Low information voters
Thursday, January 17th, 2013
Issue 03, Volume 17.
The last election proved to me that there are many citizens who don’t follow current issues facing our country: the low information voter. Are you one? You may be a low information voter if:
• You think the "Bush tax cuts" caused the economic collapse in 2008
• You think "tax cuts for the rich" caused the $16 trillion deficit
• You think Obamacare will reduce premiums and is free
• You think massive spending will reduce the deficit
• You think food stamps create jobs
• You think global warming is the greatest threat to our country
• You think equal outcomes is the same as equal opportunity
• You think massive regulation creates jobs
• You think passing laws restricting guns will reduce crime
• You think the "fiscal cliff" deal just passed means only the "rich" got their taxes raised
• You are a progressive because it is "cool" to do so without knowing the full history of progressive socialism
• You brag that the unemployment rate is going down without knowing the only reason it is falling is that millions of jobseekers gave up looking for jobs
• You get your news from Jon Stewart and Entertainment tonight
• You think the Constitution isn’t applicable anymore because it was written a long time ago
• You think you are poor because someone else is rich
• You think ATM’s and other electronic kiosks are the reason unemployment is so high
• You know who Snookie is but don’t know who your representative is
• You voted for Obama because he is "hip"
Comment #1 | Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 5:37 pm
Of all your above points Lee, the only one that applies to me is the one about placing restrictions on certain types of guns and magazines, and who may own them. It's good to see that you feel because of this I "may" be a low information voter, not that I am a low information voter.
I have a difficult time listening to Rush or Fox News or right wing pundits. But I've been listening to them more since the election to get their reasoning on the last presidential election. And that is where I've heard the term, "low information voter." (One talk show host had a Fruedian slip and said, "low income voters," but quickly corrected himself.)
So I did an internet search to find the origination of that term. It turns out one of my professors at UCSD, Samuel Popkin, coined that term in a book he wrote in 1991. He used it to describe those who vote without knowing much about the issue or candidate and the world in which they live. Thomas Frank wrote a book titled, "What's the Trouble With Kansas" in 2005, that looked at why so many Americans vote against their economic and social interests.
My point is that people of both political parties vote for a candidate for a variety of reasons. And there certainly are low information voters in both parties. (How many people voted for Mitt Romney only because Barack Obama is a black man.) But to me, resurrecting this term, "low information voters", is nothing more than sour grapes.
I am what society calls well educated, and I follow politics passionately because of it's impact on economics as well as social issues. I also read and listen to a wide range of sources. The country has elected it's president. He will be there for the next 4 years. We have problems of great consequence that will only be solved by us coming together. We need to move on.
Comment #2 | Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm
The "low information voters" are the ones who couldn't see the handwriting on the wall that Obama was going to easily win the election. Like Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Dick Morris, Charles Krauthammer, etc. They drank their own koolaid and were humiliated.
Faux News viewers should question the information they get, as it's often wrong - in very significant ways. They may be "high information voters", but their information did not reflect reality. For instance, all the topics you mention above.
Comment #3 | Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 12:25 am
"Obama's fools and Stalin's fools share the same drink of illusion."
Even the Russians have figured it out....................
Comment #4 | Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm
Here is what I call a rant from ANOTHER IDIOT VOTER!
You might be another ARROGANT, UNEDUCATED, IGNORANT< Idiot Voter if:
1) You write stupid and baseless rants in the Village News.
2) Your rant consists only of hearsay and opinion, with little to no facts to back up your argument.
3) You don't pay your fair share of taxes because you were born with the entitlement spoon in your mouth. (Corporate tax breaks don't mean corporate welfare to you because you are special.)
4) You voted Republican. But if they held a gun to your head... you would have secretly voted for Obama- only because Hilary Clinton was running against him. And God forbid- no macho white dude wanted a woman to win the presidency!
5) You don't understand the "balancing the budget" should be both an increase in revenues, as well as cuts in frivolous spending.
6) And you are totally ignorant if you think that "the Bush Tax Cuts" are not mostly benefitting the wealthy. AKA- corporate welfare to fatcats- who don't think they should pay a proportionate/percentage of taxes, according to their incomes.
