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Liberal, Conservative, Urban, Rural


IronTiger

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Why are urban areas generally more liberal than rural areas? I mean, if you look at county-by-county in "blue states", much of it is conservative. For example, Illinois. A lot of the counties were red, but because Chicago is large and influential, Illinois voted for Obama. Look at this, there is a definite correlation between large cities and voting for Obama.

800px-2008_General_Election_Results_by_County.PNG

In Texas, you can see that Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio all went blue. In Florida, you can notice Orlando and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale. In fact, county-for-county, McCain took America, but because the urban areas hold much of the people, Obama won (and by the way, Obama did not win "in a landslide" as reported). By contrast, the 1948 election (Truman is blue)...

But that's another issue. In the modern world, large cities tend to vote liberal and rural conservative. Why is that?

And no mean answers like "Because rural areas are generally made of backwards redneck hicks" or stupid answers like "Because high traffic in urban areas tend to sway people to liberal causes".

Edited by IronTiger
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Why are urban areas generally more liberal than rural areas? I mean, if you look at county-by-county in "blue states", much of it is conservative. For example, Illinois. A lot of the counties were red, but because Chicago is large and influential, Illinois voted for Obama. Look at this, there is a definite correlation between large cities and voting for Obama.

800px-2008_General_Election_Results_by_County.PNG

In Texas, you can see that Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio all went blue. In Florida, you can notice Orlando and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale. In fact, county-for-county, McCain took America, but because the urban areas hold much of the people, Obama won (and by the way, Obama did not win "in a landslide" as reported). By contrast, the 1948 election (Truman is blue)...

But that's another issue. In the modern world, large cities tend to vote liberal and rural conservative. Why is that?

And no mean answers like "Because rural areas are generally made of backwards redneck hicks" or stupid answers like "Because high traffic in urban areas tend to sway people to liberal causes".

Looking at your map it does not appear that Ft. Worth voted for Obama. Tarrant county appears red. Other urban counties in Texas that voted blue appear to be El Paso, Jefferson (Beaumont-Port Arthur), Cameron (Brownsville-Harlingen), Hidalgo (McAllen-Edinburgh) and Webb (Laredo).

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Taking the factor of who is running out of the mix, simply whether they run as a Liberal or a Conservative is the key for the majority of votes. If you take the core beliefs of each party, it's clear why more urbanized areas lean blue, and why Rural areas go red. Big cities, fast paced lives, rapid change are simply more liberal. While rural, red areas are more traditional, Religious and lean conservative. As the population grows, and areas become more densely populated I think this will lead to more counties going blue or being borderline blue as the years go on.

As for this election specifically, race probably was a factor in some red areas, but also some blue areas. I'm sure it levels out those voting against Obama because he was black, and those voting for him because he was black. Frustration with the results of the past 8 years with 6 of them entirely under Republican rule I think was the deciding factor in giving Obama the Presidency. This turned some distraught Republicans Blue, and may have caused a lot of Republicans to also "sit this one out" so to speak, causing McCain to lose many votes he would have otherwise gotten to narrow the gap.

All of these whys and hows are debatable, but this is why I think Obama won. If you got numbers and statistics and other ideas to disprove what I just said, or to supplement what I just said, I would love to hear them.

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All of these whys and hows are debatable, but this is why I think Obama won. If you got numbers and statistics and other ideas to disprove what I just said, or to supplement what I just said, I would love to hear them.

That's another issue, but for now why are urban areas liberal and rural areas conservative? That's the primary purpose here.

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I would suggest that the political differences are attributable to the diversity found in cities versus rural areas. In encountering the enlightenment and challenges of cultural and social differences - race, religion, nationality, sexuality, to name a few - a more progressive attitude and approach develops.

That being said, there are some notable exceptions to the rural-metro voting on this map. There's blue in Northern MN, Northern WI, Northern MI, eastern IA, VT, NH, ME, that small, but consistent swath through the middle of AL, northern NM, northern AZ.

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I think these are from 2004, might be from 2000 tho'. The first is a county map like yours, but the second is skewed so that each county is expanded or contracted in such a way that its size on the map correlates to its population.

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That's another issue, but for now why are urban areas liberal and rural areas conservative? That's the primary purpose here.

Then forget about numbers and statistics... what at least was thought about my first paragraph... which was very much on-topic. I expanded on it with the other paragraphs because I did not want to convey that those reasons I gave for why its generally red/rural, blue/urban was the specific reason for the outcome of this election (as my wording may have you believe). I do want to convey, that it may affect the outcome of future elections and more liberal outcomes happen in urban areas as urban areas continue to rapidly expand.

I think these are from 2004, might be from 2000 tho'. The first is a county map like yours, but the second is skewed so that each county is expanded or contracted in such a way that its size on the map correlates to its population.

post-4016-1244745373_thumb.png

post-4016-1244745383_thumb.png

Total population, or population of those that voted the corresponding color? That 2nd map is really trippy btw. Thought you should know.

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Rural Texas used to be strong Democrat country until the late 60s. The Dems were different back then, more conservative than they are today, yet they still were liberal. On top of that, you had LBJ, a Texas Dem in the White House, which likely had a lot to do with that. Many rural Texans then weren't wealthy, and needed work. The Dems WPA projects of the 30s and 40s brought jobs to those rural areas which included road and bridge building, state park construction, dams, swimming pools, stadiums and construction of government buildings such as schools and county courthouses.

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Rural Texas used to be strong Democrat country until the late 60s. The Dems were different back then, more conservative than they are today, yet they still were liberal. On top of that, you had LBJ, a Texas Dem in the White House, which likely had a lot to do with that. Many rural Texans then weren't wealthy, and needed work. The Dems WPA projects of the 30s and 40s brought jobs to those rural areas which included road and bridge building, state park construction, dams, swimming pools, stadiums and construction of government buildings such as schools and county courthouses.

