I’m currently supporting Obama and little short of divine revelations that didn’t cease after changing my medication or a videotape of him dancing around skulls of 9/11 victims is going to sway me, but I will admit that as a fiscal conservative (albeit one who believes a national health plan is no longer optional but mandatory) there are particular economic policies of John McCain I like more and I like Clinton’s National Health Plan I like better. (On the whole though I actually agree more with Obama’s economics as well as his social policies.)
However, suppose there were two candidates running and one has social policies (his views on abortion, or LGBT issues, or immigration, etc.) you favor but his economic or international policies, not so much. The other is exactly the opposite: you think he’d be great fiscally or internationally, but his domestic and social policies not so much. Which would you go with?
For me fiscal policy just isn’t as important as the social issues. And in addition to that, the president’s effect on the economy is notoriously hard to determine. What stimulates the economy, what depresses it? There are a million opinions, and in the end there are just so many factors outside the president’s control that affect the economy. On the other hand it’s comparatively easy for a president to set an agenda in line with his views on universal health care, education, immigration, etc that results in legislation and real changes.
This is a difficult question to answer because the split between social and economic isn’t very clear. You characterize immigration policy as a social issue in your OP but it’s got a strong economic component. While I might be fundamentally in favor of amnesty for illegals the cost and impact it might have on social services and/or how it might effect the price of agricultural goods could outweigh my moral judgments on the topic.
Social issues, Universal Health Care for one, cannot be divorced from the economic impact they come with.
Similarly foreign policy questions are particularly entwined with defense issues.
When there are Supreme Court appointments looming on the horizon social issues become a much more pressing concern and when there’s a recession building economic ones are the priority.
I worry about voters who have tunnel vision on one issue. I don’t care how rabidly you support gay marriage or how important preserving the Second Amendment is to you, you need to support the candidate who will do the most to improve your overall quality of life. Generally economic issues are going to have the most direct impact on that, so I suppose that’s what I consider to be the most important. If I can’t afford my lifestyle gun ownership, gay marriage and prayer in schools start looking like pretty minor issues.
This is why I find democratic voting to be so limiting. If I like some of party A’s policies, and some of party B’s, but I also have a particular good feeling about incumbent candidate C, who is not affiliated with either party A or B, who the heck do I give my single vote to?
In the end, because I’m not really able to say that any given candidate has really what I want, I usually don’t vote at all. It’s particularly difficult nowadays, where certain policies are almost universally adopted across the board no matter which wing they’re in.
I firmly believe I would vote my conscience rather than my pocketbook.
This belief goes back at least as far as the Reagan presidency. I was a TA at the time, and was surprised to discern that the overwhelming majority of my undergrad students considered themselves Repus and supported Reagan, despite a total lack of awareness of any specific domestic or foreign policies. My strong opinion then (right or wrong) was that they were largely children of privilege, espousing views consistent with their parents’ economic interests.
As it is, I’m financially comfortable. I see no need to sacrifice public interest with the aim of becoming more well off. That is one thing that confuses me - in economic matters, “more” is generally considered better, with no consideration of what might be “enough,” and what costs others might incur for me to further improve my situation.
I would have to go with the one whose social issue stances line up closer with mine. For example, I refuse to knowingly vote for anybody for any office who is pro-life, which was the major reason I didn’t vote in one governor’s election in Louisiana while I was there; even the Democrat was pro-life, so I didn’t feel like I could vote for her in good conscience.
I agree with this. The world economy is too much for any one person to sway significantly, even if that person is the US President. The President has a much bigger impact as a leader of social and diplomatic matters.
Taxes, universal health care, living wages, trade, industry subsidies, regulation, imigration, the environment, alternative energy, and abortion are all socioeconomic issues. Ultimately they all affect our standard of living. “Economics” is more than just big companies making money for rich people.
Inequity causes crime and drug use, huh? Wow, I didn’t know people still believed this. And the tax structure favors the rich? You mean the rich who are paying a hugely disproportionate share of the taxes in this nation?
