What political inclination would you describe yourself as?

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What political inclination would you describe yourself as?

  • Liberal

    Votes: 18 28.6%
  • Conservative

    Votes: 9 14.3%
  • Libertarian

    Votes: 14 22.2%
  • Statist

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Centrist

    Votes: 7 11.1%
  • Other

    Votes: 10 15.9%
  • I don't do politics.

    Votes: 5 7.9%

  • Total voters
    63
  • #26
BobG
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A true conservative would do his/her best to see that middle-class and lower-class (economically) people would get favorable tax treatment, since they spend most of their disposable income and their consumerism is the engine behind economic growth in the US. Giving tax cuts to the wealthy, and to businesses that export jobs overseas is NOT conservatism. It is not rational behavior based on concern for the common good, but short-sighted bias to benefit the wealthiest and most powerful.
Reagan didn't bloat government. He wanted to cut a lot of government spending, and was criticized for the amount he was able to get cut. In fact, the establishment Republican party actually fought against him on some of this, because they were benefiting from some of the big-government he wanted to cut.
There's at least three different Republican Party economic philosophies. I'm not sure which would be considered the "true conservative policy", but I'd guess Reagan's supply-side tax cuts for the wealthy and business wouldn't be it - or at least not the traditional conservative approach since it was still a very new Republican idea when Reagan ran in '80 (it started to become popular in the mid-70's).

1) Monetarism, or balanced budgets. The government should never spend more money than it takes in. I think this is the traditional conservative approach with no pre-determined doctrine over whether a specific tax increase/cut is worthwhile or not.

2) Keneysian tax cuts designed to increase demand. Tax cuts to middle class and lower income workers to increase disposable income that increases demand for products. If it's accompanied by cuts in government spending to avoid deficits, then it would qualify as a traditional conservative approach. If the tax cuts take priority over the spending cuts, then it wouldn't.

3) Supply-side economics with tax cuts designed to increase investment. Tax cuts to businesses/wealthy that increase the amounts of products created, thereby lowering prices and making them more affordable. This was Reagan's economy and, if the idea hadn't come along during double digit inflation, would have been laughed off the stage. Why would someone create a product if there weren't a demand for it just because it became cheap to produce?

Obviously, the supply-side idea is slightly oversimplified and it was a good tactic for its time, in spite of contributing to large budget deficits. The unspoken part of the equation was that US manufacturing had old facilities and needed new investment to keep up with foreign competitors (aside from other disadvantages that just became worse later on). I think it would be kind of foolish to declare "Reaganomics" a magic bullet that applies to normal economic situations.

And, actually, Volcker's almost malicious manipulation of interest rates (at least malicious if you were a construction worker seeing the housing market come to a complete halt) may have done at least as much to curb inflation as Reagan's tax cuts.
 
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  • #27
15
1
There's at least three different Republican Party economic philosophies. I'm not sure which would be considered the "true conservative policy", but I'd guess Reagan's supply-side tax cuts for the wealthy and business wouldn't be it - or at least not the traditional conservative approach since it was still a very new Republican idea when Reagan ran in '80 (it started to become popular in the mid-70's).
It was new, but supply-side was not about just cutting taxes for businesses and the wealthy from what I understand.

1) Monetarism, or balanced budgets. The government should never spend more money than it takes in. I think this is the traditional conservative approach with no pre-determined doctrine over whether a specific tax increase/cut is worthwhile or not.
I agree.

2) Keneysian tax cuts designed to increase demand. Tax cuts to middle class and lower income workers to increase disposable income that increases demand for products.

3) Supply-side economics with tax cuts designed to increase investment. Tax cuts to businesses/wealthy that increase the amounts of products created, thereby lowering prices and making them more affordable. This was Reagan's economy and, if the idea hadn't come along during double digit inflation, would have been laughed off the stage. Why would someone create a product if there weren't a demand for it just because it became cheap to produce?
They were laughed off the stage anyhow, as many economists believed the Reagan tax cuts would increase inflation by overwhelming the economy with demand.