Much of the south voted democrat prior to the 80's. I think some of it could just be the post-civil war legacy where the Republican party was seen as 'northern'. Regardless, the Democrats had such a lock on the south that I recall my father saying he was a registered Democrat because otherwise he really couldn't vote in any elections, particularly local ones, since the Republicans weren't really a factor. In those days, elections in Texas and elsewhere in the south were mostly determined in the Democratic primaries.

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My ancestors came to a small town called Hillister in East Texas in the 1870s. They all lived in close proximity to each other until the 1940s. WWII brought a lot of them out of the country and into the cities. My father was one who stayed in the rural areas while his Aunt moved to Houston in the 1950s. These two people were raised in the same rural area by the same group of people and they are within 10 years in age. They couldn't be further apart on politics. My Aunt who has lived in Houston since the 1950s "loves her black president" as she puts it. She's also wealthy so higher taxes are not much of a concern to her. My father can't stop talking about how terrible Obama is. I've seen this same pattern with all my "city" relatives and "country" relatives. I've been living in Houston for 13 years now and I'm much further to the left than I was before I came here.

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What's amazing is Oklahoma. Not one county voted for Obama. The only state in the Union that went all for one candidate.

As for the original question, I think there are three reasons why Obama did so well in urban areas.

1) Diversity. Obama did well with blacks and Hispanics and held his own amongst Asians. People of color are definitely more clustered in urban areas. Additionally, "diversity" would also help explain some of the rural counties won by Obama (blacks helped him carry much of the Mississippi Delta and Deep South, Hispanics along the border and New Mexico, and even the Native American vote in rural Arizona and parts of the Dakotas).

2) Education. Obama fared very well with people who hold a college degree. The well educated tend to live in metro areas. In fact, Obama won all ten states that have the highest % of college graduates (Massachusetts, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Vermont, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Washington).

3). Wealth. Obama actually defeated McCain amongst voters who make more than $200,000 a year. The super rich also tend to live in urban areas. Again, Obama carried 9 of the top 10 states according to median household income. The only state he lost in the top 10 was Alaska.

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What's amazing is Oklahoma. Not one county voted for Obama. The only state in the Union that went all for one candidate.

As for the original question, I think there are three reasons why Obama did so well in urban areas.

1) Diversity. Obama did well with blacks and Hispanics and held his own amongst Asians. People of color are definitely more clustered in urban areas. Additionally, "diversity" would also help explain some of the rural counties won by Obama (blacks helped him carry much of the Mississippi Delta and Deep South, Hispanics along the border and New Mexico, and even the Native American vote in rural Arizona and parts of the Dakotas).

2) Education. Obama fared very well with people who hold a college degree. The well educated tend to live in metro areas. In fact, Obama won all ten states that have the highest % of college graduates (Massachusetts, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Vermont, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Washington).

3). Wealth. Obama actually defeated McCain amongst voters who make more than $200,000 a year. The super rich also tend to live in urban areas. Again, Obama carried 9 of the top 10 states according to median household income. The only state he lost in the top 10 was Alaska.

Almost all of New England got exclusively Obama.

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Taking the factor of who is running out of the mix, simply whether they run as a Liberal or a Conservative is the key for the majority of votes. If you take the core beliefs of each party, it's clear why more urbanized areas lean blue, and why Rural areas go red. Big cities, fast paced lives, rapid change are simply more liberal. While rural, red areas are more traditional, Religious and lean conservative. As the population grows, and areas become more densely populated I think this will lead to more counties going blue or being borderline blue as the years go on.

As for this election specifically, race probably was a factor in some red areas, but also some blue areas. I'm sure it levels out those voting against Obama because he was black, and those voting for him because he was black. Frustration with the results of the past 8 years with 6 of them entirely under Republican rule I think was the deciding factor in giving Obama the Presidency. This turned some distraught Republicans Blue, and may have caused a lot of Republicans to also "sit this one out" so to speak, causing McCain to lose many votes he would have otherwise gotten to narrow the gap.

All of these whys and hows are debatable, but this is why I think Obama won. If you got numbers and statistics and other ideas to disprove what I just said, or to supplement what I just said, I would love to hear them.

I think there are several reasons why Obama carried urban over rural. First, rural living folks tend to be more independent...they favor less intervention in their daily lives not more, less rules, less government intrusion...they tend to do things for themselves and not wait for the government or someone else to do it. Urban living people dont even know what independent life is...they have grown up with more rules than almost any rural dweller could handle..Urban areas, have noise restrictions, parking restrictions, deed restrictions,curfews, you name it....everything is restricted in the urban areas to make it more comfortable for the greater number of people. The Democratic party leans heavily toward more restrictions and doing everything for the person...Democrats want more intervention, more rules, less rights...I think this is a huge reason rural leans republican.

Also rural areas have much lower income than urban areas...so more rural people favor lower taxes...farming and ranching are the primary occupation of rural dwellers, and those two occupations have one of the lowest return on investments of all occupations...an average farm/ranch operation makes only 3-4% on its yearly investment...so they favor lower taxes, b/c a higher tax could completely wipe out a profit.

Third - and on taxes again, the primary source of rural wealth is property, not cash - the democrats favor higher probate, or death taxes - rural dwellers want to will their property down to their children to continue the family farm or ranch...the democrats favor taxation at death making it very difficult and costly for the rural people to will down their property to continue the operation...it is more common than not today for the farm/ranch to be sold to someone else b/c the profit is not high enough for the children to be able to buy it, and willing it down will cost them 40-50% of the opeartion after taxes.

