Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Why do people often vote against their own interests?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • c1ue
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    Originally posted by Ghent12
    Where do you get your information? My sources of propaganda tell me that America has always been addicted to mainstream media. From newspapers and gazettes all the way through the new mainstream of Internet, and the literacy rate was never "relatively low" if relating to similar or different countries instead of timeframes.
    Sorry for the slow reply.

    And to answer your question - I refer to the era prior to WW I.

    In that time, literacy was relatively low. Certainly newspapers were a much greater percentage of information sources, but were a much lower penetration of the population.

    And absolutely big business was even more impactful due to its even larger relative share of liquid wealth.

    But at the same time, if the majority of citizens are simply ignorant of anything but their basic religious beliefs (church was probably the single largest common information denominator) - the disadvantage of a non-machine politics operator is less.

    In the era from 1776 to 1914, only in the highly organized political arenas like Chicago or New York (again, higher literacy, high population density, etc etc) was it possible to steamroll highly unpopular measures (and politicians) through.

    Woodrow Wilson was one of the first 'bought and paid for' Presidents in this respect. Theodore Roosevelt actually was the first, but he turned on his sponsors and pushed back the clock for a few years.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ghent12
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    Originally posted by c1ue View Post
    Certainly it is true now, but in the past the influence of money was not any different. There were big corporations in the 1800s just as there were big corporations in the 1900s.

    Why then were these corporations not able to exert the same level of influence as they do today? If anything, they had more free cash relative to the population as they do today (most people back then didn't have money at all).

    Part of this is mass media - there were no TVs and radios until post WW II, and a relatively low level of literacy probably inhibited the influence of newspapers.
    Where do you get your information? My sources of propaganda tell me that America has always been addicted to mainstream media. From newspapers and gazettes all the way through the new mainstream of Internet, and the literacy rate was never "relatively low" if relating to similar or different countries instead of timeframes.

    I would also argue that one reason why big business had little regard for the government "way back when" is that the government didn't exist in comparison to today. Today's government has a hand in almost every pie, so anyone wanting pies today has to buy the government or deal with their hands. In contrast, government was little more than a military, an excise tax service, a foreign diplomacy office, a tiny Justice department, and a Treasury "back in the day." There were only four original cabinet positions, and there are fifteen now. That's a pretty reasonable metric to assess the scale.

    Big business, however, did own numerous local governments and employed their own mini-governments through Pinkerton mercenaries and so forth.

    Leave a comment:


  • c1ue
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    Originally posted by TPC
    P.S. -- Taking my tongue out of my cheek, I'd suggest that for large elections, stupidity, ignorance, and naivete might count for 30%, mass propaganda, misinformation and deception might count for 30%, fraud in the casting and counting of votes another 30%, and reasonable choice based on reliable information the remaining 10%.
    I think this is just a difference due to accounting style. For me, acceptance of propaganda, misinformation and deception is due to a combination of SIN.

    Originally posted by TPC
    All large governing institutions succumb to the influence of the most powerful and wealthy. Democracies just do so by an indirect means; the powerful and wealthy sufficiently control the propaganda seen by most voting citizens as to be able to control elections to the extent they choose. We cannot "take the money out of politics" in any large nation or state, short of choosing some other method to select our political leaders; we can only temporarily hide the means by which such money influences elections.
    I cannot agree with this statement entirely.

    Certainly it is true now, but in the past the influence of money was not any different. There were big corporations in the 1800s just as there were big corporations in the 1900s.

    Why then were these corporations not able to exert the same level of influence as they do today? If anything, they had more free cash relative to the population as they do today (most people back then didn't have money at all).

    Part of this is mass media - there were no TVs and radios until post WW II, and a relatively low level of literacy probably inhibited the influence of newspapers.

    But I suspect another part of this was leadership.

    Jackson's fight against the US Central Bank (2nd bank of the US) was entirely a choice. He too, was an asshole, but one which used his orneriness to fight against what he perceived as an evil.

