Why do people vote against their interests?

In the 2004 presidential election, GW Bush won Ohio, albeit by a narrow margin, thus clinching victory. Even at a time when the U.S. economy was on a rebound following the 2001-2002 recession, Ohio was still not doing as well economically as the rest of the country- largely because thousands of jobs had been outsourced to China and India. Also, like so many other states, Ohio's residents were impacted by the Iraq War. Yet, by a small majority Ohioans supported GW Bush, a man who catered largely to the outsourcing companies on Wall Street and the big defense companies, few of which were located in Ohio. Many say that the crucial difference was Bush's focus on "social" issues like gay marriage and the stance against abortion. So Ohioans, who would have stood to gain from Kerry's more pro-union, pro manufacturing jobs stance, voted instead for Dubbya.

Today, the new issue is the "flat tax," which is hailed by Tea Party supporters as a way to reign in runaway government spending, which, these folks erroneously believe, is the "real" cause of our economic doldrums.

This is a mistake. For one, spending did not cause this. Spending is a symptom, not a cause. When people are out of work, they have less income to give to the government. Thus revenues go down and the deficit goes up. Moreover, while Tea Partiers hate the "bailout" of Wall Street, the truth is that most economists believe a bailout was necessary, despite its likely negative "moral hazard" effect of encouraging bad behavior further down the line. But again the deficit is not a cause but a symptom of a bad economy.

Yet somehow, because the deficit is (erroneously) seen as Enemy #1, candidates today are coming up with all sorts of regressive tax proposals. A regressive tax is one whose effects are mostly felt by the middle and lower classes. Cain's "9-9-9" and Perry's 20% flat taxes would be felt the most by those who make less than $50,00. The wealthiest will gain the most, seeing significant reductions in their taxes. In a democratic society, the majority wins, and the majority of voters would be paying MORE taxes. Oddly, they are ok with this because they are under the erroneous belief that a flat tax is "fair" and that the boogeyman is the IRS, which many believe must be "done away with."

Hint: It's not fair. It lets the wealthiest pay less and the poorer pay more. Republican fat cats are just fine with this. But I wonder if Ohio and Ohio-like states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, will vote against their own interests again in 2012. It never ceases to amaze me how people will gladly vote against their interests..

Update:

"Lunatic," very true...

11 Answers

Relevance
  • 8 years ago
    Best Answer

    Human nature. Some people would hurt themselves to hurt someone else. Sad, but true.

    Too bad they never realize until too late that they've hurt themselves far worse than they could have ever hurt the other person.

    Case in point: So many thought they were hurting President Obama when they put the GOP back into the House and when they voted Republican governors in all over the country.

    What happened? Many lost their union rights in those Republican-run states and the GOP in the House continue to hold this nation hostage every time they want something to go their way.

    Did it hurt President Obama? No. Because he works for no union and he has a job. And even if he gets voted out, as an excellent orator, he will make millions giving speeches.

  • 8 years ago

    You answered your own question. In 2004, a vote for Bush was seen as contributing to a great religious and moral victory against the satanist liberals. In 2010, a vote for any republican was a vote against the evil liberal empire.

    The average American has been subjected to the most intense propaganda machine in history convincing many that liberalism is root of all of their problems both economically and spiritually. Obama has be equated with Satan so long and so often that people can't help but have a negative reaction each time he is mentioned. The Nazis used the same technique against the Jews in the 1930s very successfully and the Republicans have honed that technique to a fine point.

    Voting against your own economic well being is nothing compared to voting against the ultimate evil and for the salvation of your immortal soul.

  • M M
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    So in short, you think that voting against the government taxing me to death to pay for your handouts and having the Feds involved in every facet of my life is voting against my interests? Spending IS the problem. Whether it is for entitlement programs that cater to ALOT of people who dont need to be helped, or bloated government entities that dont do anything but interfere and complicate our lives. I have a problem with all the defense industry spending being done when we shouldnt be involved in so many conflicts to begin with. Without the out of control entitlement spending, the foreign aid all over the world that goes to the fat cats in the those governements and doesnt help the people it is intended to help, the outsourcing of our jobs to third world countries and a host of other government waste we are BORROWING money to fund we would be just fine as a nation. i dont need the government to take care of me and i make less than 50 k per year.

    One candidate has a plan that will benefit every last one of us even if you think its painful initially, it will make this country flourish again and help people to once again become self reliant.

    I will gladly vote against your logic and FOR my and everyone elses BEST interests. I will do this by voting for Ron Paul. Give me a thumbs down but in your heart of hearts you know hes right. If you dont yet, then research his paltform in his own words.

  • 8 years ago

    Many just don't understand or have given up due to being polarized by culture war issues.

    I really wish this would change for we need to see the working class people rise in 2012 and vote for the party that will represent “the working class” after the national election. Our future children are depending on us. :)

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Sometimes your voting for the better of two evils. My biggest peve is the legalization of murdering infants in the whomb so I will generally vote for the president who is most willing/able to take a stand against the abortion holocaust.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Astounds me.

    The Democrats can get people with 401Ks to vote against big business. The GOP can get people who make under $50,000 a year to vote against a tax increase on people who make a million.

    Source(s): Ype, astounds me.
  • 8 years ago

    Because gay marriage alien abortion muslims!

  • Ronald
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    voters dont have the intelligence to understand that. then when they get hit they blame it on the democrats. and they wonder why they get screwed stupidy is the reason.

  • 8 years ago

    Because in Amerikkka visceral hatred and willful ignorance trumps reason and/or logic every time.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    we all don't aspire to become a government slave.......why would a liberal vote for unemployment benefit extensions and government assistance programs that perpetuate poverty and unemployment.....

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.