I do not think education has much to do with which way a person votes...though rural people tend to be less educated, if you spend time out there you will find that rural people are quite smart, just smart about other topics....I firmly believe that colleges and schools have become heavily liberal in the last 15 years and this is being taught and indocotrinated daily...this is a large reaosn for the college educated people to vote D....they have been taught for years that it is the way to vote, indoctrinated with the ideals...The democratic message is very appealing, more for everyone, with less sickness, less poverty, less homelessness, wars, traffic, pollution etc...everyone is better off. What they fail to teach is that not everyone will be better off - many, often the hardest working, most productive will be brought down several levels in order to bring the masses up a few. I think rural people being as independent as they are, do not wish to give away what they have worked generations to build up, so that somoeone else can have a chance to see if they can do better.

As to the isuse of race - I dont think it can even be argued that black voters did not overwhelmingly vote based on race alone. If I remember correctly 90 someodd percent of black voters voted Obama - you can pick any number of people and put them in a room and never get that kind of overwhelming agreement on any other topic...there may have been people who voted against him b/c he was black as well, but they do not come close in the numbers as those who voted for him because of it.

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As to the isuse of race - I dont think it can even be argued that black voters did not overwhelmingly vote based on race alone. If I remember correctly 90 someodd percent of black voters voted Obama - you can pick any number of people and put them in a room and never get that kind of overwhelming agreement on any other topic...there may have been people who voted against him b/c he was black as well, but they do not come close in the numbers as those who voted for him because of it.

Is this the first election you've ever paid attention to? Kerry won over 88% of the black vote. Gore won over 90%. Clinton won around 85%.

Blacks voted for Obama because he's a Democrat. Blacks have been moving to the Democratic Party since 1964.

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Is this the first election you've ever paid attention to? Kerry won over 88% of the black vote. Gore won over 90%. Clinton won around 85%.

Blacks voted for Obama because he's a Democrat. Blacks have been moving to the Democratic Party since 1964.

Uh, this is the absolute truth because my family was divided between Obama and Clinton. And I know of MANY other Black people who supported Clinton. So if many of us were going to vote for Obama because he is black, we would have done it before the Obama/McCain race. In fact, if anyone recall the beginnings of the race, a huge amount of Blacks supported Clinton and eventually moved over to the Obama side. If Black people were going to blindly support him because he is black, the Obama team would not have had to WORK for the black vote.

KinkaidAlum, you are correct in stating Blacks voted for Obama because he was a Democrat.

I wonder how many whites who voted for McCain did so because he is white? I'm sure it had to be quite the bit....right?

Edited by VelvetJ
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1. What rights do you feel that city governments are taking away? "Rights" would be, according to Merriam-Webster 2a "the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled" - http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rights

2. In the 1930s rural areas were major supporters of several of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Great Depression programs, such as the Rural Electrification Program.

3. There are some Blacks who voted on Obama for race alone, but I think many voted for him because he was in the Democratic Party, and many African-Americans do not trust the Republican Party. As noted above many Black people supported Clinton instead of Obama.

I think there are several reasons why Obama carried urban over rural. First, rural living folks tend to be more independent...they favor less intervention in their daily lives not more, less rules, less government intrusion...they tend to do things for themselves and not wait for the government or someone else to do it. Urban living people dont even know what independent life is...they have grown up with more rules than almost any rural dweller could handle..Urban areas, have noise restrictions, parking restrictions, deed restrictions,curfews, you name it....everything is restricted in the urban areas to make it more comfortable for the greater number of people. The Democratic party leans heavily toward more restrictions and doing everything for the person...Democrats want more intervention, more rules, less rights...I think this is a huge reason rural leans republican.

Also rural areas have much lower income than urban areas...so more rural people favor lower taxes...farming and ranching are the primary occupation of rural dwellers, and those two occupations have one of the lowest return on investments of all occupations...an average farm/ranch operation makes only 3-4% on its yearly investment...so they favor lower taxes, b/c a higher tax could completely wipe out a profit.

Third - and on taxes again, the primary source of rural wealth is property, not cash - the democrats favor higher probate, or death taxes - rural dwellers want to will their property down to their children to continue the family farm or ranch...the democrats favor taxation at death making it very difficult and costly for the rural people to will down their property to continue the operation...it is more common than not today for the farm/ranch to be sold to someone else b/c the profit is not high enough for the children to be able to buy it, and willing it down will cost them 40-50% of the opeartion after taxes.

I do not think education has much to do with which way a person votes...though rural people tend to be less educated, if you spend time out there you will find that rural people are quite smart, just smart about other topics....I firmly believe that colleges and schools have become heavily liberal in the last 15 years and this is being taught and indocotrinated daily...this is a large reaosn for the college educated people to vote D....they have been taught for years that it is the way to vote, indoctrinated with the ideals...The democratic message is very appealing, more for everyone, with less sickness, less poverty, less homelessness, wars, traffic, pollution etc...everyone is better off. What they fail to teach is that not everyone will be better off - many, often the hardest working, most productive will be brought down several levels in order to bring the masses up a few. I think rural people being as independent as they are, do not wish to give away what they have worked generations to build up, so that somoeone else can have a chance to see if they can do better.

As to the isuse of race - I dont think it can even be argued that black voters did not overwhelmingly vote based on race alone. If I remember correctly 90 someodd percent of black voters voted Obama - you can pick any number of people and put them in a room and never get that kind of overwhelming agreement on any other topic...there may have been people who voted against him b/c he was black as well, but they do not come close in the numbers as those who voted for him because of it.

