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Ideology and social policy

The video explores political ideologies like liberal, conservative, and libertarian. It discusses how these ideologies view social and economic issues, and their stance on government control. Key topics include affirmative action, marriage rights, crime penalties, healthcare, and economic intervention.

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Video transcript

- [Instructor] In this off-white color, I have a handful of statements that you might hear folks say especially in the United States, and what we're going to think about is are these statements that you would typically hear from a liberal? And I'm gonna make a little key here, so I'm gonna use a light blue for liberal. Conservative, I'll use this salmon color for conservative, or a libertarian? So I'll do this white color for libertarian. Libertarian. And I've pre-grouped these statements into categories. They could be views on social issues or economic issues and within each of those dimensions, they could be views that might want more social or economic control or ones that want less social or economic control, and this isn't a perfect full sampling of all of the major issues that folks will talk about and some of these things kind of border on social and economic, or some of them could be viewed as more control depending on how you view it or less control, but this is a first take on things. So let's just go from the top left to the bottom right, and I encourage you to keep pausing this video and coming to your own conclusion. So this first statement, affirmative action is a good thing. Would you expect that to come from someone with a liberal, conservative, or libertarian ideology? Well, this would typically come from someone with a liberal ideology. Much of the ideas and policies that liberals would favor might be around curing social injustice, so they might say, hey, we don't have the proper diversity in certain walks of life right now, we don't have a level playing field, so we need to make sure that people are properly represented, and so that would be something that you would hear from liberals, and it would be something that in general involves more control. A libertarian or a conservative would say, hey, we shouldn't try to do social engineering here, we should maybe make sure people have equal opportunities, but that doesn't mean that you have to have equal representation and outcome. This next statement, marriage should be between a man and woman. Pause this video. Who is likely to say that? Well, that would typically come from someone with a conservative ideology. This would be around a theme that many folks with conservative ideologies would point to values that are worth preserving in a society, that should not change, and so that would typically come from them, while a liberal or libertarian is more likely to say, hey, what goes on between two people, well, that's their decision and really the government should have no say on what they do. We need tougher penalties and policing to deal with crime. Well, once again, that would be something that you would likely hear from someone with a conservative ideology. A liberal or libertarian would be on the opposite side. They would say, hey, I'm afraid of too strict penalties, too strict policing, I'm afraid that the government is putting too many people in jail. So now let's go to fewer social controls. So marijuana should be legalized. Pause this video. Who is more likely to say that? Well, many liberals would be likely to say that, and also libertarians. They would say, hey, once again, what someone does within their own privacy, why should the government have a say, while many conservatives, and this goes back to values and kind of social fiber, might say, well no, some of these drugs, they break down people's value system. Maybe they lead to crime and so a conservative would be more likely to be against legalizing something like marijuana. The next statement. Laws restricting gun rights are unconstitutional and won't have the intended impact. Pause this video. Who would say that? Well, you would often hear a statement like this from someone with a conservative ideology, but also from someone with a libertarian ideology, so libertarian ideology would also say something like that, and they would both cite that people have a right to protect themselves, they might cite, hey, people have a right to use guns for things like hunting, and especially libertarians might make the argument that people need to be armed in order to protect themselves from an overly strong government, from an overly strong police state. So the next statement. Same-sex couples should have full marriage rights. Who's most likely to say that? Well, this is kind of the opposite statement of this one we saw up here, and for the reasons we mentioned, this is more likely to come from someone with a liberal ideology or a libertarian, libertarian ideology. And for them, it would be about personal liberty and equal rights. And so you might already see some trends that the conservative and liberals are kind of mixed on the social when it comes to more control or less control, and don't read too much into how many there are of these. This is just, you could view as a random sampling of some issues. If I sampled more, you might have more liberal boxes up here or more conservative boxes down here, but it seems like a mix. But one clear thing that comes out is that libertarians on the social dimension are for less control. But what about the economic dimension? So this first statement, everyone has a right to quality healthcare. Who's more likely to say that? Well, that would be a liberal. Liberals, once again, they think a lot about injustice and inequality and they want the government to be proactive about it. And so they would say, hey, the government should somehow supply universal healthcare to folks. Conservatives or libertarians, not that they don't care about injustice or inequality, but they would argue that, hey, when the government kind of intervenes in things, they don't, they have all sorts of unintended consequences and oftentimes do more harm than good. The next statement. Rent control is a good thing. Well, once again, this is likely to come from a liberal, probably motivated from the idea that if rents or living costs are getting too high, that this is a way to avoid people being displaced or being priced out of their neighborhood. Now, conservatives and libertarians would argue that rent control distorts the market, it actually makes the properties that aren't on rent control overly expensive, and so it's probably doing more harm than good. The next statement. Social safety nets are crucial. Once again, this is likely to come from someone with a liberal ideology. They believe that someone, that the government has a role in making sure that everyone has a basic standard of living, so programs like food stamps or welfare. Every worker has the right to a living wage. And living wage is sometimes, you'll hear this in the context of minimum-wage discussions. Who would say that? Well, once again, you're likely to hear this from someone with a liberal ideology. They believe that higher minimum wages are a good thing, while conservatives or libertarians would argue that, no, that distorts the market and actually you might increase unemployment and you might hurt the very people that you're trying to help with some of these efforts around minimum ages. And what about here when we go to less control on the economy? Government intervention in the free market will slow the economy, hurting everyone. Well, as you could imagine, this is kind of the opposite statement as these here, because these once at the top are all the government intervening in a free economy in some way, and so this statement is more likely to come from a conservative, some of the conservative ideology or a libertarian. And so when you look in the economic dimension, the distinction between conservative and liberal, at least when it comes to more control and less control, become more clear. On economics, liberals tend to favor more control, more government intervention with a focus of trying to address social or economic inequality or environmental concerns, while conservatives and libertarians will often say, well, that's gonna do more harm than good, the government does have some functions but it should really be as small as possible and free markets are what's, in the end of the day, going to make people better off. So I will leave you there, this is a very simple model, but it helps us start to think about these issues, and so when you think about issues and you read about it in the newspaper, try to think about it in this type of a framework.