Presentation on theme: "WHERE DO POLITICAL BELIEFS COME FROM? WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A LIBERAL? WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CONSERVATIVE? The Political Spectrum."— Presentation transcript:
WHERE DO POLITICAL BELIEFS COME FROM? WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A LIBERAL? WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CONSERVATIVE? The Political Spectrum
Some assumption about people and politics: All people have different views about how government should accomplish its purposes. The two basic competing political perspectives on how government should accomplish its three purposes are called the LIBERAL perspective and the CONSERVATIVE perspective. LIBERAL and CONSERVATIVE beliefs are in a continuous, constant conflict with each other over the best way for government to accomplish its three purposes. Sometimes one person can be conflicted because they have liberal and conservative beliefs.
The Political Spectrum What does the government need to accomplish the purposes of government Government needs to able to force people to behave in ways that they may not choose (coercive behavior). POLICE! Government needs to be able to afford the costs to maintain order, provide public goods, and protect property (extract wealth). TAXES!
The US and State Government employ roughly one million people to enforce the law (roughly 3.5 people per 1,000 population) The US military has 1.4 million people serving in active duty and another 1.4 million in reserves Those personnel enforce everything from local traffic laws to federal drug enforcement These personnel have the legal authority to detain and even kill violators of the law The US military has 1.4 million people serving in active duty and another 1.4 million in reserves
EXTRACTING WEALTH In 2006, the IRS collected $2.2 trillion in taxes (primarily income and corporate taxes) Taxes are also gathered by the state of Oregon (income tax), Clackamas county (property taxes), City of Lake Oswego (property taxes and fees), Lake Oswego School District (property taxes), and a variety of utility, planning, parks, and library districts. Special investigators and courts have been created to enforce these taxes
Generally speaking… Liberals are more concerned about the coercive power of the state (police abuse, censorship, limiting abortion) – they tend to be less concerned about the extractive power of the state (taxes) because those funds are needed to pay for social spending they support Conservatives are more concerned about the extractive power of the state (taxes) – they tend to be less concerned about the coercive power of the state which they see as needed to maintain order and morality
POLITICAL SPECTRUM CONSERVATIVE More comfortable on restrictions to personal liberty (abortion, pornography, etc.. ) to protect community morality and traditional values Less comfortable with restrictions to economic liberty (minimum wage laws, environmental restrictions) because it hampers the creation of jobs and wealth LIBERAL Less comfortable with restrictions to personal liberty (abortion, pornography, etc.. ) to allow for individual freedom and expression More comfortable with restrictions to economic liberty (minimum wage laws, environmental restrictions) because it can benefit the environment and create greater economic fairness.
So where do they stand on? Abortion Legalization of marijuana Gay marriage Pornography Universal health care
Other beliefs… Libertarian Fundamental belief that government should be weak and limited because government tends to be corrupted by its own power, with the maximum amount of human freedom. So, what should government do? Traditionally do not believe in Gun control, morally driven laws like outlawing abortion or drug use. Government should be weak in the areas of affirmative action and taxation, but does believe the primary role is national security. Institutions that provide a public good like schools or fire departments should be private. The government that governs least governs best.
Other beliefs…. Radicals –Fundamental belief that government always serves the exclusive needs of white, wealthy patrons, and is a tool of exploitation used on poor and oppressed people. –The only way to overthrow the imperial power of government is through revolution and civil disobedience. –Government should be a tool used to promote social equality, social justice, and peace through cooperation.
Sources of Public Opinion So where do people get their political beliefs? Ideally – they form from careful study, research, debate But we know that family, income, education. age, race, gender and religion all influence and affect political beliefs
Family Considered the largest predictor of political behavior – children usually follow the political beliefs of their parents Only 9 percent of high school seniors are the opposite party of their parents By adulthood, 60 percent remain their parents party and most of the rest are independents who lean in their parents direction Exception: Youth generally more liberal on race and sexual orientation
Gender Since the 1970s there has emerged a gender gap as more and more men have shifted to the Republican Party 49% of male voters voted for Obama, as opposed to 56% of female voters in 2008 In the previous election 55% of men voted for Bush, while 51% voted for Kerry
Race White voters are more likely to vote Republican Minority voters tend to vote Democrat In 2008, Obama received 43% of the white vote, 95% of the African-American vote, 67% of the Latino vote, and 62% of the Asian vote In 2004 Bush received: White 58%, African American 11%, 44% Latino, 44% Asian
Age Younger voters tend to vote Democrat, older voters tend to vote Republican 66% of 18-29 year olds voted for Obama, while 45% of those 65 and older did 45% of 18-29 year olds voted for Bush, while 52% of those 65 and older did
Religion Protestant voters tend to vote the most conservative while Jewish voters the most liberal and Catholic voters in between In 2004 59% of Protestants voted for Bush, 52% of Catholics, 25% of Catholic, and 23% of other voters
Education and Income Education and Income both affect voter behavior Generally the more educated you are the more liberal you are on social issues. But in addition, the more wealthy you are the more you are likely to vote Republican, the poorer you are the more likely to vote Democrat
Education Obama gets 63% of the votes of people without high school diplomas. But that falls to 52% to High School graduates, 51% for people with some College and 50% for College graduates. But then 58% of people with a postgraduate degree voted for Obama.
Income 60% of people making less than $50,000 voted for Obama, but only 49% of those making over $50,000 voted for him (at least until they started making more than $200,000 then 52% started voting for him ).