GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan just said something to the effect that a Romney/Ryan administration would move government away from the role of sharing wealth to that of championing the cause of those who create wealth — oh, and he added those who need jobs. You see, they get their jobs from those who create wealth, I guess the thinking is.
I think maybe he has at least successfully summed up the philosophical difference between the two sides.
Whether admitted or not “redistribution of wealth” is a principle that has guided much tax and economic policy over these past many decades.
(Polls continue to show that a majority of Americans think the rich should shoulder more of the tax burden, which I think falls under the category of redistributing wealth.)
The idea is that in olden times the wealth tended to stay at the top, simply passed from one generation to the other. In many countries, even in the U.S., to an extent, if you were born to a lower class, you tended to stay there because there was no opportunity. The deck was stacked against you.
Some say, though, that is tending to be the case once more.
The fact is, though, the vast majority of people end up simply working for someone else, a small business owner or a corporation maybe. Their upward mobility is in wages and maybe tax breaks (hence tax breaks for the middle class or middle class working people, middle class not being an exact label).
Even though the Democrats get support from the business sector, their big strength has been among working people.
(Working people is a broad category and I suppose includes working professionals who do not own their own business.)
The GOP is trying to convince working people that their benevolent bosses are the wealth creators who make everything possible so therefore, ipso facto, they should support the GOP.
Meanwhile, the vested interests with their lobbying money take hold of nearly anyone who gets in power. I’m talking primarily below the presidential level, where the laws are written. The president in reality just signs or vetoes them (well he proposes and promotes too) .
I suppose the reason people succumb to lobbyists is that besides handing out outright bribes, they also can generate favorable or unfavorable publicity for a politician with all their money. Politicians depend upon large money donations too.
Ron Paul was noted for big-time fund raising primarily via relatively small donations — he is not in the running anymore.
Obama supposedly got a lot of relatively small donations last election, but he also got a lot of huge ones and is depending upon them now.
And the lobbyist support pays dividends for the donors. Wall Street got a bailout. Big labor got a bailout via the auto company bailouts, con men solar energy creators got part of the government largesse and so on.
But there really is an underlying question of what is the proper role of government and how can it represent the interests of all the people when we have such a diversity of interests. Not all business people really have the same interests and certainly not all people who work for employers (working people) have the same interests.
Sometimes or often, circumstances, some as of yet unknown event, change the outcome of elections. Often it is a gaffe or series of gaffes or crazy visuals, such as a small man with seemingly oversized military headgear (a CVC helmet) riding in a tank, or a well meaning, but slightly out of touch upper crust man marveling at supermarket check out scanners.
And then there is the likeability factor.
President Barack Obama: not so hard to like, except he may be wearing on you by this time or maybe you just don’t like him or his kind (whatever you want that last thing to mean).
Mitt Romney: seems like a lot of people, even his own party, have a hard time warming up to him (his wife had to go on nationwide TV to claim she loves him and that he is lovable). But they have chosen him because they think maybe he can win. Ironic, yes.
But barring the as of yet unforeseen, it would seem to me that just like I told my son-in-law: you might believe in the principles of one party but find that the other represents your own interests. I think people tend to vote their own interests or what they perceive as their own interests at the time (people are of course subject to being misled).