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Consider the following premises, for which I think there is fair degree of consensus (at least according to my knowledge of political history of Latin America, but perhaps more broadly):

  • the majority of rich individuals vote for right wing parties

  • there is no clear voting pattern among the poor regarding left and right wing parties

  • right wing parties favour policies that, even if they might benefit the poor, they certainly benefit the rich (e.g. low taxation, privatisation of companies, free trade, etc)

  • left wing parties favour policies that, even if they might benefit the rich, they certainly benefit the poor (e.g. higher taxation, more subsidies, more public services at lower costs, protectionist policies, etc)

Then, a natural question arises. Why are the rich more able to identify the party which represents their (class) interests (i.e. right-wing) than the poor?

Possible hypothesis that I have think of are:

  • higher education levels allow for better understanding of policies
  • media mainly in control of right-wing parties, obscuring/altering information to the poor
  • politicians are normally upper class, so the poor cannot identify easily with them
  • demagogic politicians from the right can lure poor voters to them, whereas demagogic politicians from the left cannot lure rich voters to them (but why?)
  • left-wing policies are much more evident to be at expenses of the rich than right-wing policies are to be at expenses of the poor. E.g. higher taxes clearly mean taxing the rich more, whereas lower taxes does not directly affect taxation of the poor.

How do different political theory explain this? An answer with references would be greatly appreciated.

Edit (more to come...): as it is natural to expect that a lot of the focus is on the US (as the question was originally phrased in such a way), the evidence in terms of voting patters by income level in the US is not entirely evident in supporting the premises. In general, the likelihood of voting Republican increases with income (see page 50 here) and it is still high for the lowest income. It could be that the proportion voting Democrat among the high income individuals might be higher than its respective proportion for the poor (see here). In the UK the story is slightly more supportive, especially because the rich tend mainly to vote conservative. The poor give a lot of votes to Labour and a smaller proportion to conservative.

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    Is being "favorable" to those with assets/capital necessarily a negative for those with less assets/capital. I hope, one day, to have assets and capital of greater value than I have now. Lower taxes will help me do that.(Low) Income-based subsidies/services do not, as they encourage me to make less money (e.g. stay poor). The premise of this question is flawed.
    – James H
    Jul 26, 2017 at 19:51

9 Answers 9

82

Why are “the rich” more able to identify the party which represent their interests than “the poor”?

Mostly, because your assumption is just that, an assumption, and is an incorrect one at that.

I won't go down the rabbit hole of disputing your Marx-influenced class based assumption that somehow, left wing parties[1] represent interests of "the poor" and the right wing parties of "the rich", even though that assumption is also largely wrong[2].

(as food for thought: would you rather be "the poor" in Venezuela or the USSR, or in USA or UK? As a basic fact, you may want to look at a number of people trying to - legally and illegally - immigrate to USA vs. # of poor people from USA trying to emigrate to more left wing countries. Cuba is, after all, just a boat ride away from Florida)

I will only look at the other side of your assumption that "the rich" somehow solidly identify with right/conservative side.

At least in the USA, the number of the "rich" who identify with the party which you claim "doesn't represent their interests" is staggeringly high (40% by now) and keeps rising.


First, general research (I tried to pick left of centre media, since they don't have incentive to make stuff up if it sounds worse for Democrats):

  • From staunchly Trump-hating Washington Post's "Tech billionaires like Democrats more than Republicans. Here’s why":

    As much as Republicans, the Democrats are now also the party of billionaires.

    (their source is research by Adam Bonica, )

    The same research is covered by Forbes, giving exact #s:

    The next time you hear Senator Bernie Sanders rail against the nefarious influence of “millionaires and billionaires,” it might be important to know that 39% of the nation’s wealthiest donors are backing Democrats more than Republicans this election. Even more interesting, the number of card carrying liberal titans is likely to increase dramatically, as billionaires from new industries, especially Silicon Valley, are unambiguously Democratic cheerleaders*.

  • From New York Times' "How Did the Democrats Become Favorites of the Rich?"

    Democrats now depend as much on affluent voters as on low-income voters. Democrats represent a majority of the richest congressional districts, and the party’s elected officials are more responsive to the policy agenda of the well-to-do than to average voters. The party and its candidates have come to rely on the elite 0.01 percent of the voting age population for a quarter of their financial backing and on large donors for another quarter.

