Does Bush want to make us rich ?

Someone at work has the idea that right wing parties depend on the votes of the ‘well off’ and left wing ones on ‘the poor’.

Therefore does Bush have a vested interest in making people richer ?

More important than whose votes they are trying to get is whose money they are trying to get to finance their campaigns. (After all, the Republicans have proven it is pretty easy to get the votes of working class white males without giving them back anything of substance in return just by making subtle appeals to things like “race”, “family values”, etc.)

Both major parties in the U.S. rely largely on money from the wealthy and corporate donors to finance their campaigns, and thus those are the interests that tend to get better represented. Democrats also get a small fraction of their money from other interest groups such as unions and environmental groups and thus this makes them somewhat less captive to the corporate interests than the Republicans are.

I suppose if there were a major left wing party in the U.S., they would get most of their funding from unions, environmental groups, and the like…And, in fact, I would imagine that may be true of the Greens (although I don’t know that for a fact). But, of course, the Greens are hardly a major party in the U.S. at this point.

Um, dude and jshore, you’re a tad mistaken.
Most large corporations will give to both Democrats and Republicans, so that no matter who’s in power, they’re not left out in the cold.
In addition, Democrats have three powerhouse money constituencies in their corner: unions, trial lawyers, and Hollywood.
Republicans get the private money of the people who work for those large corporations at high levels, for the most part. In addition, they get money from right-wing foundations favoring anti-abortion, anti-tort (the counter to the trial lawyers), pro-defense, anti-gun control, and pro-business (chambers of commerce and the like) policies.

Anyway, Bush does have a vested interest in making people not so much rich as property owners. It’s no mistake that pro-Republican attitudes rise sharply in the 'burbs. Give a guy a piece of land, no matter how small, and suddenly he feels like JR Ewing. At the very least, they’ll start looking more kindly on Country music and Country Kitchen.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that jshore is a Democrat. A naive one, at that. :smiley:

I also doubt a party farther left than the Democrats would get much union money. From the statistics I recall, unions are fairly evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, despite the fact that the leadership of the unions is solidly Democrat. Certainly, I can’t imagine the Green Party getting the support of blue collar workers who depend on jobs in polluting industries.

I also doubt that either “the rich” or “the poor” are large enough groups to make much of a difference in their actual votes. Both parties try to appeal to the middle class as much as possible.

Especially since the middle class keeps growing.

The trick is in figuring out which actions are done simply to get votes, and which actions are genuine.

over here in the UK a right wing party ( tories ) made it easier to buy property cos people with property tend to vote right wing so, your right… so in a way making people richer is in the interests of the right.

The Billionares for Bush (or Gore) website says that 66 corporations donated $50,000 or more to both the Presidential candidates. As the rich guy in the movie Contact says, “Why own one when you can have two at twice the price?”.

Won’t argue with the first two, but the studios are more evenly split than most people think. News Corp and Disney both are among the Republicans’ top corporate donors, and AOL Time Warner probably will be too, soon.

Where would the money come from? In order to make me rich, someone has to get poorer.

I suppose that he could have a vested interest in making Americans rich at the expense of other nations - I think that would be bad foreign policy. And difficult to accomplish.

He could try and make middle class and poor Americans richer at the expense of the really wealthy - but that would make him a Democrat.

He could try and make rich American’s richer at the expense of the poor and possibly the middle class - a lot of Democrats claim that’s what he is doing with his tax cut.

Wealth is created through economic activity. Someone else does not need to become poor in order for others to become rich. In fact the opposite is true, it is very hard to become wealthy without making others wealthy at the same time.

Which is why the income disparity between rich Americans and poor Americans is growing? Or why the disparity between rich nations and poor nations is also growing?

Actually, I believe you. I think you can make a case either way - economic theory being a rather fuzzy science. I have a little more faith in the rich get richer, because I have a friend who has his masters in econ whom I trust who has more faith in it. But he’ll argue your way, too, since both models are unproven in his mind. And because closed system econ is easier for my little mind to get around. (yes, I realize it isn’t really a closed system).

