brackets are more likely to oppose it than middle-income brackets.

However, I find it interesting that the lowest income brackets (<$30k) also oppose the proposition. Why would this be? It goes against the education correlation.

The only explanation I could concoct is that perhaps younger voters are more likely to earn less than $30,000, so the income is more correlated to age than to education.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Something you didn't consider, there's probably a disproportionate amount of staunchly catholic latin-american immigrants in that income bracket.

Niniane said...

If there's a high percentage of catholics in the lowest-income brackets, then that bracket should've voted FOR proposition 8, not against. What I am surprised by is that they voted against proposition 8, i.e. in support of gay marriage.

Dog of Justice said...

A decent fraction of young voters are students, who have near-zero income. (Or was that category was broken off separately?)

Meanwhile, I must admit that I'm not disappointed that prop 8 passed. It is one thing to have a society in which gays and lesbians are free to be life partners. It is quite another to fail to make any distinction between such partnerships and the families that are the backbone of the state's future. The latter tends to throw off greater positive externalities (adoption is only a very limited substitute for childbearing), so it is efficient to subsidize them more, and "marriage equality" would interfere with this.

So. Protection from hatred? Yes. Freedom to be life partners, and have a ceremony initiating it? I'm all for that. But I draw the line at claiming an isomorphism between these partnerships and traditional marriage. The long-term consequences are too different.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the poorest people are tired of being mistreated by society and want equal treatment for all.

Just a thought, but how does the income of gay and lesbians compare to the state average? Are they disproportionately in that <30K group?

ArC said...

so it is efficient to subsidize them more, and "marriage equality" would interfere with this.

What, if gay couples got married, they'd vacuum up enough "marriage subsidies" that society would become less efficient? What are these subsidies, anyways? And furthermore, this would outweigh the increase in justice?

Melinda O said...

@Dog of Justice: Then, should we only give the state-given benefits of marriage to couples who can reproduce? A younger lesbian couple is far more likely to adopt or give birth to children than a marriage of 60 year-olds, so under your logic the first couple should be allowed to marry and the second one shouldn't. In any case, it's not clear to me that the government should subsidize the creation of children (as opposed to the education and health of such children, although the border is blurry). There are lots of children already, some of whom are not wanted. To the extent that gay couples are more likely to take unwanted children and give them a permanent and loving home, which will probably improve the contributions of those children to society, than to have children, gay couples probably should be subsidized more.

Anonymous said...

Marriage is between a man and a woman, period. That is the way it has always been defined and should always be defined. The people comparing gay marriage to interracial marriage are comparing apples to oranges -- race is hard to define. Man and woman are not. I am an atheist and Yes on Prop 8 is the only thing I have agreed with the religions right on in my entire lifetime.

Gays are free to live together, fuck whoever they want, commit to whoever they want, but MARRIAGE is between a man and a woman.

Dog of Justice said...

What, if gay couples got married, they'd vacuum up enough "marriage subsidies" that society would become less efficient? What are these subsidies, anyways? And furthermore, this would outweigh the increase in justice?

Since we haven't figured out the whole indefinite life extension thing yet, children are still the future, and the institution of marriage is a large part of how society regulates its perpetuation. And marriage has sustained quite a bit of damage over the last few decades, if the soaring proportion of children born out of wedlock is any guide. So it is not entirely unreasonable to want to avoid any further compromise of its primary instrumental function.

I don't feel very strongly about this -- I didn't actually vote yesterday since AFAICT my area uses voter registration to determine jury duty, and the last time I was called up for jury duty they just had me sit in a room for most of the day doing nothing, then sent me home. That cost exceeds the expected benefit of voting to me by a fair margin. I definitely think the state should recognize something functionally almost indistinguishable from gay marriage. (And this is not like segregated schools where separate meant cripplingly and unfairly unequal.) I would not be shouting words of doom and gloom if Proposition 8 had passed; I would just hope that the (unlikely?) negative consequences I fear simply fail to show up.

The blogger Megan McArdle elaborates a lot more on this here. (This was 3.5 years ago, but the principle hasn't changed.)

Oh, an example of a subsidy would be different tax treatment. Which, incidentally, is not in my self-interest -- I'm not really looking to marry a housewife (or be a househusband) -- but I understand why that particular division of labor can deserve preferential treatment.

ArC said...

And marriage has sustained quite a bit of damage over the last few decades, if the soaring proportion of children born out of wedlock is any guide.

... Seems to me like you're undermining your own "marriage -> children" argument here.

The blogger Megan McArdle elaborates a lot more on this here.

I would sooner read a Thomas Friedman piece. (I consider both to be remarkably stupid people. Well-read, but stupid nevertheless.)

OK, even so, out of fairness to you I subjected myself to it and it is indeed as remarkably stupid as I feared. Economics does consider marginal cases; it doesn't claim that everything is a slippery slope situation which inevitably hits bottom unless a stout bulwark is erected.

Oh, an example of a subsidy would be different tax treatment.

Something so compelling half of all marriages end in divorce and 42% of households have two incomes...

Dog of Justice said...

... Seems to me like you're undermining your own "marriage -> children" argument here.

Er, how do you think the life outcomes of the children born out of wedlock compare to those born in marriages? Yes, the gap is not as big after controlling for socioeconomic status, but it's still highly relevant.

I would sooner read a Thomas Friedman piece. (I consider both to be remarkably stupid people. Well-read, but stupid nevertheless.)

Thomas Friedman... naive and misguided, yes. We can agree on that. But calling him stupid? This betrays a lot of arrogance on your part.

