Friday, November 04, 2016

People Steeped In Primitive Superstition, Ignorance, Fear And Bigotry Back Trump... By A Lot


No, they're not invited to Trump's "victory" party at the Hilton in NYC next week

In The Atlantic this week, best-selling urban studies author Richard Florida is best known for his concept of the creative class and its implications for urban regeneration, compared states where science and technology are leading economic development to states where science and technology are distrusted by a backward, brain-washed (conservative) population. Top of the food-chain: Massachusetts, Colorado, Maryland, California and Washington. Bottom of the barrel: Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, West Virginia. And the divide between the leading states and lagging states is immense when ranked "on dozens of indicators spanning five broad categories: research and development, entrepreneurship and risk capital, human capital, the scientific and technological workforce, and the concentration and dynamism of high-tech industries."

Florida asserts that there is "a close association between a state’s technology and scientific capability and a state’s economic success and asks "what kinds of states do better in science and technology?" He uses a new study, the State Technology and Science Index> (STSI) from the Milken Institute for his conclusions and measurements. "There are," he wrote, "certain basic characteristics that distinguish more technologically and scientifically innovative states from those that are less so. To get at this, my colleague Charlotta Mellander ran a basic correlation analysis between the Milken Institute’s STSI measure and key economic, demographic and political characteristics of the 50 U.S. states."
Economists have long argued that science and technology are generators of wealth. So it’s not surprising to see that states with higher scores on the STSI are also wealthier. The STSI is positively associated with wages (0.77), income (0.61), and economic output per capita (.49).

More educated states also do better on science and technology. There is an even closer connection between the STSI and the share of adults who are college grads (.84).

More innovative states are not only more affluent and educated, they are healthier and fitter as well. The STSI is positively associated with both overall well-being (.48) and the share of the population that engages in regular exercise (.59). That said, these same states are also more expensive to live in; the STSI is higher in states with more expensive housing (with a correlation of .49).

The kind of work people do factors in as well. The STSI is highly correlated with the share of the workforce who make up knowledge, professional, and creative workers (.80), and negatively associated with the share that are members of the blue-collar working class (-.59).

The reality is that some kinds of creative and innovative work are more highly connected to the science and technology capabilities of states than others. It’s not surprising to see that states with greater concentrations of computer scientists and mathematicians are more innovative (with a correlation of .83), as these are the kinds of occupations required to staff science and technology organizations. The STSI is also closely associated with the share of business and finance occupations (.80) and engineering and architecture occupations (.57).

What is perhaps more surprising is the close connection between the arts and the scientific and technological capabilities of states. Indeed, the STSI is more closely associated with the share of workers in arts, culture and entertainment occupations (.53) than it is with the share of the workforce that is comprised of scientists (.41).

Many states have invested in educational and medical institutions, so-called “eds and meds,” as a way to build up their high-tech capabilities and spur economic development. But, we find no statistical association whatsoever between the STSI and the share of workers in eds and meds occupations.

Another thing that matters is openness to diversity. I’ve long argued that innovation turns on tolerance and diversity. Scientists and technologists come from all backgrounds and ways of life. Many are immigrants. Openness to diversity is a feature that enables places to attract top scientific and technical talent across the aboard. The STSI is positively associated with both the share of the population that is foreign-born (.45) and the share that identify as LGBT (.40).

Urbanization plays a role too. Urbanists have long argued that innovation requires density. More urbanized states are also more innovative. The STSI is positively associated with the share of a state’s population that lives in urban areas (.55) and negatively associated with the share that drives alone to work, a proxy measure for sprawl (-.30). This stands in contrast to the older notion that innovation and high-tech industries grow up in suburban office parks and nerdistans like those of California’s Silicon Valley or in the suburbs along Route 128 outside Boston. Indeed, my own research has found high-tech startups coming back in large numbers to urban centers in order to attract talent.

Innovation at the state level also reflects America’s long running political and cultural divides. Liberal, blue states are more innovative than conservative, red ones. The STSI is positively associated with the share of voters who voted for Obama (.48) and who currently favor Hillary Clinton (.56). They’re negatively associated with the share of voters who voted for Romney (-.48) and favor Trump (-.64).

The sociologist Max Weber long ago argued that the growth and development of Western nations was tied to their “Protestant work ethic.” But today religiosity appears to be a fetter on innovation. The correlation between the STSI and religiosity, measured as the percent of the population who say they are “very religious,” is negative (-.40).