But I agree with you that economic issues are social issues in the sense that there is a moral dimension to them. A candidate that runs on a platform that the government should confiscate property from one group of people to give to another is, to me, being immoral. The notion that just because you’ve been a good businessman the government gets to take more of your money is, to me, immoral.
Yeah, I’ve never understood that libertarian “confiscation” argument. The government creates the circumstances and infrastructure in which everyone makes that money in the first place, so you have to pay your commission to “the house.” If this government gives you the infrastructure to make a lot more than the average person, you have to pay a lot more back to the house, for the greater good. You still have a shit-ton left over, and are ahead of 95% of the rest of us. It’s just business.
That’s not the same as inequity, but I see where you’re going. No, I don’t think poverty does cause those things. If you think that, let’s see some proof. Yes, poor people have these problems but correlation does not mean causation.
When the government forces me to give it part of my income or it will either send me to jail or kill me for resisting its agents, then I say that’s confiscation.
Sure, I think taxes are evil but are a necessary evil. Yes the government should be able to tax people to pay for necessary services and infrastructure. But to take more from the rich just because they are rich makes no sense. The government did not create the wealth of the rich (unless you are a civil servant or a government contractor). Why do the rich owe the government more than the poor? Because the rich went out and worked for their money? Why should they be punished? The poor derive more in services from the government, so why shouldn’t they pay more?
Why? If you make more it’s not because of the infrastructure. People should pay an equal share, or pay according to their usage. Just taking money from one group “for the greater good” is pretty ridiculuous. What, after all, is “the greater good”?
So it basically boils down to “you have too much, so we’re going to take it to use as we see fit.” That’s theft, pure and simple.
Because “more” is relative. The rich actually pay less than the poor in proportion to how much money they have and how much money they have left over. If I have $100 and you have $10, and the government takes $1 from you and $1 from me, you’ve actually paid 10 times “as much” as I have. To be equal, the government should take $10 from me and $1 from you. But to be fair, the government should take more like $50 from me and $1 from you, because at the end of the day, I still have $50 and you only have $9.
You have to pay the house; it’s that simple. “Infrastructure” isn’t just emergency services and roads, it’s the fact that there is a nation construct in which you live with all of the benefits implied. You have to pay a commission for the right to use that infrastructure to enrich yourself. “The Greater Good” is everything that feeds into creating that infrastructure.
So it basically boils down to “you have too much, so we’re going to take it to use as we see fit.” That’s theft, pure and simple. I have also received other information I cannot understand.
Since this information was given to me directly but not for me per se,
it must be communicated to others, many of whom are better prepared than I to receive it.
Accordingly I was also shown how to make the painting into psychotronic, or mind-matter interactive device which is
activated by approaching the painting, stretching out your arms, touching the upright hands and staring into the eye.
By doing this, new information will come to you through the
active use of the divine proportion, which is the
proportion of life connecting to death.
How is that “fair”? I think it’s pretty unfair if the government takes more from me merely because I have more to take. Again, the government didn’t give you that money, so why is it justified in taking it? The only justification is to pay for necessary goods and services. If I use more goods and services, then I can see how it’s fair to charge me more. Or if we take an equal percentage from everyone, that seems pretty fair, too. But taking a larger percentage from someone just because he or she makes more money, that’s pretty much the definition of unfair in my book.
We don’t live in a casino, you know.
Sure, taxes. I’m not saying the rich should pay no taxes, I’m only saying that it makes no sense to ask them to pay more based on your views. The infrastructure benefits the poor as much as it benefits them. The rich simply use that infrastructure to make money for themselves. The poor do not. Why penalize the rich for making the world a better place by providing goods and services desired by consumers?
So basically what you are saying is that you have no idea how to define what you want. You have a dislike of the rich and want them to pay more to fund this amorphous “greater good.” Whatever.
Yes there is some overlap. But for me I generally ignore social issues such as abortion and such. Most of those issues tend to make for juicy soundbites and take up most of the time in debates but they have little or nothing to do with the presidency. I look mostly at national defense and fiscal policy.