Economic Anxiety and the Limits of Data Journalism

By James Kwak

[Updated: see bottom of post.]

There is an ongoing battle among the liberal intelligentsia over “economic anxiety.” The basic question is whether economic factors—loss of manufacturing jobs, decline in living standards, increase in insecurity—are a valid explanation for the rise of Trump. To simplify, one side claims that economic anxiety is one reason, along with racism (and sexism, and anti-Semitism, and …), for Trump’s popularity; the other side claims that the economic argument is wrong, and the Trump phenomenon is all about racism (and sexism, and anti-Semitism, and …).

This debate has reached its cultural apogee with the genre of the economic anxiety tweet, which features a racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, or otherwise reprehensible Trump supporter, accompanied by a sarcastic comment about the supporter’s “economic anxiety.” Here are some recent examples (screenshots because WordPress doesn’t seem to display the second-level embedded tweet properly):

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Why this particular debate has become so bitter has been lost to history. Probably the economic anxiety deniers think that explaining Trump in (partially) economic terms amounts to excusing or ignoring racism, while the economic anxiety believers think that the racism-only story ignores the erosion of the middle class over the past thirty years. This is why—since we’re all well-meaning liberals here—when not confined to 140 characters, the deniers take pains to say that we should help poor people, while the believers take equal pains to say that racism is bad.

The people thinking of the clever economic anxiety tweets are just doing it to annoy the other side; they know that one anecdote, or several dozen, doesn’t prove anything. But periodically there are attempts to disprove the economic anxiety hypothesis—with data! Dylan Matthews of Vox is the latest to take up the challenge, with a long, heavily documented, and very heated argument that the Trump phenomenon is about race, not economics. But it fails, for a simple reason: You just can’t prove what he wants to prove with the data we’ve got.

Matthews’s editor, unfortunately for him, gave his article this title:

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 8.56.04 PM.png

It’s unfortunate because the article’s 2,000 words don’t contain a single quote by an actual Trump voter. (By contrast, two of the three articles he starts off by criticizing do quote Trump supporters.) At one point, Matthews placed a link on the suggestive text, “the statements of Trump supporters themselves”—but that link only goes to a tweet by Vox executive editor Matt Yglesias, which quotes exactly one person interviewed in a New York Times article:

But that’s not the problem. This is Vox, the home of data journalism, and I actually beleive in their mission, for the most part: We should try to answer questions using data, not anecdote. The way to “listen to what they’re actually saying,” according to Vox, is to look at the data. The problem, as I’ll explain in perhaps excruciating length, is that the data aren’t very good.

“There is absolutely no evidence that Trump’s supporters, either in the primary or the general election, are disproportionately poor or working class,” Matthews launches in. His first source is none other than Nate Silver, who found that Trump voters “had a median household income of $72,000, a fair bit higher than the $62,000 median household income for non-Hispanic whites in America.” But Silver’s analysis doesn’t support the point that Matthews wants to make. Trump voters made more than the median family because Republican primary voters make more than the median family. Cruz voters’ median income was $73,000, while the figure for Kasich voters was $91,000. The population from which Trump voters were drawn was . . . Republican primary voters! So if Trump drew his support disproportionately from poor as opposed to rich Republicans, you would expect his voters’ median income to be lower than that of the median Republican primary voter—which is exactly what happened. Now, the effect is relatively small—Cruz voters were only slightly richer than Trump voters—so this is not strong evidence for the economic anxiety thesis. But nor is it good evidence against that thesis, especially because of the averaging problem, which I’ll come back to in a bit.

Matthews’s second source is a “major study” by Jonathan Rothwell of Gallup. I’m not sure what makes it major, except perhaps that Rothwell had a lot of data. Here’s how Matthews describes Rothwell’s findings:

Trump support was correlated with higher, not lower, income, both among the population as a whole and among white people. Trump supporters were less likely to be unemployed or to have dropped out of the labor force. Areas with more manufacturing, or higher exposure to imports from China, were less likely to think favorably of Trump.

