How about a game? I'll call it, "You Might Be a Conservative". In this thread, maybe we can come to understand conservatism based on behavior. Referring to my original theme, selfish people have distinctly different behavior patterns than generous people. So, if conservatives behave with generosity, it shows they must not be selfish. If you want to, elaborate on your description and say how it applies to you.
icDavey icDavey
61-65, M
4 Responses Aug 21, 2014

If you teach your children that the best way to make it in life is to be tough, aggressive, competitive and results oriented, you might be a conservative.

Of course, if you vote Republican, you might be a conservative.

Lots of democrats are conservative and lots of Republicans are liberal.

True. Except for the liberal republicans. I don't think many would agree there. There are many fewer extreme liberal Democrats than extreme conservative republicans. TEA partiers are not really conservative. They are sponsored by the Elite Corporatists (ie Koch Brothers)

I happen to agree with the tea partiers. I'm not sponsored by anyone. Lower taxes for everyone means more disposable income for everyone which in turn means more products and services purchased by everyone. This drives up demand and therefore either the manufacturers will increase jobs, or that demand will be filled by the entrepreneur, thus creating more jobs. How is that a bad thing?

Aarrrgghh! THEY DON"T SPEND IT!!!! They keep it! They hoard it! It's happening NOW! Don't you see?

Raise Minimum Wage! THAT will make people spend money! Low wage workers don't save. Its a fact!

See your own response above. You have just nullified your own point.

The rich people hoard it. The poor people spend. No nullification there.

Poor people won't spend with the rich people's business if the rich people can't produce enough to meet demand. They'll have to expand to keep up. That creates jobs.

We won't confuse the issue with a discussion on why raising minimum wage would do precisely **** to increase the economy.

Ok I'm going to direct you to my previous statement, with emphasis on the words LOWER TAXES FOR EVERYONE.

Case in point: tax revenues collected are at an all time high in this country because income taxes are higher than any time in recent history. So why are road budgets (where cities/counties/states pay to build and repair roads from) running dry? The answer is simple. We're taxing income to the point that the majority of consumers (the American workers) are feeling the pinch. They are in turn not buying as much gas. Therefore gas tax revenues are down. Less gas tax revenue results in less money in road budgets. This also has the nasty side effect of reducing demand on gasoline, which would result in a surplus of gasoline if the oil companies were willing to accept a loss of profits. So they produce less, which in turn lowers supply and therefore drives up prices and secures their profits. This only adds to the squeeze on consumers, though, as they're spending more to drive less.

Where are you getting you facts? Tax revenues are NOT at an all time high! Our marginal tax rates are at the lowest in history. You are stuck in 1980s supply-side economics which proved itself wrong. If we are going to continue this discussion, we have to agree to use valid facts. Your whole argument here is completely, utterly, totally BOGUS!

I'm talking actual revenue, not rates. People in New York, for example, are paying almost 50% of their income in total taxes (state, federal, local). That means if I lived in New York, I would be bringing home about 13000 of my meager 25000 income. Can you live on 1000 a month?

If you lived in New York (where the minimum wage is, I think, $9.00 per hour, your $25,000 wage would likely be more like $40,000 and it would be pretty much a wash.

But how much would I bring home after I paid state, federal, and local income taxes?

Really? So 1.50 difference in minimum wage translates into $6 an hour at higher wages? Interesting.

Sorry, not true. The old conservative "multiple taxation" saw is a fantasy. It is a financial slight of hand trick that has no meaning in the real world. You really are pulling out some of the rusty old weapons of conservative rhetoric.

How much in taxes do you pay? How much do you suppose they could be lowered? At $25,000 do you even pay taxes? Why do you favor policies that do not represent your own self interest? I must give Bush credit - and I hate that - but he lowered the bottom bracket from 15% to 10%. But the fact is that with the standard deduction and your personal exemption, you pay no tax on the first $10,000 of income anyway. If they lowered taxes another 5% (not likely) you might get $700 out of it. If they raise the minimum wage to $10 (also not likely) that would be about $100 more PER WEEK ($80 after taxes) in your pocket. 80 X 52 is $4160 per year NET in your pocket. What in the world is the logical argument against that?