Edited by VicMan
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Myth 3: Many small, family-owned farms and businesses must be liquidated to pay estate taxes.Reality: The number of small, family-owned farms and businesses that owe any estate tax at all is tiny, and virtually no such farms and businesses have to be liquidated to pay the tax. The estate of only 0.24 percent of all people who die in 2009 (i.e., the estates of between two and three of every 1,000 people who die) are expected to owe any estate tax, according to the Tax Policy Center.2And only about 1.3 percent of the few estates that still are taxable are small business or farm estates.3TPC estimates that only 80 small business and farm estates nationwide will owe any estate tax in 2009. This figure represents only 0.003 percent of all estates

Edited by RedScare
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On social issues such as civil rights and stuff like that, urban areas are more liberal b/c urban areas are more diverse. This allows people to be exposed to different cultures, lifestyles, ethnicities, etc. People in rural areas are generally more sheltered, close-minded, etc.

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Myth 3: Many small, family-owned farms and businesses must be liquidated to pay estate taxes.Reality: The number of small, family-owned farms and businesses that owe any estate tax at all is tiny, and virtually no such farms and businesses have to be liquidated to pay the tax. The estate of only 0.24 percent of all people who die in 2009 (i.e., the estates of between two and three of every 1,000 people who die) are expected to owe any estate tax, according to the Tax Policy Center.2And only about 1.3 percent of the few estates that still are taxable are small business or farm estates.3TPC estimates that only 80 small business and farm estates nationwide will owe any estate tax in 2009. This figure represents only 0.003 percent of all estates
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Also to say that rural dwellers are more close minded, is just an insult to anyone in the country - they have a different set of values and beliefs that does not mesh with many of those in the city...they may not be as progressive, but that does not make a person close minded. Just because a person has a firm set of beliefs does not make them close minded. So many "progressives" think that if you are anti gay marriage, or anti their beliefs you are close minded...but that is just rediculous....having a firm set of beliefs of what a family should be, and what is and is not immoral, is not close minded...they recognize your morals, and your lifestyle, and they disagree with it....thats their opinion and their right, its not close minded.

Very well said.

Although I am sure the usual "enlightened ones" will dispute this statement as well.

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Despite the belief of a good number of republican fratboys to the contrary, supervising Mexicans who cut brush on one's deer lease is not, technically, 'ranching'. Actually not even close, but why deny them their fun, eh?

ROFLMAO! :lol: That's definitely a keeper for the quote file.

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Despite the belief of a good number of republican fratboys to the contrary, supervising Mexicans who cut brush on one's deer lease is not, technically, 'ranching'. Actually not even close, but why deny them their fun, eh?

:lol:

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I would suggest that the political differences are attributable to the diversity found in cities versus rural areas. In encountering the enlightenment and challenges of cultural and social differences - race, religion, nationality, sexuality, to name a few - a more progressive attitude and approach develops.

That's definitely one reason.

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In addition to repealing the estate tax, the 2001 Act changed the treatment of unrealized gains at death, effective with estate tax repeal. Under current law, the basis (which is the value used to determine gain or loss) of assets acquired from a decedent is stepped up to the estate's fair market value at the date of death. This "step-up in basis rule" essentially eliminates the recognition of income on the appreciation of the property that occurred prior to the property owner's death.

Just a clarification: Step-up existed long before 2001. In fact, under the current law, it disappears next year, because without a taxable event at the death of a grantor, there is no step-up.

The result of this equation is that very few real farmers primary source of income is farming. What most people dont know is that most farmers have other jobs, that provide more cash than farming does....if the off farm job earns more than the farm, the estate tax prevents the farmer from qualifying for many of these deductions.

Since 2000, farm equity has more than doubled, primarily due to the increased value of farm real estate. As a result, under current law, it is estimated that as many as 1 of every 10 farm estates would owe estate tax in 2011. Total payment amounts that year could increase to about $2.55 billion

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Much of the south voted democrat prior to the 80's. I think some of it could just be the post-civil war legacy where the Republican party was seen as 'northern'. Regardless, the Democrats had such a lock on the south that I recall my father saying he was a registered Democrat because otherwise he really couldn't vote in any elections, particularly local ones, since the Republicans weren't really a factor. In those days, elections in Texas and elsewhere in the south were mostly determined in the Democratic primaries.

People use the term "Registered Democrat" or "Registered Republican", but in reality, you only have to "register to vote" in the state of Texas. One can vote in any party primary that he wants to. You do not have to claim allegiance to one or the other. The only time you are not allowed to vote in a party election is if it is a "run-off" and you happened to vote in the opposing party's primary election. That of course would not be fair. It is legal though, to sit out the primary elections and then vote in a party "run off" if you choose to do so.

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Just a clarification: Step-up existed long before 2001. In fact, under the current law, it disappears next year, because without a taxable event at the death of a grantor, there is no step-up.

Only about 1% of family farms are likely to be subject to estate tax in 2009. (source: Economic Research Service/ USDA). Efforts like HR 436, which President Obama has already indicated his support, would freeze the current exemption, instead of allowing the $1 million exemption reinstate in 2011 as it would under the current, 2001 legislation. Coupled with the Special Use Valuations, the payment option previously referenced by Red, and the potential easment exclusions available, your forecast is incorrect.

Freezing it at 2009 levels would be good if it happened....definitely an improvement over allowing it to expire. However, in case you missed it......the special use valuation, and payment options are only available to people whose primary occupation is farming...primary occupation is defined by a percentage of income, I believe (not sure exactly) that it is 60% of your gross income. For farmers who have off the farm jobs, those two options are of very little significance.

Furthermore the easement exclusions are questionable at best. If you have marginal property that is wetlands, prior converted wetlands, or farmed wetlands, then a conservation easement, or a development easement may be a good idea. However if your property is a very good rich upland farmland with no flooding, or other issues, these easements can destroy the value of your property. Yes, you are guaranteeing that nothing will ever be built there for generations to come, but should urban life come your way, and you are preventing from farming in a profitable way because of this; then you have destroyed the value of your property for nothing.