That sounds convincing—until you actually read Rothwell’s paper, which says this:

Higher household income predicts a greater likelihood of Trump support overall and among whites, though not among white non-Hispanic Republicans. In other words, compared to all non-supporters or even other whites, Trump supporters earn more than non-supporters, conditional on these factors, but this is partly because Republicans, in general, earn higher incomes, and the difference is no longer significant when restricted to this group. …

On the other hand, workers in blue collar occupations (defined as production, construction, installation, maintenance, and repair, or transportation) are far more likely to support Trump, as are those with less education. … Since blue collar and less educated workers have faced greater economic distress in recent years, this provides some evidence that economic hardship and lower-socio- economic status boost Trump’s popularity.

In short, Rothwell provides evidence for both sides, and Matthews only tells half the story—this time. Actually, Matthews’s original writeup of the paper cited both sets of findings, because then he wasn’t trying to destroy the economic anxiety theory.

The other problem with the Rothwell paper, which I discuss at length here, is multicollinearity. It is true that Rothwell found that income was a positive and significant predictor of Trump support, at least in the full sample. But his “controls” included employment status, “works in blue collar occupation,” union member, highest degree, share of college graduates in the region, and median income in the region, all of which are correlated with household income. For example, if blue-collar workers make less money and are more likely to support Trump, that effect could be attached to the blue-collar variable (which it was) and not to the income variable (which it wasn’t). Multicollinearity doesn’t bias your results, but it makes them much more fragile.

The general problem with arguments of the form Trump-supporters-are-actually-rich is this: compared to what? If you want to answer the question of how well Trump is doing with working-class voters, you need a baseline. You can’t expect him to poll evenly with Clinton among any group of poor people: as Matthews acknowledges, “Lower-income whites are always likelier to support Democrats than other whites.” So saying that Trump supporters are richer than Clinton supporters, or that some group of poor people favors Clinton, doesn’t prove much. And as we’ve seen, Trump voters are not rich compared to other Republican primary voters.

The most obvious baseline, although it has its problems, is Mitt Romney’s vote shares in 2012. According to exit polls of the actual election, Romney lost to Obama by about 2 percentage points overall (he actually lost by more than 3 points). Among families making less than $50,000, however, Romney lost by 22 points, so in that group he under-performed his overall average by 20 points.

The first recent Clinton-Trump poll that I could find with crosstabs was by Morning Consult from last week. In that poll, Trump loses to Clinton by 4 points (see Table v16g5) in a two-way race (for comparability with 2012). Among households making less than $50,000, he loses by 7 points. So Trump does 3 points worse among poor families than he does overall, while Romney did 20 points worse.

17 percentage points are a big difference. (I think this is what journalists call burying the lede.)

It’s about as strong proof that Trump’s supporters are “disproportionately poor” as you could find. Also note that if Clinton is beating Trump by only 7 points among poor people, including African-Americans and Latinos, she could very well be losing among poor whites.

Eager to get to the primaries, where his data are more interesting, Matthews presents his theory of the general election:

The story is pretty simple: What’s driving support for Trump is that he is the Republican nominee, a little fewer than half of voters always vote for Republicans, and Trump is getting most of those voters.

But we can actually learn more from the data than this. Sure, Romney and Trump each get 40-something percent of the vote. But there’s a big difference in the composition of that 40-something percent. Compared to Romney, Trump does much better among poor people and much worse among families making more than $50,000.

That seems like pretty strong evidence for the economic anxiety hypothesis. But I wouldn’t get too excited about that, either.

The deeper flaw with all of this entrail- crosstab-reading is what I referred to earlier as the averaging problem. Donald Trump is going to get tens of millions of votes on November 8. Some of those voters will be racists. Some will be poor people concerned about their economic future. Some will be poor racists concerned about their economic future. When we look at aggregate statistics about those voters, we can get a sense for the average preferences of Trump voters, but that average mixes together a wide range of motivations.