    ...

    In 2014, the median income of households in Democratic districts was higher than in Republican districts, $53,358 to $51,834. Democrats represent seven of the 10 most affluent districts, measured by household income (four in California, two in Virginia and one in New York). Democrats also represent a majority of the 100 most affluent districts, 54-46.


Second, let's look at actual "very rich" - top billionaires.

Here's Fortune's list of billionaires who supported Clinton

Looking down Forbes richest list:

  1. Bill Gates

    Exact political views aren't widely known overall (but is definitely socially liberal, with most of his extremely huge philanthropy set to benefit 3rd world and alleviate poverty). The most factual approach is to go off his political donations which go more to Democrats than Republicans.

    Evidence points to him being a Democrat supporter (Hinting at supporting Clinton; attending Obama fundraiser and expressing support for Obama)

  2. Warren Buffet

    Registered Democrat, supported and endorsed both Obama and Clinton, donates more to DNC.

  3. Jeff Bezos

    Democrat supporter

  4. Amancio Ortega

    He's from Spain, no idea of his politics. Casual googling didn't help, but from my fairly sparse, piecemeal and naive observation over last 10 years, Spanish mainstream politics seems to be in general far to the left of even USA's Dem party. Absent specific facts, my assumption is he's likely to also be left wing.

  5. Mark Zuckerberg

    I admit this surprised me. I expected him to be an outspoken Democrat, but he's registered as neither, was publicly quoted explicitly stating he's neither, and donated to both parties.

    Most reports are ambiguous (1; 2-Wiki); but he's clearly socially liberal in his views, regardless of political party leanings.


[1] - insert my usual rant that "left" and "right" are often merely meaningless vague labels and single-axis model doesn't adequately explain political ideology. Having said that, in a system with 2 or 3 major parties like US and UK, the parties themselves CAN be labeled as more or less left-or-right

[2] - In short, the "certainty" asserted in the updated text of the answer is anything BUT certain. Higher taxation doesn't necessarily benefit the poor (Laffer curve, the OECD-documented negative effects of corporate taxes on GDP). Also, history seems to show that countries where the Left won and established socialism, ended up with nightmarishly low standards of living for the poor, far less than that of capitalist Western countries' poor anywhere not using oil exports to pump up living standards artificially (USSR except 1970s, Venezuela post-Chavez, North Korea, pre-Deng China).

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80

There are so many false assumptions in your question. But one that wasn't addressed by the other answers is this:

There are a lot of people who vote based on their moral principles. Whether rich or poor, one can believe that the proper role of government is to help to poor. Or one can believe that charity should not be compelled by law. One can believe that abortion is a woman's moral right and vote accordingly whether one is a woman or not or personally benefits or is harmed by abortion policy.

A rich person and a poor person can have precisely the same beliefs about the proper role of government in society. And they can each vote based on their views, regardless of whether they believe that benefits them or harms them.

There is also a tremendous amount of indirect harm or benefit. I'm a man. Regardless of my moral views, why should I care whether abortion is legal or illegal since it won't directly affect me? Well, even ignoring the moral argument or arguments about the proper role of government, I have a mother, sisters, and daughters. My son may have a wife. It is antisocial to ignore the affects of government policy on others to be irrelevant when you vote.

Perhaps people aren't as cynical as you imagine and vote what they believe is right and what they believe will be best for everyone. Not everyone believes that everyone should vote their personal interest and it will all somehow all work itself out.

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    This is almost a fully bipartisan answer. Nicely done on including both sides of the argument regarding helping the poor vs. compelling charity by law. My suggestion is that you do the same on the abortion topic. Whether you do or don't, though, you have my vote for a great insight and pertinent answer.
    – Wildcard
    Jul 25, 2017 at 5:03
  • 1
    You might be interesting in this question. Yes, people vote for many reasons, but economic ones is a hugely important, particularly in countries with multiple parties, where identification with parties is low, like in Latin America. Plus this. Abortion is pretty down the list.
    – luchonacho
    Jul 25, 2017 at 6:04
  • 8
    This answer highlights a problem with the original question: how does the moral dimension align with the economic dimension? In a multi-party system, there's no reason to expect they align. In a two-party system (First Past the Post) however, the such alignment is forced, and you typically get a left/right split, although you can also get a big government/small government split.
    – MSalters
    Jul 25, 2017 at 9:37
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. Jul 27, 2017 at 12:49
17