More innovative states are also more highly taxed states, with the STSI being positively correlated with state income taxes per capita (.45). Building a state knowledge economy which requires public funding for universities and research institutes. Spending for urban infrastructure is another expensive investment, but one that ultimately pays off in the form of greater scientific and technological capability as well as higher wages and incomes.

Ultimately, the science and technology capabilities of states not only reflect, but underpin America’s underlying economic, political, and cultural divides. Our most technologically advanced states are bluer, denser, more expensive, more diverse and richer, while those that lag in science and technology are redder, more working class, and falling further behind in the knowledge economy.
Meet the typical Trump supporter in the typical Trump area. Science, technology and critical thinking aren't big in the lives of these simple folks.

So let's look again at the 5 highest ranking states and the 5 lowest ranking states on the state technology and science index and see where they fall in terms of today's presidential polling averages.
1- Massachusetts (83.66)
Hillary 59.7%
Trumpy-the-Clown 28.7%
2- Colorado (80.40)
Hillary 43.3
Trumpy-the-Clown 41.3
3- Maryland (80.30)
Hillary 58.3%
Trumpy-the-Clown 25.7%
4- California (75.94)
Hillary 54.3%
Trumpy-the-Clown 32.0%
5- Washington (71.83)
Hillary 48.8%
Trumpy-the-Clown 35.3%
46- Mississippi (29.84)
Hillary 39%
Trumpy-the-Clown 52%
47- Louisiana (31.40)
Hillary 34.7%
Trumpy-the-Clown 51.0%
48- Kentucky (30.53)
Hillary 37%
Trumpy-the-Clown 54%
49- Arkansas (27.95)
Hillary 31.0%
Trumpy-the-Clown 54.7%
50- West Virginia (25.83)
Hillary 31%
Trumpy-the-Clown 49%
It would be interesting to note smaller geographic areas as well. For example, Texas ranks towards the middle of the pack-- the 20th best score (58.65) and Trump leads Clinton statewide, 47.3% to 39.7%. However, when you look at the counties in Texas with high scores in the factors ranked by the study-- human capital investment, risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure, research and development inputs, technology concentration and dynamism and technology and science workforce-- you find a very different picture. In Travis County (Austin), Hillary is leading Trump by a staggering 31 points. In Dallas County, she's up by 17%. In Bexar County (San Antonio) she's up by 7 points and in Harris County, she's up by 3 points. Look at a really backward, primitive Texas county, where the Mississippi video above could easily have been made, and you find a very different story. Look at the backward Texas counties, hopeless dumps of human misery, where people worry that Ted Cruz isn't right-wing enough and where there is no education, no hygiene and no hope-- Trump territory. The ten Texas KKK counties that God cursed and which have been left behind by the rest of humanity to rot with its guns and Bronze Age superstitions:
King- Trump +90
Roberts- Trump +84
Sterling- Trump +75
Oldham- Trump +78
Glasscock- Trump +81
Hansford- Trump +77
Ochiltree- Trump +81
Motley- Trump +78
Borden- Trump +78
Armstrong- Trump +75
And even in an advanced state where the STSI is high and the economy is buzzing, you run across backward places, almost as primitive as the Texas counties or Mississippi. Take California-- very science and technology-oriented, very prosperous and well-educated, very blue... then look at the inland, inbred counties time left behind... even in the Golden State:
Modoc- Trump +36
Lassen- Trump +36
Shasta- Trump +24
Tehama- Trump +22
Glenn- Trump +19

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At 7:01 PM, Anonymous wjbill said...

Thanks for sharing the Florida data and other info. To be fair ..... the poor guy in the video again? How about one with the wealthy enablers or the UMC who just cant get over the "others" being here.

At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the hygiene's not so bad in backwards areas of Texas, unless you're talking about mental hygiene. They sell both types of deodorant at the convenience stores, both roll-on and spray. The mental hygiene in backwards Texas areas, however, is as rancid and rotten as you might imagine at its worst. It's not universal there though, just high 70-80%. But it's a stinker alright.

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Chris Newfield said...

these correlations are real, but two things about this analysis have abetted the backlash that makes "Trumpy-the-clown" not so funny: (1) Florida porting Robert Reich's Work of Nations to deskill every blue-collar vocation, and make then into uncreative lumpen; (2) the patronizing tone that makes non-college people hate we college types. we need a completely different way of talking about who does and doesn't contribute to the economy.


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