And calling McArdle stupid... those are fighting words. I realize you don't tend to agree with her. However, Ayn Rand notwithstanding, intelligent people can actually arrive at quite different conclusions from similar data. Politics is not like physics or math; it's not even clear what objective function we should aim to maximize, and from there it only gets worse.

OK, even so, out of fairness to you I subjected myself to it and it is indeed as remarkably stupid as I feared. Economics does consider marginal cases; it doesn't claim that everything is a slippery slope situation which inevitably hits bottom unless a stout bulwark is erected.

My argument is not that things would inevitably hit bottom -- see my remark about what my response would have been if proposition 8 had failed. It's that our predictive track record is remarkably bad here, so caution is advisable.

(Yes, federalism already provides quite a bit of protection. Suppose, as is likely, a variant of the No on Proposition 8 movement succeeds in California a few years from now, and then the absolute worst, whatever that is, happens... well, there would still be a whole bunch of states which didn't join in. I can live with controlled experiments.)

Something so compelling half of all marriages end in divorce and 42% of households have two incomes...

You seem to think that traditional marriage is not an institution worth saving.

I don't completely disagree with you -- I was raised in a two income household and intend to be part of one, and while I think the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of common divorce, I don't want a total return to the 1950's. But until gay couples have their own genetic children roughly as often as heterosexual couples do (and I expect biotech will eventually make this possible)... I'd rather see Western civilization gamble a little bit less with its future.

Anonymous said...

Actually... in California, gays and lesbians can register as domestic partners with all of the legal rights that go with that (ie. tax returns, corporate benefits, etc). What they're looking for isn't equal rights, but the right to be called a married couple.

Dog of Justice said...

Actually... in California, gays and lesbians can register as domestic partners with all of the legal rights that go with that (ie. tax returns, corporate benefits, etc). What they're looking for isn't equal rights, but the right to be called a married couple.

Hmm, that's right, the different tax treatment only applies at the federal level now so the example I offered of a marriage subsidy was suboptimal. Proposition 22 has already provided something "functionally almost indistinguishable from gay marriage" in California.

There is nothing stopping most people (anyone who isn't working as a state employee, or otherwise required to be literally correct in their speech) from calling gay domestic partnerships "married couples" now. That right already exists as part of the First Amendment. :) They just aren't quite legally identical, and I don't think they should be yet because of the children issue. If I were gay and in such a partnership, I would think of myself as married and be fine with others calling me that, since all the more literally accurate verbal terms are clumsy. It wouldn't be the first time an English word has been overloaded.

ArC said...

But calling him stupid? This betrays a lot of arrogance on your part.

I can live with that.

And calling McArdle stupid... those are fighting words. I realize you don't tend to agree with her. However, Ayn Rand notwithstanding, intelligent people can actually arrive at quite different conclusions from similar data.

McArdle often argues from no data. Years ago - back when she blogged as Jane Galt - her arguments about medical malpractice were shockingly uninformed.

Yes, federalism already provides quite a bit of protection.

The arguably unconstitutional DOMA aside, marriages granted in one state are supposed to be honored in every state.

They just aren't quite legally identical, and I don't think they should be yet because of the children issue.

What if that couple then adopted or had kids through a surrogate? Would they qualify then under the Dog Of Justice plan?

Dog of Justice said...

Years ago - back when she blogged as Jane Galt - her arguments about medical malpractice were shockingly uninformed.

Er, she made a single mistake. Admittedly, of more than an order of magnitude, but the relevant question is how did she respond to being shown she was wrong? I don't even see any mention of that on the page you link. This is telling.

The arguably unconstitutional DOMA aside, marriages granted in one state are supposed to be honored in every state.

Roe vs. Wade is a legal kludge as well, but for now it doesn't seem practical to do any better.

Anyway, I am strongly in favor of people having the freedom to live their lives as they please as long as they don't screw over others much, but I am just as strongly against forcing everyone to explicitly approve alternative lifestyles.

What if that couple then adopted or had kids through a surrogate? Would they qualify then under the Dog Of Justice plan?

I would personally favor treating gay couples who have kids through a surrogate as legally identical to straight married couples. But I'm also not under any illusion that this level of technocracy is currently realistically possible outside of Singapore (which has its own problems).

ArC said...

I don't even see any mention of that on the page you link. This is telling.

Telling ... that you didn't read the comments, where she responded in a manner that was either dishonest or stupid.

McArdle was not worth reading then nor now. I picked one example; I could pick more.

Dog of Justice said...

Telling ... that you didn't read the comments, where she responded in a manner that was either dishonest or stupid.

Er, the one person who called her a liar after her comment misinterpreted her "total settlements" phrase to mean "total medical malpractice settlements," instead of "total settlement payments for anything" which is what she actually meant. I don't know enough about the greater context of the discussion there to determine if she was nevertheless "dishonest or stupid," but certainly the evidence on that webpage does not tell me much, beyond her willingness to at least appear to acknowledge making a mistake.

Anonymous said...

Many blacks supported prop. 8, because of Obama many black people voted.

So one can 'blame' Obama.

pk@nl said...

True nym. Its like that in my home country too. The people who feel outcast from the society will vote against the proposals. And on the other hand but in same direction its like defending the other outcasts too.

Dog of Justice said...

Proposition 22 has already provided something "functionally almost indistinguishable from gay marriage" in California.

Oops, this is incorrect; it is not Proposition 22 (which was actually very similar to Proposition 8), but Assembly Bill 205 that made gay domestic partnerships functionally almost indistinguishable from marriages. This is what I get from trusting Wikipedia (which appears to have been edited within the last few weeks). :(

Anonymous said...

Why are there demonstrations in America support of gay marriage after the voting?

I would demonstrate before the actual voting.

ArC said...

late followup: Anon of Nov 8th was incorrect. see here and also here.