Obviously, the supply-side idea is slightly oversimplified and it was a good tactic for its time, in spite of contributing to large budget deficits. I think it would be kind of foolish to declare "Reaganomics" a magic bullet that applies to normal economic situations.
Well the basics of what Reagan did were to deregulate what was a far over-regulated economy and to cut taxes down from what were very high levels, thus creating an explosion of economic growth.

The tax cuts and the hiking of interest rates contributed to the deficit, plus to out-spend the Soviet Union defense-wise, Reagan ran a deficit.

Many conservatives say Barack Obama needs to copy Reagan with this economy, but I think Obama is facing a different kind of economic problem. I think he is wrong to pursue large amounts of spending and pursue regulations like carbon cap-and-trade/tax or let the EPA regulate, but otherwise, Barack Obama I do not think is faced with an economy that is, per se, over-taxed and over-regulated, as Reagan did, so it's not as if he can just cut taxes and deregulate as Reagan did and expect the same results (although I would repeal or re-write Sarbannes-Oxley).

The basic "Reagan" conservative principles as I understand them are:

1) Low taxes for everyone
2) Fiscal discipline/conservatism
3) Free-market capitalism
4) Limited government
5) Strong dollar
6) Strong national defense
 
  • #28
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
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Many conservatives say Barack Obama needs to copy Reagan with this economy, but I think Obama is facing a different kind of economic problem. I think he is wrong to pursue large amounts of spending and pursue regulations like carbon cap-and-trade/tax or let the EPA regulate, but otherwise, Barack Obama I do not think is faced with an economy that is, per se, over-taxed and over-regulated, as Reagan did, so it's not as if he can just cut taxes and deregulate as Reagan did and expect the same results .....
Aah, a key point! Things change and the tools used should match the current challenges.

There's just a little too much of "buzzword bingo" in Republican slogans. In the primaries, you would have thought Reagan was the 2008 nominee, not a President from ancient history (worse yet was George Allen purporting to be a Jeffersonian Republican - if your competition is going to use 20th century tactics in the 21st century, then your response is to resort to 18th century tactics?). You see the same thing with welfare. It got Republicans elected 20 years ago. Try calling for more welfare reform and maybe people won't remember that Republicans already successfully reformed it in the 90's.

A lot of the Republican buzzwords have little to do with conservatism. They have to do with being stuck when it comes to coming up with an idea relevant for today. Unless they come up with some new ideas, Republicans are going to wind up stuck with nothing more than Sarah Pallin and the Evangelicals.
 
  • #29
15
1
Republicans have lots of ideas, they just need to get better at explaining them. It isn't really like the Democrats have anything "new" they are trying to do either, they just finally have the opportunity to do it now. Republicans need to express clearly their ideas for energy, healthcare, education, foreign policy, taxes, etc...and adhere to them, instead of going for big-government when in office.

On Sarah Palin I am okay with her as a person, I think she needs to become more knowledgeable on policy though if she ever wishes to run for office.

I would say Evangelicals are a problem for the Republicans in the way that the hardcore socialist types seem to be for the Democrats right now.
 
  • #30
255
0
I considered myself to be for complete liberty , even if that means the abolition of the state. I don't see why people would considered state officials and politicians more trustworthy than people who are not affiliated with the government, and therefore give these the power to create laws for our society . The government is no more legitimate in deciding what laws it thinks it can imposed on people than any single individual or group of individuals .I think that Nobody should have the right to imposed laws on you through methods of coercion .
 
  • #31
52
1
I am a radical, social liberal. I support a strong welfare state that helps people assert their identities along with growing global cooperation and interdependence.
 
