Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Pedant on that

In summarizing a post on college bank rollers, Steve writes:
In general, it appears that the biggest donors to colleges are conservatives.
To investigate this assertion rigorously would require something akin to Fortune's survey of the XXX wealthiest whatevers. The groups in question are too numerically small to be represented with any meaningful reliability in most wide-ranging, general surveys. Sometimes these surveys employ precision modules targeting niche respondent groups, but the results are often fruitless (and risible to boot). Case in point, the 2012 GSS includes a set of items pertaining to elements of Jewish identity. It garners relevant responses from a whopping 12 people. Hardly enough for a HBR case study, let alone statistical significance on a national scale. This isn't an isolated example, either.

While general surveys aren't capable of providing the electrolytes number crunchers crave, however, they often do at least provide some suggestive hydration in an otherwise arid environment. In 1996, the GSS queried respondents on how much they had donated to educational organizations in the past year. The following table presents a breakdown of the political orientation of donors who gave in the three figures and up (n = 131) and contrasts that distribution with the political persuasions of the broader population during the same period of time:

PoliticsDonorsGeneral
Conservative43.8%37.2%
Moderate31.3%37.9%
Liberal24.9%24.9%

Despite academia being an intellectual pillar of the leftist Cathedral, the bit of hard data we have suggests that perspicacity is Steve's middle name--conservatives give to schools more than their representation in the general population would predict they would. Note that this is despite the fact that, in general, liberals attain higher levels of educational attainment than conservatives do.

Parenthetically, we see yet another iteration of the tendency for moderates to be less engaged, involved, or aware than more committed ideologues are.

GSS variables used: POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7), YEAR(1996), TOTEDUC(100-999999), JEWAJ

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"In general, it appears that the biggest donors (to almost anything ) are conservatives"

This is one of the key differentiators between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives are generous with their own money, Liberals are generous with other people's money.

Steve Sailer said...

Thanks.

Noah172 said...

White, gentile, male, football-worshippers give tons of dough to schools that are committed to tearing down said donors' civilization and making life miserable for said donors' descendants. Why do these donors subsidize this abuse? Because they love that thar football! Go team! Go team!

Republicans really are the Stupid Party.

Not an originial thought of mine, but I don't know to whom to give proper attribution:

Marx had it all wrong. Football, especially college football, is the true opium of the masses.

Ed Tom Kowalsky said...

True, Noah. So very true.

I would add, however, that most of these astigmatic, obtuse conservative donors are upper middle class or wealthy. They live in the 'burbs and don't feel threatened by the seismic fissures developing beneath America's crust. For this reason, they simply don't understand the necessity to strangle their alma maters.