Your question fails to take into account that not everyone is concerned with how taxation affects them. I can comfortably say that because I don't make that much in the grand scheme of things taxation policy has to swing pretty wildly to make much of a difference for me to care. I am generally left leaning, but not because of my strong opinions on fiscal policy issues. If I pay a few extra dollars in taxes to save millions for Warren Buffet or the Koch Brothers or George Soros, or Donald trump, it's not enough for me to actively be angry about.

That said, those four individuals (and the two groups they are parts of) might take other non-economical stances that I am more concerned with. There are lots of other issues for people to take strong stances on that the two parties are so diametrically opposed on. I for one am a single issue voter on environmental issues -- I don't care very much for fiscal policy, but nothing gets on my nerves more than "I stand with coal country" bumper stickers. There are issues that gather single policy voters as well, here is a small (definitely non exhaustive) list of things people might vote on despite other damaging (to that voter) policies taken by the party they vote for.

  • LGBT Rights
  • Legalization of Abortion
  • Legalization of certain Drugs
  • Restriction of firearms
  • Environmental issues
  • Religious freedom
  • Stance on terror
  • Domestic Police Policy

Edit: Apart from my answer, this question has some serious classist undertones. Assuming the poor are unable to understand what they want in a politician leads to the assumption that the poor need to be guided by an external entity for their own good. Making policies decisions with this mindset never turns out well.

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    But evidence seems to support the idea that economic factors are the most important ones. See here.
    – luchonacho
    Jul 25, 2017 at 6:10
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    @luchonacho: But that is one view taken in the midst of an election campaign in which there was not a lot of difference between the two candidates on other issues.
    – jamesqf
    Jul 25, 2017 at 6:17
  • @jamesqf Not sure that is correct. Religion (a central element in republican identification) was a difference. In any case, focusing too much on the US is not helpful, as my question goes beyond that country, and perhaps is more pertinent for other countries.
    – luchonacho
    Jul 25, 2017 at 6:22
  • 1
    I don't take your politically correct approach that a phenomenon that (imo) is roughly correct (many poor voting against their interest) cannot be stated. Are you denying the role of education in improving our understanding of the world? Are you denying the role of media in shaping views (e.g. against immigrant in Brexit?), not necessarily through arguments but through rhetoric means like appeal to emotions and fear?
    – luchonacho
    Jul 25, 2017 at 6:38
  • 2
    @luchonacho Not really. Both the main US parties are very much Christian parties. That "central element in republican identification" is based on silly claims that the US was built as a "Christian republic" (nope, it was secular), appealing to nationalism and intolerance, and is a rather recent development - part of the ongoing meaningless polarisation of the mainly two-party politics. Democrats are still mostly Christians, and they still have their "Christian values" - just selectively quoting different parts of the Bible :)
    – Luaan
    Jul 25, 2017 at 11:51
14

From the viewpoint of someone born into a sub-working class family (my grandfather died in his early thirties leaving his family in Dickensian poverty), I would observe that “working class” is not an intrinsic human characteristic. But the “working” aspect is real. I worked my way through seven years of trade schools (engineering and law) to gain middle class standing. With a good bit of risk taking my children and I have gained rather comfortable financial positions.

The problem with high taxation is that it locks individual into fixed financial status. Taxation is on income rather than the distractor wealth. Income is the rate of change of wealth I.e. no net income, no gain in wealth. And high wealth individuals really don’t need much income per se. They can let their investments ride at corporate tax rates, but only one layer of taxation. Perhaps at some level working class people recognize that with high income taxation their rather remote chance of striking it rich diminishes.

