November 5, 2015

Transplants more laissez-faire about porn and pot

Voters in Ohio just defeated a ballot measure that would have legalized recreational marijuana. Some are saying it was only because the sellers would have formed a monopoly, and that the vote was against this monopolistic aspect.

Doubtful -- libertarian politics are only popular out West, where the four states with legalized pot are located (Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska). Not surprisingly the West is also the capital of porn production and prostitution (L.A. and Vegas), and of gambling (Vegas again).

This geographic split is no different from 150 years ago when the Wild West was host to more saloons and brothels than you could shake a stick at. And not just the southern swath from Texas to California, where hotter temperatures could have been blamed. In fact, two of the most notorious sin cities of the Gilded Age were Butte, Montana and Tacoma, Washington.

The main underlying difference between the frontier states and the historical core states is the degree of rootedness. That suggests that the same kind of impulsive and footloose preference in their living patterns would also be expressed as a do-what-you-feel attitude in other domains of life.

Does this relationship still hold today? The General Social Survey asks respondents where they lived age at 16, and where they live now, at the regional level. So we can figure out who are transplants and who are natives to their region at the time of the survey. They also ask if you think pornography should be illegal for everyone (not just minors), as well as if you think marijuana should be legal.

I restricted respondents to whites (to control for race), and to people aged 30-49, when they're in their prime family-forming years and would be most worried about porn and pot corrupting their children's lives.

Sure enough, transplants are more laissez-faire. The effect is a little stronger among women, perhaps because women's moral grounding is somewhat more dependent on contact with family, while for men it is relatively less dependent on which community's welfare they're thinking of.

On the porn issue, among men, transplants are about 2 percentage points less in favor of criminalizing porn altogether, and about 2 percentage points more in favor of legalizing it even to consumers under 18. Among women, transplants are about 5 percentage points less in favor of total criminalization, and about 2 percentage points more in favor of legalizing it to minors.

As for pot, transplant men are 4 percentage points more in favor of legalizing it, while transplant women are 5 percentage points more in favor.

These results don't really change if you move around the age window, if you look only at married people, married with children, liberals, conservatives, etc. Being a transplant in itself is associated with supporting more libertine social policies. If you don't want to be tied down by roots, you probably don't want to be tied down by moral rules either. Boo regulation -- go wherever and do whatever!

Note: search this blog for "regtrans" to see all other posts addressing the differences between natives and transplants.

GSS variables: pornlaw, grass, regtrans (formed from reg16 and region), race, age, sex, marital, childs, polviews


  1. Does any presence of gambling indicate transplants? We can expect that New Jersey(legal gambling in Atlantic City), and probably the rest of the East Coast have been receiving a lot of transplants. Same with some of the Plains states like Minnesota.

  2. There were definitely a lot of potheads in my high schoo(New Jersey)l, even going into the early 2000s, when drug use began declining.


    Pot use (and I would assume other drug use) declined throughout the 80's and into the early 90's. Not surprising that it shot back up in the nihilistic mid-late 90's.

    "High school seniors using cannabis dropped from 50.1% in 1978 to 36% in 1987,[12] to 12% in 1991"

    Disapproval of pot use among teens has declined heavily since the mid 2000's. Perhaps late Millennials don't have the same bitter memories of burnt out loser Boomer adults (including one's parents) than Gen X-ers and early Millennials.

    Steve Sailer is wondering just how much damage the late 70's did to late Boomers. Is it a chicken or the egg thing? Did 70's/early 80's indulgence really do that much damage to late Boomers or were late Boomers destined to shit the bed no matter what?

    I talked to a '58 born gal at my work, and as usual, like most Boomers, she spins the 70's as being a time of joyful experimentation and claims that shit didn't really get real until Gen X-ers were causing trouble. Yeah, right. I told her that 1980 was the peak murder rate year. She didn't have any response to that.

    Strauss and Howe acknowlege how sanctimonious Silents and Boomers hurled ridiculous invective at X-ers in the 80's and 90's in spite of the fact that X-ers were more humble and responsible than Boomers. X-ers really did get shafted, partly because they are too modest to do the kind of finger pointing that Boomers specialize in.

    At this stage of the game, it's basically a fact that many late Boomers are dealing with the onset of serious problems (including honest to god psychosis) precipitated by decades of indulgence. Glenn Beck ('63) was a drunk for decades. So was G.W. Bush, though he's an early Boomer.

    Even those who gave up usage fairly quickly may still have suffered irreparable damage, particularly to the brain.

  4. In several posts dealing with late Boomer whites, some of the comments are unbelievable. By and large, many Boomers are never going to appreciate how things went off the rails while they demanded to have their voices heard, their demands to be met.

    In one rather lucid moment, though, a Boomer did express regret for being sold a bill of goods about how one ought to go to great lengths to transcend an ordinary life. The poster admitted that some Boomers just don't have a great rock song in them; maybe they should've had better morale about accepting being a subordinate in a factory or on a farm.

