Cool Chart of the Day


Using FEC data on the professions of political donors, Adam Bonica has attempted to create an ideological map of America's vocations. Not surprisingly, the leftmost place to work is the movie industry, followed by the academy; the oil and gas companies appear furthest to the right. If you want to see where accountants, dentists, and homemakers come in, click through and look for yourself.

[Hat tip: Bruce Bartlett.]

NEXT: Losing Count of the Double Counts

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  1. Where would bartender be at?

    1. North on the Nolan chart.

      1. Nolan chart?

    2. Somewhere underneath “janitor” and “bicycle repair man”.

    3. I get it, it’s a trick question. The correct answer would be behind the bar.

    4. There’s an occupation called “alcohol” on the chart. Maybe it’s that.

  2. A. Where is the libertarian/authoritarian axis?

    2. If I read that right, the peak of democratic candidates is in the “true” middle. I think there is some bias in the graph creator.

  3. Didn’t see “Journalists” anywhere, unless they are part of the Printing and Publishing set. Or are they so pure and fanatically objective (cough) that they don’t dirty their hands with political contributions?

  4. Fuck Bruce Bartlett and his lying ass describing the Fair Tax. Also I refuse to look at any graph compiled from laws that force you to disclose political contributions.

  5. Is this graph really telling me that despite the far-right being the largest mode in the distribution, there are no mainline occupations exclusively in it besides oil & gas and auto salesmen?

    Something very important is being left out here. That hump is just too quiet to be telling the whole truth.

    Either that, or there are a whole hell of a lot of marginalized conservatives in those left leaning industries and the mean intensities of the ranking are not capturing the radical variance.

    1. This post clarifies some of my issues. There is indeed some radical variance.

    2. I see no entry for Hotels.

  6. I can’t believe hedge fund guys are on the left side of the spectrum. Do they want to have half their fortunes taxed away?

    1. Their entire livelihood comes from the Fed and liquidity. Without government intervention, their leverage game would be over.

      Plus they are “elite” and tend to fit into the bipolar “I’m rich but I really really do care about the poor so I will go ahead and patronize them” Democratic party.

      Just look at some of Obama’s closest friends. Ken Griffin is the billionaire head of Citadel (an almost failed company) and an active supporter of the carried-interest loophole. It really does make perfect sense that they, like professors, biotech, and the San Francisco start-up culture including venture capital would be on the left. After all, they have the money to blow on feeling righteous without actually helping anyone.

    2. No, they now realize that Democrats are the party of corporate welfare. You put your money where it’s most effective.

  7. Help a brother undestand this graph. So, the left/liberal contributing is done on a wider spectrum than the conservative contributions, but the conservative contributors are stacked more narrowly?

    1. I don’t think so. I think that based upon this statement:

      “As a point of reference, the occupation ideal points are imposed over the density plots for all Democratic and Republican candidates.

      So what this appears to be saying is that Democratic politicians in 2008 were on the money with 95% of the industries in America, whereas the Republican right was just off in crazy-town.

      Count me skeptical. Certainly the Iraq war, a culture of fear regarding the financial markets (which McCain exacerbated), and general weariness with the Republican party in general would help the Dems. There is obviously some truth to these statements considering Republicans lost a number of seats. However, this is 2008, not 2004 or 2006. It doesn’t explain how so many conservative politicians stayed in office despite losses.

      I think this graph is very misleading. It would appear to me to indicate that those that consider themselves on the left are actually very, very far left. That’s because of the “quiet” right hump. That indicates that the biggest bulk of the Republican congress is center-right whereas the left is not center left–it’s actually bimodal. Given my above post, it would appear that this is consistent with why the means all lean substantially to the left yet the political rankings don’t. (And the electoral vs. population differences don’t matter *that* much). If you have a bulk of center-right people in industries, the way it moves to the left is by an equal count being weighted much farther to the left.

      It would also seem to indicate that the Blue Dogs are screwed. I would like to see this graph for a hypothetical 2010, even though I know that presidential campaigns draw the most money.

  8. Why is Energy Production on there twice?

    1. My guess is it’s a mistake and the rightward-one is supposed to be “Energy Services” such as companies like Halliburton or Baker Hughes.

      They are neither energy production nor oil companies (much to the surprise of academic leftists i know).

    2. Good energy production like wind, solar, hampsters running in cages etc is the one on the left (about -0.01)

      Bad energy production like coal, nuclear etc is the one on the right (about +0.50)

  9. ‘Laywers’?

  10. I’m currently working in the movie industry, and it is indeed the most left leaning group I have ever been associated with. There is a six foot portrait of Obama in the cafeteria. Creepy. On cubicle neighbor was ranting the other day about a politician, saying “he is far to the right, an extremist conservative, he’s very scary, he even likes guns.”

    1. For all our sakes, you must find some way s to subtly fuck with their minds.

  11. This explains why automobile dealers are always portrayed negatively in Hollywood films.

  12. where is the military? why the hell aren’t we on there?

    1. In all seriousness, there just aren’t very many of you.

      This is good thing in most ways, but it is bad for the mass of the people understanding the full cost of our foreign policy.

      [No service myself, but several members of my family have served or are serving.]

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