Archive for the ‘Demograhics’ Category

Democrats and the “wasted vote” phenomenon …

February 16, 2017

Two states and a handful of cities do not a country make.

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Ran across an interesting article in the Boston Globe titled “The Democrats’ demographic dilemma.”

The punch line of the article:

Democrats have carried the popular vote in six of the last seven presidential elections, an unprecedented run.

But, Democrats are confronted by the “wasted vote phenomenon”.

They roll up huge margins in blue enclaves, but political polarization and demographic sorting control the electoral map.

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Here are a few highlight snippets from the article …

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If you don’t understand Trump’s broad appeal, take the “bubble quiz” ….

May 6, 2016

Charles Murray, a political scientist and author observed – long before Campaign 2016 started – that there exists a new upper class that’s completely disconnected from the average American and American culture at large.

 

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In his 2012 book Coming Apart, Murray presented a 25 question self-diagnostic to determine how connected or disconnected you are from average Americans … that is, whether or not you live in a bubble.

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More Millennials than Baby Boomers … bad news for capitalism.

April 28, 2016

Let’s connect a couple of dots today.

Noticed the headline: “Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation.”

That’s right, Millennials (ages 18 to 34) have surpassed Baby Boomers (ages 51 to 69) as the nation’s largest living generation, according to population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Baby Boomer generation peaked at 78.8 million in 1999.

The Millennial generation – which now numbers 83.1 million — continues to grow as young immigrants expand its ranks.

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So, what’s that demographic shift have to do with capitalism?

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“Authoritarians” for Trump … pssst, that may be you!

January 20, 2016

Interesting piece in Politico

Let’s start with a quick test.

Imagine yourself as a parent.

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Would you prefer that your children be:

  1. respectful or independent
  2. obedient or self-reliant
  3. well-behaved or considerate
  4. well-mannered or curious

Pick one from each of the above pairs.

Let’s see how ‘authoritarian’ you are …

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More educated women having babies, but …

May 8, 2015

Pew just published an interesting study on birth rates and family size.

Here’s one of Pew’s spotlight charts.

The data seems to support the headline …

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But, there’s a more compelling takeaway …

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Nums: More Millennials still living with parents … huh?

August 6, 2013

A recent Pew survey has captured a lot of headlines claiming that an increasing percentage and number of Millennials to move back with mom and dad due to the bad economy, rising college enrollments and declining marriage rates.

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The headlines are technically true but, in my opinion, are very misleading.

Here’s why …

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Ditch my ride … Americans driving less

July 29, 2013

According to CNBC

Driving in the U.S. reached a peak in 2004 and has been declining steadily ever since.

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Apparently, high gas prices have registered in the American psyche and spurred some fundamental changes …

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Nums: Marriage down, shacking-up up …

June 20, 2013

According to USA Today

The marriage rate is at its lowest point in more than a century, and the number of marriages across the USA fell more than 5% during the recession.

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In 1980 there were about 10.5 marriages per 1,000 population.

That rate is down to about 6.5 per 1,000.

And, almost 1/3 of all people who married are remarrying … 2nd and 3rd timers.

 

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What about shacking up?

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Nums: Are there more singles or married people?

January 22, 2013

Answer: Married folks … but not by much and the curves are soon to cross,

At the end of 2012, singles accounted for a record 49.6% of the population aged 16 years or older.

That’s up from 37.6% at the end of 1976.

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Source

Here are some more nums and the ‘so whats’ …

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Nums: What % of kids have both parents present?

January 3, 2013

I was chatting with a friend of mine who  is a middle school teacher is suburban Baltimore.

He was telling me about his schools online grading system that regularly emails parents with detailed tracking of their kids’ performance – grades on tests, whether or not homework was turned in, etc.

I asked: What percent of parents are on the system – getting the emails.

He said about 75%.

The other 25% either don’t have internet access (a few) … or either don’t care or are single-parents stretched thin (a lot).

That got me wondering about the number of kids who are structurally disadvantaged by having only one parent present to raise them

Well, it turns out that the Washington Times just did an analysis of Census data to answer the question.

Since the answer may be a bit controversial, I’ll just stick to the facts …

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Drilling down, here are some details from the analysis …

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Look for Mitt ads on the ‘Price is Right’ … and Dems on Springer.

September 18, 2012

The Washington Times did an analysis of Dem and GOP TV ad placements to reverse engineer their respective targets and strategies.

Here are some of the findings:

  • Republicans are at an extreme disadvantage when it comes to television advertising because Democrats watch more TV.
  • Every single genre of TV programming has a Democratic-leaning audience, with sports coming the closest to a partisan balance.
  • Sports and documentaries, have audiences that are far more inclined to vote.
  • Shark Tank,” a reality program about entrepreneurship, has only 18 percent Democratic ads, and the law-and-order favorite “Cops” is heavily Republican.
  • Venerable game shows, while barely registering as blips in modern pop culture, remain among the top destinations for political ads because of their largely older base of viewers who are likely to go to the polls.

