The Donkey Is Sleeping Today

Graph of the Week

In 2010 Midterm Elections, Politics, Quote of the Week on September 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm

With the midterm elections looming large, we at The Donkey Edge have provided a graph that illustrates why we must vote for our Democratic representatives/senators this fall. Certainly, we’ve had our differences with a few (and a few Blue Dogs are not worth re-electing), but by and large, a Democratic administration (with Democratic support in Congress) creates more wealth and higher wages across ALL income levels than when their Republican counterparts are in office.

Here’s the graph (h/t to Ezra Klein via Slate):

Always Vote For Democrats

You can find this graph (and many others) at Slate’s must-read series on The Great Divergence by Timothy Noah. (Three guesses as to when The Great Divergence in wealth began. Hint: you can thank this guy and his sellout to wealthy corporate interests.) 

The information in this particular graph comes from Princeton political scientist Larry Bartels‘ 2008 book, Unequal Democracy, in which he studied real income growth rates under each president since Truman, from 1948-2005. From the Slate series (emphasis mine):

Bartels plotted out what the inequality trend would have been had only Democrats been president. He also plotted out what the trend would be had only Republicans been president.In Democrat-world, pre-tax income increased 2.64 percent annually for the poor and lower-middle-class and 2.12 percent annually for the upper-middle-class and rich. There was no Great Divergence. Instead, the Great Compression—the egalitarian income trend that prevailed through the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s—continued to the present, albeit with incomes converging less rapidly than before. In Republican-world, meanwhile, pre-tax income increased 0.43 percent annually for the poor and lower-middle-class and 1.90 percent for the upper-middle-class and rich. Not only did the Great Divergence occur; it was more greatly divergent. Also of note: In Democrat-world pre-tax income increased faster than in the real world not just for the 20th percentile but also for the 40th, 60th, and 80th. We were all richer and more equal! But in Republican-world, pre-tax income increased slower than in the real world not just for the 20th percentile but also for the 40th, 60th, and 80th. We were all poorer and less equal!

In short, elections do matter. So, it’s time to rally ’round the Dems and get out the vote this fall.

  1. Excellent post.

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