  • #32
Al68
Conservatism in Maine is not the nationalistic pro-big-business stuff we see in DC every day.
What's the difference between economic liberalism and "pro-big-business"? I'm certainly pro-business (big and small and in between), but not the twisted way that Democrats hatefully talk about. Which do you mean?
Giving tax cuts to the wealthy, and to businesses that export jobs overseas is NOT conservatism.
Talking about tax cuts as if they're something "given" by government is certainly not conservatism. It's propaganda intended to manipulate children and clueless adults.

The biggest political fraud in history is the manipulation of those that don't know any better, convincing them that economic liberalism/libertarianism is equivalent to "pro-rich", "not for poor people", "not for working people", etc.

Such propaganda precludes anything resembling honest debate, which is the whole reason they do it.
 
  • #33
Char. Limit
Gold Member
1,204
12
I'm one of those people who hate both the Democratic and Republicans, but choose the lesser of two evils in a vote. In 2008, it would have been Obama, as Sarah Palin scares me. Maybe in 2012, the Republicans will find a relatively good (for a politician, so a scumbag compared to us honest people on this forum) candidate. Whoever it might be, it won't be Palin.
 
  • #34
172
1
There are only 2 sides of the political spectrum: "Conservative" and "Liberal" (with the modern meanings of the words).

Things like "Libertarian", "Populist", "Progressive", etc., are meaningless, in my opinion.
I don't think it's a matter of opinion. A libertarian is somebody who wants both economic freedom and social freedom. Those are the people that want to deregulate industries, cut government spending and curb welfare programs. A libertarian will be for the legalization of drugs and for tax cuts for the rich.

An authoritarian, or statist, or however you want to put it would want government control of almost everything. They want strict control over social issues, such as no gay marriage, no drug legalization, et cetera, and they'd also support higher taxes to pay for all of these government programs.

You'd put them in the same category: centrist. Your opinion that these words do not have meaning does not make it a reality.
 
  • #35
180
1
Other - realist. I go with whatever works. Personally, I think our two party political system is outmoded, inefficient, and ineffective. The amount of money spent on campaigns is embarrassingly massive, and would be far better if it went to more noble causes. I think it should be capped at $1 Million.
 
  • #36
Char. Limit
Gold Member
1,204
12
Other - realist. I go with whatever works. Personally, I think our two party political system is outmoded, inefficient, and ineffective. The amount of money spent on campaigns is embarrassingly massive, and would be far better if it went to more noble causes. I think it should be capped at $1 Million.
I'd support that. Good choice, BTW, not that any choice is better than any other. After all, everyone is equal, and if they aren't, we'll make them so.

Sorry, the liberals made me say that. Anyway, as I was saying, all this country needs is a Smith & Wesson to shoot the gays with in the name of Jesus Christ, perfect Son of God.

Sorry, the conservatives made me say that. Anyway, I was talking about... Ah, yes! A campaign funds cap! Why not just say for every dollar over a million, 25 cents goes to... Say, Habitat for Humanity, or perhaps ASPCA.
 
  • #37
41
5
Other - realist. I go with whatever works. Personally, I think our two party political system is outmoded, inefficient, and ineffective. The amount of money spent on campaigns is embarrassingly massive, and would be far better if it went to more noble causes. I think it should be capped at $1 Million.
Agreed. Stongly agreed.
 
  • #38
255
0
I think everyone who participated in this poll by default is a statist since each person, whether they be liberal , conservative, or libertarian , or whatever want the state to carry out function they expect the state to carry out, whether it be only protecting the civil liberties that a person possess, or they want the state to provide services to people rather than the free market, or they want to legislate morality.
 
  • #39
Char. Limit
Gold Member
1,204
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Statist is defined here as "wishing a relatively large degree of both social and economic control by the state", the opposite of a libertarian.
 
  • #40
jtbell
Mentor
15,484
3,248
I'm a non-labelitarian. Anyone who slings around political labels as a form of insult drops several points in my estimation. :rolleyes:
 
  • #41
Char. Limit
Gold Member
1,204
12
I'm a non-labelitarian. Anyone who slings around political labels as a form of insult drops several points in my estimation. :rolleyes:
I do nothing of the sort! I am offended that you label me as someone who "slings around political labels as a form of insult".

