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The One Question Political Test

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At least every couple of years we’re faced with the question of whether to vote for a Republican or Democrat. Each party throws out all sorts of issues and positions to try to convince us to vote their way, but most of that is just distraction and pandering designed to win us over despite our better judgement. The candidates look different and have different personalities, but deep underneath they’re all politicians and you can’t count on them for much except to follow one or maybe two basic political principles of their parties.

In the end all that it really comes down to is a very simple decision which can be summed up in a single question, and here it is – the ultimate political allegiance question:

If you were unemployed, which would you prefer:

A: To be given $300 right now in cash, no strings attached.

B: To work a hard 40 hour week and get paid $600.

Neither of these options comes with any promise of future payment or employment attached to it.

If you pick A then go ahead and vote Democrat until there’s a Socialist party on the ballot. If you pick B then you might as well vote Republican even if you disagree with them on other issues, because that’s where your interests lie when it really counts.

And if you find the question and the answers troubling or irritating or unsubtle, then be my guest in using this as an opportunity to think about your personal values and the values of the political party you owe allegiance to.

Dave

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    And what is your “thinking” being this wildly insightful question?

    To me it speaks of complete ignorance of the real world. The phrase “working poor” keeps coming to mind.

    And is this even worth a post? Think about what we’ve been rejecting recently. This falls below the standard being that there’s absolutely no point to it.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    It’s just an observation. I think it’s insightful, but you clearly have a different viewpoint.

    I’d suggest that rather than there being ‘absolutely no point to it’, it has a point you’d rather not think about, and IMO that justifies its existence right there.

    Dave

  • T A Dodger

    that’s where your interests lie when it really counts.

    That’s what really counts if you’re a heterosexual male. I’m not saying that to be inflammatory, and I know you don’t support the social conservatice wing of the republican party, but I believe that in this post you’re underestimating the impact of “conservative” social policy on the people that it affects.

    As a woman, I’m terrified of having the government take control of my womb. If I were gay, I might be more concerned about what republican control would do to my chances of having a legally recognized family than about conservative economic policy.

  • cloid

    I actually see how this seemingly simple question could be taken as a deep and subtle metaphor.

    cloid

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I hadn’t considered that there might be gender issues related to the question. It seems to me that no matter how much issues like gay rights and abortions matter, ultimately it’s this one issue which really does differentiate the attitudes of the right and the left. The rest of the stuff does seem rather like window dressing since so many promises are made and so few are delivered on.

    Nice to see that you recognized that the question applies to the broader issue of economic policy as well as personal values, though TAD.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>I actually see how this seemingly simple question could be taken as a deep and subtle metaphor.<<

    I might not go that far, but I think that it is certainly applicable to a number of different aspects of politics and life. The question is certainly not as simple as it appears.

    Dave

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Yeah Temple, uh, that you don’t LIKE the point of Nalle’s post doesn’t mean that there isn’t one. I know you’re a liberal and all, but you’re not a moron. You’re behaving in a distinctly truth-challenged way to pretend that there’s “absolutely no point” to this post.

    TA also has a legitimate point that there are more things that are important than economics. To pick a counter-example to compliment hers, there are a lot of voters with liberal economic beliefs that have recently voted Republican because they are more concerned with US having a forceful defense policy.

    I know that if, God forbid, I were ever to vote Republican, it would be for defense issues rather than economics- cause I don’t see even a little bit of difference between them there.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    there is absolutely a point to this.

    it is this: conservatives get a warm ‘n fuzzy feeling when wrapping themselves in easy-to-digest, oversimplifications of issues.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    If nothing else the post is moderately provocative, and it gets people to show their true colors. That’s got value.

    And Mark, everyone likes to oversimplify things. We’ve become a soundbyte culture.

    Dave

  • T A Dodger

    The question is simple… but it’s also misleading. It would probably be more accurate to ask:
    If a person is unemployed should they

    A) Get $300 a week for a certain period while they (probably / maybe) look for a job.
    or
    B) Get nothing while they (definitely) look for a job.