    Contrast his actions vs. Eisenhower - who warned about the MIC (and SIC) in his farewell speech but otherwise was pretty quiet.

    In turn contrast with Obama - who talked the big 'Change' talk but so far has acted exactly opposite.

    Leave a comment:


  • ThePythonicCow
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    Originally posted by c1ue View Post
    I always figured between stupidity, ignorance, and naivete - a good 2/3rds of the vote could be accounted for.
    ... and fraud counts for the other 1/3 ?

    P.S. -- Taking my tongue out of my cheek, I'd suggest that for large elections, stupidity, ignorance, and naivete might count for 30%, mass propaganda, misinformation and deception might count for 30%, fraud in the casting and counting of votes another 30%, and reasonable choice based on reliable information the remaining 10%.

    All large governing institutions succumb to the influence of the most powerful and wealthy. Democracies just do so by an indirect means; the powerful and wealthy sufficiently control the propaganda seen by most voting citizens as to be able to control elections to the extent they choose. We cannot "take the money out of politics" in any large nation or state, short of choosing some other method to select our political leaders; we can only temporarily hide the means by which such money influences elections.

    Democracy in large states is not rule by the people. It is rule by those who have sufficient control over the levers of power and media to control the vote of the electorate.
    Last edited by ThePythonicCow; 04-30-10, 01:36 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • c1ue
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    Originally posted by Finster
    Never assume voters want what they are actually getting!
    I always figured between stupidity, ignorance, and naivete - a good 2/3rds of the vote could be accounted for.

    Let he who is without SIN cast the first stone...

    Leave a comment:


  • Finster
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    They probably think they are voting in their own interest. They just don't connect particular policies with their actual ramifications. Mostly just the advertising.

    Several years ago Mark Warner ran successfuly for Governor of Virgnia. And there had been an exit poll asking voters for whom they had voted and why. A large number - enough to affect the outcome of the election - of voters commented that they thought Warner had been doing a good job for Virginia. But the only "Warner" who had been representing Virginia at all in recent years had been John Warner, one of Virginia's US Senators. An obvious confusion ... in other words, a similarity in name alone was enough to decide an election.

    Never assume voters want what they are actually getting!

    Leave a comment:


  • Spartacus
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    haven't read this yet, but sounds like a good stab @ your question Jim.


    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/030...SIN=030733936X

    Adding to my reading list

    Leave a comment:


  • raja
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    Originally posted by jtabeb View Post
    OK,

    Article 1. The Government will ABOLISH all legal tender laws and allow people to PROTECT themselves from government abuse through the ability to purchase, sell Physical Precious metals with no tax liability. (Same program as the Chinese have implemented),

    Further more, an individual MAY SPECIFY the terms of any contract so as to be payable/receivable in accordance with the above.

    Article 2. The Government will abolish the Federal Reserve and return the ability to create currency back to the treasury of the United States of America. All Banking SHALL BE based on a 100% reserve ratio. The proceeds from currency issuance are to rebated to the citizens of the US. All Outstanding Debt (Public and Private) is abolished. The Government will provide a $24,000 per year per adult annual income sourced from currency issue rebates (or a lesser or greater amount, based on the amount rebated). The Citizen Must then purchase goods and services (health care, etc) from the proceeds of these funds or their other sources of personal income or assets. Currency issue is not capped (see article 1). Social Security and Medicare are abolished IAW new funding mechanism and replacement benefit as outlined in this Article.

    Article 3. The INCOME TAX shall be ABOLISHED and replaced with a V.A.T. tax instead. No Used goods sales shall be taxed. Pre-refunds will be made available to those of moderate means. NO exemptions.

    Article 4. Looser pays tort reform Shall be the letter of the law. The Criminal Justice system Shall have three possible Verdicts Guilty, Not Guilty (Double jeopardy restrictions apply), and Not Proven (Double jeopardy restrictions DO NOT apply).

