I left politics at my last blog, and this post is about the visualization of data at least as much as it is about the actual data itself. Researchers from the University of Utah and Cal State have examined the relationship between the location of payday lending companies and the political strength of the religious right. They find a strong correlation between the two. The explanation put forward by the authors is:
“When the Christian Right allied itself with conservative Wall Street business interests in the 1980s and early ‘90s, consumer protection law was placed to the side as an inconvenient sticking point. The laws allowing an astonishing number of triple-digit-interest-rate lenders throughout most of the Christian South and Mormon West are a legacy of that political alliance.”
I think that is kind of interesting; but it really comes alive when you look at the data in a visual way. Thanks to Consumerist, we have two splendid maps that speak for themselves:
This ties in nicely with another map recently published in an entirely different context.