That cant happen you say....well it happens all the time. It has been talked about in farm magazines for some time now, with the primary example, being that to keep the cost down farmer A sells his development rights...he is now prohibited from developing the property, for commercial or residential purposes...then urban life moves in, and he is surrounded. All of a sudden complaints are piling up about the smell from the manure piles, the pesticide/herbicide he was using is not safe around young children, he cant spray chemicals, spread fertilizer, and conduct his normal business any longer b/c nusiance laws still apply. He also cant sell his supposedly valuable land to development b/c he does not own the development rights anymore...he gave that away so he would be able to pass the farm down to the kids...

Unfortunately for Farmer A - even though the city came to the Farm, and the Farm didnt change a thing, the Farm loses...now he has a nice big chunk of land that cant be sold to anyone for anything, other than farming. It happens, and there is tort law to back it up.

These things happen - and for your information my facts came from the usda (http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/WellBeing/FederalTaxes.htm)

Also from personal experience...having spent alot of time on the farm, and seen the effects of the death tax on 2 of my 3 neighbors, it happens, and these people are not "rich" at least not until they sell their farm off to someone who really is rich enough to be able to afford it now. The sad part is, many family members would rather have the farm than the money.

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So, 2 of the 80 farms that had to sell are your neighbors. That doesn't justify getting rid of the law. Additionally, with the exemptions, the average tax is just 14%. That your neighbors chose to sell 100% of the farm, rather than just 14% of it, suggests to me that the children are not as wedded to the idea of farming as you claim. Sounds to me like they wanted out, and the death of their father gave them the excuse to sell. The simple fact is that the uber wealthy have been using poor farmers as the sympathetic face of the estate tax, but the facts do not back it up. The public just wouldn't care if a weekend rancher like yourself had to work a little harder at your real job to pay the taxes on your hobby. But, not to worry. Few people actually take the time to look for the truth in these debates. Your secret is safe with me.

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On social issues such as civil rights and stuff like that, urban areas are more liberal b/c urban areas are more diverse. This allows people to be exposed to different cultures, lifestyles, ethnicities, etc. People in rural areas are generally more sheltered, close-minded, etc.

Obviously you didn't pay attention to the "no mean or stupid answers" part. <_<

Come on. Play nice.

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So, 2 of the 80 farms that had to sell are your neighbors. That doesn't justify getting rid of the law. Additionally, with the exemptions, the average tax is just 14%. That your neighbors chose to sell 100% of the farm, rather than just 14% of it, suggests to me that the children are not as wedded to the idea of farming as you claim. Sounds to me like they wanted out, and the death of their father gave them the excuse to sell. The simple fact is that the uber wealthy have been using poor farmers as the sympathetic face of the estate tax, but the facts do not back it up. The public just wouldn't care if a weekend rancher like yourself had to work a little harder at your real job to pay the taxes on your hobby. But, not to worry. Few people actually take the time to look for the truth in these debates. Your secret is safe with me.

Your looking at just numbers, and not realities....What 14% do you sell? Do you sell the least productive 14% - there is no buyer for it, at least not one who will pay the amount you need to cover the taxes - does it have road access? many farms have already sold off much if not all of the frontage to smaller ranchettes, or just rural weekend homes, are you giving them an easement across your property to get to their piece? What about your hunting leases you signed a few years ago? How bout minerals and water rights...your analysis misses many rural realities. Was there a way to sell just enough to keep going? Probably - but it involves so much work - new surveys, new fences, new everything - its often a huge ordeal, that they end up deeming just not being worth the time. Not to mention many become just completely disenfranchised with the hassle of having to do so many things just to continue doing what was being done before. They feel like all the hard work was done by their family in the past and for what? So the government can tax it away on top of what they paid while they were alive....

While its true many people run hobby farms, as a way to pay property taxes, the estate taxes effect those who do it for a living as well as those who run it as a weekend getaway. Farming & Ranching are extremely capital intensive - go look at the price of a 300hp tractor, or a 25' disc, no till drill, or air drill - these things will cost you well over $500,000 just to get your first crop in the ground. Even then your going to have to pay someone else to harvest it, as a combine, is going to run well into $400,000 just to get started...your at nearly $1,000,000 in equipment that is necessary to just put a crop in the ground, and harvest it...that doesnt even begin to include other items such as seed costs, fertilizer and fuel - which are substantial as well.

If you think there are not alot of people who are overwhelmed by dealing with these costs, as well as having to pay the cost of the land upon a family members death your crazy. A working farm is an extremely expensive place, and more people than you think fall directly into the effected categorys once the assets of the farm have been added up.

And just in my defense; though I may be a "weekend rancher" I weekend ranch like you practice law - I just have to work alot fewer hours to be profitable. It may be a hobby now - but many ranches start as hobbies, until they have grown large enough to support the owners lifestyle. I'm not there yet, but the good thing about ranching, is your income producing base nearly doubles every year up to your lands carrying capacity. My $30,000 investment 2 years ago will be a couple hundred thousand in 6 more years...its the beautiful part of exponential growth. Try finding any other "hobby" with that type of return.

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And just in my defense; though I may be a "weekend rancher" I weekend ranch like you practice law - I just have to work alot fewer hours to be profitable. It may be a hobby now - but many ranches start as hobbies, until they have grown large enough to support the owners lifestyle. I'm not there yet, but the good thing about ranching, is your income producing base nearly doubles every year up to your lands carrying capacity. My $30,000 investment 2 years ago will be a couple hundred thousand in 6 more years...its the beautiful part of exponential growth. Try finding any other "hobby" with that type of return.

Oh, so this is a money grab? Then, why are you spending so much time playing the sympathy card telling us how poor ranchers are?

