Why People Vote Against Redistributive Policies That Would Benefit Them

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Is it possible that people don’t always vote solely for what’s best for them? Could it possibly be that some people vote for what they think is right, not what nets them the biggest “stimmy” in the short term? I sure as shit don’t care if who I’m voting for promises me a big ass tax cut for being a capitalist. I vote for people who propose good public policies even if those are going to cut into my profits. Perhaps some people don’t just vote for redistribution because they don’t want the government to hand out money even if they would get the handout themselves? Political pseudo economics like this is so obnoxious. Why is it expected that everyone acts “rationally” and why is it Always phrased as if to judge the rationality of people’s choices? Maybe some poor people don’t like handouts? Maybe some rich people don’t mind being taxed?


According to the article: (1) Information provided by those in government is usually limited and not targeted specifically to the issue. (2) People distrust the government to resolve inequality because if the government could do it, they would have already done it. More likely people believe the government CREATED the inequality. (3) People often don’t see the connection between concrete public policy and their concerns. Why for example will a gas tax help the environment when I pollute so little? (4) People feel embarrassed by their own circumstances and feel like taking a hand out would make them feel more shameful. (5) States with most intergenerational mobility are least hopeful of the future, whereas those with least mobility are most hopeful…. people don’t know where they stand. (6) People are less likely to support redistribution if they feel like the money is being given to immigrants, people of other religions, people of other nationalities, or people of other ethnicities. People are also more likely to over-estimate how many “others” are receiving these benefits.


The question is bit like asking why the people who have never commited any crimes don’t support death penalty for any crime littering and up? People have ideals.


Most Americans do not have an actual understanding of politics or the political spectrum. They either follow the same ideals they were told to believe in growing up, or they select their beliefs based on issues that they feel are most important to them. Nobody actually reads into policy, they hear words they’ve been told to fear their entire life and panic. To add to that there’s no actual discussion between people with opposing ideals. People love to surround themselves in an echo chamber of like minded people. If there is discussion it’s either online and they refuse to see the other side, or it’s an in person shouting match between family members/friends. Nobody knows how to have an actual empathetic conversation about politics because they refuse to view the opposition as anything other than inferior or evil.


Most people vote the way they’re told by the media that they watch. I know die hard Republicans that would be far left if they went by how they believe and what policies they think would be best. But the media they watch tells them those politicians are evil.