Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Voting against one's economic interests: Dumb when you're poor, principled when you're wealthy?

This is not a comment on the recent Obama/bitter controversy, but the context in which that arose did bring to mind a conversation I had with a Utah acquaintance a while back. Musing about some low-income friends who consistently vote Republican solely because of their passion for guns, he wondered, "Why are they so stupid? They're voting against their economic interests."

I thought about it. Assuming -- as we did -- that Democrats are more likely to help low- and middle-income people, and assuming -- as we did -- that Republicans are more likely to help upper-income people, that meant . . . .

"I'm voting against my economic interests," I said. "I should be voting for Republicans."

Well, that's different, he seemed to suggest; it wasn't stupid for me to vote principle over pocketbook. But it was for his lower-income friends? Hmm . . .

6 comments:

Brian Watkins said...

Unless you're in the top 0.001 percent income-wise (and no, top 0.01% is not enough), then the Democrats' policies are better for you economically than the Republicans'.

You see, Republicans apparently want to pollute our air and water, ruin our public schools, drive drug gangs into our neighborhoods, dump the homeless and ill on the streets, and require us to grease the palms of insurance executives to get basic health care.

If you're going to buy your way out of that mess with your own private estate, armed guards, and staff surgeon in your mansion, you'd better be making $10 million a year. Anything less and it's time to vote for the Donkey.

Cameron said...

Assuming -- as we did -- that Democrats are more likely to help low- and middle-income people, and assuming -- as we did -- that Republicans are more likely to help upper-income people,

You know what happens when you assume.

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