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  • Fair point, but what about other, non-tax related aspects of political manifestos? In other words, are you saying that taxation is the key point here? If so, would not left-wing parties learn this and simply not promise tax increases? Or why not then promote taxes to wealth?
    – luchonacho
    Jul 24, 2017 at 16:28
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    @luchonacho -Left wing is all about using money generated by taxation to pay for their priorities (income redistribution - like "subsidies, more public services at lower costs" your question edit mentions - being the chief one but not the only one). TANSTAAFL. As such, finding a left wing politician who is against raising taxes is... challenging. A whole party, impossible. What you describe would fit with libertarians - more freedom both socially and economically, not typical modern "economically authoritarian" "left" wing (and why I whine and moan about "left" vs "right" labels being useless)
    – user4012
    Jul 24, 2017 at 19:05
  • 1
    My premise is that all individuals desire the opportunity to better themselves, if not for their immediate benefit, for the benefit of their children –and theirs. My concern is that security has displaced the freedom to seek opportunity should you not be a silver spoon offspring. The government can shortstop such ambitions but can mostly stay out of the way to promote them.
    – TomO
    Jul 24, 2017 at 22:14
  • 4
    Why does high taxation lock individuals into fixed financial status? This seems like a huge oversimplification. (And why is having a fixed financial status mutually exclusive with bettering one's self, as your comment implies? It's unfortunate when bettering one's self amounts to making more money.) Jul 25, 2017 at 3:37
  • 4
    @MSalters There's taxes on wealth, but those aren't important for most poor people (that is, people who start with no wealth of their own). Progressive (and to a lesser extent, even non-regressive) income tax is. It creates large gaps where increase in skill and effort produces barely any increase in real income, and thus discourages improving your economic situation (legally). Various "poor benefits" (also financed through taxation/inflation) can make this even worse as you stop being eligible, potentially lowering your real income outright. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
    – Luaan
    Jul 25, 2017 at 11:43
7

Very interesting, yet very complex question, to discuss in a few lines. First of all, need to clarify the subject a bit. Every political party is nothing but a mirror of the class it represents. Thus, political parties function as agents of the interests of the social group or class they come from, as Gramsci has pointed out.

“Although every party is the expression of a social group, and of one social group only, nevertheless in certain given conditions certain parties represent a single social group precisely in so far as they exercise a balancing and arbitrating function between the interests of their group and those of other groups, and succeed in securing the development of the group which they represent with the consent and assistance of the allied groups – if not out and out with that of groups which are definitely hostile.”

[] Antonio Gramsci, Selections From Prison Notebooks, ibid., p. 148.

Thus, speaking about the Western democracies (EU & USA), since the ruling parties are not working-class parties, they implement anti-working class policies (as you have correctly pointed out). But that's only a part of the whole picture, the real deal is that a whole framework is established which sustains and reproduces the status quo, the fact that the capitalistic class is oppressing and exploiting the working class.

Now, there are quite a number of reasons why this does not change.

(1) Lack of Class-Consciousness from the existing working-class. If you don't know where you are, you definitely cannot know where to go.

Working-class consciousness cannot be genuine political consciousness unless the workers are trained to respond to all cases of tyranny, oppression, violence, and abuse, no matter what class is affected — unless they are trained, moreover, to respond from a Social-Democratic point of view and no other. The consciousness of the working masses cannot be genuine class-consciousness, unless the workers learn, from concrete, and above all from topical, political facts and events to observe every other social class in all the manifestations of its intellectual, ethical, and political life; unless they learn to apply in practice the materialist analysis and the materialist estimate of all aspects of the life and activity of all classes, strata, and groups of the population

[] Lenin, What Is to be Done, Chapter: Trade-Unionist Politics And Social-Democratic Politics

(2) Cultural and Ideological Hegemony of the ruling class (Source: On Cultural Hegemony) The ruling class has the economical & social power and thus can affect (through media, family, school, literature, the internet, etc.) the public opinion as to what is right or wrong. Nowadays, it is for example common perception across West that the capitalistic system is sustainable and beneficial for the majority.

(3) Anti-revolutionary forces that are presented as revolutionary. That's common practice, especially in crisis-periods. "Leftish" forces and parties are created to disorient the working-class, are depicted as allies, but in fact end up as Trojan Horses, to suppress the working class forces.

