The stupidest electoral group?

If the primary criterion when swearing allegiance to a political party is economic self-interest (getting the best tax/benefits ratio), then:

Democrats earning over $250,000/year : Idiots
Democrats earning between $85,000-$250,000/year : Neutral
Democrats earning under $85,000/year : Smart

Republicans earning over $250,000/year : Smart
Republicans earning between $85,000-$250,000/year : Neutral
Republicans earning under $85,000/year : Idiots

~5% earn >250k
~80% earn < 85k

It seems to me that over 80% of republican voters are voting against their economic interest. That seems pretty stupid to me. What do you have to say for yourselves, unwealthy republicans? That includes you, Joe the plumber.

According to October 16th Gallup poll, only 43% are going to vote Republican. By my reckoning that means, if all those earning > $85,000 voted McCain, only 65% of republicans were stupid by your standard.

Don’t you understand? They’re all *going *to be rich… someday!

Point taken, but your premise is invalid; not everyone votes solely (or primarily) based on economic self-interest. Aside from those who vote one way or the other without knowledge of their chosen candidate’s policies and/or their effects – admittedly a depressingly large group, and the one I believe your OP is intended to impugn – there are perfectly valid reasons to vote against one’s wallet.

I, for example, vote almost solely based on social issues. As a civil libertarian, my primary criterion is avoiding war whenever possible barring immediate threat, followed closely by expansion of individual freedoms domestically. A candidate for office who supported these views would damn near have to advocate Soviet Communism to lose my vote on economics, and even then I’d feel dirty about it. Based on this, if I have to choose between the two major parties (and I regularly thank the gods that I don’t), I’d support the Democrats, whose social views generally align more closely with my own.

Similarly, I’ve known many who vote Republican based purely on social stances, but I’ll save that rant for another time.

This is a pretty dumb OP, in that it makes two wholly unfounded assumptions: one, that the only reason to vote in a particular way is economic self-interest, and two, that economic self-interest is best defined by your individual tax burden.

But for most people it’s almost certainly not, for the simple reason that a minority of the electorate are single-issue voters. And it is, IMO, a minority of that minority for the simple reason that the objectively relatively minor differences in taxation between the two platforms ( because really the electorate won’t tolerate radical changes in either direction ) rarely is a make or break economic factor in most people’s lives. So while it sways votes, I am not convinced it is ever the overriding factor except for a relative handful of the most philosophically pure of ideologues. It’ll get cited up and down as a major point of interest, but most people buy into a package of concerns.

Frankly it amazes me these threads wherein people wonder dazedly how anyone could even conceive of voting for X/Y/Z keep popping up. The above is just common sense. Warren Buffet is not an idiot. Neither ( necessarily ) are poor evangelicals voting first and foremost their social concerns.

Since Warren Buffet is one of Obama’s advisors, I’m going to assume that he’ll vote Democrat this year. I also will assume that he makes (much) more than $250K. By the OP definition, he is an “Idiot”. I would submit that he’s smarter than most, at least in terms of personal finances. If my assumptions are correct, I have trouble reconciling them with the OP equation.

You’ve defined “economic self-interest” very narrowly. It is entirely possible that many republicans that earn less than 250k per year recognize that republican policies are better for the economy as a whole. Also, lots of prople vote on issies unrelated to economics.

Power to the prople, right on.

Has the possibility entered into your brain, at all, that some people think the economy as a whole will be improved by having less taxes, bringing everyone up? That some people aren’t so short sighted as to go after the man giving them the most money RIGHT NOW? That some people would rather live in a capitalistic state than a welfare state?

This is what infuriates me about the threads proclaiming how middle-class conservatives are “betraying” themselves by voting Republican. It’s as if the people making these complaints have no concept of the future, that demanding $100 today is not better than getting $10,000 over the course of a year.

Vox Imperatoris

It doesn’t take much in the way of brains to vote for the political party that will let you pay less tax/recieve more benefits - they don’t exactly hide it, do they?

IANARepublican, but even limiting yourself to the tax/benefits ratio, a refusal to vote yourself other people’s money isn’t necessarily done out of stupidity.

Historically and factually speaking Democratic Presidents experience higher GDP growth, lower budget deficits, higher stock market growth (though this effect is smaller), higher employment growth, greater improvement in the unemployment rate and a fall in the Gini coefficient. Cite. Many of these effects are apparently statistically significant. Cite. The hypothesis of your hypothetical Republican is falsified.

Many wealthy democrats are knowingly voting against their own economic self interest (from a tax perspective, anyway). It takes a certain amount of brains just to get in a position to earn $250K a year. These aren’t stupid people. Some are genuine, die hard liberals who do believe their wealth should be distributed for the betterment of all. I imagine many are people like my parents (and my boss)-- fiscally conservative, socially liberal (conservative/moderate for NY or SF, but way to the left of the general GOP) who are willing to take the pocketbook hit for their beliefs.

I think many poorer Republicans do the same-- either feeling conservative financial policies are better for them/the country as a whole, even if it means they get less of a tax break, or feeling the tax break is worth sacrificing for their social policy desires.

The left has a nasty habit of thinking their sacrificers are noble, while those on the right are idiots.

I suppose the problem is there are idiots (who are, I think, louder than their true numbers), who’s economic perspective is “Democrats=Taxes! Taxes Bad!” with not an iota of nuance or understanding of either candidates’ economic policy. They’re not stupid because they’re voting against their interests. They’re stupid because they’re don’t even know (and refuse to find out) which candidate serves their interests, they’re just reflexively voting for ignorance. Like there are people on the left who know nothing about foreign policy but “Republicans=Bombs! Bombs Bad!”

((FWIW, my interests are so varied I’m always voting against half of them.))

Of course. These people are the idiots. :slight_smile:

You think under McCain you’ll get $10,000 in the long run for each $100 Obama would give you in tax cuts?

You have trouble with numbers, don’t you?

Trickle down has failed. It failed and you’re begging for more. It makes more sense to get more money in the hands of the middle class so they can spend more, so that businesses make more. Not the other way around. You had it your way chachi, and the result was lower wages and richer big business.

Usually when a group has failed so utterly they at least have the decency to be embarrassed about it.

In theory, bees can’t fly.

I’d like to congratulate the OP on presenting an argument so half-baked that Dopers from the right and left have come together in agreement of how dumb it is.

I hate to be a dick and ask for a cite, but can you cite that 5% of the population earns greater than 250k? I looked this up awhile back and the number I saw indicated that the average wage of the top 5% was > 250k, but to be in the top 5% you didn’t need 250k. Since there’s no upper bound those making millions per year greatly increase the average, but to be in the top 5% by population you needed much less.

I don’t know about individuals, but in 2007, the percentage of households making over $250,000 was only 1.9% (2,245,000 out of 116,783,000). I should think it would be even lower for individuals.

I don’t approve of killing babies. Logical enough for you?