BTW, I can assure you that you do not ranch the way I practice law. Law is not a hobby to me, and the only time I play weekend lawyer is when I get paid overtime.

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These things happen - and for your information my facts came from the usda (http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/WellBeing/FederalTaxes.htm)

...which is where I got the 1% statistic which responded to your connvenient ignorance of the 2009 freeze legislation pending as:

a. you kept posting 2011 suppositions based on the 2001 law

b. your posts that there is a wide degree of farms succombing to estate tax

Context, boy!

I think there are several reasons why Obama carried urban over rural. First, rural living folks tend to be more independent...they favor less intervention in their daily lives not more, less rules, less government intrusion...they tend to do things for themselves and not wait for the government or someone else to do it. Urban living people dont even know what independent life is...they have grown up with more rules than almost any rural dweller could handle..Urban areas, have noise restrictions, parking restrictions, deed restrictions,curfews, you name it....everything is restricted in the urban areas to make it more comfortable for the greater number of people. The Democratic party leans heavily toward more restrictions and doing everything for the person...Democrats want more intervention, more rules, less rights...I think this is a huge reason rural leans republican.

The other way to look at it, is that liberals are better at managing cooperative efforts. I look at the divisiveness exercised by the Bush admisnistration, by Perry and Craddick in Austin, by Jared Woodfill and the Harris County GOP who have gone so far to censure their own for making decisions independent from their platform. Oh, and to truly demonstrate the inability to get along with people...

I get out every weekend and head to the country - its much nicer away from neighbors

That sums up the question posed in this thread. Clearly, you agree. ;)

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Despite the belief of a good number of republican fratboys to the contrary, supervising Mexicans who cut brush on one's deer lease is not, technically, 'ranching'. Actually not even close, but why deny them their fun, eh?

Too funny... and so damn true.

There are a lot of wealthy Texans who stick a few cows on their weekend hill country properties and then claim a ranch exemption.

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The question was why urban people tend to go liberal and rural conservative. And then the topic shifted to ranching.

You are correct. We spent way too much of this thread discussing IRC 2032a and other farm/ranch related issues. That's why I posted...

I get out every weekend and head to the country - its much nicer away from neighbors

...to try to bring us to a landing.

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The question was why urban people tend to go liberal and rural conservative. And then the topic shifted to ranching.

I think that was marksmu's attempt to fake everyone into thinking all rural people are ranchers and farmers. Interestingly, most rural people that I've met are meth cooks or scrap metal collectors.

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Oh, so this is a money grab? Then, why are you spending so much time playing the sympathy card telling us how poor ranchers are?

BTW, I can assure you that you do not ranch the way I practice law. Law is not a hobby to me, and the only time I play weekend lawyer is when I get paid overtime.

My straying of topic was based upon the fact that I believe country people have a different set of ideals & morals, that does not make them close minded...that they tend to vote against the democratic party because the D party is about more restrictions, and more government control. Rural people are more independent, favor lower taxes, and less government intervention.

And Red I can assure you that I do ranch in the exact same way you practice law. While I may enjoy doing it....when I am there, I do nothing but work from the second I wake up until the sun has almost set. I also would not call it a money grab - Its a business exactly like any other business, including a law firm, it takes time and work to make money, and it takes money to make money...While not everyone treats it that way, there are many that do.

And to KindaidAlum - you might want to look at the property tax laws - the legislature did away with the agricultural exemption for everyone whose primary source of income was not agriculture....you can now get an open space exemption, but its treatment is not nearly as favorable as a true agricultural exemption. To qualify for an ag exemption your primary source of income must be agriculture, land must have been in agricultural use for the last 3 years, and it must be run as a business for profit...Open space exemption reduces the value some, but not nearly as much as used to be available. This chage was passed to address the weekend rancher, who puts a few cows on his property but actually intends to use it as a hunting place, or vacation home. It does not stop the fratboy rancher/hunter from continuing but it does make them pay a bit more in taxes.

In respnose to Porchman - I like the city too - but I get it 6 days a week - its very theraputic, to enjoy nature, and be outside making a difference, as opposed to sitting in a hammock sipping cocktails....I relax by working, maybe you dont....I work behind a desk M-F, I work outside on Sat/Sun...its my relaxation, its how I wind down...it has nothing to do with being away from people, its being away from the city...I would not call that alienation. And until the law is in place changing the CURRENT LAW, the facts I stated remain true....Obama has said a lot of things, but he only does a fraction of what he says he is going to do. He has called for universal health care too, but I'll bet you that doesnt happen either. I would prefer not to bet my familys future on hope and change, but rather the current law as it stands. Hope and Change has been a total failure thus far.

RED - I can pretty much guarantee there are more methhead crack dealing / metal collectors in Houston than the country. Your ignorance on the subject is astounding. And yall call us non-democrats close minded...

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RED - I can pretty much guarantee there are more methhead crack dealing / metal collectors in Houston than the country. Your ignorance on the subject is astounding. And yall call us non-democrats close minded...

The fact that you think meth heads and crack dealers are the same thing speaks volumes. Let's face it, you have a romanticized notion of the country that does not exist. I understand that you are trying to make rural people and conservatives somehow "better" than liberals and city dwellers. You are not the first. I watched Sarah Palin use that line. But, just as Wasilla is beset with drug use and unwed teens, so is the rural lower 48. There may be a few ranchers in the country, just as there are a few CEOs in the city. But, the majority of the rural population is poor to middle class, and the closest they get to a ranch is shoveling sheet for some weekend rancher (why do I keep having GW Bush flashbacks). Not that there is anything wrong with shoveling sheet. It is simply that most rural people who vote Republican are doing so for vastly different reasons than you, and your attempts to paint all country people (or even yourself) as a bunch of modern day John Waynes is rather comical...and a whale of a stretch.

