Ten Miles Square


February 08, 2012 7:02 AM Charles Murray [perhaps] Does a Tucker Carlson, Provoking Me to Unleash the Usual Torrent of Graphs

By Andrew Gelman

Charles Murray wrote a much-discussed new book, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.”

David Frum quotes Murray as writing, in an echo of now-forgotten TV personality Tucker Carlson, that the top 5% of incomes “tends to be liberal—-right? There’s no getting around it. Every way of answering this question produces a yes.”

Frum does me the favor of citing Red State Blue State as evidence, and I’d like to back this up with some graphs.

Frum writes:

Say “top 5%” to Murray, and his imagination conjures up everything he dislikes: coastal liberals listening to NPR in their Lexus hybrid SUVs. He sees that image so intensely that no mere number can force him to remember that the top 5% also includes the evangelical Christian assistant coach of a state university football team… .

To put it in graphical terms:

Further discussion and more graphs here.

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

Andrew Gelman is a professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University.
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  • POed Lib on February 09, 2012 8:14 AM:

    The top 5% tend to be liberal? Is this a joke? I know that Murray is a moron, who continually draws conclusions based on his concepts rather than data (that is, he is a liar), but this is beyond stupid.

    Kochs. Adelson. Paulson. Bohemian Grove meetings. All of the people on Wall Street (80% of which are prognathic conservatives). On and on and on.

    Yes, there are some liberals in the top 5%. My thought has always been that 90 % - 97% are more liberal than not, but 97%-100% are probably 90% conservative. Especially if you are in the financial sector.