We are all socialists now

Not that weren’t already, of course, but poll results like this amuse me, because they often fly in the face of the mainstream media’s consensus.

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7 Comments on “We are all socialists now”

  1. Amy Says:

    A poll like this is unreliable. Obviously if I asked people if they wanted to have money most would say yes. But add to that an increase in taxes, restrictions of liberties, and other results from giving that money and the pool answer would change. I would rather see the current “crisis” work its way out through the system naturally. With the government only looking at ways to prevent the wild speculation that got the banking system in so much trouble. The sub-prime mortgage area should be illegal and standards need to be enforced in banking. The idea that a person can just go buy a house without risking anything(no down payment) is ridiculous.

  2. Dennis Says:

    So a poll like this is unreliable because…. you think a) people don’t realize that any of those things cost money, b) they necessitate a decrease in civil liberties, or c) they necessitate an increase in taxes?

    I think claiming the poll results are unreliable is far-fetched and relies on too many assumptions to hold up. Besides, for once, it’s an actual poll.

  3. Amy Says:

    Dennis there is a whole field of study on the effect of wording on poll results. You can go from extreme “do you beat your wife” questions to more subtle questions. If is a fact that when most people respond to polls that are given only canned answers, the responses are skewed. The responses are required to be in a specific form with no nuances. Do the people realize that spending will cost them later? Probably, but the actual cost is not given so that is an unknown quantity. What if they reworded the question to include do you want the stimulus knowing it will cost you $10000 more in taxes each year?(this won’t but is just an example) This is why the poll is not reliable. Or suggest in the health care arena that they would not be allowed to pick your doctor or get the service you want. This drops the poll numbers drastically for universal health care. Without full knowledge of the consequences people will answer polls usually on their immediate gut reaction. Some will consider more but most will not.

  4. Dennis Says:

    Amy, I think you are ignoring the actual poll. Sure, if they had asked “Do you want X if it costs Y?”, the results may have changed, but 1) Y is completely hypothetical at this point, so why ask? Any Y that is picked is going to be arbitrary and say more about the conclusion the pollster is looking for than anything else. And 2) You might also be misunderstanding the conclusion I am drawing from the results. I don’t actually disagree with you that if you attach a price tag to these proposals the results might change, but that’s irrelevant. My point is that these are things people say they want in principle. That is noteworthy both on its own and because, as MM noted with their Santelli comment, these are Democratic Party ideas, and they belie the idea that Americans are conservative.

  5. Amy Says:

    Any person, conservative or liberal or fascist, would want help in a burning building. The economy is poor right now is some places. Not in North Dakota mind you, a conservative state that had conservative banking decisions that kept them out of the wild lending of other banks. So, conservative? Yes, overall the country is conservative and very compassionate. Therefore, when people are in trouble we want to help. Some, mostly conservatives, want people to be responsible for their behavior and thus lose that house they couldn’t afford. But still the conservatives would want jobs created. As a country we still oppose many things that most would call liberal, gun control, drug legalization, open sexuality, etc. The poll does not indicate anything about the nature of the country, conservative or liberal. Only if you bring your personal bias to the poll does this happen. I am not trying to argue with you either. I just know that polls rarely reflect the entire truth of the question polled. Even the polls on voting for President, while accurate in result, may not reflect the true desire. Was it a vote for the person or a vote against the opponent? We don’t know unless we do a more thorough poll. Drawing conclusions that the country is not conservative based on this poll is silly.

  6. Tim Says:

    Run for the hills… the end is near!!! 😉

  7. Dennis Says:


    What planet do you live on? Have you missed the Republican Party claiming the mantle of conservatism and then decrying the things presented in the poll? GOP Chair Michael Steele specifically decried using the government to create jobs. Republican governors (Sanfod and Jindal) want to reject federal aid to their states – those are the two most popular items listed in the poll!

    If you would like to make a distinction between Republican and conservative, I might buy that, Republican rhetoric notwithstanding. But the first three proposals in the survey are popular, supported by the Dems and most liberals, and opposed by the Republicans and most conservatives. It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

    Oh, and while it’s true that a majority of Americans don’t support the legalization of marijuana, that majority is getting AWFULLY small: http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/02/americans-growing-kinder-to-bud.html.

    Finally, claiming that a ‘conservative’ approach to banking would have helped avoid this crisis relies on the implicit claim that conservative and Republican are NOT the same thing, as Republicans (along with many Dems) championed the lack of regulations that led to the current banking crisis. Again, if you want to take that tack, feel free, but it’s not that much of a winner, since you’ll end up being forced to conclude either the Republicans are insane and/or ‘true’ conservatives have no representation – either of which leads to a rather serious critique of the two-party system.

    Please do yourself a favor and lay off the conventional wisdom. It’s stale, boring, and often wrong.

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