PS - I've spent a bunch of time in the real country dealing with their real life problems. I've probably sat on more rural recycled couches in air conditionless rural homes than you've ever seen. I've seen some of the "hobbies" that these people have. Rural America does not look like the idyllic picture that you paint.

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PS - I've spent a bunch of time in the real country dealing with their real life problems. I've probably sat on more rural recycled couches in air conditionless rural homes than you've ever seen. I've seen some of the "hobbies" that these people have. Rural America does not look like the idyllic picture that you paint.

Maybe your circumstances happen to bring you to those types of people, severely biasing your sample.

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Maybe your circumstances happen to bring you to those types of people, severely biasing your sample.

Absolutely. I am a criminal attorney. That is how I met these people. However, who will have a better view of life in rural America, the one whose occupation takes them into the homes of the rural residents, or the one who stays safely on his 'ranch' on Saturday and Sunday, occasionally hanging out at the feed store? Owning your 'ranch' may be nice. It may be relaxing. It may even be profitable. It is NOT representative of rural America.

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Absolutely. I am a criminal attorney. That is how I met these people. However, who will have a better view of life in rural America, the one whose occupation takes them into the homes of the rural residents, or the one who stays safely on his 'ranch' on Saturday and Sunday, occasionally hanging out at the feed store? Owning your 'ranch' may be nice. It may be relaxing. It may even be profitable. It is NOT representative of rural America.

My own experiences are somewhere in the middle. I know lots of rural folks. One is a rancher (really). Some live the hard life you describe. Most are normal folks just like you and me who got a map of Nowhere and decided to live smack dab in the middle of it.

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The fact that you think meth heads and crack dealers are the same thing speaks volumes. Let's face it, you have a romanticized notion of the country that does not exist. I understand that you are trying to make rural people and conservatives somehow "better" than liberals and city dwellers. You are not the first. I watched Sarah Palin use that line. But, just as Wasilla is beset with drug use and unwed teens, so is the rural lower 48. There may be a few ranchers in the country, just as there are a few CEOs in the city. But, the majority of the rural population is poor to middle class, and the closest they get to a ranch is shoveling sheet for some weekend rancher (why do I keep having GW Bush flashbacks). Not that there is anything wrong with shoveling sheet. It is simply that most rural people who vote Republican are doing so for vastly different reasons than you, and your attempts to paint all country people (or even yourself) as a bunch of modern day John Waynes is rather comical...and a whale of a stretch.

PS - I've spent a bunch of time in the real country dealing with their real life problems. I've probably sat on more rural recycled couches in air conditionless rural homes than you've ever seen. I've seen some of the "hobbies" that these people have. Rural America does not look like the idyllic picture that you paint.

So then by your logic, rural America is made up of mostly poor to lower middle class, meth cooks, and scrap metal recyclers....I have always wondered where everyone who is not actively engaged in farming/ranching but lived in the country got their money...I always thought they worked other rural jobs, for construction companies, small merchants, small business owners, cities, and counties, but now I guess I know they are all just losers, who dont like being around liberals so they live off welfare, scrap metal, and meth. Im sure this realization this will come as a surprise to most of these people.

I guess everyone that I frequently run into at those fancy frat boy 2 pump gas stations, and mom & pop grocery stores are the exception to the norm, becuase they all have jobs, and farm/ranch...Im not sure what part of the "country" your going to, but once you cross the rio grande, your not in the US anymore...

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Absolutely. I am a criminal attorney. That is how I met these people. However, who will have a better view of life in rural America, the one whose occupation takes them into the homes of the rural residents, or the one who stays safely on his 'ranch' on Saturday and Sunday, occasionally hanging out at the feed store? Owning your 'ranch' may be nice. It may be relaxing. It may even be profitable. It is NOT representative of rural America.

OH - and just one other thing, in case your wondering the depth of my involvement with rural life...the company I work for happens to have a manufacturing branch near our ranch....we employ 190 (6 engineers, 1 physicist, 15 or so in the office & the rest machinists, etc) people at that rural location in Schulenburg Tx, none of which are like you describe....I guess they are all exceptions as well....people like you describe exist for sure, but they are far from the majority of rural dwelling people.

Edited by Marksmu
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Rural Poverty In America

Rather than believe in romanticized visions of rural Texas, perpetuated by video of George Bush in pressed work shirt and jeans, I prefer reality. I grew up in western North Carolina, next door to Appalachia, where some of the most desparately poor rural residents live. I have seen the shanties in Mississippi, and the colonias in South Texas. I lived for a time in Arkansas, where the rusted out mobile homes actually had families living in them. I was a prosecutor in Fort Worth when rural North Texas was known as the 'Meth Capital of the World'. And, I have spent much time in Liberty, San Jacinto and other East Texas counties, where the poor are the virtual embodiment of recycling, though not for any romantic notion of saving the world, but merely to survive.

So, no, when I think of rural America, I do not think of SMU boys driving their big boy trucks to their hobby in the country. I think of the real rural America, with poverty rates 33% higher than in the cities, underfunded schools...if they haven't already dropped out to support the family, no health insurance, and low wage unskilled jobs working at feed lots, or running the 'ranch' for some weekend rancher...if they're lucky. When I drive into the country, I SEE the poor. I do not ignore them, just so that my romantic notion of the Marlboro Man may remain untarnished. Frankly, the rural poor in America are invisible. In the inner cities, there are activists and politicians who advocate for the poor, if for no other reason than that they represent votes. The rural poor have no advocates. Their votes are stolen by politicians who appeal to their morals and religion, but who then go to Congress and brag of the 'rugged individualists' in rural America, a euphemism used to deny them the services that the inner city poor receive.

