Friday, March 31, 2006

A Closeted Conservative?

So, after all my huzzaing of RIA's Return (yes 'pick, both of them) (bastard) let's talk about me. One of the things I think is odd about about myself (hey, if I'm going to be narcicistic, I'm going whole hog) is the dichotomy between my 'personal life' and my 'politics'. In terms of what I do, I'm pretty 'conservative' (with the noted exception of religion). I'm not and have never been a club-kid, I dress 'traditionally' (if sloppily, at times), I tend to not like especially 'experimental' movies and music, etc. I'm for capitalism and football (though I like soccer also) and cheeseburgers and beer.

In comparison my politics are demonstrably leftish, though I'd prefer to describe myself as some combination of "Independant" and/or "Centrist", though certainly not "Moderate." (See here for definitional help) Though, my driving ideology is that while I have what I think are the answers for me who am I to tell you what you can do. Of course, I'll tell you what I think you should but that's A) just me being an ass; and B) an opinion, which you can take or leave. Once you start turning "opinions" into laws, backed by men with guns, I start to get the willies. (Across the range of social 'vices' I'm about as permissive as they come, though I participate in very few of them myself. Of course, I don't consider gambling a vice, but that's because I am/was good at it. But I digress.)

Anyway, all this rambling brings me to a study from (via the Battlepanda) I ran across a few weeks ago about the differences between liberals and conservatives. Understanding that "anectdote" is not the singular of "data", I thought I'd take a look at some of the findings and see how well I fit the stereotype.

  • Liberals are more inclined to believe that the rich and powerful have a negative social value.

Nope. I would posit that a goodly percentage of 'rich people' got that way on some form of personal merit. Bill Gates earned every penny. As did Warren Buffet. Athletes are exceedingly good in a discipline that is well compensated because of popular interest. So, no, I don't think rich people are bad. I think they are self-interested, which is fine, but due to their wealth, they may have dispraportionate influence. Social justice, veil of ignorance, blah blah, you've heard it all before...

  • Among men, conservatives are more active in high school sports.

Well I've coached both college and elementary school sports, so I think that's close enough.

  • Extroverts have a better sense of smell than introverts.

I have no basis for comparison. Though I am quite good at smelling a rat. (Not literally of course)
  • Extroverts tend to be more conservative and more religious.

I'm not sure where I fit in with the whole introverted-extroverted thing. But 'religious' is not me to be sure.
  • Conservatives like the colors red and dark blue. Liberal men like dark green; liberal women like light blue.

I wear mostly, wait for it, dark blues, greys and occasionally red. Not so much with the green.

  • Conservatives tend to be morning people.

Well, if anything marks me as Looney Left Liberal, this is it.

  • Among women, conservatives are more likely to be sex-obsessed than liberals.

I'm clearly in the wrong party then. The 'Ladies Night' theory of political affiliation?

  • Liberals curse more than conservatives.

Bullshit. I give you Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Toni Scalia...

  • Conservatives like beef more than liberals.

MMMMM. Steak. Tofu sucks. Lots.

  • Liberals are more depressed than conservatives.

Correlation/Causation problem here, methinks.


Ahistoricality said...

The problem with these "differences" is that they are really only small percentage differences in overal preference. It's not, as they say, heuristically valid...

That said, I fit the liberal categories pretty well, mostly. On the "rich" issue, I think you're underestimating the percentage of rich people who live on essentially unearned income, and focusing too much on the prominent super-rich.

Pooh said...

You mean I'm not engaged in meaningful social science here? Drat...

As to the earned income vs. inherited, I don't actually care that much. Just because I don't think they're bad (except for Paris Hilton, who may or may not be Satan), doesn't mean I don't think they should carry a disproportionate share of society's burdens.

Icepick said...

(yes 'pick, both of them) (bastard)

What?! It gave me a chance to drop some Sir Mix-a-lot not once, but twice!

Icepick said...

(hey, if I'm going to be narcicistic, I'm going whole hog)

Two points:

1) It's a personal web log, of COURSE it's narcissistic! That's the point!

2) It is, after all, The Year of Pooh.

So I sez live it up.

Mr Furious said...

And Gates has certainly done plenty of good with his money. I don't begrudge him a dime.

Though I do hate Microsoft products...

OT: Are you seriously living in Alaska? What's the deal?

Frankie said...

OT: Are you seriously living in Alaska? What's the deal?


reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
reader_iam said...

Well, I do sort of begrudge Mr. Gates at least some of his dimes. It's not as if various "issues"--not to mention "features"--of his products, along with other broader issues of his business model and his very philosophy about progress and technology, hasn't cost companies--and by extension, the economy and efficiency and security generally--a damn pretty penny.

That's partly how he's amassed so many of his own.

But I got sick of that argument, long, long, long ago. Everyone voted with their jump on the wagon. So Be It.

I'm also not going to go into the "unearned" income issue without a clear definition of terms setting forth all the varying ways in which that designation can apply, along with a clear delineation and justification of the morality (and I'm using that term generically, not in terms of creed), or lack thereof, and the implications over time attached to each and every one.

And ...

Heck, I'll just leave it at that.

DJ Ninja said...

From a tax perspective the difference between earned income and unearned income is pretty clear. Earned = received in respect of services performed (whether as an employee or an independent contractor); unearned = everything else (essentially investment income).

DJ Ninja said...

PS, and not that anyone asked, but "earned" income would probably also include some income received from the sale of property (as long as that property was, say, inventory, like a 1995-96 Mitchell & Ness throwback Rasheed Wallace Washington Bullets jersey, and not a capital asset, such as IBM stock held for investment).

I love Rasheed Wallace.