  5. "We can expect that New Jersey(legal gambling in Atlantic City), and probably the rest of the East Coast have been receiving a lot of transplants."

    The East Coast is not only a magnet for transplants now, it was that way back during the Gilded Age, when waves of Ellis Island people transformed the original colonies into the brusque multi-ethnic shithole that it has become.

    Some folks blame the anything-goes culture of New York City on its Dutch heritage, LOL. There are plenty of Dutch people out in the Midwest, yet none of their big cities is as libertine as New York, and were not host to one of the largest red light districts in the world during the turn of the 20th century.

    No, New York normlessness is due to hardly anyone there having deep roots. "Whaddaya tawkin' about, my family came here 100 years ago!" That's why it was such a cesspool at the turn of the century -- everyone was an immigrant, belonging to a sub-class of frontiersman.

    On top of rootlessness was extreme diversity among the immigrants. No one shared a culture, and no one felt bound to enforce what few shared norms there may have been. And those who did feel bound would've gotten nowhere. "Ey-oh, oh-ey, I don't gotta do what some drunken mick tells me to, vavangu!"

    It wasn't much better in other areas where the Ellis Island people spread out to.

  6. "Does any presence of gambling indicate transplants?"

    I'd say it's more like the persistence and thriving of casino gambling. Back to the post, Ohio legalized casino gambling in 2009, and there are big casinos open in four major cities as of a few years ago. They aren't doing anywhere near what they were hoping for, in terms of number of jobs, revenues, or traffic.

    Similar proposals were defeated throughout the '90s and 2000s before the 2009 measure.

    Ohio doesn't have lots of transplants or rootlessness. It has had casino gambling for a few years, but that's presence rather than persistence.

  7. Looking at modern-day saloons and brothels would include strip clubs.

    In Ohio, at least in Columbus, you can wander all around the city and never see one. There are only a few, and they're located out on the periphery of the city limits. If there were a concerted effort, they could probably be outlawed altogether.

    Contrast with Vegas, L.A., New York, etc.

  8. just think of all the stuff that went mainstream just as the Boomers seized full control of politics and the culture - porn, casino gambling, plastic surgery, depraved movies and TV shows, political campaigns that consist of nothing but sound bites and commercials, etc.

    LOL that was an awesome point about how NYC started out as a sleepy Dutch / New England city and ended up as a brusque, multi-ethnic shithole.

  9. You should turn your brainpower to the more interesting question of - how does the porn industry stay in business? Does it really make money? After all, there's 35 years of product out there now, mostly free. Who needs anything new? And stop blaming everything on the boomers. Tom Hayden was born in 1939.

  10. The generation that gets the most blame around here is the Me Generation, made up of both the Silent and Boomer generations. After the Greatest, before the X-ers.

  11. Sid Storch, here's a refresher on the generations and their characteristics/goals.

    G.I. (aka Greatest gen, 1904-1924):
    - Early life - cultivation of character
    - Mid Life - achievement in creating powerful teams and institutions, pride, confidence
    - Elderhood - busyness, concern regarding capabilities of future generations

    Silent (1925-1944):
    - Early life - conformity, boredom
    - Mid life - activism, sensitivity towards individual rights (G.I.s never bleated about "my rights"), artistic and openminded
    - Elderhood - security/privilege (when did expenditures start favoring the elderly at the expense of children? When Silents got old and Gen X-ers were children/teens), indecision/ineffectiveness

    Boomer (1945-1964):
    - Early life - hedonism, defiance
    - Mid life - competition, striving to have the best house, the best kids, etc.
    - Elderhood - Those at the top are imperious leaders, those closer to the bottom are frustrated and envious. Some end up in ruin.

    Gen X (1965-1984):
    - Early Life - neglected by others, detachment, do-or-die street smarts
    - Mid life - cynicism, fatigue, survival
    - Elderhood - seclusion, escape, wisdom

    Note that some people don't fit neatly into each category; for example, in the hedonistic Boomer 80's metal scene, several musicians are technically very early Gen X(like Slayer's Dave Lombardo and Ratt's Warren DeMartini, both born in 1965). You probably have to get at least 2 years removed from a generation before people become reliably distinct from an adjacent generation.

  12. I would not expect that many transplants in Minnesota. It's certainly no California (I now recall that Soundgarden used it to stand in for the opposite in "Outshined").

    Some graphs on search interest in various musical genres from 2005 until now. Country isn't in the main body of the post, but is in the comments. The only big increase is for electronic dance music, god damn it.

  13. Sid Storch: I don't know how well off porn producers and directors are, but many of the performers are cam girls and escorts on the side. Blogger 28 Sherman has written some on this, I'd be interested too in what Agnostic thinks.

  14. "I would not expect that many transplants in Minnesota. It's certainly no California "

    Hit the toggle button that says "switch to migration into" the state.

