Political Editors / June 1, 2018

WaPo: The Poor Die Before They Can Vote for Socialism

Researchers claim political inequity for the poor because they lose political viability sooner.

The Washington Post ran an article on Thursday titled “Poor people die younger in the U.S. That skews American politics.” The article’s bold claim is based on a study published in Social Science & Medicine, which theorizes that poor people or “have-nots” essentially have less of an impact on the nation’s political landscape because they suffer from a higher premature death rate than do the non-poor or the “haves.”

The Post notes that recent U.S. Census Bureau reports indicate there are currently 40 million people living in poverty in America. (Poor is a relative term, of course.) The article then sneaks in this statement: “Put that together with the fact that in the U.S., about 2.6 million people die every year — and most of those deaths are associated with poverty.” Whoa. How exactly are most of those deaths “associated” with poverty? The article never tells us. So what we have here is little more than journalistic sleight-of-hand — a key claim with no support for its validity.

The authors of the study — an assistant professor of political science and a doctoral student — clearly have an agenda: promoting socialism. You see, the poor in America are dying because there aren’t enough government programs, such as universal health care, to help them live longer, more politically active lives. Worse yet, the political clout that’s necessary to enact and implement these programs would exist if only the have-nots were living long enough to vote for them. (Somewhere here, there’s a bad joke about dead people and Democrat votes.)

This, of course, is the kind of agenda-driven research that gives the social sciences such a bad name. It’s reminiscent of the line from the movie “Anchorman”: “They’ve done studies you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.”

One of the biggest problems with the researchers’ assertion is the leftist idea of social economic stagnation — the idea that the poor remain poor while the rich remain rich. In fact, people move out of poverty regularly, and economic stagnation has been the exception rather than the rule throughout U.S. history and especially since World War II.

So to suggest that the poor will always be poor and will therefore require ever more government provision is false. Further, how in the world can the researchers be certain how these dead people would’ve voted had they only lived? It seems a stretch to assume that those “poor people” who “die younger” were destined to spend their golden years on the socialist bandwagon.

Just for a bit of humor, here’s that previously referenced line from “Anchorman”:


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