    The question, as it is posed, suggests that, if you are unemployed, all you have to do is *decide* to work. I think most liberals would disagree with that assumption.

    I also think the difference between mainstream economic liberals and conservatives is in how likely they believe it is that a person on government assistance is just gaming the system.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    You’re making it too complex, TAD. I thought about doing that and it defeated the purpose. The idea is to keep it as abstract as possible and not confuse the question with any kind of real world scenario. It doesn’t work if it isn’t a pure hypothetical.

    Though I have to say that what you read into it is enormously revealing. The question is like a mirror that reflects the soul of the reader.

    Dave

  • T A Dodger

    I think the way you phrased the original question shows a lot about you.

    By asking it the way you do, you force everyone into the Republican column, because no reasonable person would pick A, as long as a full time job is the other option.

    I could just as easily have written the question as:

    Would you rather an unemployed person:
    A) Get $300 up front or
    B) Get nothing

    and that would have revealed me as the dirty pinko I so obviously am :-)

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    I think Dave’s off track here just in the premise of his question. It’s built on some presumption that Republicans represent a more conservative or tight fisted economic approach.

    THEY DON’T. Look at the budgets and the spending. Republicans have run Congress for ten years, and they’re blowing more money than a Democrat ever DREAMT of.

    Then we gave them a Republican president as well- and the drunken sailor spending rapidly picked up steam. Obviously, I’m no fan of Bill Clinton, but on the basis of the empirical evidence, he was absolutely tight fisted compared to Dubya.

    In the point of actual practice, a desire for conservative economic policies is no reason AT ALL to support Republicans over Democrats at this point- certainly not at the national level.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    TAD, I guess I didn’t make clear enough that a longer term full-time job isn’t in the mix at all.

    Al, in the same circumstances with a war and a recession to deal with, we have no reason to believe that the Demos wouldn’t have spent even MORE on the things the Republicans have overspent on and every reason based on past performance to realistically expect that they would have spent enormously more.

    Your comparison with Clinton is misleading, because he was president during an economic boom, which took all pressure off of him to actually cut spending, and he passed on what was actually a bloated budget into a period where the boom was over and the revenues coming in were not on the same scale he enjoyed.

    Regardless of the current circumstances, I still trust the Republicans far more than the Democrats to be fiscally responsible.

    Dave

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    TA, this question of Dave’s does look like an increasingly interesting Rorschach. As the question stands, I’m not sure how I would answer it. Just on the level of personal interest, the question is would you work all week for $300?

    If it is would you rather scrape by on $300 a week living free, or work your ass off for another $300- that seems like it could go either way. Seems like you’d have to have children to support to justify the bother for the difference.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    For the record, this post was inspired by overhearing a discussion between two disc golf players who were comparing the merits of working for $17 an hour doing duct work to leeching off your wife and doing occasional part time work while smoking a lot of weed and playing lots of disc golf.

    Dave

  • http://www.scottcsmith.net Scott C. Smith

    Since corporations are legally defined as people, and since so many of them take free government handouts, does that make them Democrats?

  • T A Dodger

    Al,

    This is interesting. You’re suggesting that unless a person really *needed* the extra money, they would probably pick A.

    And in my comment #12, I said that it’s just self evident that everyone (including myself) would pick B.

    Yet you are much more conservative than I am…

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Excep that Democrats want to get rid of the idea that corporations should be treated more or less like people, so I think that means the partty has rejected them despite their efforts to qualify.

    Dave

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    >>I think Dave’s off track here just in the premise of his question

    So you first trash me and then agree with me.

    Nice.

    It’s just an out and out dumb question – and for once it’s not necessarily because Dave is asking it because I’ve seen offspring variations of it all over the place – that paints one political party as lazy and the other as hard working.

    There’s just no way that is intellectually possible. And how does it, in fact, address so-called libertarians or people who don’t vote at all.

    I’ve never accepted money from the government for unemployment and I plan to keep it that way. And that’s just me but there are many other isssues out there.

    The insight is lacking, that’s all.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    comment 319 was way the hell out of the blue and doesn’t relate to anythng posed in the post.