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  • The Price Is Right” is second among all TV shows for Romney ads and third for spots for Obama.
  • Democrats are advertising during daytime shows watched by high numbers of unemployed people, including those who rely on welfare and other social services.
  • More generally, the unemployed watch whatever’s on at 3 a.m., or Jerry Springer’ or Maury Povich.
  • All “Jerry Springer” ads have been for Democrats. PAC Priorities USA has made 10 separate buys on Springer.
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  • Nearly every political ad during the adult cartoon series “Family Guy” is for a Democrat.
  • More than 80 percent of political spots during “The Young and the Restless,” the long-running soap opera, tout liberal candidates and causes.
  • Relatively inexpensive ads during daytime soap operas watched by stay-at-home moms are abundant, and are used primarily by Democrats.
  • Reality-dating programs have a skewed Democratic audience that’s below average in likelihood to vote.
  • Obama has advertised heavily on courtroom reality shows such as “Judge Judy”  whose viewers include large numbers of black voters.

The implicit Democratic strategy according to the Washington Times:

The more lowbrow the show, the better.

“People who are low in political information can be more persuadable,”

“If you get someone that’s watching ‘[Keeping Up With] the Kardashians,’ and they’re a swing voter, and see one or two ads,” that could make the difference because that ad may be the only political information they digest.

Sometimes I wonder if “1-man, 1-vote” is overrated …

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Spreading the wealth … from the suburbs to the center city.

August 24, 2012

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and author of the new book, “Spreading the Wealth: How Obama Is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities”.

His central premise was summarized in Forbes:

In the eyes of the leftist community organizers, suburbs are instruments of bigotry and greed — a way of selfishly refusing to share tax money with the urban poor. 

To reverse the trend, some groups advocate systematically redistributing the wealth of America’s suburbs to the cities via  “regional tax-base sharing,” a practice by which suburban tax money is directly redistributed to nearby cities and less-well-off “inner-ring” suburbs.

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President Obama has lent the full weight of his White House to the  efforts.

A federal program called the Sustainable Communities Initiative, for example, has salted planning commissions across the country with “regional equity” and “smart growth” as goals. 

These are, of course, code words. 

“Regional equity” means that, by their mere existence, suburbs cheat the people who live in cities. 

It means, “Let’s spread the suburbs’ wealth around” – i.e., take from the suburbanites to give to the urban poor.

“Smart growth” means, “Quit building sub-divisions and malls, and move back to where mass transit can shuttle you between your 800 square foot apartment in an urban tower and your downtown job.”

Suburbs are for sellouts:  That is a large and overlooked theme of Obama’s famous memoir, Dreams from My Father.  The city is the moral choice.

He attributed urban decline to taxpayer “flight” to the suburbs. 

So, compulsory redistribution of suburban tax money to cities was the only lasting solution to urban decay. 

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Hey, Millennials: Lower your expectations … say, what?

July 30, 2012

Couple of articles caught my eye in the past couple of days that together have me scratching my head …

First, an HBR blast which argued that the best way to reduce stress is to lower your expectations.

Don’t expect much out of life, your friends & family or your co-workers.

If you don’t expect much, you won’t be disappointed and your stress level will be kept in check

Say, what?

Then came a Newsweek article about the economic  jam Millennials are in … with student loans, a bad job market, etc.

Started with an interesting point:

Median net worth of people under 35 fell 37 percent between 2005 and 2010; those over 65 took only a 13 percent hit.

The wealth gap today between younger and older Americans now stands as the widest on record.

The median net worth of households headed by someone 65 or older is $170,494, 42 percent higher than in 1984

The median net worth for younger-age households is a paltry $3,662, down 68 percent from a quarter century ago.

OK, reason for the Millennials to despair, for sure.

And, the proposed  prescriptions?

There’s a  growing notion among economists that the new generation must lower expectations.

For example, the  millennial generation shouldn’t set its sights on homeownership … “because it’s going to be out of reach for so many of them.”

They are understandably more amenable to  government-mandated income redistribution … since so few young people pay much in the way of taxes.

All I can say is: YIPES.

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Julia, meet Henry … a High Earner (who’s) Not Rich Yet … sound familiar?

July 23, 2012

A couple of months ago, the Obama campaign unveiled its “Life of Julia,” a website detailing “how President Obama’s policies help one woman over her lifetime” … by showering her with the benefits of the entitlement state, from Head Start to student loans to Obamacare.

