August 10, 2016

Trump's econ speech: Which states resonate with which parts?

In his recent speech about economic vision, Trump outlined his approach in three major areas -- cutting taxes, lightening up the burden of regulations, and setting trade policies that keep good-paying manufacturing jobs here in America rather than Mexico, China, etc.

Each of these solutions is popular in a different region of the country, whether Trump planned such a broad outreach or simply has good intuition for coalition-building. The non-ideological vision pairs old school libertarianism and protectionism, whichever is best for the larger populist and nationalist cause. This will help in his effort to return several states back into the Republican column -- along with his campaign of not alienating blue-state voters with culture war distractions.

Regional popularity can be measured by responses from the General Social Survey, the gold standard in public opinion research, which has asked questions on these topics in recent years.

First, believing that your federal income tax is too high is most common in the Mid-Atlantic region (NY, NJ, PA). In the 2010s, 55% of people nationally thought it was too high, but it's 68% in the Mid-Atlantic. Even back through the 1970s when the survey began, this region has always been the highest in wanting income tax relief.

The least likely regions to stress over taxes are out West -- the Plains, Mountain, and Pacific regions.

This seems to stem from the materialist vs. non-materialist focus of people's lives. If you live in the heart of the ACELA corridor, you probably derive much of your self-worth from your career, wealth, and displays of wealth. This is true for lower and middle-class residents, too, not just rich people. Cutting taxes allows you to keep more wealth in your bank account, or spend spend spend.

Out West, folks are more lifestyle-oriented, so accumulation and conspicuous consumption of wealth isn't so much of a goal for them.

Second, wanting less regulation of businesses by the government is most popular in several areas, although not in the Mid-Atlantic, who are the most averse to deregulation, along with the Plains.

It is New Englanders, Southerners, and Mountain and Pacific citizens who are the most on board with less regulation. In 2006, 52% nationally wanted less regulation, but it was 5 points higher in these regions, and 20 points higher in New England. Back through the mid-'80s, it has been New England and the Mountain regions that have consistently been more in favor of deregulation. Those two regions are roughly the eastern and western centers of the libertarian spirit.

Third, believing that America does not benefit from belonging to NAFTA is most common in the eastern Midwest (OH, MI, IN, IL, WI) and southern Appalachia (KY, TN, AL, MI). In 2014, 26% of the country as a whole hated NAFTA, but this was 10 points higher in these two regions where there is still a solid manufacturing sector providing good-paying jobs -- especially in the auto industry. Residents here don't want these jobs to get sucked out to a country where labor costs are lower, which is a given under these corporate globalist trade deals.

(Nationally, 27% think NAFTA benefits America, and 47% are neutral, among those with an opinion.)

Interestingly, there's another base of anti-NAFTA sentiment among West Coasters -- but only those who were raised there. They're not as bitterly against NAFTA as the industrial center back East, but more so than the rest of the nation. West Coast residents who were born outside the region, whether elsewhere in America or foreigners, felt the opposite -- noticeably more in favor of NAFTA.

Native West Coasters must remember when all sorts of things were still made locally, whereas the transplants have flocked out West in order to pan for latter-day gold in the white-collar service sector, and aren't so concerned for the native citizens' well-being.

Support for NAFTA is highest in the Plains, both Upper and Lower. Their workers, too, are getting killed by the deal and accompanying immigration, for example the replacement of Americans with Mexicans in the Iowa meatpacking industry. But we are talking about the Cuck Belt here, so it's not surprising. It's no different from the Plains wanting to take in refugees (Upper) and Mexicans (Lower), despite mounting experience with their massive downside and minimal upside.

If the Trump movement, and Trump himself, can emphasize each of these topics in the regions where they resonate most, recent blue states can go red-for-Trump. Kill NAFTA -- Michigan and Ohio, native West Coasters. Lower taxes, more personal spending money -- Philly suburbs, New Jersey. Government shouldn't regulate so many trivial business matters for no reason, while still re-instating necessary regulations like Glass-Steagall -- California, Oregon, New Hampshire.

GSS variables: tax, lessreg, nafta2a, region, reg16, year


  1. Random Dude on the Internet8/11/16, 5:34 PM

    On an off topic note, watching the media burn through their remaining semblance of a reputation is entertaining to watch. CNN is so blatant that other media agencies (Reuters) are calling them out.

    While I'm sure the media going full Pravda gets some backpats from their Democrat buddies, they are alienating everyone who isn't a die hard Democrat, which is 70-80 percent of the nation. If they keep going in hard on Trump, I can see it backlashing and eliciting sympathy from the public who are tired of seeing TRUMP IS HITLER day in and day out.

