Fiscally speaking, it has always seemed to me that liberals would rather see a society where everything is crappy for everyone (as is invariably the case when government tries to enforce ‘fairness’, ala the Soviet Union, East Germany, China, et al.) than to have a society where things are absolutely great for 5%, super for 20%, good for 60%, and with 15% poor and stuggling.
Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to think that the system that works best for the most people is better.
Conservatives also feel that most of the people who have money or who make enough to live comfortably got there by dint of hard work for most of their lives. Many were conscientious students, paid attention in class and did their homework; worked hard when they got out into world; and either made it by being good, hard-working employees or by going into business for themselves, thereby putting a considerable amount of their money (oftentimes borrowed) at risk and working long, hard hours to make their business pay off.
They naturally resent efforts by liberals to take away money they have earned and give it to people who probably didn’t work so hard in school, didn’t do their homework, didn’t strive to get ahead in the workplace, and didn’t gamble money and put in lots of hard work to make it in a business of their own.
This resentment is called ‘selfishness’ by liberals, who want to take money away from these hard-working, productive types and give it to people who have chosen a way of life in which they’re just getting by, if that.
Also, conservatives know that there’s no such thing as “fair”, and when you try to make things ‘fair’ you only create unfairness of another kind.
We also believe that government is inherently wasteful, bureauocratic, inept and unresponsive; that it can’t do anything well or efficiently, and that it spends too much of the money it takes in simply operating and paying salaries, benefits and too many days off for its own bloated workforce.
Additionally, we’ve seen what happens when you have a society that tries to make everything ‘fair’ by doing away with privately owned business and corporations and having the government control everything. The communist societies of the last century are perfect examples of what is wrong with that approach, with government-assigned jobs, people standing in line for hours to get a loaf of bread, everyone living in tiny, cramped apartments, and drab, opressive lives for everyone.
And to us it seems this type of government is the logical conclusion of what liberals are evangelizing for when they gripe about small numbers of people having the most wealth, doing away with corporations, etc. (This is not to say that all or even most liberals are in favor of eliminating private enterprise. But some do and that’s worrisome enough.)
I’ll have to get into what I think conservatives believe is best socially some other time.