In response, the Weekly Standard has resurrected H.E.N.R.Y. —  marketing slang, first used in Fortune in 2003, for High Earners who are Not Rich Yet.

Henrys run households with annual incomes between $100,000 and $250,000.

There are about 21 million of them.

Henrys make up the overwhelming majority of affluent consumers, who account for 40 percent of consumer spending — which in turn is 70 percent of economic activity.

Without the Henrys’ getting and spending, the U.S. economy would be much poorer.

One can find Henry and his family in the affluent suburbs and exurbs surrounding cities like Washington, D.C., New York, and Los Angeles, or in the counties of suburban Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Raleigh, and Philadelphia.

He owns his house. He plans to send his children to college. He shops at Target, Saks, Coach, Restoration Hardware, Banana Republic, and, on special occasions, Tiffany.

The Obama years have not been kind to Henry.

His economic fortunes have bobbed up and down.

He’s never been flush, but he’s never been broke, either.

So much to him seems dependent on forces outside his control — whether the Fed engages in another round of quantitative easing, whether the eurozone survives for another week.

Henry is the true swing voter in this Presidential election.

Read more about Henry

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The election: economics or demographics?

June 12, 2012

Article in the NY Times concluded that Obama has a tailwind because shifting demographics work to his advantage  …

This fall’s election will be a  contest pitting “demographics versus economics.”

White working-class voters have gotten seriously squeezed by high unemployment and stagnant or declining incomes.

But, the number of working-class whites is shrinking and minority voters have edged up as a share of the population … the combined effects of immigration and disparate birthrates.

Comprising 89 percent of the electorate in 1976, whites had fallen to 74 percent four years ago. During the same period, Hispanics grew from 1 percent of the electorate to 9 percent.

In 12 battleground states, the proportion of votes cast by working-class whites, a group Mr. Obama lost lopsidedly in 2008, will drop by three percentage points this fall.

A number of states are urbanizing and losing their historically large rural conservative vote.

Somehow, it doesn’t seem like a good trend when “working class” people — regardless of their race — simultaneously get squeezed economically and lose their voting clout …

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Got a Bachelor’s Degree? … Odds are you’re a woman.

June 12, 2012

Interesting analysis from The Atlantic: Why Women Will Rule the Economy of the Future

Way back in 1975, more than 1 in 4 guys had a degree; less then 1 in 5 gals did.

Curves crossed in 1995 when the percentage of young women with degrees hit 1 in 4 and the guys’ rate slipped back a bit.

Since then, women have been opening a lead … approaching the 40% mark.

Hmmm.

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Watch out for the boomerang effect …

March 23, 2012

“Boomerang kids” are young adults who move out of the family home for school or work and then return home.

According to the Cristian Science Monitor, a Pew Report indicates that the recession has exacerbated a trend that was already under way since the 1980s.

  • In 1980, some 11 percent of young adults lived in multigenerational households.
  • Today, some 29 percent of 25- to 34-year olds either never moved out of their parents’ home or say they returned home in recent years.
  • Among 18- to 24-year olds, that figure is even higher – 53 percent of young adults in that age group live at home.

Of those living at home, some 78 percent say they’re upbeat about their living arrangements … 24 percent say it’s been good for their relationships with their parents.

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Another tipping point: married folks a dwindling majority …

March 8, 2012

Excerpted from the Wash Post:

The proportion of adults who are married has plunged to record lows as more people decide to live together now and wed later, reflecting decades of evolving attitudes about the role of marriage in society.

Just 51 percent of all adults who are 18 and older are married, placing them on the brink of becoming a minority, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.

That represents a steep drop from 57 percent who were married in 2000.

The marriage patterns are a striking departure from the middle of the 20th century, when the percentage of adults who never wed was in the low single digits.

In 1960, for example, when most baby boomers were children, 72 percent of all adults were married.

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The rich get richer … and, oh yeah, so do the poor.

August 6, 2011

Punch line: President Obama has has oft-repeated that  “For many years, middle class Americans have been working harder, yet not enjoying their fair share of the fruits of a growing economy.”

Au contraire, mon ami.

But a new working paper titled “A “Second Opinion” on the Economic Health of the American Middle Class”  NBER and Cornell researchers provides new evidence that the growth in after-tax household income has been substantial for all economic strata.

Specifically, by taking into account previously unmeasured shifts in household size and the tax units in them, taxes paid, transfer payments received, and the increasing importance of fringe benefits, the researchers found that:

  • The growth in after-tax household income for the lower income strata was about 25% between 1979 and 2009.
  • The growth in after-tax household income for middle income strata was about 35% between 1979 and 2009.
  • The growth in after-tax household income for the highest income strata was about 50% between 1979 and 2009.

