The Washington Post has an article claiming Latino voters are overwhelmingly in Kerry’s camp.
This is really troubling and, I must admit, very hard for me to understand. Why do my fellow Hispanics overwhelmingly(2/3) support a liberal candidate over a conservative candidate? Maybe it’s time for me to lay down my beliefs, and open up the floor to challenges among Hispanics. I am not going to get specific into an individual candidate, unless it relates to the overall point, but going to concentrate on giving an overall belief why I lean conservative(Republican) over liberal(Democrat). Please feel free to critique where you see necessary in the arrival of my beliefs.
Capitalism is the heart and soul of the American economy. As my previous blogs have shown, capitalism is what separates a prosperous nation from an nonprosperous nation. It is precisely this economic system that makes it possible such that a person like my father who came here at age 20, with no education, not even the education to write his own name, can rise, with hard work and dedication, to a level where he owns his own home, and is able to be the sole provider to a family of five. My father isn’t unique in all of this either, this story can be repeated over and over by many other life stories.
This is the same capitalistic economy that allowed me to rise from my poverty-stricken hometown of Compton, California to where I am now. I was able to pull myself through college and land a career at one of the most prestigious companies in the world. You find me another economic system that allows such drastic change; I challenge you.
At its core, economics is “the study of the efficient allocation of resources”. You judge economic systems not by how much lemonade they produce, but by how much lemonade they produce compared to the amount of lemons they started out with. If one economic system started out with two lemons and produced just as much lemonade as another economic system that started out with ten lemons, the first economics system is superior. Capitalism is so efficient at allocating resources that countries that adopt it often have much better results than countries that don’t, even though the country that didn’t adopt capitalism may have had more natural resources.
And why is the efficient allocation of resources so important? The result of an efficient allocation of resources is such that the poor people live superior. There will always be rich people in all countries, no matter how hard some economic systems try and abolish it (ie Communism).The way to compare economic systems is not in comparing one rich person to another, the true comparison is in the poor. You compare one countries poor to another, and the economic system that allocates resources better, is much better at getting lemonade to its poor. Therefore the poor are much better off.
And there is no doubt that the poor in the USA are far better off compared to the poor, and middle class for that matter, in most of the rest of the world. There is no other country in the world where so many poor people from several parts of the world risk death and leaving family members behind to come to a country where they usually don’t know the language, the culture and the area. Why do they go through such a huge sacrifice if not for the opportunities and financial advantage capitalism brings for them? If voting with your actions was allowed, all these immigrants who come to the USA are already casting their vote in favor of the USA’s economic system over their home countries. To understand poverty in the USA better, especially compared to the rest of the world read this article.
One more point that needs to be made here before I conclude this section, not only is capitalism the best economical system for the poor, but its counter part, Socialism, or government sanctioned welfare, is the worse economical system for the poor. Its failures can be seen in how Communism resulted (biggest killer of the twentieth century-more than Hitler, famines, etc) in the last century but can even be seen if you compare Europe to the USA; a continent that mirrors the liberal philosophy more than the USA.
So when capitalist are against social programs, and the expansion of government, it’s not that they dont have the same goal (help the poor) as those who do favor social programs, and the expansion of goverment. It’s that they believe those programs will actually hurt those poor people. And history is on their side. Those programs, if not done properly, actually encourage behaviors that in the long run hurt poor people more than they help. They either create a dependency, stimmy responsibility, or slow the economy down such that those at the bottom hurt the most. They also slow down economic mobility. Which makes it harder for those at the bottom to move up economically.Which is especially important for those at the bottom(poor).
So where does that leave us with regard to politics? It is clear for anybody who has been paying attention that conservatives (Republicans) are much more aligned to true capitalism than liberals (Democrats). It is always conservatives who are usually more for free trade than liberals. It is usually conservatives who are usually more for a free market (and laissez faire economic policies) than liberals. It is usually conservatives who are for lower taxes compared to liberals. It is usually liberals who fight for the expansion of government while conservatives fight for the expansion of the competitive market. In other words, if I were to hold pure capitalism up as the standard, it is usually always conservatives who are closer (not equal, but closer) to it than liberals. Liberals are closer to socialism/communism, the very same economic systems that showed such inefficiency during the last century that practically every country that adopted it failed horribly economically. In fact, those economic systems are such a failure that only under those systems did famines occur at greater levels than under dictators. As far as poor people are concerned, they are much better off living under a dictator than a communist/socialist regime.
