Rising gas prices make people unhappy, but the pain is felt most acutely in states where it is unlikely to make an electoral difference.
There are numerous geographic themes that make this article a worthwhile read. The evidence suggests that states the vote more solidly Republican are being hit hardest at the pump. Gasoline expenditures as a share of personal income are higher in pro-Republican states than pro-Democrat states. Understanding the demographic base of each party as well as population density explains much of this issue: states that are very rural drive greater distances with less public transit option, spending more per capita on gasoline. Also, since the most affluent urban centers are Democrat-leaning, they spend a less sizeable portion of their income on gasoline. This article would be a nice resource for a classroom/small group discussion.
This is a great interactive feature focusing on the differential impacts of the economic downturn on particular places. You can zoom in, see county-level data, and slide the time bar at the bottom to get spatiotemporal data.
The U.S. is often thought of as a nation connected by roads—since the 1960s the Interstate Highway has defined American culture and led to untold economic prosperity. But a new map of the nation’s rivers tells a very different story.
The National Atlas that is available online has an extensive database for simple online mapping. This is "GIS-light," an easy way to explore the spatial patterns within U.S. census data and other data sets. The lists all contain a wide variety of variables, making this a good way to get students to explore potential research topics. Thanks to the Connecticut Geographic Alliance coordinator for suggesting this link.
"It's a myth that the U.S. doesn't make anything anymore." The U.S. economy still produces more through manufacturing tangible goods ($1.5 trillion) than it does in providing services ($600 billion) for the international market. The maps and graphs in this article are great teaching materials. The impact of NAFTA is shown powerfully in the regionalization of U.S. trade partners, making this salient material for a discussion on supranationalism as well.
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