Where is this going? Well, right to the following charts. But first, let's get one thing clear. This assessment is not by any means a statistical representation of correlation nor causation. It merely brings into question two other C-words: coincidence and... crazy?
This chart shows the top-ten major cities (populations greater than 250,000 residents) in the United States and their respective percentage of individuals living below the poverty level.
Source: US Census Bureau American Community Survey Reports: http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/acs-09.pdfWhat does this have to do with anything? Well, check out the second chart. It shows these cities and the last time a republican mayor was elected in that city.
Source: Various Wikipedia articles
While it is nearly impossible to prove a correlation between the two (okay, okay, there is some sarcasm in there), LME has to say "oh, come on!" Conditions in these cities are getting worse year after year. Detroit has been at the top of the poverty list for decades and for some reason it repeatedly elects a democratic mayor. According to this article in the Detroit Free Press, the city's financial situation is reaching crisis levels. Genius mayor David Bing is asking city service employees to take a 10% pay cut while proposing a tax increase on corporations. Why?! Haven't the citizens of Detroit had enough? They haven't elected a republican mayor since 1949 and the city is the poorest in the country, but yet the citizens continue to repeat the same action over and over again. Bing proposes the same ineffective action (yes, increasing taxes on businesses will cause them to leave, which will reduce the number of available jobs, increasing unemployment and further pushing the city into poverty) that got this debt-stricken city into this situation in the first place.
What gives? Is it pure coincidence? Perhaps. Are the citizens of these cities crazy? Who knows? But to quote another phrase: "if the bridge ain't broke, don't fix it." Well, the bridge has been broken for a long time, and the solution, according to these cities, is to just keep breaking it. Isn't it time to fix them? Isn't it time for some change? I doubt it would hurt, but you never know until you try.