I don’t mean to throw up my hands like a statistical nihilist and say we have to go back to interviewing people on the street. There are plenty of problems that statistics can solve reasonably well. Indeed, if we could go back in time four years and substitute this year’s Donald Trump for that year’s Mitt Romney, and run Trump against the 2012 Barack Obama, we could learn a lot about the differences between Romney supporters and Trump supporters.

But the problem with presidential elections is the same one that exists in macroeconomics: lots of things change over the same timeframe. As I said above, Trump is doing 17 points better among low-income families than you would expect based solely on Romney’s performance four years ago. On its face, that seems like strong evidence for the economic anxiety believers. But remember, Romney was a patrician who made his fortune in private equity, whom the Obama campaign successfully demonized as a ruthless job-killer, and a Mormon to boot. Almost any Republican would run better among the poor than Romney. And Obama was a child of a single mother who became a community organizer, while Clinton is the epitome of the moneyed Democratic establishment. How much of that 17 points is due to the fact that Clinton isn’t Obama, and that any generic Republican isn’t Romney? We just don’t know.

I think I could conclude here, but I want to talk about the primaries for a moment, because they illustrate another problem with this whole endeavor.

Matthews’s conclusion about the primaries (I’ll skip the sources for now, but he draws heavily on Lee Drutman and others) is this:

There is a segment of the Republican Party that is opposed to racial equality. It has increased in numbers in reaction to the election of a black president. The result was that an anti–racial equality candidate won the Republican nomination.

I’m skipping the sources because I see no reason to argue with this. Trump was the most overtly racist of the Republican candidates, and a major reason for his success was the rise in racist sentiment among the party base. This is true, and it’s bad, and it’s worrying.

But that isn’t evidence against the economic anxiety theory. It’s eminently plausible that economic dislocation makes people more receptive to racism. In fact, that’s part of the conventional historical narrative about the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, although I’m sure there are alternate theories. (It’s been more than twenty years since I studied this in graduate school, so I looked it up, and the Encyclopædia Britannica agrees.) And since the same group of people—lower-income, less-educated whites—is correlated with both poor economic outcomes and racist sentiments, it’s pretty near impossible to say from poll data whether Trump support is being driven by one and not the other.

Saying Trump is riding a wave of racism, as Matthews does, is all we need to know from an immediate practical perspective: we know we have to stop him. But it doesn’t answer the question of why racism is so popular. Racism isn’t a virus that falls out of the sky. It’s the product of historical contexts. I can’t prove that today’s heightened racism results from the Great Recession, although it seems perfectly plausible to me. But by the same token, saying “It’s racism!” doesn’t preclude the role of economic factors in making that racism attractive.

Matthews concludes his article with a moralizing critique of journalists who don’t want to call poor people racists and therefore cling to their economic anxiety narrative in the face of the evidence. Well. I think I’ve shown pretty convincingly that, insofar as the poll data say anything, they don’t say what Matthews thinks they say. (Seventeen percentage points!) But I’m not going to claim that this is incontrovertible proof of the economic anxiety hypothesis.

I think the lesson of all of this is that data journalism is a great idea, but it only works when the data are good enough, and when the journalist knows the limits of the data. But what I really want you to take away is this: Those economic anxiety tweets? It’s just a bad joke.

Update: Initially I estimated the $0–50K vote shares in 2012 by combining the $0–30K and $30–50K categories. Later I noticed that the exit polls also show the $0-50K totals. Because of rounding error, I calculated that Romney lost by 21 points, when in fact he lost by 22. So Trump’s over-performance in the $0–50K segment, relative to Romney, is actually 17 points, not 16.

