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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kevin Drum asks an interesting question (as usual)

He notes this fact in an LA Times article

In one of the most politically significant results, the poll finds that independents and moderates were generally lining up with Democrats in the healthcare debate.

The survey also suggested an explanation for the emerging alignment: Independents were most likely to complain about "job lock" — the view that they are stuck in jobs they don't like solely because of health benefits. In all, 20% of independents said they or someone in their household were forced to stay in a job because it provided healthcare, compared with 13% of Democrats and 5% of Republicans.

and asks

"Why, after all, should political independents suffer from it (job lock) more than Democrats or Republicans?"

I have two candidate answers. Independents are young and, job lock or no job lock, people eventually find a job they like or learn to accept the job they have.

So is it true that young people are more likely to declare themselves to be independents ? I asked the great gazoogle you said "sure dum dumb"

The sum of self declared Republicans and Democrats increases monotonically with age.

Are young workers more likely to stay with an employer who offers health insurance all else given (not "job lock" but the closest one can get with easily available data) ?

The gazoogle sends me to a pdf which says yes (search for age and remember to check the box for "whole words only" or else you will find that articles on health insurance include many many instances of the word "coverage").

So some of the higher level of "job lock" among independents is explained. Multiplying give a number of something like -- obviously tiny you innumerate idiot.
(recall recent discussions of how "positively correlated with" is really really far from "the same as" at the oversigned dumb dumb's blog).

OK how about this. Self declared independents are people who value their independence The Rove assault on, well everything, may have been triggered by the accurate observation that Democratic leaning independents are as likely to vote for Democrats as self proclaimed Democrats and ditto for Republicans.

People who value their independence don't like the fact that they are locked into their jobs so they complain about "job lock" more even though Democrats and Republicans are locked in too. The job lock data refers to a subjective assessment which is related to suffering from being locked in not just being locked in (I'm locked in to my job which I love).

I mean the explanation might just be that independents like to be independent.

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