So, I suppose to paraphrase your line, "I'm not sure where your 'ranch' is, but it sure must not be in the US.

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Rural Poverty In America

Rather than believe in romanticized visions of rural Texas, perpetuated by video of George Bush in pressed work shirt and jeans, I prefer reality. I grew up in western North Carolina, next door to Appalachia, where some of the most desparately poor rural residents live. I have seen the shanties in Mississippi, and the colonias in South Texas. I lived for a time in Arkansas, where the rusted out mobile homes actually had families living in them. I was a prosecutor in Fort Worth when rural North Texas was known as the 'Meth Capital of the World'. And, I have spent much time in Liberty, San Jacinto and other East Texas counties, where the poor are the virtual embodiment of recycling, though not for any romantic notion of saving the world, but merely to survive.

So, no, when I think of rural America, I do not think of SMU boys driving their big boy trucks to their hobby in the country. I think of the real rural America, with poverty rates 33% higher than in the cities, underfunded schools...if they haven't already dropped out to support the family, no health insurance, and low wage unskilled jobs working at feed lots, or running the 'ranch' for some weekend rancher...if they're lucky. When I drive into the country, I SEE the poor. I do not ignore them, just so that my romantic notion of the Marlboro Man may remain untarnished. Frankly, the rural poor in America are invisible. In the inner cities, there are activists and politicians who advocate for the poor, if for no other reason than that they represent votes. The rural poor have no advocates. Their votes are stolen by politicians who appeal to their morals and religion, but who then go to Congress and brag of the 'rugged individualists' in rural America, a euphemism used to deny them the services that the inner city poor receive.

So, I suppose to paraphrase your line, "I'm not sure where your 'ranch' is, but it sure must not be in the US.

Your own document (outdated and incorrect) pointed out poverty at 20% - a mere 5% higher than the urban poverty rate. Your statements tend to make it look as if everyone in the country is a meth cooking, poor metal recyler, when even your own document does not support your statement. Out of all of rural America, 80% are NOT in poverty...You would have me believe, which I dont, that of the 20% in poverty all are unwed mothers, meth cooks, and scrimp by recycling cars and tin cans...Your argument does not pass muster with even your own document, let alone the picture that anyone in the US can get by just driving through the countryside.

I have spent an enormous amount of time in Schulenburg, and Anahuac both rural - and have traveled extensively across the coastal areas of Texas...there are many poor people in all the areas I have been, but there are also MORE people who are not poor in those areas. I do not turn a blind eye to it, I see it - but there are still many more people who are not poor. Here in Texas at least we have much less rural poverty, b/c the majority of our crops can be harvested by machine, and do not require a significant number of low income migratory ag labor.

Most people who reside rurally have a job in, construction, manufacturing, government, or otherwise, and also have cows or crops on the side. Rural income is depressed because many of the rural people put the money back into their farm/ranch operation instead of paying taxes on it. I know ALL of the people that I know in the rural areas will buy a new tractor and expense it, before they pay it to uncle Sam in Taxes and increase their tax brackets....that is part of the reason rural income is much lower.

Here is the most recent data from the USDA concerning poverty/education/Employment

(http://www.ers.usda.gov/StateFacts/US.htm)

Poverty:

It shows the poverty rate in Rural America is 15.8% as opposed to Urban rate of 12.4% - a big change from your source.

Education:

23.5% of Rural do not complete Highschool, compared to 18.8% in Urban areas

25.5% complete some college ruraly, compared to 27.8% in Urban areas

and 15.1% graduate from college in rural areas, compared to 26.4% in urban.

Employment

Rural unemployment is at 5.6% and Urban is at 5.8% - not much difference

Income:

The only real large difference with Rural income at $33,793 , as oposed to Urban income at $51,551. At first glance this seems like a big difference, but when you factor in the cost of living and the fact that many urban people buy equipment/improvements for the express purpose of not paying more taxes, this difference is actually not so large.

I am truly sorry that your view of the world is so negative, everyone in the rural American is a poor meth cook metal recycler, nobody can afford healthcare, the ice caps are melting, guns are killing people instead of people killing people... but if you turn off the TV and get out in the REAL world (the one outside the criminal courthouse) the reality it is that everything is actually fine. The government wants you to be afraid so that under the guise of protection they can take what they want from you, as you happily smile and feel safe, while you become neither happier, nor safer. You are their dream citizen - not only do you buy into it all, but you propogate their propoganda.

Appropriate Quotes by Benjamin Franklin...

"Those who will give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety"

"I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it."

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I am truly sorry that your view of the world is so negative, everyone in the rural American is a poor meth cook metal recycler, nobody can afford healthcare, the ice caps are melting, guns are killing people instead of people killing people... but if you turn off the TV and get out in the REAL world (the one outside the criminal courthouse) the reality it is that everything is actually fine. The government wants you to be afraid so that under the guise of protection they can take what they want from you, as you happily smile and feel safe, while you become neither happier, nor safer. You are their dream citizen - not only do you buy into it all, but you propogate their propoganda.

This cracks me up. Your hobby 'ranch' in the hill country is the REAL world, but the criminal courthouse is make believe. It is exactly this ability to wear blinders while looking at the world that has put your favorite political party in the doghouse. This, and your inability to perform simple math (20% IS 33% larger than 15%), makes me done with this exercise. I never expected to get you to look around your world and see that it is not how you claim it to be. I only intended to point out some of the faulty premises you use, and that is done.

I do have to admit, though, if all it takes to be a rancher is $30,000 and a couple of half days work on the weekend, I don't know why everyone doesn't have one. Sounds like pretty easy work to me. Given this knowledge, I certainly will never sympathize with the ranchers who claim life is so tough out there.

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