Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Nepotism Update

I failed to do a literature search before I posted previously on Glenn Greenwald's complaints about nepotism and the Senate. Turns out that I didn't make a mistake, because the key paper here is unpublished work by Tom Schaller and Geoffrey Vaughan that Schaller talks about over at FiveThirtyEight. Turns out that in fact family ties in the Senate have steadily decreased over the history of the Republic.

Schaller doesn't offer any thoughts on media nepotism (the lasted flare-up was sparked by Bush's kid getting hired by NBC, but since the bulk of the "media" used to be newspapers, and most of those were family-owned, I have to believe that nepotism is less of a big deal than it was, say, a hundred years ago.

So my original claim of "no difference" may have been far too generous to Greenwald. Looks like the answer is: the opposite of what he thought.


  1. Is this supposed to pass for analysis? Tom Schaller has an unpublished chart with no underlying data and that settles that? I based my claims on an extensive interview with a PhD expert in the field of dynastic succession and nepotism, and then published a separate interview with him as a podcat. He says the exact opposite of Schaller:

    I don't know what explains the discrepency -- though Schaller's chart only counts relatives in Congress, not ones in other key positions such as Governorships.

    As for Olympia Snowe, her husband was Governor of Maine. That's why she made my list of "those in the Senate with immediate family members in high political office."

  2. Dude, who are you? That's a compliment:

    Glennzilla finds your 6 week-old blog and gives you a comment? Congrats!

    But, who are you? That's a WTF:

    132 blog posts since July 27? Nice work if you can get it.

    I'm a left-of-left leftie, and I enjoy Larison, but Dreher? What's your reason for blogrolling him? (question retracted if you're Orthodox)


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