Social Conscience v Bank Account

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commonsense
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Social Conscience v Bank Account

Post by commonsense » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:51 pm

Should voters in a free democracy vote according to their principles or according to their financial interests?

It may be laudatory to vote according to one’s conscience, however this can lead to unintended consequences. The ethical treatment of one segment of society may be harmful to another group.This in turn may lead to increased tribalism, anathema to society as a whole.

On the other hand, voting according to one’s own financial interests may turn out to be more philanthropic than selfish. The rich may hoard resources, yet be very charitable. Donating to a cause of choice may be more desirable than submitting large sums of taxes to the state.

Likewise, the working poor, as well as the outright poor, may find it advantageous to vote for the candidate who offers them the greatest potential for elevating their financial status.

Such a candidate may be the one who promises greater income or the one who promises more social programs, and in either case, intends to put more food on the table.

Of course, a candidate may propose both to increase resources for the voter as well as to right social wrongs. However, for purposes of this discussion, assume there must be a choice between voting for one’s conscience and voting for one’s bank account.

In this respect, how should a voter vote?

TimeSeeker
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Re: Social Conscience v Bank Account

Post by TimeSeeker » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:32 pm

Vote in accordance with your INTERESTS. Financial, principled or material, while keeping in mind that a healthy society is in YOUR best interest if you want to keep having nice things like police, hospitals, bakeries and internet.

If you don't vote with your interests democracy doesn't work.

The whole point of the voting mechanism is to provide feedback/course-correction back into the system. The WILL of the people...

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henry quirk
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"Should voters in a free democracy vote according to their principles or according to their financial interests? "

Post by henry quirk » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:07 pm

When an individual votes, they always do so to satisfy their own self-interest. They may not think in such stark terms, but bottom line, self-interest is what motivates them, directs their day-to-day, directs their vote.

commonsense
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Re: "Should voters in a free democracy vote according to their principles or according to their financial interests? "

Post by commonsense » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:18 pm

henry quirk wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:07 pm
When an individual votes, they always do so to satisfy their own self-interest. They may not think in such stark terms, but bottom line, self-interest is what motivates them, directs their day-to-day, directs their vote.
Agreed.

Next question: should what motivates them be monetary self-interests or humanitarian self-interests?

TimeSeeker
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Re: "Should voters in a free democracy vote according to their principles or according to their financial interests? "

Post by TimeSeeker » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:30 pm

commonsense wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:18 pm
Next question: should what motivates them be monetary self-interests or humanitarian self-interests?
How does one do humanitarianism without money?

Better question yet: Whose money do you wish to do humanitarianism with?

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:34 pm

Common,

I can tell of my own self-interest in voting, if that helps.

I always vote for 'less': less regulation, less taxation, less government, etc.

For me, 'less' direction by others means less interference in my own self-direction.

FlashDangerpants
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Re: Social Conscience v Bank Account

Post by FlashDangerpants » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:24 pm

commonsense wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:51 pm
It may be laudatory to vote according to one’s conscience, however this can lead to unintended consequences. The ethical treatment of one segment of society may be harmful to another group.This in turn may lead to increased tribalism, anathema to society as a whole.

On the other hand, voting according to one’s own financial interests may turn out to be more philanthropic than selfish. The rich may hoard resources, yet be very charitable. Donating to a cause of choice may be more desirable than submitting large sums of taxes to the state.

Likewise, the working poor, as well as the outright poor, may find it advantageous to vote for the candidate who offers them the greatest potential for elevating their financial status.

Such a candidate may be the one who promises greater income or the one who promises more social programs, and in either case, intends to put more food on the table.

Of course, a candidate may propose both to increase resources for the voter as well as to right social wrongs. However, for purposes of this discussion, assume there must be a choice between voting for one’s conscience and voting for one’s bank account.
I think that's false dichotomy in that there are other options. If I voted strictly on some principle of justice I would probably vote for very high taxes, and all those Euro rules about nobody losing their job ever.

If I voted out of pure self interest, I might pull the drawbridge up behind me. Keeping taxes low now by refusing to pay for services I no longer need such as universities; punishing politicans who raise the retirement age but not paying more for the people who are presently retired, because they aren't me; and waiting for the next generation to pay for my long years of milking the returns of their work even though I tried to avoid paying for them to have the ejumacation to do so. In Britain there are parties for me vote for that will do either of those things up to a point.