    >>not confuse the question with any kind of real world scenario

    Sorry, but most of actually live in the real world so it’s kind of important to us and not confusing at all.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    comment 319 would indeed be as described. But so is comment #19.

  • T A Dodger

    It was in response to number 17, which was also pretty random.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    No Temple, I was not agreeing with you. Dave had a point- I just disagreed with it.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Thanks TA. Indeed (Didn’t kow it was a Democratic issue, however). Sorry Dave.

    Al, I said the premise was wrong, in so many words. So did you. Sorry. It’s called agreement.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    TA, re comment 18: The question makes a Rohrschach because there are a lot of different ways of looking at it. On one personal level, I’d certainly value my time and leisure more than a little money.

    That might would vary depending on the amounts of money in question. If it was being homeless with NO money per week vs working for $300, that would be a different question. If it was $500 per week for loafing vs $1000 for working, that would be a different question.

    But then you get to where the money is coming from, and that makes a difference. I still attach some stigma to welfare. It might be that I’d work a job for marginal money rather than bear that stigma.

    Then there’s how bad I need money for what. A baby at home would likely make me much more money motivated than I am as a bachelor.

  • http://www.morethings.com Al Barger

    No, Temple. You did not start out saying the premise was bad. You said that “there’s absolutely no point to it.”

    There clearly is one. By Dave’s premises, the Democrats believe more in social welfare programs than Republicans do.

    Except that they really do not at this point in history. Rhetorically there are some differentiations maybe, but not in the practice of the current generation.

    That is a point, and it is a point worth discussing.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    I see the question more like this:

    If you had $300 to give away would you give it to:
    a) a starving family, or
    b) an oil company

    Or maybe this:

    If a guy came up to you on the street and shot you in the face would you want the police to:
    a) find that guy and arrest him
    b) find some guy who had nothing to do with it and burn his house down

    Or perhaps this:

    If you had an extra $300 of disposable income would you consider it more responsible to:
    a) invest it for your child’s education, or
    b) flush it down the toilet

  • Alethinos

    Dave, Dave, Dave… What on EARTH did you think this question – which, in and of itself is not worthy of your rather fine intellect – would achieve?

    I pray that what brought this on was your straightlining SANKA or something like that…

    Alethinos

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    To poke this to death as you love to do: (How are you employed Al?) When the premise of a question is bad, logically speaking, there is no end. There is no conclusion. There is no point to it.

    And that’s not all I said. Everyone’s ignoring the “working poor” here. Because of that and many other reasons, the question is entirely inadequate – which makes sense – and is in no way a political test.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    if i were unemployed, i would like to kick Gretchen Wilson in the nuts.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    mark, I don’t stir subjects aka shit, just to stir.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    In other words, making light undermines serious points, unrelated.

    Still and all, damn, OK it was sorta funny in a reductio ad absurdum kind of way.

    or a, visne scire qoud credam? credo orbes volantes exstare kind of way.

  • Bennett

    5th! Great questions man. Mark, Feh!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>I’ve never accepted money from the government for unemployment and I plan to keep it that way. And that’s just me but there are many other isssues out there.<<

    See, this is what makes the quesiton so remarkable. People read into it whatever they want and get defensive about things which aren’t even there because that’s what they assume their party is accused of.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Ah, 5th – you steal the wind from my sails. I do indeed have a followup quetion which I’ve been saving. It’s not as ridiculous as yours – it makes nice simple sense like this first question – but now you’ve gone and ruined it all with your parody questions.

    Dave

  • Alethinos

    Temple… Screenwriter, with a two scripts in front of 3 major actors at present – so keep your fingers crossed. Also a Part-time college teacher and currently a full-time manager for one of the top 10 Fortune 500.

