Political Spectrum Through Fiscal Preference

May 29, 2008

I was thinking today that most political affiliation to parties and left/right wing, can be concisely encapsulated by looking at the top Fiscal Priority of an individual. This seems to be able to identify parties and lables that otherwise elude simple description, since they contain a variety of various other views.

For example, the US Democratic Party favors government spending maximized towards social programs. The US Republican Party favors–at least since Reagan–government spending maximized towards defense. The US Libertarian Party favors decreased fiscal spending in all categories, and the US Green Party of course favors maximal environmental spending. I’m not quite up to date on the Israeli party zeitgeist, but this same methodology can be applied to them as they were when I left in 2000.

People often complain of the blurring of distinction between parties and labels, as do I. Usually such an affiliation tells you little about the person identifying as something or other except who they will likely vote for. Now, however, you will be able to understand their fiscal priorities. Anecdotally (that is, as far as I can stretch this thought exercise without actual data and polls), this is the only policy preference that is tightly-coupled to labels.

Bypass the screen of parties and cumbursome ideology: just ask people for what the top spending priority should be for the gov’t, realistically*.

Political Spectrum Through Fiscal Preference - May 29, 2008 - Michael Katsevman