    In 2012, 68% off Minnesotans were born there, vs. 54% of Californians being natives. But Minnesota does have less foreigners -- 8% vs. 28% in California. And Minnesota's out-of-staters are from Wisconsin, Iowa, and other Midwestern states, vs. California drawing from the Midwest, West, Northeast, and parts of the South.

    But back in 1900, when immigration was still sky-high, 29% of Minnesotans were foreigners. In Wisconsin, it was 25%, and in Illinois it was 20%. Those numbers were no different from California, where 25% were foreigners.

    And except for Illinois and Missouri, the western part of the Midwest gained statehood only during the Gilded Age. That plus huge populations of foreigners by 1900 -- 23% in S. Dakota, a whopping 36% in North Dakota -- give the trans-Chicago Midwest a more non-American culture, compared to the cis-Chicago places like Indiana and Ohio.

    Actually, Michigan would count with the other Upper Midwest states, too -- statehood only in 1837 and 23% foreigners in 1900. Not to mention their harsh Fargo-esque accents that the Gilded Age immigrants brought over to the Great Lakes.

    The only places that have remained strongly founding-stock, and low on transplants (particularly from dissimilar regions) are Appalachia and rural New England.

    The lowland South is increasingly over-run not so much by foreigners but by Yankee transplants -- and today's transplants from New York aren't even Yankees, they're more likely Ellis Island people. Southern hospitality is about to get a lot ruder.

    South Carolinians in 2012 were 11% Yankee, 6% Midwestern, 3% Western, and 6% foreigner. That's over one-quarter hailing from outside the South. Another 16% were out-of-staters from other Southern states. Only 58% were born in the state. And you can bet that the situation is a lot better in the small pocket of Appalachia around Greenville. Watching the rally that Trump held at nearby Anderson, I couldn't tell that I wasn't watching a crowd from Pittsburgh or Wheeling.

  15. That was closer than I expected, although I suppose I had been discounting the people from other Midwestern states. I almost added a personal note about not knowing any transplants in my time in Minnesota (I didn't because it's not like I was verifying people's state of birth at that age). But of course my mom would have counted (from Pennsylvania), and before I was born my parents resided for a few years in other upper Midwestern states before heading back near my dad's side of the family.

    Checking that NYT graph, I was surprised by how large a percentage of New Yorkers are originally from there.

  16. "I would not expect that many transplants in Minnesota."

    I threw that out there because Minnesota has some big casinos - somebody I know worked in one of them. Remember that scam whereby Native Americans circumvented the laws against gambling by claiming it didn't apply to their tribal lands? That happened in some other plains states too.

  17. You can read about them at:
    A web page dedicated to Minnesota's 20 casinos.

  18. Law related variables where the transplant group scores slighty higher in the pro-law / regulation category:

    OBEYLAW (obey the law vs conscience)
    BELTUP (government should require people to wear seatbelts)
    NOSMOKE (Banning smoking in public areas)

    RACMAR (banning interracial marriage)
    ANTIREL (banning anti-religious material)
    COPUNISH (punish draft resisters?)
    FORCEMED (should children be forced by law to take meds?)

    Hard to call:
    MUSTRET (mandatory retirement law), more agree with mandatory retirement, but fewer agree strongly

    No difference:
    FORCEHOS (should a child be forced by law to admit to hospital?)
    STIFFPUN (should sentences be harsher?)

    Many of the differences are pretty mild though. I would say gun laws vs interracial marriage are probably the strongest differentiation above.

    Generally, transplants seem like more technocratic-liberal than libertarian. More the general stereotyped "smart people" preferences (in line with being smarter), than particularly libertarian. There are a larger proportion of government workers among transplants though (the mobile Mandarins of America), so perhaps sifting them out would change matters.

  19. and as it turns out, medical marijuana is legal in Minnesota:

    "At the stroke of midnight, medical marijuana was legal in Minnesota.

    Moments later, the state's first cannabis clinic welcomed its first patients.

    "We've been waiting a long time for this," said Kim Kelsey, holding up a small white pill bottle containing a week's supply of cannabis pills outside. The Minnesota Medical Solutions clinic in downtown Minneapolis opened its doors just after midnight July 1 for a handful of clients, like Kelsey, who didn't want to wait even a few more hours to start treatment.

    "We decided we weren't going to make them an extra nine hours," said MinnMed CEO Dr. Kyle Kingsley. "It's really an honor to serve the first three patients in Minnesota"

  20. "Generally, transplants seem like more technocratic-liberal than libertarian."

    They're both. Here's an earlier post showing that transplants are more permissive about adultery, both in opinion and personal practice:

    The questions to look at for libertarianism are those that pit individual desire (for pleasure, or mere experimentation) against anything else (tradition, welfare of others, anything at all). I've been poking around the GSS some more, and will post the results. But they also show more libertarian behavior among transplants, with women becoming more unmoored than the men, relative to their same-sex native residents.


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