    As for Dave’s question… Like I said, there has to be some bizarre explanation for it… Maybe Fifth slipped him some nitrous oxide…

    Alethinos

  • G. Oren

    Nice one Dave. I think your question goes back to the bedrock notion of personal responsibility. One of the main reasons why I, and many others, rejected socialism in the late 70’s (or the overly regulated brand of corporate-socialism dominant at that time)was because of that bedrock notion that people desire to make the most of themselves, to pursue the limit of their potential – that starts with productive work, among many other things. Conservatives have always realized that the handout tends to dampen or degrade the notion of personal responsibility and resist those programs that tend to enlarge the nanny-state and its influence on individual choices.

    The dem-liberals simply assume that most people will continue to work hard while they champion the right of the “underprivilged” to receive a helping from the table. The unintended consequence of liberal initiatives has been well documented, the perpetual handout always acts as a disincentive for personal responsiblity and productive work. Mired in a marxist assumption of class warfare, the dems find it nearly impossible to break that knee-jerk reaction that sees every contingency of life as the proper venue for a government program – a place for the state to plan for all.

    In the context of the larger economy, this does not mean that there is not a place for government to provide a safety net – but those safety nets must be well thought out as to incentives to action and corrected from time to time when unintended bad consequences become apparent.

  • nugget

    Dave: The premise IS bad though. The question includes a real life scenario. If you really wanted to be rhetorical, you would have asked this:

    1) Would you rather accept help from a party that insures immediate security and buys time to find an independant life support, but as a consequence may encourage dependancy and laziness, OR

    2) Would you, in attempts to avoid such weaknesses as sloth and dependancy, not accept help thus strengthening your self-preservation instincts, fueling the ambition and work ethic flame that will provide as the energy you need to help yourself?

  • nugget

    on the other hand, I understand what you’re getting at (your bias somehow shown through!), and I agree with you and G Oren.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Temple… Screenwriter, with a two scripts in front of 3 major actors at present – so keep your fingers crossed. Also a Part-time college teacher and currently a full-time manager for one of the top 10 Fortune 500.< <

    It's Blockbuster, isn't it? Every Blockbuster employee keeps a screenplay under the counter.

    >>As for Dave’s question… Like I said, there has to be some bizarre explanation for it… Maybe Fifth slipped him some nitrous oxide…<<

    Perhaps too much sun exposure on the disc golf course.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Nugget, my eyes glazed over trying to parse your reformulating of the question. Simple is good.

    Dave

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Alethinos not sure what brought that on – but bitchin. .. ah wait you thought the “Al” was you. got it.

    and dave don’t be silly. You’re the one assuming my party here (hint, I have never voted a straight party ticket), while no one has addressed my other “what about the libertarian / not vote segment of population” queries.

    Nice try at validation your weak post though.

    my original judgment stands.

  • Dave Nalle

    Temp, when I originally came up with this idea I considered making it much more substantial and including a set of 3 questions which would have defined several different political positions, but that seemed far too serious and much less provocative. I ended up going with the minimalist approach and I stick by it. Maybe at another time I’ll do the more serious version.

    Dave

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Da, well I’ve always said, we’re not here for posts that are just drive by, stray thoughts.

  • Dave Nalle

    Sometimes the stray thoughts are good thoughts that lead to better ones. And this isn’t just a one-liner or a link to some other article, it’s fully explicated and a complete explication of the admittedly limited concept.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    It seems to me that your question is woefully outdated, Dave. It’s a question that just doesn’t fit reality.

    I find your opening argument to be more interesting: voting a party based upon one or two general principles. That said, I’ve always voted Democrat under the general impression that that candidate will tend to vote more in line with my thinking than a Republican one. That does leave the lesser of two evils at times, but it’s been what has worked for me.

  • Dave Nalle

    >>It seems to me that your question is woefully outdated, Dave. It’s a question that just doesn’t fit reality.< <

    I think the impression that these basic party character issues are outdated has been overstated. I think that at core the parties will continue to be drawn back towards their root beliefs when not distracted by other issues. But, there's a hell of a lot of distracting going on these days.