    Article 5. A Public Funding Option SHALL be made available for all elective offices level from city counsel on up to national elective office (including the Judiciary).


    How's that?
    jtabeb,

    I don't have enough knowledge to endorse all 5, but I like the sentiment behind them.

    Why do you think a VAT tax is a good way to go?

    Jim, thanks for the Reich post . . . .

    Leave a comment:


  • ThePythonicCow
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    From the Amazon review of Beyond Bullets, by Jules Boykoff
    Successful bodies (whether biological or political) have "immune" systems, including anti-bodies. They are also susceptible to auto-immune diseases in which those immune systems become destructive to the body itself.

    I'm not saying I condone the ugly practices described in your post, don.

    Nor am I saying I object.

    Rather I am saying that the instinct we all have, myself included, to quickly label "good" and "evil", to quickly denounce these practices, is itself dangerous. That very instinct is itself an essential element of a healthy immune system, even as it often errs.

    One must act decisively, even as one remains open to the possibility that one is guilty of grievous error. The few who can master this challenging dynamic make great combat generals.

    Leave a comment:


  • don
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    Counter arguments are, shall we say, constrained.

    From the Amazon review of Beyond Bullets, by Jules Boykoff

    The history of the United States is filled with stories of government repression of dissenters. While we know about the violent means of suppressing dissent, the more subtle means are harder to get a grasp on. In "Beyond Bullets: The Suppression of Dissent in the United States", author Jules Boykoff lays out theory on how dissent is suppressed and backs it up with historical and current examples, mostly from 20th century United States. In many places in the world--and even here in the US--the crushing of dissent by the state is the pure violence we imagine, but overall, in "rich" countries like the US, the suppression of dissent requires a lot more cooperation from the larger population, the media, and such. There are no tanks rolling through neighborhoods enforcing subjugation in most places in the US, but the near universal media and an omni-present police force, coupled with all sorts of extra legal rules for dissidents that are not enforced for others, does the job.

    How does it work? Boykoff describes the methods and gives examples. He starts with the obvious one: Direct Violence, most often used against people of color in groups like the Black Panthers, AIM, the Young Lords, and others. This involves direct assassinations and attacks, like the killing of Fred Hampton in Chicago by the Chicago police or the attack by FBI agents at Pine Ridge that Leonard Peltier was framed for. The next method he examines is Public Hearings and Prosecutions, like those used against dissidents in the 1950s to frame any radicals as "Communists". These hearings mainly targeted labor activists who had just initiated a huge strike involving 2 million people in 1946 and Hollywood intellectuals and workers involved in the film industry. Senator Joseph McCarthy led a crusade against anyone who dared speak out against the Cold War or capitalism, framing the hearings so that only friendly witnesses were allowed to speak and dissident witnesses were routinely cut off. This was a way to whip up support for the Cold War and squelch the rising labor movement by blaming it on the tiny Communist Party USA. Part of the same routine is to Deny Employment, or blacklist dissidents, as occurred when Angela Davis was fired from UCLA in 1970 in response to the demand of Governor Ronald Reagan. Arresting dissidents on trumped up or rarely enforced charges also saps the energy of activists. They are put on the defensive in the courtroom where resolution can take years. The mass arrests of global justice demonstrators outside of the World Bank meetings in September 2002 tied hundreds of people to the courts for years. This intimidates people from expressing their opinion and puts a black mark on their criminal record.

    Surveillance and Break-ins rank highly in the bag of dirty tricks to suppress dissent, especially in the FBI-run COINTELPRO program which operated until the mid 1970s to smash the "New Left". Martin Luther King and the Southern Poverty Leadership Conference were targeted as Communist-groups for neutralization to prevent the rise of "a black messiah". From there, they turned on any Communists (active or not members) in close company with King, taped affairs that King was having, and sent threatening letters demanding that King commit suicide. The FBI broke into Civil Rights organization offices many times for the purpose of planting warrentless wiretaps. In general, Civil Rights leaders always knew that the FBI, with its "red" obsessed director in Edgar Hoover, was watching them closely and would pounce at any embarrassment.