20 responses to “Economic Anxiety and the Limits of Data Journalism

  1. Perhaps it’s because, if elected, Trump would be the most litigious president to ever occupy the White House. They said he has over 400 lawyers, so if the chatter is all about the economic anxiety over Trump, maybe that’s where the anxiety is derived from.

  2. One more factor comes to mind. All of these people are discussing economic results, not how people feel about their outcomes. We don’t even know from anything I’ve seen whether poor people, middle-class people (they still exist), or rich people watch more news or what their sources are. Nor do we know what impact all this has on anyone’s thinking. I have spent much of my life in poverty, and my (anecdotal) observation is that my poor family and friends spend much less time thinking about economic issues than the middle-class people I worked with for several years. Thus, even if one can determine the economic situations of voter groups, the anxieties they feel may not correspond to their situations. Perhaps people become wealthy and stay that way by focusing more on money than others. That would account for wealthier Republicans not voting for Trump. They know more about economics than than others, and they fear his rash approach.

  3. Well, the problem with your argument is that folks like Yglesias and Matthews are making more of a prima facie case for the racism argument, that racism and xenophobic are the predominant factors given the indisputable truths, not that there is convincing proof beyond all doubt by looking at the data. If the data is a wash, as you claim, then we have to look at what are indisputable truths. It is indisputable that Trump began his campaign with a racist claim (about mexicans), which propelled him to first place in the polls, and it is indisputable that he kept up his racist rhetoric as the central mainstay of his campaign throughout, which also allowed him to keep his top place at the polls. That is what separated him from SIXTEEN other candidates. And then there is plenty of data (not beyond reasonable doubt data of course but when do you ever get those) that supports the notion that his supporters are motivated disproportionately by xenophobic and racist sentiments.

    The indisputable truths make it very clear that the burden is on the economic anxiety proselytizers to prove otherwise.

  4. I’m a prospective Trump voter. A lifelong Republican I gave my first substantial dollar contribution to Bernie Sanders. Trump and Bernie, neither owned by Wall Street. I can add that I have been much influenced by websites such as Naked Capitalism and related sources.

  5. Bruce E. Woych

    Cognitive dissonance, moral panic, fear mongering, and moral entrepreneurs, spread consensus among a large number of people that some evil threatens the well-being of society.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_entrepreneur “Rule creators generally express the conviction that some kind of threatening social evil exists that must be combated.”
    [and] “Social problems are born largely from socially constructed campaigns by moral entrepreneurs.”
    Media https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_panic plays a role in “…the dissemination of moral indignation…” and righteous indignation can become ritualized in the process, while media revenue feeds on the lead with new ‘data’ sound bytes that appear objective and even scientific management over journalistic integrity and objectivity. Perhaps the question of anxiety is more political than economic after all is labeled, said and data evaluated. And perhaps political anxiety is well placed in the process that is constructed by elite fraternities of insiders and a mass
    crisis of representation at large.

  6. The term “economic anxiety” is itself part of the problem. It implies some sort of a semi-neurotic emotion based on irrational fears.

    It is a historical fact that the lower half of households in the US has been losing ground economically for decades, not only in comparison to the 1%, but in absolute terms. If Clinton supporters think that this is not a rational reason to vote against the ruling elite and the policies they have been pursuing then it is they who are insane.

  7. Bruce E. Woych

    After a more meticulous reading I can not separate sampling bias, conformation bias and fallacies of composition from any of this “data” analysis. This is specific opinion dressed up to appear as generalizations of distinction. Do numbers speak louder than words in reality? Let’s see why “anecdotal” material evidence fails:
    ” A common way anecdotal evidence becomes unscientific is through fallacious reasoning such as the Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, the human tendency to assume that if one event happens after another, then the first must be the cause of the second. Another fallacy involves inductive reasoning. For instance, if an anecdote illustrates a desired conclusion rather than a logical conclusion, it is considered a faulty or hasty generalization https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence).”
    All of the presuppositions employed in the “hypothesis” of the dispute fall into all of these categories so perhaps what we have is white trash anecdotal “data” on parade.

