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From the Department of Who’daThunkit

March 19, 2010

From here, a ranking of occupations by whether they donate to liberal or conservative politicians.  As usual, the precise centering of the graph is not terribly important, both because it depends on the vagaries of the survey and because this graph only counts folks who donate, not the median voter.  But the rank-order is pretty interesting.  On the left we have Hollywood workers, professors, and lawyers.  On the right we have engineers, dentists, and accountants.

Two trends of note:

  1. On both sides, you have folks who are ideological because that’s the side their bread is buttered on.  Civil servants are Democrats and oil and gas workers are Republican, which makes sense given the respective platforms.
  2. Overall, the professions on the left are more reputation-based, with few quantifiable signals of success – you don’t have a “Certified Hollywood Producer” the same way you’d have a CPA, for example. Mostly, they rely on word of mouth and personal reputation.  On the right, you have professions whose output is more quantifiable – accountants, real estate agents, and the like.  I’m not sure what to make of this, except maybe a measure of whether you prefer ostensible egalitarianism vs. blatant meritocratic hierarchy.

A note on the “Healthcare Professionals” data point – when I was interviewing for med schools, I was often asked my views of healthcare reform.  More often than not, that was a platform for the interviewer to explain his own views on the matter.  I found that there was a sharp difference between academics and practitioners – doctors who spent most of their time teaching liked universal healthcare; those who practiced hated the idea.  So I suspect that the middling position of healthcare professionals is a composite of a bimodal distribution, with academics on the left (like professors in general?) and practitioners on the right.


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One Comment
  1. Andrew permalink

    Nice to see journalists squirreled away under “Printing and Publishing”! They’re surely another, bigger case of your bimodal hypothesis (about practicing vs academic physicians)…since I bet the more business sides of publishing houses are more centrist while journalists are out by Professors.

    Business owners (especially small) in general are right-leaning, and that’s a trend worth mentioning that shows up in the graphic. Explains why dentists are so non-left.

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