Posted at 4:16 PM on October 9, 2009
by Jeff Horwich
...Mapping the Sins is a Hard Thing to Do.
For the new podcast episode, we put a call in to Mitchell Stimers, a geographer at Kansas State University, who helped create maps showing (sort of) the distribution of the Seven Deadly Sins across the U.S. Listen (six minutes or so):
All those elderly people in FL causing trouble!
Just kidding! :)
I am very interested in the few points where the high and low levels touch or are closely separated without the middle range in between. I wonder what the cause is.
I think the greed map is a load of what have you. The coal fields of WV, the West Texas oil fields and the meth and dope growing/producing regions of the Ozarks are somehow free from greed. Methinks there were some foregone/faulty conclusions used to provide a basis for this map.
In the interview, the guy explains how they calculated "greed' -- it's an index of income inequality, basically. In the areas you mention, I can understand why they'd come out blue: WV, the Ozarks, and the (mostly vacant) Texas oil fields probably are short on the high-income-earners who would tend to skew an area red. It's a valid question whether you'd call that measure a perfect measure of "greed," but he'd be the first to cop to that.