7) Nobody really believes that the "Bush Tax Cuts" are the reason for the collapse of the economy. The collapse of the economy is from
a) corporations sending jobs overseas because they can "outsource" US wages for pennies on the dollar. And still get huge tax incentives/breaks from Uncle Sam.
b) Yes, smaller businesses don't have an incentive to hire American workers. Neither do big businesses, or large corporations for that matter.
c) Smaller businesses don't really use American workers. How many mom and pop shops do you know that actually hire someone outside their family anyway?
d) So the lovely tax burden is still being placed upon the self employed individuals, small businesses, and the working poor.
After all, what is the function of poverty in society- all about anyway? Making the poorest citizens pay for all or most of society consumes/uses. Then to blame those "welfare suckers" for the collapse of the economy.
8) Health and Human Services only account for 4% of the state's budget wiseguy. Get a clue before you embarass yourself publicly authoring yet another "Village Idiot" rant.
9) Nobody thinks the "fiscal cliff" had anything to do with the rich getting their taxes raised.
10) Nobody thinks they are poor just because they have rich neighbors. They know they are poor.
11) You think that "equal opportunity" means socialism.
12) Your definition of "equal opportunity" means they should pay more in taxes in proportion to their incomes than you do.
13) Your argument blasts newcasts for reporting info about the economy. FYI-WIKIPEDIA IS NOT AN ACADEMiC/CREDIBLE SOURCE. Especially if you want to site accurate, verifiable, unabridged information- for your "low information voter" article.
14) You might be another "idiot voter" if refuse to believe that healthcare is only a "privilege", and not a basic human right.
15) You are actually believing you will be financially harmed by the "Obamacare."
16) You know exactly who Snookie is, and you don't know who your reps are/have never written them a letter to bitch either.
17) You think you are "the high information voter" because you read wikipedia and like to coin their ignorant phrases.
Comment #5 | Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm
In my opinion a low information voter is someone who only receives their information from a single source. People such as Jon Monday who are so critical to harass Fox news when they only watch MSNBC. Instead why don't they take the acquired knowledge they get from one source and compare it to another like Redneck Bill appears to have done. All major news sources rely on their fallacies and over-hyped issues to get you to listen and accept without reaching that conclusion logically. Major news sources are running a business that involves making money and are not solely there to inform you with fair accurate information because doing so would run their company into the ground. They have to use exaggerations and issue build-up to keep viewers coming back. News sources success is based of off recieveing information and delivering it you in an "entertaining" way.
A friend of mine only watches Fox News and allows that network to make the decisions for him. Even worse is because of this he thinks he is a major political activist and blindly debates and stands by these issues, most of which are wildly inaccurate. And this occurs on both sides of the parties and is the entire problem with the party system. If you belong to the Democratic party then most of you agree with whatever the majority of the party agrees with without ever comparing and questioning that information. Republicans think Fox News is a representation of Conservative Republicans and so whatever they say must be right. In my opinion mostly everyone is a low information voter because they don't acquire information and then allow their own mental processing to reach a conclusion, instead they allow these major news sources to tell them what to decide. Truly informed voters will rely on smaller internet or local news sources who tend to supply you with the information and allow you to make the moral decision. Most stick to a single source because most people are offended by someone or something presenting an opinion that opposes yours even if that opinion may be more accurate and logical then yours. An informed voter would be open-minded to all viewpoints of a political issue and then once a fair representation of that information has been acquired, reach their own indepedent decision
Comment Continued : The comment above was written from the same location.
Comment #6 | Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 at 11:25 am
Not that it will do any good, or make any difference, but to answer part of JM's assumptions:
When I wake up, I scan the TV news between CNN, MSNBC, CNBC (for what's happening in the markets), Faux News (especially if something political is happening, as I want to see how they report it), the Weather Channel, and occasionally, CNN Headline News.
Then, throughout the day while I'm working on my computer, I scan Google News Top Stories and Google News Financials - occasionally going into whatever story that grabs my attention regardless of source (Faux News, Washington Times, NYT, Wash Post, LA Times, CBS, NBC, ABC, etc.)
In the evening my wife and I watch Rachel Maddow (she's great at providing context for a developing story - watch it for a week before complaining about her), NBC Network news, and CBS Network News. Occasionally we also watch the PBS News Hour (for in-depth serious coverage of an important story). I especially like the Brooks/Shields discussions on Fridays.