    Consider the logic of the correlates. If racism and economic instability are linked to accepting an increase of racial tension and selective identities based upon economic anxiety, then it must also follow that when the economy is good and everyone is working, than racial tension declines in kind. This is historically absurd. Donald Trump’s base are alienated Republicans that have been given a common voice that Trump recites.
    It is Republican in nature, not psychologically induced economic regression.
    Now let’s look at some real ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE without a statistical window dressing with its manikin conclusions in tow.
    Consider this list carefully. Is there any one of these that does not fit Donald Trump?
    Very seriously:

    Public humiliation of others (high propensity of having temper tantrums or ridiculing work performance)
    Malicious spreading of lies (intentionally deceitful)
    Remorseless or devoid of guilt
    Frequently lies to push his/her point
    Rapidly shifts between emotions – used to manipulate people or cause high anxiety
    Intentionally isolates persons from organizational resources
    Quick to blame others for mistakes or for incomplete work even though he/she is guilty
    Encourages co-workers to torment, alienate, harass and/or humiliate other peers
    Takes credit for other people’s accomplishments
    Steals and/or sabotages other persons’ works
    Refuses to take responsibility for misjudgements and/or errors
    Threatens any perceived enemy with job loss and/or discipline in order to taint employee file
    Sets unrealistic and unachievable job expectations to set employees up for failure
    Refuses or is reluctant to attend meetings with more than one person
    Refuses to provide adequate training and/or instructions to singled out victim
    Invades personal privacy of others
    Has multiple sexual encounters with junior and/or senior employees
    Develops new ideas without real follow through
    Very self-centered and extremely egotistical (often conversation revolves around them – great deal of self-importance)
    Often “borrows” money and/or other material objects without any intentions of giving it back
    Will do whatever it takes to close the deal (no regards for ethics or legality)

    ——————————————————————-

    So where does this list come from, you might be asking?

    Judge for yourself!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy_in_the_workplace

    ……………………..Psychopathy in the workplace ………………….
    So what we have is psychopathology in the Republican party that has been duped by a psychopathic algorithm in the form of a salesman.

  8. It’s interesting to see how much of the seventeen point difference includes people who didn’t vote at all in 2008 versus nonvoters. While I have certainly met outright racist voters for Obama, you would think that there would be a limit to how many there were.

  9. The limitation isn’t data, it’s the curiosity of the journalists who wield it. Whether that’s a result of confirmation bias or just people being incurious in general, I don’t know.

    Exhibit A for me is the Vox article showing Trump supporters as less likely to be anxious about their economic future and more likely to harbor racial resentment. Seemingly a case closed on the subject.

    But the 4 racial resentment questions struck me as ones that could also measure belief in “hard work.” That is, if you remove race from the question and simply ask if hard work pays off would you get the same, or similar, result?

    And under that reading of the data it makes perfect sense, to me, that a Trump supporter would score lower on economic anxiety and higher on racial resentment. An employed “hard worker” who sees “working hard” as virtuous, a low tolerance for excuse making and complaining on the job site, would score low on economic anxiety (after all, they’re currently employeed and they credit their hard work ethic), meanwhile they would bomb the racial resentment questions because they think no one deserving of a hand out.

    That theory opens up a whole new line of thinking: Is the thing Trump supporters are fearing most the erosion of hard work, hand outs for those least deserving (being in their minds those not working hardest)? It seems plausible to me based on the few Trump supporters I know, a list that includes people who lied about their income in order to NOT be on Medicaid under the ACA. Again, a window into the mind that values self-reliance and hard work above all, which leads to a negative perception about those in need of—and willing to take—welfare.

    Who knows if the above theory holds sway? But a curious mind shouldn’t stop at the first data to confirm their bias. The curious mind generates new theories, new explanations which drives refinement of the data, and we repeat again and again until we approach something approximating the truth. In the case of Trump supporters’ motivations we are a long way off.