  2. I don't think much of it will stick on Election Day. If you aren't already convinced to vote for Crooked Hillary, you're leaning Trump.

    There's no downside socially and culturally to supporting her. If you're hesitant, it means you sense a downside politically and economically about her -- leading you to choose Trump, or perhaps stay home. But either way, not adding to her vote total.

    So when the media hammer home their propaganda narrative, all it does it make Trump-leaners (mostly women) tell pollsters they're undecided or supporting Clinton, whereas at the ballot box, they're going to secretly vote Trump and perhaps even lie about it afterward.

    It's only setting up a greater disconnect between the polls and the results, which will explode more heads in the media, Establishment, and traitor / airhead voters. Will be great!

  3. BTW, that's an important distinction to keep in mind -- traitors vs. airheads among the Crooked Hillary electorate. (Trump voters are patriotic and taking the election deathly seriously.)

    If they're wealthy, powerful, influential -- traitors. They know damn well what she's going to do, and what effect that'll have on the nation.

    If they're anyone less than those things -- airheads. They don't know any better, and can't be bothered to learn, and are stubborn when others try to aware them.

    It's a shame that this bunch of "whaddaya gonna do?" voters are going to bring the country so close to getting flushed down the toilet, but they aren't evil and they should be spared (if chastened) when we're rounding up the traitors for free helicopter rides.

  4. philip gahtan8/12/16, 10:09 AM

    i wish trump would go after h1b visas. the stem professions are screwed
    generation x and millennial. microsoft has stated our stem grads can't hack we need to import immigrants who can. trump needs to win here.

  5. You mentioned in an older post that you might do an "advice for Millennials" post. Any chance of that coming out soon? I'm curious about what you have to say. I'm 22 btw.

  6. I haven't thought about it in awhile. Anything in particular you were wondering about?


    "This research leaves some mysteries unsolved. Something is afflicting the places where Trump's supporters live, but Trump's supporters do not exhibit more severe economic distress than do those who view him unfavorably. Perhaps, Rothwell suggests, Trump's supporters are concerned less about themselves than about how the community's children are faring. Whatever it is, competition from migrant labor or the decline of factory work appear to be inadequate explanations."

    So, basically, Trump's supporters are primarily Boomers and Gen X-ers who view the last 40 years as a descent into a mercenary dystopia. New school liberals and Millennials are too busy fawning over muh gays, muh diversity, muh feminism too realize that every measure of well being has gotten shredded over the last few decades. Like trust, civic engagement, the rule of law, the ability to find good jobs, etc. It gets harder to "prove" this to younger people since, after all, they have little to no memory of an all for one, one for all America. Late Gen X-ers and Millennials who do support Trump are operating entirely on gut instinct and morality that renders PC/libertarian/striver propaganda irrelevant. Older people have the benefit of sensing Trump's desire to evoke an appealing past which they can recall. For us non gray-hairs, the Trump dream is like utopian mid-century sci-fi, or somethin'.

    Another pleasant thing about this article is that it runs counter to the idea that Trump fans are bitter and mean spirited losers. If the MSM, the cuck nerds, and the smug liberals actually bothered to listen to Trump fans they'd find that Trump's appeal is derived heavily from the (positive) notion that we'll restore the efficacy of government and we'll recalibrate the practices of business, academia, the media, etc. Instead of a decadent, rootless, and glib class of 1st and 2nd tier elites in a never ending one-upmanship war, there will instead be a revival of moderating one's behavior out of consideration for the fact that it's a noble necessity for a nation to take care of it's people.

    I'm not surprised by the fear we see from Trump haters. What drives their hostility and ignorance towards Trump fans is the depressing and suppressed reality that modern liberals (including most so-called conservatives) have completely abdicated their essential responsibilities over the last 40 years. They know they fucked up, and they're afraid of being called out on it. Especially when Trump fans are all to some degree united by a righteous sense of vengeance with which the cucks and diversicrats could be punished.

  8. We saw that back in the primaries, where Trump won the Republicans in high-income counties throughout the Acela Corridor -- Montgomery Co. MD, the Philly suburbs, Westchester Co. NY, Greenwich CT, etc.

    They could have been drawn in by Trump's proposed tax cuts -- he's been offering something to well-off people, too, not just working-class people.

    But they also don't want to see their country get flushed down the toilet, tax cuts or no tax cuts.

    They're in the original 13 Colonies, so they have something of a sense of stewardship. But they are not conservative culture warriors, so they could not vote for a Republican for the past 20-odd years. They were very much Republicans before 1992, though.

    New Jersey voted for Nixon twice, Ford, Reagan twice, and Bush Sr.

    Now that the culture war barrier has been removed, nationalist / populist stewards among the well-to-do can resume voting Republican.


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