    >>I find your opening argument to be more interesting: voting a party based upon one or two general principles. That said, I’ve always voted Democrat under the general impression that that candidate will tend to vote more in line with my thinking than a Republican one. That does leave the lesser of two evils at times, but it’s been what has worked for me.<<

    If I voted that way I’d probably vote Democrat too. I do agree with Democrats on more issues than I agree with the current GOP on, but I find that not all issues are of equal importance, and on those which are paramount the Democrats just don’t have any viable answers – and that doesn’t mean stuff like abortion which I consider a completely bogus issue created solely to generate polarization.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    I just don’t think you can equate something like providing health care for uninsured Americans — a proposal likely to be brought forward next year by Democrats — with handing out money for not doing work.

  • Dave Nalle

    I’m pretty sure I never said anything about healthcare in the question post. Plus I’m holding out hope for a good proposal from moderate Republicans since the Demos will doubtless come up with something impractical which will never pass.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Yes — I’m equating your generalization to specifics and reality and saying they just don’t equate.

  • T A Dodger

    Dave, I’ll grant you that this post generated polite and sometimes interesting discussion, but the fact is the question does not do what it purports to do: identify / predict people’s political affiliation.

    1) Look to the comments above: Al says the answer to your question is difficult and depends on many factors. I say the answer is obviously B. Al is quite conservative. I’m a hair’s bredth from being an out-and-out socialist.

    2) If you were to ask a large number of people why they vote for the democrats, you would get a wide variaty of responses ranging from civil rights to health care to foreign policy. What you would probably not hear from anyone is: “people shouldn’t have to work.”

    3) You’re also making the mistake of equating people’s personal values with their political affiliation. A person may value work very highly or even abhor taking charity but still think that the role of the government is to help those who need it. A question with a similar error would be: “If you saw a person who was starving would you give that person money?” No? You’re a libertarian!

  • http://limulus_polyphemus@hotmail.com JR

    People shouldn’t have to work. Our current system forces too many idiots into positions of responsibility. If only, say, %10 of the population was necessary to keep civilization afloat, we could fill all jobs with only those who prove themselves the most qualified and motivated. The rest can stay home watching TV or on drugs or otherwise out of the way.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I realize you’re probably being sarcastic, JR, but there are people who do hold beliefs very close to what you just expressed.

    Dave

  • Bill B

    I’m with TAD here. I think things are a heck of a lot more complicated than the concept behind the question’s structure infers.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Dave, I’ll grant you that this post generated polite and sometimes interesting discussion, but the fact is the question does not do what it purports to do: identify / predict people’s political affiliation. < <

    I think that more than predict political affiliation, what it actually does is make you think about certain issues which have become centerpieces of American politics.

    >>1) Look to the comments above: Al says the answer to your question is difficult and depends on many factors. I say the answer is obviously B. Al is quite conservative. I’m a hair’s bredth from being an out-and-out socialist.< <

    Al may be right and that doesn't mean he won't ultimately come up with the same answer you do. And maybe it says something positive about you which suggests that you aren't as much of a socialist as you think.

    >>2) If you were to ask a large number of people why they vote for the democrats, you would get a wide variaty of responses ranging from civil rights to health care to foreign policy. What you would probably not hear from anyone is: “people shouldn’t have to work.”< <

    If that's the case, then that raises very interesting questions about exactly why those people have come to the conclusion that the democrats actually serve their interests, or else it suggests that perhaps democrat voters are fundamentally different from other voters and honestly don't put economic issues first. This would explain a lot about why the democrats have a core of support in the country. I know that despite my agreement with the democrats on a huge number of issues, my answer to this question is indicative of exaclty why I can never support them. It's not the entirety of the reasoning, but it's a condensed version of it.

    >>3) You’re also making the mistake of equating people’s personal values with their political affiliation. A person may value work very highly or even abhor taking charity but still think that the role of the government is to help those who need it.< <

    Ah, but giving them a job helps them as much or more as giving them money. Neither answer here suggests not helping the person in need.

