Saturday, May 07, 2011

So ahead of the curve

NYT is reporting on demographics from our so distant neighbor Weirton, WV where the annual number of deaths exceeds births each year:  With Death Outpacing Birth, a County Slows to a Shuffle.
Can't hide from the fact that have long been there already. In fact even in the NYT it has been our story in the the past. See: As Deaths Outpace Births, Cities Adjust.  Here is the trend in births minus deaths, also known as natural population change, in Allegheny County over the last 3 decades:

So if you focus on population change as a reflection of how people feel about a region, the voting with their feet argument, realize that for us the voting is not quite the same as it is elsewhere else.. and means something awfully different as well. 

This is all part and parcel which is what the real big and understudied story that will impact US politics in the next couple of decades. Read from just the other day: Census estimates show seniors gaining influence  .. and again something we are way ahead of the curve. Read: Older Voters Reign at Polls.  Especially as the Big Sort continues it means primary elections will become ever more important nationally just as they are here.. and it is in primary elections that young voters really shun the process.  Many even register as independents and in closed primaries as Pennsylvania has, can't even vote in primaries.  For us, by the time the primary gets here soon, most students will have finished the term and left town further depressing their impact.  Not just the students of course, but a decent chunk of the workforce that is solely associated with education as well.  What if the primary was moved up just a few weeks and the students were still around?


Blogger rich10e said...

so if the primary is moved up and the kids vote before they move back home, what does that get us??? an exaggerated primary voter number!!

Saturday, May 07, 2011 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

what does that get us???

it might get us at least a few people under age 30 voting in a local primary. Something that we don't have currently.

Saturday, May 07, 2011 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger joe said...

Any truth to the rumor that primary day voting will soon be limited to those who remember VE Day in downtown Pittsburgh (in living color no less)?

Your recent overseas mission was really to track down LST 1059, right?

Sunday, May 08, 2011 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

But you'll have people voting without a full stake in the outcome, people that will not be around down the road when the consequences of their votes take affect, people that do not know the candidates or the history of the area as well as they should, and many that will be gone before the fall elections.

Should college students vote where they go to school or in their home district? Good Q. They spend 2/3 to 3/4 of their time in the college's area but for the large majority it is transitory. For many, it is only a couple of years since many transfer from other colleges or branch campuses. And somewhere around half drop out before graduating. And most graduates will move when they get a job.

I always voted in my home district elections as I felt I had more knowledge and more connection with that electorate.

Sunday, May 08, 2011 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Bram Reichbaum said...

"It might get us at least a few people under age 30 voting in a local primary. Something that we don't have currently."

Who would be remotely interested in that? The officeholders that have already been elected by the present, more mature voter pool? The older constituents themselves? Not that you don't already appreciate this, but the proposal is a non-starter. Let's begin with the felons, illegal immigrants and non-insect animals before we attempt to include a constituency as controversial as college students.

Sunday, May 08, 2011 1:32:00 PM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

Back to main subject of the post....Does that trend of death rate exceeding the birthrate carry over into the greater Pittsburgh metro area?

Many people have moved out of the county for several reasons, schools, lower taxes, crime, housing coat. Take any of the parkways/thoroughfares out of the county and you will see areas like Cranberry, Sweckley/Hempfield, S Starbane are all booming with lots of little rug rats.

Sunday, May 08, 2011 3:32:00 PM  
Blogger joe said...

I heard the College Kids were planning a flash mob where they all come back into town and vote on Primary Day.

What that day really needs is more Banjo!

Sunday, May 08, 2011 10:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Wiz said...
But you'll have people voting without a full stake in the outcome, people that will not be around down the road when the consequences of their votes take affect

I'm confused, are you referring to college students who move or old people who die?

Monday, May 09, 2011 4:42:00 PM  
Anonymous kejads said...

Upside to this: if we could find a way to kill off the older Pittsburghers faster, we'd be sitting pretty. Some of my older neighbors vote in primaries, and they think Pittsburgh's future lies in bringing the steel mills back, and they vote for Lukey because he's a cute kid and for other yahoos because they grew up in their neighborhood.

Given the amount of cigarettes they smoke, their horrible diets, and their lack of activity, I'm shocked that they're still able to get their wrinkled Yinzer butts to the polling places. The Grim Reaper may be Pittsburgh's best bet for improvement.

Thursday, May 12, 2011 12:58:00 PM  

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