  10. Part of the issue may also be with lurking variables. e.g. my recollection is that Trump voters tend to be richer, but they also tend to be concentrated in areas that are economically depressed with lower levels of intergenerational economic mobility. So if a person lives in an economically depressed area, but they have an income above the national average for people in their age group, what kind of weight is put on the near-environmental economic context?

    Additionally, I’m not really clear what this means: “Areas with more manufacturing, or higher exposure to imports from China.” Practically how is this determined? e.g. “higher exposure to imports from China” does this include port cities and shipping terminals? Does “manufacturing” take into account areas where manufacturing no longer exists as a consequence of trade and global competition, or is a “manufacturing area” defined only as an area where manufacturing is currently taking place?

  11. The exit polls you cite show that Romney got 38% of voters with 2011 family income under $50,000 and the Morning Consult poll you cite shows Trump with 40% of that same demographic in a head to head poll. In the same Morning Consult poll with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein also offered as options, Trump gets 38% of voters under $50,000. The gap between 2012 and 2016 is about the gap between Obama and Hillary, not Romney and Trump.

  12. bernard karpf

    I question the ‘racist’ data as well. I do not believe that its been documented well. The questions, themselves, might be too difficult to discern who is/who isn’t a racist.

    We can’t forget that in the prior 2 elections, the USA elected a black president. And Ohio went for Obama.

    And we can’t forget that Bush2 was extremely unpopular – and that was because of ‘economic’ considerations. Obama, was elected, no doubt, because he was seen as an outsider and not part of the etablishment that produced the 2008 calamity.

    And if, god forbid, Trump is elected, i think it will be the same thing. He will be elected because he is NOT seen as part of the establishment and attempting to alter the economic landscape.

    I don’t think the ‘given’ should be that people are, by and large, racist (although it might be the case there is a large group), but that economic insecurity is the driving factor behind this (and probably most elections). If there is security – then in all probability, a Sanders or a Trump would not be in the picture?

  13. I agree with the thrust of this, that being an outsider matters a great deal this year. While I’m a Green voter, I would have voted for Senator Sanders, who seemed to me the more rational outsider. I see it as shameful that the Democratic establishment was willing to control their primaries to support the insider, and I’m not voting for her. Most of the discussion I hear fits that framework of “Washington is corrupt and broken.”

  14. Ray LaPan-Love

    One thing is certain, the pseudo-left is doing an excellent job of ignoring the factor of illegal immigration. But, I suppose, that these pseudo-lefties have become weary from making false claims about the benefits of illegal immigration… and then being reminded by ‘actual-lefties’ of how dishonest such claims nearly always are. Like the claim for example of how ‘Americans won’t do’ certain jobs but without any mention of how the value of wages is discovered via a negotiation process, and… as if the laws of supply and demand no longer apply. These claims always based on the assumption that wages are somehow fixed, as ludicrous as such a claim might seem.

    Then too, there was the not-so-subtle effort to make illegal immigration a race issue, but again, the actual-lefties kept pointing out that not all illegal immigrants are of the same race, and that Hispanic is not a race. So, I suppose, the only solution remaining is to simply ignore the issue of illegal immigration by pretending to pay extra attention to ‘distraction data’. Then, sooner or later, the big jump in popularity that Trump gained from his initial stance on illegal immigration will be forgotten altogether, and the pseudo-left may once again enjoy the benefits of cheap labor without any guilt.

    Ironically though, here where I live in a rural part of Nevada, my neighbors are rich and poor but they nearly all support Trump and they all cite his position on illegal immigration as the main reason for their support. Oddly though, not much data to show that?

  15. If you lost your job and your local school is flooded with disruptive illegals bankrupting your town, are you suffering from economic anxiety or “racism”.

    All of this assumes that flooding the countries with NAMs doesn’t affect people’s quality of life. It assumes that an entire legal and cultural system based on disparate impact, which can’t possibly be fair in a world where genetic ability differs by race, won’t actually be unfair and have material affects on whites.