    Actually infiltrating groups with Agent Provocateurs and trying to steer their direction, placing informants in groups, and trying to make people think that leaders of groups are actually FBI agents, a process known as "Badjacketing", stand out as more direct ways that the FBI used and uses to suppress dissent. Douglas Durham infiltrated the American Indian Movement (AIM), and steered it towards aggressive violence, opening fighting with other left-wing groups. Within two years, Durham's actions had fragmented AIM as a group. In the case of Anna Mae Aquash, Boycoff shows, the loss of trust by her AIM group because of FBI badjacketing directly led to her suicide. Even further, "Black Propaganda", or false hostile mail sent by the FBI in the name of one group to another with the intent to raise conflict between the two groups, led the Black Panther Party and the United Slaves (a black nationalist cultural organization) to actually start attacking each other, leading to the deaths of several members in both groups. The FBI also mailed a fake cartoon to a mostly Black political group in DC supposedly from a mostly white group, telling them to "suck my banana, you monkeys."

    The final piece of suppression of dissent is the way the media, closely tied with corporations and the state, marginalizes and minimizes dissident movements. Most recently, protesters in 1999 against the World Trade Organization and subsequent anti-corporate globalization found that their views became news a way that didn't focus on the issues (as Boykoff shows in a study of major newspapers and television news). Instead, stories reported that organizers only got a few hundred people (even in cases where the number was much higher, that freaks and weirdos showed up to protests, that the message wasn't clear, and that protesters sought uninformed violence and often didn't know anything about the issues (as portrayed by the media, anyway.)) Boykoff moves into examples of suppression of dissent in recent years, such as the "Green Scare" in which anti-terrorism laws are used against militant environmental dissidents, even to the point of having an FBI infiltrator ("Anna") lead a group to almost bombing a cell phone tower and then giving one of the participants, Eric McDavid, a draconian prison sentence of 20 years for a crime that never happened. Anyone interested in being informed instead of paranoid should pick up this book, because this could happen to anyone who speaks out against the state and capitalism.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jim Nickerson
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    2/2/10 Robert Reich Our Incredible Shrinking Democracy


    http://robertreich.org/post/367059482/our-incredible-shrinking-democracy

    Originally posted by Reich
    The debate over health-care reform looked like democratic deliberation until you realize the key negotiations that framed the deal occurred behind closed doors, between the White House and Big Pharma and Big Insurance. The Administration promised these industries some thirty million new paying customers. In return, they agreed not to oppose the plan. Big Pharma even placed a firm limit on how much it would cut its costs over the next ten years – $80 billion, and not a penny more. How do I know this? Not because this crucial deal was made in public, but because it was leaked to the press.


    Personally, I want the government to limit the pay of financial executives, regulate greenhouse gases, and reform health care. And no one wanted a financial meltdown. But I’m appalled by the process that’s been used to reach these objectives.


    A big piece of the problem is this: Washington is now so overrun by lobbyists representing moneyed interests that it’s become almost impossible to make policy in the open. If the Treasury and Fed tried to decide publicly which industries and firms should get hundreds of billions, they’d be inundated. Wall Street lobbyists are blocking real financial reform. The energy industry has filled the House’s cap-and-trade bill with special subsidies and exemptions. Big Pharma and Big Insurance would have killed off the health-care reform if they hadn’t been bought off. When it comes to the long-term deficit, Congress is incapable of acting because so many special interests have their hands out.


    But the answer isn’t to give up on democracy. Back-room policy making can succumb to private interests just as easily as lobby-infested legislatures (much of the public suspects the Treasury of being too cozy with Wall Street as it is).