Source: Lenin on Opportunism

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    On one hand, this is a well-researched answer. On the other hand, it is currently phrased to sound like it contains objective truths backed up by facts, instead of what it really is, which is subjective opinion backed by Marxist theory. Frankly, if the latter disclaimer would be added ("this is how Marxism explains this"), imho it would turn it from poor answer to a good one without any other changes (there's nothing wrong with Marxist POV answer, as long as it clearly labels it as such - Samuel Russel's answers are among some of my favorite on this site).
    – user4012
    Jul 24, 2017 at 15:45
  • 1
    @user4012 I agree. And this relates to the part of the question where I say "An answer with references to key text or authors would be greatly appreciated." i should be more explicit on this.
    – luchonacho
    Jul 24, 2017 at 16:46
  • 3
    Fundamentally flawed by the assumption that a political party is "a mirror of the class it represents". Even to the limited extent that there are fixed classes in much of the world, political parties seldom (if ever) represent a class. For instance in the US the Democratic party often makes noises about supporting the "working class" (itself a misnomer) but gains a lot of support from educated professionals. Republicans are sometimes painted as the party of the wealthy, but often tailor their policies & rhetoric to appeal to the least common denominator,
    – jamesqf
    Jul 25, 2017 at 6:23
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    GRamsci's "one part = one social group" is NOT universally accepted; far from it. Political scientists have long observed that the electoral system strongly influences party numbers (Rigged, one party, Winner Takes all, two parties, free elections, multiple parties). That does not mean the electoral system shapes the number of social groups.
    – MSalters
    Jul 25, 2017 at 9:44
  • 1
    @luchonacho: Maybe US-centered, but a) that's what I'm most familiar with; and b) US politics seem to get a lot of coverage outside the US, but not vice-versa. So if you know more about other countries, provide us with examples of parties that actually do represent some putative economic class.
    – jamesqf
    Jul 26, 2017 at 4:19
0

One problem with your definition of "left wing" and "right wing" parties over whom they benefit is with the ambiguity of what "benefits" mean. Like you seem to think of that purely in monetary terms, but historically and how it's apparently used in social sciences: it's about who has the power to determine that path of society.

Where right wing parties are usually elitist, favor strong leadership, backdoor deals and "government as a service" or more drastically who see the citizenry as customers who are exploited for their workforce, creativity, strength and whatnot and are entertained to keep them available for the good of "the state" (and in consequence the states leaders).

While left wingers are meant to be more democratic. Who reject strong leadership, like to incorporate more people into the decision making process, try to increase general education and ability to take part in the political process and who see government as the self-organization of the people, by the people for the people. So "the government" doesn't provide a service, the government are the people who decide for themselves how they want to progress as a society (at least in theory).

So for the left "the poor" are part of the people and citizen in distress who should be assisted, while for the right "the poor" are somewhere between uninteresting customers (no money to pay for services) or a nuisance because they need assistance and provide (seemingly no benefit). Whether this idea on the right is correct to begin with is already dubious given that just because people don't make a lot of money doesn't mean they work less or conversely just because people make a lot of money it doesn't mean they work a lot, but on paper the poor are in need of money rather than being the source of it so from the perspective of the (established) right they are usually treated as disposable.

And then there is a phenomena called "populist parties" who can be either left or right wing (though in effect they are or end up being right wing), who see the poor as mostly instrumental in getting into power, but just like an instrument they think of them as a means to an end not as an end in itself. So idk your fascists, racists, xenophobes etc who pretend that "you" as a poor guy phenotypically or socially part of a majority group are actually part of the team and the only reason you are so downtrodden is because of [insert scapegoat minority]. So instead of outright promising a better life they promise to go after [insert scapegoat minority]. Which either doesn't work because there are pesky things such as LAWS and HUMAN RIGHTS... Which only makes their call appear more urgent because their obvious solution is "unjustly ignored" by "the elites". Or which if it does work and they do what they promised, "miraculously" does nothing for the poor because more likely than not [insert scapegoat minority] was not the mastermind behind everything evil in the world (who could have seen that coming...). So while on the face of it talking to the poor, their politics is generally not geared towards the poor or even the majority of the people but rather at getting their support or tolerance of their politics with passion and emotionalized rhetoric of "us vs them" ("build the wall", "lock em up", "illegal aliens", etc) rather than with any concrete political proposal as long as they don't have the power yet to not give a shit about them. The other side effect is that if the different groups of disenfranchised minorities hate upon each other, they can't join forces and demand better from the rulers and if they really hate each other, then you can sell a different brand of the same bullshit to all of them because they don't talk to each other about it and don't realize they're getting played.