If I decide to write a letter or make a comment, I'll do my own research on sites such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, World Health Organization, raw polling data. I also double check quotes and stats, before I spout off about something.
I can find fault with all news sources, but make up my own mind about what is fact, based on research, experience, and allowing full consideration of other points of view.
That I happen to agree with MSNBC's positions much more often that Faux News is not a surprise, as a majority of Americans also do. Faux News represents a smaller and smaller percentage of our society. They have very strong viewership in the fastest shrinking demographic of the population (uneducated older white males).
While MSNBC and other liberal leaning outlets (no, I don't mean CNN, CBS, ABC, or NBC) are more in line with the fastest growing demographic of the population (minorities, women, youth).
The three major networks and CNN are consistently center-right, trying to strike a balance between the far right and the center, which is a false equivalent.
For instance, the networks will present reports on climate change as if climate scientists are equally divided between it being a hoax and that something urgently needs to be done. It's a false equivalency, that keeps the public in ignorance. They do it, I suspect, so as not to offend their advertisers, the energy companies who spew out the greenhouse gases, and are the most profitable sector of the economy. The fact is that 95%+ of real climate scientists had no doubt about the human impact and urgent need to do something. Even the very credible climate scientist Richard Muller, who the Koch brothers hired to study Climate Change came around after he analyzed all the data available from all sources. Early on he found some serious errors in some reports, which initially led him to be skeptical (which was why he was funded by the Koch brothers)
Here's a link to Business Insider (no liberal rag) that starts off with: "Everyone's Talking About The Koch Brothers-Funded Study That Proves Climate Change Is Real"
The taxpayers will wind up having to pay for the results of the energy company's greed, carelessness, and constant polluting of our environment. That Faux News thinks that fine, and MSNBC thinks that's a crime against the American people should say a lot, to independent thinkers.
Comment #7 | Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm
Of course, the most telling point about Faux News vs. all other news outlets, is how wrong they were about the election outcome. Who were the "low information voters", when considering what is REALITY?
Comment #8 | Sunday, Jan 27, 2013 at 11:05 am
You need to get over FOX News Jon, you really, really do. We all get a laugh out of MSNBC (especially Ms. Madcow) You need to lighten up and do the same, after all your man won. Sit back and enjoy the chaos. (-:
Comment #9 | Sunday, Jan 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm
You're right - thanks...
Comment #10 | Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 9:25 am
Have a blessed week Jon.
Comment #11 | Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm
Always in good hands... Can't be anything but thankful.
Huston Smith, an old friend of mine (as in 93+), says he wants his final words to be those of St. John of Chrysostom:
"Thanks, thanks for everything. Praise, Praise for it all"
Works for me.
Comment #12 | Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 8:29 pm
Comment #13 | Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 12:54 pm
Now that we're on to a more religious topic, I'll just add this. Those last words from St. John of Chrysostom came as he was dying from a forced march into exile, by the order of the wife of the Byzantine emperor Arcadius for complaining about the waste and opulence of the rulers and the clergy.
"Thanks, thanks for everything. Praise, praise for it all"
An example of what I've come to about God's grace. It's not the removal of unpleasant circumstances, but the peace of mind in the midst of them.
Comment #14 | Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 5:38 pm
Here are some of the real results of Taxifornia voters:
Now our retroactive (to 1/1/2012) “millionaires’ tax” rate is 13.3 percent – including capital gains. Increased taxes now start at $250K. CA now has by far the nation’s highest state income tax rate. We are 21percent higher than the 2nd highest state (Hawaii), 34 percent higher than the 3rd highest state (Oregon), and a heck of a lot higher than all the rest – including 7 states with zero state income tax. CA is so bad, we also have the 2nd highest state income tax bracket. AND the 3rd. Plus the 5th and 7th.
http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfoundation.org/files/docs/ff2012.pdf Tables #11 & 13
CA has the highest state sales tax rate in the nation. 7.5 percent (does not include local sales taxes).
CA has now instituted the highest “cap and trade” tax in the nation – indeed, the ONLY such U.S. tax. One study estimates the annual cost at $3,857 per household by 2020. Even proponents concede that it will have zero impact on global warming.
CA corporate income tax rate (8.84 percent) is the highest west of the Mississippi (our economic competitors) except for Alaska.
What do all those taxes buy us???????