    >> A question with a similar error would be: “If you saw a person who was starving would you give that person money?” No? You’re a libertarian!<<

    You have to have two comparable choices. What if the choices were:

    A: Would you give a starving person enough money to buy a meal.
    B: Would you take a starving person to a store and buy them a meal.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    ah Mr Nalle…once again playing with the false dichotomy of a logical straw man to attempt framing a Question in such a loaded manner …similar to the way a fake “mentalist” will “lead” the “mark” to picking a predetermined Question/Answer so the fakir can appear to “predict” what was on the mark’s mind

    nice try….

    what if we frame the bogus “Question” like this…

    would you rather work towards ensuring that everyone had access to education and healthcare…

    or…

    throw puppies into a blender

    if a then vote democratic…otherwise you are b and a republican

    it seems silly…but it is just as valid as the bogus supposition of Mr Nalle’s question…

    always be wary when someone tries to “simplify” a very complex Issue….it usually means they are “palming a card” and will drop 5 aces on their next hand

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    I just read back through the comments and I must say TA Dodger voices the strongest argument throughout.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    You don’t get it, gonzo. For the question to be at all meaningful both options have to be at least approximately equivalent in value. Offering something of value vs. something ridiculous is not the same thing at all.

    Dave

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Sorry, Dave, but I’m not quite buying the applicability of the question to party choice, either.

    Then again, I don’t vote straight ticket, so…

    The question boils down to whether I would rather work 40 hours for $7.50 an hour, or not. The answer to that would vary based on a long list of factors. For instance, do I have kids? If I do, then on the one hand, I need a lot more than $300 this week. On the other hand, I’ve got to do something with my kids while I work, which might end up costing me more than $300 for the week!

    Right now the biggest factors in choosing a political party for most people aren’t necessarily economic, in my view. They primarily have to do with terrorism/war/security, or marriage, or abortion.

    When I was younger, I chose a party based on economic ideas alone, but that was some time ago.

    Great post, though. Very thought-provoking, obviously!

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    I should also mention that option A doesn’t preclude me from finding other work after having received the $300 handout, or at least spending the time looking for better work for the future. Deliberately, I assume. So either option can be seen as being responsible, depending on one’s experience and education level. In other words, whether $7.50/hour is a good wage for that person.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Philip, you continue the trend of trying to introduce realism into this discussion. Agreed, once you start considering things like personal obligations and all the other considerations of life the question doesn’t work so well. It’s an abstract question to be considered in a vacuum.

    Maybe I’m still young at heart, because it seems to me that all the other considerations you mention become meaningless if you don’t have basic economic security.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Phillip, you bring in important factors from the voter’s perspective.

    Unfortunately, poor voters and single mothers tend to vote the least in the US. They’re busy scrambling to make ends meet, of course, which leaves the political parties free to cater to those who have enough food in the belly and time to saunter down to the voting booth.

    Kudos to John Edwards, if I may say, for making this a central issue to his ’04 presidential run and ever since.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    It’s an abstract question to be considered in a vacuum.

    Which renders it utterly meaningless, especially as a barometer for someone’s political party affiliation.

  • http://www.nrlc.org/ Anthony Grande

    First off I would choose B.

    and I believe T A’s rephraising of Dave’s question is better. I would also choose B in comment 12.

    I would feel less of a man if I went to Unemployment instead of doing my best to get a job.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    I addressed the “it’s NOT a real world after all” point in comment 21

    “”” >>not confuse the question with any kind of real world scenario

    Sorry, but most of actually live in the real world so it’s kind of important to us and not confusing at all.

    -temple

  • Anthony Grande

    Dave, there are much more questions that need to be answered when you go vote.

    Mine is abortion. I will never vote for a man or a woman who is Pro-Choice. Ever.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Anthony — If you one day get laid off from a good paying job through no fault of your own and find you have no means to feed your family, you might look at unemployment as a temporary bridge toward economic security that has no reflection on whether or not you are a “man.”