I don't vote for them because they are both wrong about important stuff though. There is an upper limit of GDP beyond which it is not safe to tax, to cross that threshold, even for the best of reasons, is self-defeating in the real world. Efforts to preserve jobs in dead industries are misguided, and so sometimes workers just have to lose their jobs. Likewise I pay rent in London, which is one of the most expensive cities in the world, lots of people would like the government to force my landlord to charge me less money... it would be great for me if they did, and better still for all the nurses and teachers who earn less than I do and are more deserving of a discount than I. But it's a terrible idea that will do long term harm if anyone ever attempts it, so I'm afraid I would vote against it even though some people would vote for on both self-interest and justice grounds.

But I could never vote for the guys who just want to drive taxes down, and don't want to pay for kids from underpriviliged homes to get some help. Or the guys who think that asylum seekers should be kept in rotting hovels until they would prefer to go back to a war zone and die there. Or the ones who think that workers should not be protected against any abuses whatsoever. I especially hate the ones who think we should stop providing development funds for people in distant lands who still die of starvation, malaria and dysentery. I think we can afford to be better than that, I think it is probably even in our interest to be better than those guys.

So I would say that I vote for what I believe works tolerably well, pragmatically not allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good, and accepting the costs of those choices.

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RCSaunders
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Re: Social Conscience v Bank Account

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:26 pm

commonsense wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:51 pm
Should voters in a free democracy vote according to their principles or according to their financial interests?
Unless one is an idiot, voting according to principles is voting according to one's financial interests.

Of course an individual of real principle would not dream of voting in the first place.

Randy

Impenitent
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Re: Social Conscience v Bank Account

Post by Impenitent » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:57 pm

if you want to be charitable, keep your money and give it away yourself

leviathan builders are never charitable

-Imp

Walker
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Re: Social Conscience v Bank Account

Post by Walker » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:34 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:26 pm
commonsense wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:51 pm
Should voters in a free democracy vote according to their principles or according to their financial interests?
Unless one is an idiot, voting according to principles is voting according to one's financial interests.

Of course an individual of real principle would not dream of voting in the first place.

Randy
People vote for politicians.

Like anyone else, politicians reveal what they really think by what they do with their own money.

With their own money, politicians are either overtly or covertly capitalistic, intimately involved with capitalism, for that creates their wealth that is either earned and grown through risk, or plundered.

For instance, look at Michael Moore (Leftist social critic) or Bernie Sanders (socialist). They live like kings.

TimeSeeker
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Re: Social Conscience v Bank Account

Post by TimeSeeker » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:49 am

Walker wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:34 am
RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:26 pm
commonsense wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:51 pm
Should voters in a free democracy vote according to their principles or according to their financial interests?
Unless one is an idiot, voting according to principles is voting according to one's financial interests.

Of course an individual of real principle would not dream of voting in the first place.

Randy
People vote for politicians.

Like anyone else, politicians reveal what they really think by what they do with their own money.

With their own money, politicians are either overtly or covertly capitalistic, intimately involved with capitalism, for that creates their wealth that is either earned and grown through risk, or plundered.

For instance, look at Michael Moore (Leftist social critic) or Bernie Sanders (socialist). They live like kings.
There is more than one way to 'vote' you know...

Money, time, evangelism, influence. All of those move the needle far more than a ballot paper once every 4 years.

Walker
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Re: Social Conscience v Bank Account

Post by Walker » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:53 am

The politicians for whom people vote, are those who facilitate the interests of the voter.

Although, a lot of women do vote for the slick one who looks good in a suit, and who has perfected the presidential persona for the cameras.

*

Leftist politicians defend their own personal stinginess to charity by saying they do far more for the public good because their policies make the government a charitable organization.

Pretty slick argument, worthy of top tier obfuscation from officialdom.

TimeSeeker
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Re: Social Conscience v Bank Account

Post by TimeSeeker » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:12 am

Google ran an experiment internally between direct (moratoriums) vs representative democracy. The conclusion is pretty much as everybody expects.

https://www.tdcommons.org/cgi/viewconte ... ubs_series

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