Bottom line: a slowly rising tide has lifted all boats … albeit at different rates.


Source: Prof Mark Perry

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The shrinking (black) middle class

July 13, 2011

Some sobering statistics  reported in the Chicago Sun Times …

“History is going to say the black middle class was decimated” over the past few years.

For many in the black community, job loss during this recession has knocked them out of the middle class and back into poverty.

  • In 2004, the median net worth of white households was $134,280, compared with $13,450 for black households.
  • By 2009, the median net worth for white households had fallen 24 percent to $97,860; the median net worth for black households had fallen 83 percent to $2,170.
  • Blacks are overrepresented in state and local government jobs that are being eliminated because of massive budget shortfalls.
  • Since 2009, the overall unemployment rate has fallen slightly, while the black unemployment rate has risen from 14.7 to 16.2 percent — The highest rate since the government began keeping track in 1972.
  • Only 56.9 percent of black men over 20 were working, compared with 68.1 percent of white men.
  • The college-educated unemployment rate is 3.9 percent for whites and 7 percent for blacks.
  • Nearly 8 percent of African Americans who bought homes from 2005 to 2008 have lost them to foreclosure, compared with 4.5 percent of whites.

Some see a bitter irony in soaring black unemployment and the decline of the black middle class on the watch of the first black president.

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Ken’s Take: No question, the recession has hit the lower rungs of the economy most severely.  The numbers are striking.

Note: According to Gallup, Over 80% of blacks still approve of job President Obama is doing …

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What the 2010 Census May Mean for Marketers

September 14, 2010

TakeAway:  The 2010 Census results will likely reveal the Hispanic market’s growing influence and help marketers understand they need to start focusing on this huge demographic change.  Few people realize that Hispanics are influencing the general market more than vice-versa.

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Excerpted from AdvertisingAge, “A Look at the Numbers Behind America’s Huge Demographic Shift” By Chiqui Cartagena, August 31, 2010

With the arrival of Hispanic Heritage month, people in the media and marketing worlds have already started to talk about what the new Census results could reveal next year.  This is the key point: It’s not about the Hispanic market, it about how these demographic shifts are affecting the so-called general consumer market.

 It wasn’t really until the 2000 Census that the dominance of Hispanics became a “new phenomenon.”  By the end of 2010, there will be 30% more Hispanics (50 million) than there will be African Americans (38 million) in this country. 

 Hispanics will continue to be a driving force behind America’s changing face, not so much through immigration but rather by births, with 60% of the U.S. Hispanic market growth coming from the natural births.

So, what does this mean to you?

  • Any marketing plan targeting youths must take into account Hispanics.
  • Marketing plans must take into account that Hispanics live in multi-generational households, therefore it is critical to understand how different generations influence each other.
  • The influence of the Hispanic market goes beyond the traditional states. Over 30 markets saw the Hispanic population increase by more than 100,000 persons in the past 10 years.
  • U.S. born Hispanics will require marketing campaigns that take into account their unique cultural background. It is critical to develop marketing campaigns that go beyond language and place of birth.

Edit by AMW

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Full Article:
http://adage.com/bigtent/post?article_id=145653

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Did you know …

January 11, 2010

From the Statistical Abstract of the United States:

  • In 2007, the average American spent 1,613 hours watching TV, the equivalent of 67 days.
  • About three-quarters of Americans (76.1 percent in 2007, to be exact) get to work by driving alone. Only 10.4 percent carpool, while 4.9 percent use public transportation and 2.8 percent walk.
  • On average, Americans spend 25.3 minutes commuting each way. The state with the longest average commuting time is New York, at 31.5 minutes.
  • In 2006, about 34 percent of U.S. adults were judged obese, triple France’s rate (10.5 percent) and four times Switzerland’s (7.7 percent).
  • From 1993 to 2007, murders dropped from 25,000 to 17,000 and robberies from 660,000 to 445,000.
  • In 2007, 18 percent of high school students reported carrying a weapon sometime in the previous year.
  • Smoking continues to decline, from 25.3 percent of adults in 1990 to 19.7 percent in 2007.
  • Garbage per person has stabilized; it was 4.5 pounds per day in 1990 and 4.6 pounds in 2007.
  • In 2007, nearly two-fifths of all U.S. births were to unmarried women, double the share in 1980.
  • The share of children under the federal poverty line in 2007 (17.6 percent) was virtually the same as in 1980 (17.9 percent).
  • Since 1970, the student-teacher ratio in schools has declined dramatically, from 22-1 to 15-1 in 2007 … with little effect on test results.
  • Almost one-quarter of elementary and high school students are immigrants or have immigrant parents.

Excerpted from RCP: American Life by the Numbers, January 11, 2010
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/01/11/suicide_sex_and_suvs_99842.html