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com/ gonzo marx

    Mr Nallle…

    what i am saying is that as silly as my “questions” seem to be to you…yours are just as much a false “choice” with just as little realistic correllation to Actuality as mine…

    how about we try…

    a) do you want the government to be primarily concerned with welfare for big corporatations, subsidising millionaires, looking our for the interests of multi-nationals who offshore and outsource as a matter of policy and to elude taxes and regulations, are obsessively concerned with what goes on in people’s bedrooms and are “born again” endowed with a philosophical hatred of Science…

    or…

    b)do you care for the Individual Citizen, their Rights and well being, wanting to enable all Citizens with access to health care and education, a desire for the Federal Budget to balance by removing “pork”, a desire to allow the widest possible Civil Liberties to the Individual(including Privacy against corporate and governmental nitrusions and interests), wanting to be good stewards of our environment and protect it for our descendants and our future as a Nation

    if a) yer a card carrying member of the GOP….if b) you might not be a “democrat” but you certainly don’t want a) in office!!!

    me?..i like gridlock…to my way of thinking, it is FAR better for our Republic when control of House/Senate/White House are split amongst the Parties…only when such occurs can we be even moderately comfortable with the system of “checks and balances” being used correctly as a protective “feedback loop” for the Individual Citizen

    otherwise , whichever Party has a totalitarian control over our government will just go berserk catering to the special Interests that gave them all that money so they could get elected…and will bribe them with more to be re-elected

    such as what we have experienced for the last 5 years under totalitarian GOP regime…

    note to you, gentle Readers…observe that i don’t want ANY Party to control all the facets of our Government…i don’t “trust” either political “gang”

    but this current group of neocon/theocon leaders of the GOP have proven that they don’t deserve our trust or votes…

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    I’d take the $300, invest it into a project and create a profit. I’d reinvest the profit to make more profits. At the end of a year, I’d pay back the $300 with interest and give somebody else $300 to do the same thing.

    That makes me something more precious than being a Democrat or Republican. It makes me an American.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    You’re still not getting it gonzo, but now you’ve gone to the other extreme.

    I do like Silas’s solution, but it wasn’t an essay question.

    Dave

  • troll

    Republican or Democrat: take the job – subcontract it to an illegal… err…undocumented worker that is…for 150 – pocket the 450

    Isn’t acting to maximise one’s self-interest the American Way – ?

    troll

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Hey, Dave, where does that place me on the Political Kinsey scale?

  • http://www.nrlc.org/ Anthony Grande

    Eric, if I one day got laid off from my job I would not go to unemployment.

    There are other ways of making money while I am looking for a job:

    1) Work as a low paid hired hand. Pick apples. Mow lawns.

    2) I have a huge Italian family. When one of us is having trouble finding work we will go work for one of our relatives. I have 3 uncles and 10 cousins who own there own plumbing business. They are always in need of workers.

    3) When all fails do what my freind did, enlist.

    Yeah, I know that not everyone has these options and that is the reason why I believe we need Unemployment checks as an option. It is just that I wouldn’t do it personally.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com/ gonzo marx

    and i do “get it” i just think your baseline postulate is totally fallacious….as well as that you have engaged in spurious, speculative sophistry

    more simply put…your “push poll” Question and incorrect conclusion are transparently partisan propaganda

    ok..maybe that wasn’t “more simply”…

    but i digress…

    Excelsior!

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    There are other ways of making money…
    1) Work as a low paid hired hand. Pick apples. Mow lawns…

    Or move to West Hollywood.

    2) I have a huge Italian family… They are always in need of workers.

    No, I just can’t, it would be wrong…

    3) When all fails do what my freind did, enlist.

    Can someone say Full Metal Jacket II?

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    i’d take the $300

  • Dave Nalle

    Ok, Troll’s last is definitely the best alternative answer so far. I might have given gonzo points for identifying it as a push poll, but troll’s is just too good to top.

    Dave

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Why subcontract it to an illegal? Why not farm the work out to a kid in Bangladesh for 13 cents an hour? The total cost would be about $5.20 and that would leave $594.80 for the ol’ pocket.

  • nugget

    “as well as that you have engaged in spurious, speculative sophistry”

    how about really reduplicated repetitious redundancy? (for another fancy and contrived alliteration, that is)

    That was entertaining gonzo.