It is thought that the left is for the poor and the right for the rich. However, politicians, on the whole, do not care about the people. It’s all a power play to them. If they really cared about the poor then there would be less poor people than there are. Period. Both parties, demos and repubs depend on the rich. They need the money to fund campaigns. The CEO of a company I used to work for was friends with Clinton. This CEO was filthy rich. Yet here he was playing footsies with the president. If the demos and/or left cared about the poor then why are they buddy buddy with rich people like the CEO I mentioned? Money talks.

The reason the disparity between rich and poor keep growing is the rich have more money than the poor. For example if you have $100 and I have $10 and we both put our money in an investment that brings us a 20% return you now have $120 and I now have $12. The income disparity between us has grown, and yet I am much better off than I was before.
Also remember that the people who are in the lowest quintile are not always the same people who were in it 10 years ago. So when you are comparing the highest an lowest groups you are probably not comparing the same people. There will always be a disparity between the richest and the poorest for the same reason that half the country will always be below average.

Remo, do you believe the answer to poverty is to have politicians who care about the poor. Would these politicians have to have policies that benefit the poor, or would caring being enough. If they need actual policies, what are these policies that are currently being blocked by the rich?

pg: If they need actual policies, what are these policies that are currently being blocked by the rich?

I doubt that any policies for the poor are deliberately being blocked by the rich qua rich: that’s a sort of cartoon class-war vilification that I don’t think anybody of intelligence seriously believes. A subtler and more accurate representation might be to say that everybody’s primarily motivated by self-interest, and those interests are often different for the rich and the poor—and the rich have much more power and influence. (Especially since the poor, who are disproportionately politically unaware and unlikely to vote, aren’t making effective use of their numerical advantage.)

For example, rich people who own or run companies and therefore have to pay other people to help increase their wealth have a strong vested interest in not paying those people more than they absolutely have to. Thus, the rich and the political institutions that represent them are generally strongly opposed to policies that would raise minimum wage levels, aggressively defend workers’ right to unionize, or insert strong labor rights provisions into international trade agreements, all of which would reduce the poverty of poor working people.

Similarly, wealthy people can generally afford to pay for higher-quality versions of things like education, health care, housing, and old-age pensions within the private sector than they would get from public funding; the tax contributions they make to education, health care, housing, and pensions for poor people are therefore of no direct benefit to them, which is why the wealthy tend to favor “small-government”, i.e. low-tax, policies. In addition, they’re more apt to support large public investment in military or commercial development, which is something that is likely to be directly profitable for them, but leaves less available for “poor people’s policies” like subsidized education, healthcare, and urban infrastructure—cf. Bush’s proposed budget.

So in short, to answer the OP: Yes, rich people are more likely to support the sort of policies that Bush is prioritizing. But no, that doesn’t mean he needs policies that will make poor people rich (as opposed to making rich people richer): the rich people he already has seem to be supporting him adequately.

Cute example, puddleglum, but when most people talk about the disparity in wealth growing, they are not talking about the absolute numerical difference growing. It is usually something closer to a ratio (although often expressed as, say, the top 1% own 50% of the wealth or whatever), which in your example remains fixed.

Thinking a little harder about your example, however, does point out one reason why, in the absence of countervailing forces (such as progressive taxation), the disparity in wealth grows: In reality, while the rich person may invest that $100 and make a good return, the poor person will probably spend it since they could use any money the can get and thus won’t get such a return. In other words, the easiest way to make money is to have money!

By the way, SPOOFE Bo Diddly, which part of my comment did you find naive? That the Democrats are any less captive to corporate interests than the Reps? I did say “somewhat less captive”…I debated saying “marginally less captive”, but I think the current Administration is proving that, while the differences between the two parties may not be all that great, they are still real.


suppose the real agenda is to get re-elected and whatever that takes… mm… targetting policy at marginal states…mm… could be !

The Midlle Class is shrinking not growing, Bo. To the point of non-existence. And no, there is no vast surge in the number of wealthy people.
The average person today works long hours than a similar person in the 1970’s. And at a proportionally lower rate of pay.
But corporate profits are way, way up. It’s just not being shared with the working people who make it possible.

Bush is no backer of higher wages or employee benefits.

So, in a sense, he does favor the rich.
Hence the anti-union stance of the WTO agreement.