http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8474611.stm

So what do you all think makes people vote against their own best interests?

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Good article, Aric.

As the saying goes, in politics, when you are explaining, you are losing. And that makes anything as complex or as messy as healthcare reform a very hard sell.

So effing true. And sad.
Maybe. But I don't know many people that even understand the healthcare debate or what the problems are. I can't tell you how many times I have heard that freeing insurance companies to compete against each other in markets would solve a lot of the cost issues. Not true! Absolutely quite the opposite would happen. Many people think this would perfect an almost perfect system. While I am dubious that the current reform being proposed would solve many of these issues, I can't help but feel dismay at the number of vocal people who have no clue what they are talking about but insist on being heard (town hall meetings, anyone?).

Uh-oh, we didn't just turn this into a health care debate, did we?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fevga9jUC48&feature=fvw
No, I've watched plenty of videos of town hall and tea party protesters (from both left and right wing media sources) and I can assure you that the majority of them are not very smart. Also, I live in the middle of Georgia and I personally know plenty of people who associate themselves with the tea party movement and, again, the majority of them are not highly intelligent people. Most of the tea party protesters are incapable of making any argument to support their opinions, which would indicate that the BBC article I posted is correct in stating that most of them are uninformed and do not base their opinions on facts.
Confirmation bias. It is so hard to hear (much less understand) facts that do not support your frame of mind that you will miss much of the evidence.

The healthcare debate is a prime example. Presented with fact that lack of decent health care demeans everyones life (herd immunity, loss of productivity) some one with a libertarian obsession will always make the debate about big government.

The health care system in the US is a private, capitalist system. It always will be. But confirmation bias turns it into a rant about something called "the boogie man" or "socialism". That is irrational and in no ones interest. No one -- no one at all -- gains anything by having sick people around in large numbers. Making this topic about big government is like making teaching evolution about free speech. The two things cannot be connected in a a rational debate.

The debate about your best interest must start with the evidence about what exactly can be measured for or against the best interest of the entire population. The implementation of the solution is another subject. In the case of health care -- putting 47 million patients in emergency rooms over time will hurt everyone directly now and cause untold economic grief over time. The market, without intervention from government has not, will not address this problem. That is a bald fact whatever your confirmation bias is. That is why single payer went away -- it failed the test of big governement vs. sensible government intervention.
The whole question presupposes that the questioner knows what's in the best interests of the "people" in question and I'd go so far as to say they don't.

Basic health care is not good for people? This line of reasoning sounds eerily similar to that used by anti-vaxxers ("I know what is good for my baby and society won't force vaccinations on me or my baby"). I guess I don't understand where you are coming from. Health care is a big and broad topic, though, so maybe I'm reading into it wrong.
Well, I'm not trying to conflate any issues, it is just that we haven't narrowed anything down. Technically, the government would not be providing health care, and maybe you misspoke. But it is an important distinction to make since many opponents of reform use this prospect to scare people. The government would be providing health insurance, which it already does anyway. The wisdom of broadening government provided health insurance without addressing all the issues of the rising cost of health care is a discussion worth having. But that is well beyond where angry voters stopped giving it any thought.

And I mostly agree with you on the anti-vaxxer crowd, except that unvaccinated people are not merely a menace to themselves. There are some people who depend on herd immunity to protect them from some infectious diseases because they can't be vaccinated. It need not be something as nefarious as smallpox to be threatening to innocent people. I think that raises many interesting questions about personal liberty versus social responsibility.

And regarding government interference, I don't really feel interfered with when the government protects me by regulating standards from food and water safety to product safety. These are things that the free market can not address adequately. This notion that the government is inept in all endeavors is simply untrue. Of course, there are things it could be doing better and maybe some things it shouldn't be doing at all. But providing access to basic healthcare to it's citizens is something I think it can do well. Whether it will or not is another question.
And as far as the anti-vaxxer crowd, if they want to be stupid and not get a vaccine that would protect them from a disease, that's their problem...UNTIL they get a disease that they can spread

Or until they spread lies about vaccines causing vaccination rates to drop below the levels needed for herd immunity. Or when they don't vaccinate their kids, causing them to be vulnerable to preventable (sometimes lethal) diseases.
I think people vote against their own interest because the republican party, and mass media has people thinking they are better off than they actually are. If you work for a living and have an income of less than 250,000/year, or like most of us much less, you shouldn't vote republican.

Has the republican party has taken control of the religious right? The Tea Parties seem to indicate so.
two words, "flock mentality".

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