Now the relationship between populist parties and the established right wing is complicated. On the on hand the old right doesn't particularly like the alt right, they are often loud annoying, bad for business and draw too much negative attention to them, cannibalize their classical voter base and might challenge their power, on the other hand they might be popular, "inoffensive" to the goals of the old right (sure they might kill minorities but the old right are usually not persecuted minorities) and they provide a motivation and impetus to old right topics that the old right couldn't muster themselves (like they are not supposed to be look cool to "you", because "you" are not supposed to be their peer group). So in effect, despite the differences, the old right often enough forged uneasy alliances with the alt right (or adopted these positions themselves), whether that's Italian conservatives and Mussolini, German aristocrats and Hitler or U.S. conservatives and Trump. Despite their disqualifying antics, lies, conspiracy theories and anti-democratic goals,... unlike leftists who actually ask for change, these figures promised the same as ever just with more radical rhetoric and their "enemies" overlap so they were not a threat to the establishment. They are a threat to democracy, idk stuffing supreme courts with cronies, trying to take over positions of power and ignore rule breaking of their side while punishing it for others, delegitimizing elections and searching for excuses for illegal power grabs etc, but they don't usually pretend to go against the political establishment. Like if Trump floated the idea of nationalizing key industries or raising the taxes on the rich or anything that actually disturbs the conservative worldview that would be a different questions but as long as "drain the swamp" is followed by making it more swampy they don't really give a shit. The problem is that at some point the populist has to present results and either people realize that the king is bare naked or he'll deflect by going more forcefully against the [insert scapegoat minorities] who are behind the fact that nothing he proposed worked as expected.

On the other end leftist populist usually talk about how revolutionary and avant-garde/progressive they are which sounds like change and is a lot less accepted by the established political parties who like to keep things the way they are (namely themselves in power). So they usually don't even take up speed, but if they do and actually come close to a revolution they run into a similar problem that their simplified worldview of fighting against the elites and trying to seize power runs into the same set of problem, that they end up being the elites once they seized power and not distributed to the people. So as a result things remain as they were just differently themed and they have no means to keep the momentum (of a revolution) without force, lies and deception.

Now after all that preface where do "the rich" fall into that and why do they seemingly have better means to get what they want?

Well the rich are themselves in the center of power. Albeit not necessarily the political power but the economic power. That's why they are rich to begin with, because they hold access over key positions and command armies worth of workers. So idk if Zuckerberg makes a statement, Facebook (or Meta or whatever) makes a statement. Even if he doesn't do that as CEO, you still know that he's the guy who has effective control over ~100 billion dollar revenue, ~100,000 employees and ~3 billion reachable customers make a statement. And idk if he decides to, on a whim move the headquarter to some other place that can utterly disrupt the economic landscape in both the place that was left (negatively) and the place where they are moving to (positively).

So as the power of the political parties stems mostly from their ability to spend unbelievably large sums of tax revenue and as rich people hold the power of the sources of that revenue (not because it's some conspiracy but because holding positions of power is what makes the holders rich...), it is very likely that politicians will do "what is good for the economy" and those rich people right at the spot where "the economy" is happening more often than not end up telling them "what is good for the economy", which coincidentally might also be what is good for them personally. Is that always sound economic policy? Well ask the experts, who are they again? Oh right rich people or people employed by rich people in their lobbying institution ... I mean "think"-tanks.

Now do rich people only ever use their money, influence and reach to benefit themselves? Yes, no, maybe. Like some give away lots of money which is likewise benevolent and raises their reputation, reach and might be tax deductible. So maybe they mean it, maybe it's just PR, who knows. Also what is spending to both parties other than a "don't forget about me".

So the thing is rich people don't need to be good at detecting who's serving their interest both, they largely can serve their own interest with their positions of power in the economy and given they sit at the source of information about that they can tell politics what's best for them rather than being told the other way around.

