Saturday, February 18, 2006

More in Depth Results of Political Compass Poll

From discussions at Thom Hartman Blog, I was asked about my high positive number of economic axis (+7.38). Today I want to take the test and all economic questions to consider in this blog. For each question the answers can be Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree or Strongly Agree.

1.If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.
Disagree. Of course this sounds heartless, but first all corporations or business in a sense will be trans-national if they do export business. So do I insist that help serve humanity or the business, no. Only that business serves mankind and as such should be the primary interest. Of course this needs to be tempered in a democratic societies that have the ultimate say in trade and commerce.

5. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Strongly Disagree. Too many times in history that has proven false. But it should be easy to see the other sides goals and if your goals match up then it makes sense on a limited basis to join your enemy. Afghanistan is a perfect example.

6. Military action that defies international law is sometimes justified.
Agree. Virtually any action internationally is defying the laws (IMHO). As such if another side violates international law, then any counter action will result in some violations. Gulf War I could be an example.

7. There is now a worrying fusion of information and entertainment.
Strongly Disagree. If that is what people want then that is what they should get. The only caveat is that when information is provided by a source then that source should be identified, much like labeling laws in products. I have no problem with the White House releasing videos or any other media about their position as long as it is clearly defined. Many times I want unedited transcripts and information directly from the source not through 2-10 news handlers before it reaches me.

8. People are ultimately divided more by class than by nationality.
Agree. People in the same class (economics) tend to have more in common than nationality or race. But not the only dividing line.

9. Controlling inflation is more important than controlling unemployment.
Disagree. Some inflation is good but unemployment is always bad above a certain level. Knowing what that level is a complex issue. This leads to my Marxist has one good point. That the individual's self worth is important in having a job. Jobs are not just a disincentive (negative utility), but are a sense of belonging and accomplishment as productive members of society.

10. Because corporations cannot be trusted to voluntarily protect the environment, they require regulation.
Strongly Disagree. This comes to an issue of what are regulations? To me regulations are the exact rules that govern a corporation. But defining property rights and allowing free people to negotiate within a framework, is not regulation. So no they can be trusted as long as others have well defined property rights.

11. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is a fundamentally good idea.
Strongly Disgree. Basically communism. The questions become as to who decides these levels. Animal Farm!

12. It's a sad reflection on our society that something as basic as drinking water is now a bottled, branded consumer product.
Strong Disagree. If people want to pay for any said product then who are we to say it is bad or good. If this is truly what people want and they derive utility from such purchases then it makes perfect sense. With the caveat that the price truly reflects what external costs may be assiciated with the product.

13. Land shouldn't be a commodity to be bought and sold.
Stongly Disagree!!! All I want to say on this is "trajedy of the commons". Something that is not owned by "all" is owned by no one and as a result nobody has an incentive to protect it.

14. It is regrettable that many personal fortunes are made by people who simply manipulate money and contribute nothing to their society.
Strongly Disagree. Being a student of economics then I see that they do contribute to society (assuming that everything is legal). Arbitrage is an important aspect of economies that direct resources to where they are most needed in a timely fashion. As far as speculation that also is a good force since speculation tends to be a stabilizing force in the long run. Bad speculators will loose and good ones will win. The market will take of this in the long run.

15. Protectionism is sometimes necessary in trade.
Strongly Disagree. There really are no long term valid reasons for protectionism. As with most things there is a caveat. There may need to be a transition time frame to allow the economy to adjust. And if a nation experiences wide fluctuations in their economy for going global, then safeguards need to be in place.

16.The only social responsibility of a company should be to deliver a profit to its shareholders.
Disagree. It is not only, because they do have employees. But this does not mean that social responsibility is a primary goal or even a very important one, only that it should be considered in a cultural context.

17. The rich are too highly taxed.
Agree. As last I looked that would be my answer. Of course I believe that we should be raising some taxes now to follow the Fed's lead. The death tax elimination although was not something I endorsed or supported. This would have been nice to have a no opinion or neutral answer.

18. Those with the ability to pay should have the right to higher standards of medical care .
Strongly Agree. Our economic system is founded on you purchase what you want and if the rich want to spend more on health then that is their choice. They can be a positive to driving the ecnonomy in different directions. Only the rich could afford TV's, Microwave Ovens, Cars, etc. but all in time became available to everyone.

19. Governments should penalise businesses that mislead the public.
Agree. Yes if they violate the law then they should pay. But if we are simply bothered by their free speech rights to advertise then I would disagree.

20. A genuine free market requires restrictions on the ability of predator multinationals to create monopolies.
Strongly Disagree. This shows some bias in the questions, because of the highly charged phrase "predator multinationals". While I let others pass, this one I wanted to point out. There are other ways to fight a monopoly other than restrictions. One could be get another monopoly in a different technology to compete. If the land line telephone you don't like then switch to cable! Secondly, even if it is a monopoly, does this neccesarily mean that they are extorting money. They may be providing better services at lower prices-as any monopoly is possible to provide.

21. The freer the market, the freer the people.
Strongly Agree. Without getting into all the studies, yes freer markets lead to more freedoms overall than not. But we must again temper this with a strong dose of liberal democracy.

26. Taxpayers should not be expected to prop up any theatres or museums that cannot survive on a commercial basis.
Strongly Agree. Supporters of such subsidies talk about the positive externalities, which I disagree that there are any of substance. Usually it subsidizes endeavors for the rich anyway.

31. Marijuana should be legalised.
Strongly Agree. I support this not only on libertarian principles but that this is a drain on our economy that could be a productive revenue generator for the government.

39. What's good for the most successful corporations is always, ultimately, good for all of us.
Strongly Agree. That is assuming that the corporations in question did it legally and ethically. We can see that Microsoft has provided billions of people benefit from their software development. And they have been rewarded hadsomely.

40. No broadcasting institution, however independent its content, should receive public funding.
Agree. They used absolutes again, but I still think that if people wanted independent content then they should pay for it.

? Multinational companies are unethically exploiting the plant genetic resources of developing countries.
Disagree. I have heard it in the news, but knowing how the patent laws are, they can not just find a chemical and claim a patent on it. Most of the times I have read, they perfected a process of refinement of the chemical. Which means others could get more patents on the plant extracts. Fight fire with fire and don't give up.

? Charity is better than social security as a means of helping the genuinely disadvantaged.
Agree. The more direct the funding the more likely that it will be used most efficiently, or bring more unused resources to solve the problems. Having a government 1000's of miles of way to allocate to the local needs does not even seem to make sense.

Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: 4.63
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.54


It looks like it changed from last time with more Libertarian in the social scale. Maybe I just took less effort and went with gut instincts. But a bigger change was a drop in economic freedom from 7.38 to 4.63. I am not sure of the reason for the change.



Links:
Different Political Spectrums

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