CA has the 3rd highest state unemployment rate. (December, 2012) – 9.8 percent. National unemployment rate 7.8 percent. National unemployment rate not including CA is only 7.5 percent, making the CA unemployment rate 30.2 percent higher than the average of the other 49 states.
Using the more accurate U-6 measure of unemployment (includes involuntary part-time workers), CA is the 2nd worst at 19.6 percent vs. national 15.0 percent. National U-6 not including CA is 14.4 percent, making CA’s U-6 36.4 percent higher than the other 49 states.
California’s 2013 “business tax climate” still ranks 3rd worst in the nation – behind New Jersey and New York state.
CA public school teachers the highest paid in the nation. CA students rank 48th in math achievement, 49th in reading.
1 in 5 in Los Angeles County receiving public aid.
California’s real poverty rate (the new census bureau standard) is by far the worst in the nation at 23.5 percent. We are 55.7 percent higher than the average for the other 49 states. The CA poverty rate is 19 percent higher than 2nd place Florida.
California has 12 percent of the nation’s population, but 33 percent of the country’s TANF (“Temporary” Assistance for Needy Families) welfare recipients – more than the next 7 states combined. Unlike other states, this “temporary” assistance becomes much more permanent in CA.
California now has the 2nd lowest bond rating of any state – Basket case Illinois just beat us out for the lowest spot. We didn’t improve our rating – Illinois just got worse.
CA is ranked as the “worst-run state” in new Wall St. analysis. CA “won” last year too.
The American Tort Reform Association now ranks CA the “worst judicial hellhole” in U.S. –
California small businesses failed in 2011 at a rate 69 percent higher than the national average -- the worst state in the nation.
(based on Dunn & Bradstreet study)
America’s top 650 CEO’s rank California “the worst state in which to do business” for the 8th straight year (May, 2012).
California is now ranked as the 2nd worst state to retire in. Only basket-case Illinois is worse. We “beat” NY, RI and NJ.
Consider California’s net domestic migration (migration between states). From 2000 through 2009, California lost a NET 1.5 million people. Net departures slowed in 2008 only because people couldn’t sell their homes. But more people still leave each year -- in 2011 we lost about 100,000 net people to domestic out-migration. Again, note that this is NET loss. These are not likely the welfare kings and queens departing. They are the young, the educated, the productive, the ambitious, the wealthy (such as Tiger Woods) – and retirees seeking to make their pensions provide more bang for the buck. Too often these departing seniors are retired state and local government employees fleeing the state that provides them with their opulent pensions – in order to avoid the high taxes that these same employees pushed so hard through their unions. And once they move out of California, our state can no longer tax their California-paid pensions.
But then guys like Jon Monday most likely think these stats prove that Taxifornia is doing the right thing. Highest taxed, poorly educated, high unemployment, record poverty, crime, and mental cases. A State that only liberals could be proud of.
Comment #15 | Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm
I don't have time to go through all your points, one by one. But, just picking one topic at random:
"20% in Los Angeles County receive public aid"
"The figure matches the total at the height of the 2001-03 recession, and officials expect it to rise
Both quotes are from a LA Times article from 2009, four years ago, at the height of the unemployment rolls, from the crash caused by trickle down economics and Wall Street greed. Note, they were at the same levels in 2009 as the 2001-03 recession, when Bush was in office.
Unemployment goes up and down.
Bottom line, people keep coming to California because it's a good place to live. If you don't agree, you're welcome to live elsewhere, as some are doing.
I'm a fourth generation Californian - both my Great Grandparents were born in the Bay Area after my Great Great Grandparents immigrated here by sailing to the west coast, being shipwrecked in Mexico, and then walking to San Francisco.
My daughter is a 5th generation and my granddaughter is a 6th. I hope we keep it going.
On the other side of my family, we were here since the 1600s, before the founding of the country.
I'm proud to live in America; especially in California. I think Jerry Brown is doing a great job. I see the faults, but my solutions would be quite different than yours, I'm sure.
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Comment #16 | Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 10:42 am
I clearly was not iremnofd and really enjoyed seeing where all the parties stood on issues that I actually had opinions on. Although this didn't help me to pick a party that aligns with my values, it did open my eyes a little wider to the political landscape.I must be careful what I say about the political arena or Brooks will hunt me down and tear me a new one.