Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Voting your pocketbook?

by divorced one like Bush
Update below.

The other day, reading the comments got me thinking about the relationship of peoples income vs their presidential candidate choice. I think it was about how the economy is doing. Well, we all say it is bad because all these big, humongous finance institutions are having troubles. But, my perspective is that the economy is about you and me. It exists for us. But, not much is being looked at from that perspective, except for the home mortgage sector. Simultaneously we hear how we (you, me and thee) have to learn to save more while being asked what can be done to revive the consumer economy. You know, get it back to the good old days. Yes-er-y, that’s a solvable puzzle. Which good old days do they want to recreate? The saving days or the consuming days? If they want both, I would say ok, but we will have to reverse the income shift.

Anyway, I decided to see if I could create a movement to focus the issue of the economy back onto how you and me are doing. It’s a monumental task, but I’m game. I’ve gotten a little help from McCain in that he has tied the fundamentals of the economy to you and me, the American Worker (stand up and salute!). As much as “fundamentals” are not considered the worker, the reality is we the citizens are the fundament factor in an economy. No you and me, no exchange of valuable stuff.

So, I have created a chart because I don’t know how to produce one of those neat colored USA maps of all 50 states, their unemployment rate, hourly wage, 1 yr change of wage, hours worked and 1 yr change of hours worked. The data is from here. I then color coded the state name based on the polling map as of 9/16/08.

How do you like it? I’m rather proud of my self.

The color for the states are blue, light blue, red, light red and black. I assume the red/blue shades are obvious. The black are toss-up states. The data in blue are numbers that did worse than average for the variable to the detriment of the citizen. If the unemployment was higher than average, it is blue. If the wage change and hourly wage was less than average it is blue. Those in red are negative. The hours worked and change in hours worked greater than average are in blue. I view having to work more a negative. I do not want to have to continually increase my time in the rat race. Though, some I’m sure would look at the opportunity to work more as a positive. You get to earn more. Well that’s relative to your opinion of what your free time is worth. One state has green…Utah. It’s hourly wage and work hours have gone down. But, hey the unemployment rate is very low.

There are 8 undecided, 18 blue or leaning blue and 24 red or leaning red.
14 of 23 states with unemployment below average are voting or tending to vote McCain. Three undecided have lower rates. 8 states of the 23 are voting or tending to vote Obama. 61% red and 44% blue are below the average unemployment.

12 of 22 states with above average hours worked increase are red or leaning that way. 8 of are blue.
6 of the 12 state with negative increases in hours worked are red, 4 are undecided which leave 2 blue.

9 of 26 states that saw negative, zero or less than average 1 year hourly wage increases are red or leaning such. 7 are undecided and 10 are blue or leaning such. 3 of the 6 states with negative hourly wage growth are red, one is undecided and one is blue.

21 states of 30 who have an average hourly wage less than the national average are red or leaning that way. 5 are blue or leaning such and 4 are undecided.

18 of the 24 states that work more than the national weekly average hours are red or leaning such. 3 are undecided and 3 are blue.

6 of 9 states who are working more than the average work week and did not see their wage increase the average amount are red or leaning red. 2 are undecided and 1 is blue. 2 states saw their hourly wage go down and their hours worked go up, both are red.

Ok, so what are we to make of the voting your pocketbook thought?

Update: Ran some numbers. Red states average $19.41/hr and 35.73 hours per week for a gross pay of $693.52. Blue states average $22.68/hr and 34.38 hours per week for a gross pay of $779.74. Earn more, work less. Now that is the way to get out of the rat race!

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