    The real answer is to recommit ourselves to cleaning up democracy. Yes, I know: The Supreme Court’s recent grotesque Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which decided corporations are people entitled to First Amendment protection, complicates this. But the goal is still possible to achieve with more public money for congressional and presidential candidates who refuse private funding, more constraints on lobbyists, tighter rules for who must register as a lobbyist, fuller disclosure, and tougher rules on the revolving door between public service and private gain. Yale’s Bruce Ackerman recently came up with another good idea: A $50 tax credit per person, which they can send to the candidate of their choosing.

    Yet nobody seems to be talking about these sorts of reforms. They don’t appear on Obama’s agenda. True, they don’t generate lots of public excitement or appreciation, and they’re murderously difficult to enact. But without them our democracy doesn’t stand a chance.

    Leave a comment:


  • Thailandnotes
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    "Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens."

    Howard Zinn

    http://www.democracynow.org/2005/4/2..._be_neutral_to

    Leave a comment:


  • don
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    A lefties take on the question, and as is often the case, whomever is not in power has to, practically by definition, reveal more of the truth than those whose interests are obfuscation.(think of the underground writers in the old Soviet Union smuggling out their pro-capitalist materials....)



    "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country." Edward Bernays, Propaganda, P.37


    The history of the United States has been largely shaped, for better or for worse, by the actions of large groups of people. Rioters on a village green, shoppers lurching about a labyrinthine mall, slaves packed into the dark hold of a ship, strikers assembling outside the factory gates, all have their place in the rich and sometimes tragic history of the American crowd. This unique study traces that history from the days of anti-colonial revolt to today’s passive, ‘colonized crowds’ that fill our sports arenas, commercial centers, and workplaces. In clear and lively prose, Al Sandine argues for the progressive role crowds have played in securing greater democracy, civil rights, and free speech. But he also investigates crowds in their more dangerous forms, such as lynch mobs and anti-immigrant riots.

    The Taming of the American Crowd explains how the crowd as an active subject of change—often positive, sometimes not—has been replaced by the passive crowd as object of control and regulation. Today, the imperatives of mass society organize people in large numbers to consume goods and conform to permissible behavioral patterns; not to openly contest power. But, with the world entering a new period of economic uncertainty and mass protests erupting across the globe, it is time to reverse that trend. This book shows us the history of the untamed crowd and urges us to reclaim its legacy.

    Al Sandine has been a mill worker, freeway landscape groomer, claims examiner, free-clinic counselor, information officer, arbitrator, and insurance auditor, among other things. Now retired, he makes his home in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he remains politically active, paints, and pursues the kind of research and writing that produced this book. He is also the author of Plundertown, USA: Coos Bay Enters the Global Economy.
    Last edited by don; 02-02-10, 02:24 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Serge_Tomiko
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    Originally posted by Jim Nickerson View Post
    No disrespect to your reply, ggirod, but there is no end to comments everywhere about what is wrong with the US political system (just to narrow the focus), but what are you personally going to do about it?
    A dedicated people of true nobility are the only solution. Following in the footsteps of ancient knightly orders is a great example. Who are the people going to believe? A decadent fat cat living off the wages of the people? Or a selfless soldier of ideas who lives a life of simplicity and dedication?

    What we need is a political party that is more than a fundraising machine that preys upon ideological biases permeated by the elite in our universities and whom control the mass media apparatus.

    Charity, schools, mentoring, art, culture, these are the paths to inspire people not only to support you but to live a better life.

    What we need is not community organizers, who prey on avarice, but real action. Government clearly is not the solution, as political ineptitude indicates time and again. But it is very easy to make small changes. How many of the iTulip.com readers actually volunteer in their communities?

    You challenge this man's criticism of our corrupt system of governance, yet have you done much more besides voting? So much acrimony, so much vitriol... The internet has become a refuge for those who wish to escape the world.

    But is that really necessary? What truly is the problem with the West and the United States in particular? Our people aren't starving. Even the worst housing project in the worst ghetto is nicer than 90% of the world's domiciles. Our libraries are excellent, our parks beautiful, beer is cheap. Yet there continues to be so much discontent. People are not pissed because every entity is bankrupt - it is because they are realizing that they have enslaved themselves for no reason at all. All of this debt has gotten us nothing in the end.