So in conclusion, I lean conservative on economics for two reasons.
Premise A. Capitalism has repeatedly shown to be the best economic system for the poor.
Premise B. Conservatives are more capitalist in their economics than liberals.
Conclusion: Those who care for the poor most should prefer conservatives.
Now, I grant that capitalism is a hard concept to grasp. Noted Economics Scholar Thomas Sowell explains it this way,
Some ideas sound so plausible that they can fail nine times in a row and still be believed the tenth time. Other ideas sound so implausible that they can succeed nine times in a row and still not be believed the tenth time. Government controls in the economy are among the first kinds of ideas and the operation of a free market is among the second kind.
And I understand that. However there are many books that explain capitalism in laymens terms. Two notable books are Economics In One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt and for those who don’t mind reading extra, there is the awesome, Basic Economics, by Thomas Sowell himself.
Some people think that the most important political topic with regard to education and how it relates to poor people is affirmative action. I disagree strongly. I think it is vouchers, sometimes referred to as school choice. Now, I personally disagree with affirmative action, but that is not the reason I lean conservative on this issue. It is not because I disagree with affirmative action, but because I so strongly believe in School Choice.
School choice means many things to different people. But what I call school choice, and what I believe to be the heart of school choice, is accountability. The key to the success of Capitalism is not the companies it creates, but the inefficient companies it eliminates. And the reason it does that so well is because of competition. Competition has repeatedly shown to be the greatest cause of efficiency than anything else. Under the current school system, if you lived in Compton, California, like I did, you would be forced to send your kid to that cities school system. What if that school system was wrought with gangs, failing teachers, and failing methods of teaching? There is nothing you could do, you would still be forced to send your kid to that school. Too bad for you.
Under vouchers/school choice, all of that changes. Before I get more into vouchers, let me give some background info. Currently in California, the government spends an average of $7,000 a year per student. In some other states, that number could approach 11K/year per student.
If a voucher plan was implemented, what would happen is all public schools would immediately go on a grading system. Those schools that fail for one consecutive year (or whatever time deemed by the Voucher designer), would be given a warning to improve and given a certain amount of time to do it. If that school does not improve in that period of time, vouchers would come into play, being phased in little by little to give the market time to catch up. The government would give the parents the $3,000, or some other fraction of the original amount of money that they had originally sent to that childs public school for that childs behalf. It’s important to note a few things here. One, that money is not coming out of anybodies taxes, it is coming out of money that was already being allocated for that child. Another point, the remaining ($4,000, in this example) goes back into the public schools that are passing to help encourage their success.
Now, what does that parent get to do with that 3k? This where the name voucher comes from, that voucher must be used for some other alternative means of education for that child, of the parents choosing. If the parent wants to send that child to some other school, in some other city, that is ok; if that parent wants to send that child to a private school fine. Shoot, if that parent wants to leave that child in the current school, that is fine too. In other words, the parent gets options that he/she never had before.
It’s important when discussing school choice not to get bogged down into the details of how school choice is implemented. Some voucher programs only allow the parent to send their kid to other public schools, some allow private schools. Some voucher programs give more money to the parents, some give less. Some have tougher grading scales on schools; some have more lenient grading scales. Some allow home schooling as an alternative to public schools, others don’t. Some don’t take the money given to the parents away from the school that fails, others do. The point here is not to get bogged down in the details but to see the overall picture. Vouchers, unlike any plan the liberals suggest, adds accountability to a school system that has never seen it before. A school system that has been a monopoly for most of its existence. And competition, just like its track record in economics, does wonders to create efficiency.
And vouchers can only be found under the conservative banner. It makes more sense for them to be under the conservative banner as well, since conservatives are the pro-capitalist, remember. So every problem they encounter, they naturally want to solve that problem by a free market competitive solution; a solution that has proven to work time and time again.
And what exactly is the liberal alternative? That’s easy. It’s not reform, its simply more of the same thing. The liberal solution today, like that of yesterday and yesteryear, is simply more money. Liberals have this tendency to believe that the school system is like a bucket in the corner of the room, the more money you throw at it, the more money may eventually fall into the bucket. The bucket being those students who attend these schools. However, experience has shown that there is very little correlation between more money spent on schools, and better results out of our children. In fact, often times the very opposite is true. The most highly paid schools in the nation (DC for example) have the absolute worse educational record. And the reason is simple, in a monopolized market, you don’t have to improve, the consumer has no alternative. And in education, the consumer is us.
