You know that 1999 NYT story that’s been floating around on Twitter about the passage of the bill to loosen U.S. banking regulations by repealing the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933? It includes some prescient warnings like this one from Sen. Byron Dorgan:
“I think we will look back in 10 years’ time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930’s is true in 2010.”
Like any outraged citizen, my first instinct on reading this was to figure out who to blame for passing this law. So I thought I’d use WashingtonPost.com’s congressional votes database to see how members of the House and Senate voted on this bill.
The Post’s database allows users to group votes by several criteria (including some silly stuff like lawmakers’ astrological signs). The most salient stat seems to be “boomer status”: Pre-baby-boomer lawmakers were more likely to vote against the bill (especially in the Senate), presumably because many of them still remembered the Great Depression.
Maybe older really does mean wiser?
If you find other interesting trends in the data, post them here.
Update: OpenSecrets.org is a few steps ahead: Back in September 2008, they had details not only on the voting record for the banking bill but also on industry contributions to lawmakers broken down by yeas and nays. (hat tip: @bill_allison)