  • http://limulus_polyphemus@hotmail.com JR

    Dave Nalle: Maybe I’m still young at heart, because it seems to me that all the other considerations you mention become meaningless if you don’t have basic economic security.

    See, in your mind it all boils down to economics. That’s where I part company with you and Karl Marx.

  • troll

    trite tired trivialities – ?

  • http://Druxxx Druxxx

    If discussion was your agenda with this question, then you did a great job.

    After reading the responses to this post, I would think people from both parties could, and should go with A or B. I like the angles on investing or outsourcing the work.

    I usually go with Jesse Ventura of all people when summing up my political views. I am socially liberal, and fiscally conservative.

    I could give a rat’s ass about individuals who are poor. I think there are plenty of jobs and educational opportunities out there for individuals to take advantage of, if they just got off their arse. I think student loans can be a beautiful thing.

    Now when there are children involved, thats a whole new ball game. It is not the child’s fault that his parent(s) didn’t think before having him/her. Now it is time to help the parents so the child does not suffer. Now some will say that this encourages the poor to have children, but that is a discussion for another time. I think you help the parent out with subsidized child-care, housing, and employment. If you do all of these things in small amounts, it can add up to a lot.

    I tend to vote more on social issues, since I don’t see either party’s economic agenda changing my income status much now or in the near future.

  • Dave Nalle

    >>If discussion was your agenda with this question, then you did a great job.<<

    It also worked well as a way to plug my college roomate’s latest book.

    Dave

  • http://www.nrlc.org/ Anthony Grande

    “Why subcontract it to an illegal? Why not farm the work out to a kid in Bangladesh for 13 cents an hour? The total cost would be about $5.20 and that would leave $594.80 for the ol’ pocket.”

    That is great idea. You got to remember that 13 cents an hour in Bangladesh is a good living.

  • http://www.nrlc.org/ Anthony Grande

    )”‘2) I have a huge Italian family… They are always in need of workers.’

    No, I just can’t, it would be wrong…”

    Go ahead Silas, do it. I am just dying to hear your negative stereotype.

  • http://dagosta@iconn.net Liberal

    Your rich daddy died just before election day leaving you 40 million dollars. Do you vote for the candidate who will:

    A. Legalize the fourteen pounds of cocaine you consume anually and provide a free abortion for the high-school junior you just knocked up.

    B. Eliminate the estate tax.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    That’s actually a good question, but the answer has to be B, because with the extra money from the estate tax I can send the girl to Europe for an abortion vacation and pay lawyers to protect me if I get caught witht he coke.

    Of course, in the real world I couldn’t eliminate the estate tax fast enough to help myself, and if I wanted to do both I could certainly try, but would never succeed, plus the tobacco and liquour lobbies would have me beaten to death under the K-Street overpass.

    Dave

  • http://dagosta@iconn.net Liberal

    But getting back to your original question:

    So, my employer has given my job to a fourteen-year-old Indonesian and my choice is:

    A. Collecting $300

    B. Working 40 hours for $600 – but wait, there are payroll taxes. Make that $550. Oh, but then I have to transport myself to the job, so make it $525. And then there’s day care for my kid. So it’s actually $375. And since the job doesn’t provide health insurance and I’ll lose my Medicaid eligibility, it’s really $305. And I’ll lose my food stamp eligiblity, so the job will really pay me $275.

  • http://tcruiseko.ytmnd.com Chris

    It really depends on your situation. Most people would be capable of working 40 hours for $600. However, not everybody is capable of doing that depending on their circumstances and abilities. For example, some people are single parents, disabled or have disabled kids. They would probably like to work, but can’t due to their circumstances. For example, my parents used to both work but when my brother was diagnosed with autism my father had to stay home to look after him because my mother suffers from a mental illness and had a breakdown after his diagnosis. My father was really hardworking and would have preferred to work but due to the circumstances he was forced to go on welfare. Unfortunately, due to the media only reporting welfare cheats, people who genuinly need it have to suffer the effects of generalisations.

    Anyway, apart from that I believe that anyone who is capable of working under their circumstances should work for welfare.