The argument against it is this: let's assume we raise the minimum wage to $10/hr. That's $100 more a week to the employee assuming a 40 hour week give or take. That means the business owner is going to see a cost of production increase of $100 a week per employee. Wages already account for about 65% of any business's operating expenses. Let's assume Mr. Businessowner has 5 employees. That's a minimum of $500 a week out of his pocket. Now if he's a smart business owner, he's already cut expenses everywhere else in his business that he can to increase his profits as he's got kids at home he has to feed as well. Now again, assuming he is a smart business owner and doesn't want to see his life's work go down the tubes, he's not going to take a $2000 a month hit to his profits. He's going to find a way to offset that expense. He's already cut expenses everywhere he can, so he has no choice but to raise his prices. All of a sudden every one of his customers can buy less of his good or service with their money. You have just inflated the economy and devalued the dollar. Explain to me how this is a good thing for anyone except the liberals who want people dependant on government.

At best the raising of the minimum wage is a net zero move. Not to mention the minimum wage worker will now be in a higher tax bracket and will have LESS available funds than he has now. This is all before we consider what raising the minimum wage does to those like myself, who have worked hard to get into positions that pay more than the current minimum wage. It devalues our work and efforts , resulting in less desire to strive for more. Again, explain how this is a good thing to anyone other than the aforementioned parties.

You really believe all that supply-side crap? Theoretical BS and, on top of it, wrong!

I'm sorry doom. I just can't buy into all this high-falutin' economic pontificating. I deal with the real world. Everything else is theoretical. Your scenario is so overly-complex with so many variables in it that there is no way to tell how they will interact. Your conservatism is beginning to sound like a religious faith. Maybe that's what it is for you. But when I can show you hard facts that forces you into theoretical flights of fancy, I say, I've won. By the way. After the 2008 Crisis, the USA followed the government spending route and Great Britain and some of Europe followed the conservative austerity-based path. I don't suppose you know how that turned out? We recovered (some) and Europe is still wallowing in disaster. Iceland was smarter than both of us. They nationalized the banks and have fully recovered. Just facts, my friend, just facts.

Its not theory. Its real world business numbers. Expenses go up, you have to increase income to cover it or you don't make money.

2 ways to increase income. Either increase sales, which all businesses try to do all the time, or increase prices (not preferred, but if its either you pay more or my kids starve, I'm going to let you pay more.

Yes, yes. You also forgot the cut-costs option which is the main argument saying that more people will get laid off. That has also been proven not to happen.

There is also the fact that the local economy inserts variables and presents opportunities that your argument cannot account for. Its all theoretical.

What's theoretical about it. If I'm already running my business as efficiently as possible, and you raise my expenses by 2000 a month, I either have to make 2000 more a month, or Im on the way to going out of business.

Cutting costs is not an option without reducing production in most small businesses.

That is an interesting observation. So then layoffs would likely not happen?

Not in small businesses. They're usually operating with a just enough staff to do the work philosophy. Employing people is expensive. That said, if it's lay you off or lose my business, I'm going to lay you off.

Do you have any familiarity with Americans For Progress? They supported a local TEA party candidate recently. AFP is a front for the Koch brothers organization.

Ok which candidate?

Why does that matter? I'd have to look it up. He got trounced so bad nobody made much of his name.

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If you have no problem giving to a charity of your own free will, but have a problem with being told you have to give money to the government so it can redistribute your money and poorly manage that money, you might be a conservative.

OK, I get that. But what you are describing is an attitude or belief. How does that manifest in behavior? What does a conservative do that demonstrates his /her conservatism?

See the responses below

If you refuse to give money to homeless people you see soliciting/begging on the street, you might be a conservative.

I started with this one because it is my most selfish trait (that I have thought of so far). I see these old guys pacing the roadsides at major intersections and, while someone must be making it worth their time - they keep coming back - I just can't get past the idea that my money would end up at the liquor store.

It doesn't make you a conservative to be skeptical of money given in charity's fate. It makes you aware of reality.

OK, but how would a conservative behave in that situation? The same?

A person's political beliefs aren't represented in the idea of giving money to a street beggar. If a person sees the same things you've seen, it is conceivable that even a liberal would have the same concerns you have. Since you asked, though, I'll humor you. Assuming the conservative had the means and position to do so, instead of handing money to the beggar, he would most likely attempt to give him a job, thus allowing the person to have a little pride in himself that he earned his way instead of depending on others to pay his way.

Even if it ended up being one days work for one days pay.

I like that idea. A discussion with the person about their willingness to work will give an indication of the content of their character. I wonder if doing the math, though, would lead to the conclusion they could make more money standing on the street?

Probably. I've done the math numerous times and my life would be better for the short term every time by taking the free ride. I have yet to take it though.

If it's me in the conservative's shoes in the scenario, at the end of the day, when the work is done, I'd pay him a decent wage for the work. Then I'd hand him a hundred dollar bill, tell him to grab some decent clothes overnight, and tell him there's more work tomorrow if he's up for it.

Some people value pride. I'd rather have the money. I guess that makes you better than me.

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