    The problem of the world is largely spiritual, it is the nihilism of the modern age. It is prosperity itself. Most people truly do not know what to do with themselves, and it is from this discontent that nearly all our problems stem. The reasons for this are beyond the scope of this writing, but everyone who possesses any kind of gift can make a difference in another person's life. Probably the easiest path is to work with children, many of whom in my experience simply lack anyone in their lives who can bring some semblance of meaning.

    I leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

    “Among the small but endlessly abundant and therefore very effective things that science ought to heed more than the great, rare things, is goodwill. I mean those expressions of a friendly disposition in interactions, that smile of the eye, those handclasps, that ease which usually envelops nearly all human actions. Every teacher, every official brings this ingredient to what he considers his duty. It is the continual manifestation of our humanity, its rays of light, so to speak, in which everything grows. Especially within the narrowest circle, in the family, life sprouts and blossoms only by this goodwill. Good nature, friendliness, and courtesy of the heart are ever-flowing tributaries of the selfless drive and have made much greater contributions to culture than those much more famous expressions of this drive, called pity, charity, and self-sacrifice. But we tend to underestimate them, and in fact there really is not much about them that is selfless. The sum of these small doses is nevertheless mighty; its cumulative force is among the strongest of forces.

    Similarly, there is much more happiness to be found in the world than dim eyes can see, if one calculates correctly and does not forget all those moments of ease which are so plentiful in every day of every human life, even the most oppressed.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, Aphorism 49

    Leave a comment:


  • jtabeb
    replied
    Re: Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    Originally posted by raja View Post
    What is needed is a way to focus the People's pain and anger in a simple but effective way in order to bring about a peaceful "revolution" in America . . . .

    I suggest a one-page "manifesto" that most people can agree on. It should contain 5 or so basic "demands" of the People, and should have a title such as The People's Economic Reform Act. The basic thrust will be to divest the Financial Elite of power, and change the distribution of wealth in the US.

    The idea is that people will send it to their political representatives, and demand that they publicly endorse it . . . threatening that they will only vote for those politicians who do endorse it. Furthermore, any politician that endorses it, but subsequently fails to enact or vote for a bill that puts it into law, will lose the people's vote at the very next election.

    When this "manifesto" goes viral on the internet, it will be a fait accompli . . . .
    OK,

    Article 1. The Government will ABOLISH all legal tender laws and allow people to PROTECT themselves from government abuse through the ability to purchase, sell Physical Precious metals with no tax liability. (Same program as the Chinese have implemented),

    Further more, an individual MAY SPECIFY the terms of any contract so as to be payable/receivable in accordance with the above.

    Article 2. The Government will abolish the Federal Reserve and return the ability to create currency back to the treasury of the United States of America. All Banking SHALL BE based on a 100% reserve ratio. The proceeds from currency issuance are to rebated to the citizens of the US. All Outstanding Debt (Public and Private) is abolished. The Government will provide a $24,000 per year per adult annual income sourced from currency issue rebates (or a lesser or greater amount, based on the amount rebated). The Citizen Must then purchase goods and services (health care, etc) from the proceeds of these funds or their other sources of personal income or assets. Currency issue is not capped (see article 1). Social Security and Medicare are abolished IAW new funding mechanism and replacement benefit as outlined in this Article.

    Article 3. The INCOME TAX shall be ABOLISHED and replaced with a V.A.T. tax instead. No Used goods sales shall be taxed. Pre-refunds will be made available to those of moderate means. NO exemptions.

    Article 4. Looser pays tort reform Shall be the letter of the law. The Criminal Justice system Shall have three possible Verdicts Guilty, Not Guilty (Double jeopardy restrictions apply), and Not Proven (Double jeopardy restrictions DO NOT apply).

    Article 5. A Public Funding Option SHALL be made available for all elective offices level from city counsel on up to national elective office (including the Judiciary).


    How's that?

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X