    Central to the leftist narrative is that racism is holding minorities down (it isn’t), that coercive anti-white government programs are necessary to fix this (they always fail, because they can’t solve the genetics problem), that anyone with common sense to see this is racist (science is racist), and that bringing in more net tax liabilities is good for the economy (it ain’t). Large swathes of the liberal program on immigration and race would have to objectively changed to be fair to white people, but it can’t because the narrative is based on a non-reality. So we are stuck with no solution other then calling people racist.

  16. It is economic anxiety, it is fear, it is anger, it is depression, it is loss, it is the void between classes, and yes it is partly racism. The void between classes is not just the poor. I’m a white male making over 70k yet that does not put me in the political class. The class with enough money to influence politics and policy. You can no longer measure poor by salary alone. If I lose my job tomorrow (a very real possibility), after losing all my savings and retirement (I mean all) in the Great Recession, I’m one paycheck away from broke. Possibly for the rest of my life.

    Sanders’ success with these issues has to be part of this discussion. Issues that Clinton cannot (due to her political history) or has not addressed with the same success as Trump or Sanders. If only we had a parallel universe where Sanders was the nominee. My intuition is Trump would be losing by huge margin.

    Screw the data and look at history. Fascism and fascist propaganda (based on emotions) did quite well after the Great Depression. Fascism and fascist style campaigning is now doing quite well after the Great Recession.

    The worrying part is those in power seem to have no sense of the danger. Instead of narrowing the void between the political haves and have nots, they widened the void after the Great Recession. Essentially this leaves us in a recession even if the Wall Street data says otherwise. Current data and metrics have yet to figure out how to make this comparison.

  17. “Multicollinearity doesn’t bias your results, but it makes them much more fragile.” No no no no no. Not even clear what “fragile” means here.
    Multicollinearity implies that estimates of how much each control variable contributes to outcomes become less precise. If one cares about predicting outcomes, rather than separating out effects of different controls, multicollinearity is less of an issue.

  18. Larry M Headlund

    ” And Obama was a child of a single mother who became a community organizer, while Clinton is the epitome of the moneyed Democratic establishment.”
    A single mother who got a Phd. and Obama was for half his youth cared for by his maternal grandparents, one a furniture store manager and the other a bank vice-president. Clinton’s father was a small business owner.

    Yet it seems Obama is some kind of working class hero and Clinton the epitome of the moneyed Democratic establishment. Even though her father was a Republican.

  19. Vox may have started out with the dream of being a “data journalism” website, but it has morphed into a pure identity politics website.

    Of course they see the election as being driven by racism.

    Even their film and television commentary is filtered through a lens that leaves racism and sexism as the only important aspects of art and society.

    Now… I happen to believe that racism and sexism are prevalent and important, but caricaturing them for clicks is not cool. And neither is propagating an incessant, mindless, knee-jerk, and often dangerous, form of the identity politics disease.

  20. Stick to the math, kids.

    There are many societies that do not have any history with the kind of prosperity that comes with PEACE.

    We now have a history in USA with how to steal all the prosperity of peace from the people who created it and give it to those taking it through brute force – psychological, moral, ethical, and baton-twirling…

    You know where you can stick your “ism”…..

    FACT – Grandma was a refugee from Belarus. Basically, her ancestral farm (in the hands of her family as a reward from saving Europe from the last epic savage invasion) was Ground Zero for a battle between the Germans and Russians. She worked in a factory in NJ manufacturing the wall sockets in your house that you plug your chargers into….I visited the place during an open house – not a single “race” in the factory other than European…go ask the owners why.

    Now, it was TOO EASY to steal everything promised to her after she “retired”….nope, cry “racist” all you want, it is NOT the truth of how the big plan is being played out.

    They want it all. Stop mentally masturbating for them.