Also rich people can afford to be individuals, they can vote for whatever they want for whatever reason they want. If Elon Musk wants to tell the world something he can simply buy RIP formerly known as twitter (or what does the X stand for?). If a poor person wants to tell the world something... well good luck. He can scream in a public place and be arrested by the police or needs to join a party or faction of any kind that multiplies his voice by having more people repeat it, though at the price of finding compromises and all the pesky democracy bits that the rich can circumvent with money and power.

Also the poor are most often overlooked by any party as their priority lies with the rich and larger or smaller sections of the middle class. As an effect of that the poor are often completely ignored and might not even vote which gives the powerful even more reason to ignore them, but even if they vote they have no means to tell the world for whom and why so they are again insignificant to the poll watchers and thus likely not accounted for. Or if they vote continuously for one party the other party counts them as lost, while the party that they vote for counts them as safe bet and again neither of the parties gives a shit.

You know other than populists, but as we've covered they give even less of a shit about them, no matter what they say.

-1

Because there are many political parties that are founded as kind of representing people with less income that readily sell themselves immediately after winning elections. One big politician just said openly after winning: "Just forget that we were talking during elections".

This makes difficult to figure out which political force would represent the interests, especially as long as you do not support exactly the radical communism yet.

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  • 2
    Do you have a source for that quote?
    – divibisan
    May 5, 2020 at 14:17
-3

Well, because they are wealthier they have more leisure, and therefore more time to identify what actually is within their interests and also to assert those interests.

Again, because they are wealthier, they can 'buy' into institutions like politics, the law, education, media and so on, and through their involvement, again assert their interests, and this may mean a campaign of disinformation as a tactic.

One does not need to go to Marx to see this, but merely look at his predecessor, Adam Smith; if we can theorise the wealthy as a collective, then according to Adam Smith they would act in their own interests, both collectively and individually.

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  • 6
    because they are wealthier they have more leisure, Really?
    – AnoE
    Jul 26, 2017 at 14:46
  • Can you provide references (e.g. a theory or author) to support your claim?
    – luchonacho
    Jul 26, 2017 at 15:37
  • 1
    @luchonacho - Adam Smith. Basically, some wealthy consider the left to be in their interest more than the right. And vice versa. And act (politically) accordingly. Just because you disagree with their personal considerations, doesn't make them objectively wrong.
    – user4012
    Jul 27, 2017 at 13:16
  • @user4012 Can you direct me to the text/pages in which he talks about this? I am aware of his writings, but cannot remember anything related to this. Yet again, I never claimed that every one of the rich benefit only from right-wing policies. See question's history if you do not believe this.
    – luchonacho
    Jul 27, 2017 at 14:16
  • @luchonacho: No. Jul 27, 2017 at 14:41
-6

The left always complains that "the poor" "don't know what's good for them or they'd vote for us". In reality the poor in large numbers know very well what's good for them and don't vote for the party that raised their taxes to the point they became the poor, meaning the left.

In the same vogue, a lot of "the rich" vote for the left, because the left enacts legislation that strangles competition to their corporations, allowing them to become even richer.

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    This may be accurate, but is a rant, not an answer. Jul 25, 2017 at 14:13
  • 7
    Also this might maybe be correct in your corner of the world. You can not just generalize this for all the left parties in all the democracies in the world.
    – Philipp
    Jul 26, 2017 at 8:29
  • 3
    @Philipp What you say is perfectly true, but in being so should apply for nearly all other higher voted answers here. For example, the current highest-voted answer (by user4102) is blatantly from a US, 2-party perspective and cites people, articles and research concerned nearly wholly with the US (nothing wrong with this in itself, except the OP is from Chile and likely asking with an associated frame of reference). This means your comment reads like you are essentially chiding jwenting for answering from his/her perspective when it is exactly what others have/are doing.
    – Toby
    Jul 26, 2017 at 16:06
  • A more helpful comment might be to ask @jwenting to expand on this answer, possibly with some supporting stats from whichever corner of the world they like (preferably Chile)
    – Toby
    Jul 26, 2017 at 16:09
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    That's most likely completely false as higher taxes from a leftist party usually apply to the higher tax brackets and "the poor" often don't pay taxes in the first place because what they get as a bottom line is below often below the bare minimum so taking taxes from that is cruel and ineffective at raising money. Of course the specifics depend on a particular country but in general that is very unlikely.
    – haxor789
    Nov 22, 2023 at 15:43

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