And I must admit, I have never seen an objection to vouchers that can not also be made against Capitalism in general, yet Capitalism works very well. So again, I think on another central issue, conservatives win over liberals.
Hispanics have traditionally come from a very socially conservative background. They come from either a Catholic background, or, for those who changed religions here in the USA, they come from an evangelical Christian background. Either way, this worldview makes them socially conservative. For the record, although I do not consider myself very religious, and by that I mean I don’t attend church regularly, I still consider myself a Catholic. And my family still practices, to some degree, that Tradition.
Conservatives are without a doubt the pro-life party. To show you how extreme liberals are on this issue, we can bring up the issue of Partial Birth Abortion Ban. The Partial Birth Abortion Ban was created to make it illegal to perform abortions late in pregnancy. Sounds like a common sense bill, doesn’t it? Its name comes from the method of how the abortion is performed, where you remove the baby partially out of the womb, until its head shows, only to puncture the back of the head and suction out the brains; all with no anastasia. This should be a common sense bill that should have bipartisan support, right?
Negative! Almost 35 Democrats (liberals) out of the 48 Democrats in the US Senate voted against this bill. In fact, if you take our current presidential candidate, John Kerry, as an example, you will see the extreme nature of the liberal mindset. Kerry voted against the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, against the Parental Notification law (where it required parental notification when minors wanted an abortion), he voted against the Laci and Conner’s Law, where it made it double murder if you killed a pregnant women and her unborn child, and he voted for passing the morning after pill out to high school students, without parents permission.
These are all laws that most Hispanics would find as common sense laws. Yet liberals continue to go against the Hispanic position on this. In fact, this is one of the issues where you will find more agreement among liberals than anything else. The abortion industry has such a tight grip on the Democratic party that the first place all the Democrat’s running for president went, was to an abortion convention.
On a side note, I stumbled across this today. If you are not sure where you stand on abortion, read this article. If you are repulsed by the article, you are on the conservative side when it comes to abortion, if you see nothing wrong, you are on the liberal side.
Gay marriage is no exception when it comes to liberal beliefs. Liberals are not only for gay marriage, but they are for it in such a way where it is forced upon us without a vote by the people. John Kerry for example, was one of only six senators to vote against Clintons Defense of Marriage Act. The very Act that would make it illegal for one states marriage laws to affect another states. Remember when Kerry kept talking about how we should not amend the constitution, that we should leave the issue of marriage up to the states? Well, when that very issue came up before him, an amendment that calls for exactly that, for each state to make its own laws without any coercion by other states, he voted against it (typical Kerry, flip flop). Some liberals may not go this far, but generally liberals are for gay marriage at such a degree that the average Hispanic would be repulsed.
Before I conclude, I would like to give you another view of the differences between conservatives and liberals. An even bigger overall picture as to the differences between conservatives and liberals, is the fact that in every discussion, in every topic, conservatives trust the person more, and liberals trust the government more. Let’s take the 2000 election as an example. There were three main issues,
Conservatives: Give parents choices (vouchers).
Liberals: More money for the government sponsored method.
Conservatives: More money in the pocket of the citizens (tax cuts).
Liberals: More money for government.
Conservatives: Allow the individuals that so choose, to invest their Social Security investment as they so choose, while those that wish to continue to have the government do it for them, can.
Liberals: Government must be the sole decision maker in Social Security.
You notice how it’s always conservatives who are looking for the free-market, less government solution, the solutions that teach responsibility? While liberals are always leaning to the socialist, big government solution? History has clearly shown which way we should lean, yet liberals continue to resist.
Now, these are my positions, and these are the issues of which I judge all candidates I vote for. If a Democrat mirrors this standard more than a Republican, I will vote Democrat. I doubt that will ever happen, precisely because parties do mean something. Republicans tend to follow the conservative philosophy (mentioned above) and Democrats tend to follow the liberal philosophy.
So again, those are my views, and I challenge all Hispanics reading this to show me where I am wrong in supporting the conservative philosophy over the liberal philosophy. I strongly stand behind my belief that conservatives have more beliefs in line with Hispanics than liberals, and are the true supporters of Hispanics, and the poor and needy.