Relax, it's a joke.
 
  • #42
255
0
Statist is defined here as "wishing a relatively large degree of both social and economic control by the state", the opposite of a libertarian.
Yeah, I don't thinking anyone who describes their political affiliation as liberal, conservative, libertarian, etc. is a full-blown statist, but I believe if you want the central government to have exclusive control over one sector of the economy , then you believe in some elements of statism.Many Liberals believe that the government should have full control over healthcare and education because they believe these services are rights. Even full blown statists are not complete statists because it isn't possible for the government to control all sectors of your life, such as your own psychological and character development .
 
  • #43
172
1
I think the reason "statist" is now used on the quiz is because the old term, "authoritarian" has a negative connotation.

Since "everybody who responded is a statist," do you have a better term?
 
  • #44
Char. Limit
Gold Member
1,204
12
Statist is used on this quiz to complete the Nolan Chart. Pure and simple.
 
  • #45
246
3
I want only four things from government/pols 1) a balanced budget 2) peaceful relations with other nations 3) energy independence 4) a rule of law that applies to the rich not just the working class.
 
  • #46
Char. Limit
Gold Member
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What about a defense force? Don't you want that?
 
  • #47
62
0
I think the reason "statist" is now used on the quiz is because the old term, "authoritarian" has a negative connotation.

Since "everybody who responded is a statist," do you have a better term?
These political terms are so arbitrary and frankly stupid. There is nothing "authoritarian" about wanting goverments to "take control of" (read: run) things.

Also the terms 'left', 'right' and 'centre' are very relative. Your 'centre' (ie in American politics) is our extreme right, here in the UK.
 
  • #48
Al68
These political terms are so arbitrary and frankly stupid. There is nothing "authoritarian" about wanting goverments to "take control of" (read: run) things.
LOL. Then what does authoritarian mean, if not that?
 
  • #49
62
0
LOL. Then what does authoritarian mean, if not that?
It was in reference to a previous poster who berates goverments that actually "take control" of things. I don't think there is anything "authoritarian" about this. The idealogies of communism or collectivism are truely authoritarian systems of goverment.

I do know that there is a tendency in America to brand any modest social program as "authoritarian" (eg the "public option" in regard to healthcare).

I personally do believe that if a goverment pools resources and redistributes them, this is a better, more reliable way running a country.

Take the "social safety net" - we could leave it to individuals to look after the mentally ill, sick, old, etc by means of charity, but this is simply not sustainable. A civilised society needs a reliable system which has resources which it can release to people as and when needed.
 
  • #50
172
1
It was in reference to a previous poster who berates goverments that actually "take control" of things.

...

I do know that there is a tendency in America to brand any modest social program as "authoritarian" (eg the "public option" in regard to healthcare).
That's EXACTLY what I said, that "authoritarian" has a negative connotation. That's why it is no longer used on the "World's Smallest Political Quiz." That's why they use the term "statist." I was replying to somebody who stated that everybody is statist to some degree.

If you were referring to me in your post, you'll have to point out where I "berated" anything. I didn't see any other post to which you could be referring, and I'm the one you quoted, so correct me if I'm wrong.


So what DO you call it when the government wants to control everything? I'm not talking about just health care... but what about when the government tells you who you can or cannot have sex with? What substances you can or cannot put in your own body?

The American left wants the government to more strictly control the economy, but give people personal freedoms. The American right wants to keep their hands off of the economy, but want to control the personal lives of people. Libertarians want government to keep their hands out of both the economy and out of our personal lives.

What do you call the people that want the government to control the economy AND our personal lives? We can't call them "authoritarian," because it has a negative connotation. We can't call them "statist," according to someone in this thread, because then everybody is a statist to some degree. All my post asked was "so, what is the correct term then?"

So what CAN we call such people?
 

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