. . . Tuesday August 3, 2004

The Poor, But Not Huddled Masses

What, you may ask, is the point of targeting policy favors towards wealthier voters? There are fewer of them. It seems like those among the have-nots would have more incentive to achieve change and would therefore be more easily organized.

There are of course, the obvious answers. Richer people can give more money to candidates and Parties and money talks in politics. Those running for major political office tend to rub elbows with the wealthy (who are more often than not their socioeconomic peers).

But there’s another reason. The more wealthy you are, the more likely you are to vote. Here is a basic breakdown, based on household income, of the percentage of eligible voters who actually showed up to vote in 2000 (source – USA Today):

Household Income – (Percentage that Voted)

Less than $5,000 – (34%)

$5,000 – $9,999 – (41%)

$10,000 – $14,999 – (44%)

$10,000 – $14,999 – (44%)

$15,000 – $24,999 – (51%)

$25,000 – $34,999 – (58%)

$35,000 – $49,999 – (62%)

$50,000 – $74,999 – (69%)

$75,000 and over – (74%)

These stats paint a compelling picture of which segments of the population feel totally disenfranchised and disconnected from the system. If we ever figure out a way to get the poor, huddle masses to mass near a voting booth, it could seriously shock the system.


Concentration is important!