Acton Institute Powerblog

CEOs for Obama

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Michael Franc has an interesting piece on NRO about the demographics of campaign contributions. The gravamen is that Democratic presidential candidates in the current election have exhibited a whopping advantage among all kinds of elite groups, identified by professional, financial, or educational status. Meanwhile, Republicans garnered more support from plumbers, truckers, and janitors.

Franc doesn’t make much of an effort to explain the phenomenon, other than to note that Democrats have enjoyed a $200 million advantage in general, which may go a long way toward generating the more specific category advantages. And which may further be explained (this is my speculation) as being due to a) more people thinking a Democrat will win the White House and wanting to support a winner, or b) the Democratic primary race being more competitive than the Republican, or c) a combination of the two.

Instead of positing explanations, Franc focuses on what the trend may mean for the respective parties’ conventional policy tendencies:

What should we make of all this? National political parties, after all, reflect their supporters, and party leaders traditionally feel a responsibility to cater to their supporters’ whims. A party that receives overwhelming support from elite Wall Street investment firms, corporate bigwigs, and highly educated professionals may find it exceedingly difficult to raise their taxes or impose draconian new Big Government regulations on them. Similarly, a party that is losing well-educated suburban professionals and gaining support from blue-collar workers may find it more difficult to support free trade agreements and embrace globalization.

Kevin Schmiesing Kevin Schmiesing, Ph.D., is a research fellow for the research department at the Acton Institute. He is a frequent writer on Catholic social thought and economics, is the author of American Catholic Intellectuals, 1895-1955 (Edwin Mellen Press, 2002) and is most recently the author of Within the Market Strife: American Catholic Economic Thought from Rerum Novarum to Vatican II (Lexington Books, 2004). Dr. Schmiesing holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in history from Franciscan University ofSteubenville. Author of Within the Market Strife and American Catholic Intellectuals, 1895—1955 (2002), he serves as Book Review Editor for the Journal of Markets & Morality. He is also executive director of


  • Anonymous

    With the onset of the Age of Obama, perhaps now is the time for green lifestyles to replace the gold lifestyles of the leading elders of my generation.

    The lifestyles of the rich, the famous and the powerful as well as millions of other people, mostly in the overdeveloped world, are indeed wondrous. When we were children, who among us could have imagined living so well as we do now?

    Last year, a college roommate from 40+ years ago flew into Chapel Hill. We had dinner together and talked over old times. When we were teenagers, he did not fly his own airplane or own a yacht and a half dozen homes as he does now. He and I had all we needed in our youth, but nothing like what we possess now. We had not heard of Dubai.

    People may want to believe this Earth can indefinitely sustain people ravenously consuming its limited resources the way millions of fortunate people in the overdeveloped world are doing; but I fear these ‘dreamers’ have lost their reality-orientation with regard both to human biological limits and the limitations of the bounded physical world we inhabit. The Earth is relatively small, evidently finite and noticeably frangible; it is not a sort of ongoing provider like a mother’s teat nor is it an endlessly overflowing cornucopia.

    A finite planet with the make-up of Earth cannot realistically be expected to maintain increasing, profligate over-consumption and adamantine hoarding of resources as we see occurring ubiquitously on the surface of the Earth in these early years of Century XXI as a result of actions by those people who possess the wealth to behave in this way.

    Conspicuous resource consumption by millions of people in the overdeveloped world could have something directly to do with deleterious effects on the Earth and its environs. Scarce resources are being recklessly dissipated and global ecosystems are being relentlessly degraded, at a much faster rate than the Earth can restore the resources and services for human benefit. Unintended, pernicious effects resulting from unrestrained increase of per capita over-consumption of Earth’s finite resources appear to be threatening to ravage our planetary home.

    Perhaps the current scale and growth of natural resources consumption could become unsustainable, even before the year 2050.

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001