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Ideology Quiz

How much do you trust political figures? Totally Mostly Somewhat Hardly Not at all Do the ends justify the means? Yes Often Sometimes Rarely Never Should freedom of speech and expression be limited in any way? Yes, for threats, libel, slander, hate speech or criticism of government Yes, for threats, libel, slander or hate speech Yes, for threats, libel or slander Yes, for yelling fire in a crowded theater No How do you feel about taxes? They’re too low for the rich; taxes are the price we pay to live in a free country They’re about right They’re too high Income tax is unconstitutional and should be repealed Taxation is theft Should discrimination be tolerated in the workplace? No, not on the basis of race, sex, age, sexual orientation or gender preference;

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  1. How much do you trust political figures?
    1. Totally
    2. Mostly
    3. Somewhat
    4. Hardly
    5. Not at all
  2. Do the ends justify the means?
    1. Yes
    2. Often
    3. Sometimes
    4. Rarely
    5. Never
  3. Should freedom of speech and expression be limited in any way?
    1. Yes, for threats, libel, slander, hate speech or criticism of government
    2. Yes, for threats, libel, slander or hate speech
    3. Yes, for threats, libel or slander
    4. Yes, for yelling fire in a crowded theater
    5. No
  4. How do you feel about taxes?
    1. They’re too low for the rich; taxes are the price we pay to live in a free country
    2. They’re about right
    3. They’re too high
    4. Income tax is unconstitutional and should be repealed
    5. Taxation is theft
  5. Should discrimination be tolerated in the workplace?
    1. No, not on the basis of race, sex, age, sexual orientation or gender preference; anti-discrimination laws should be vigorously enforced and quotas imposed
    2. No, not on the basis of race or sex; anti-discrimination laws should be enforced
    3. No, not on the basis of race or sex, but anti-discrimination laws go too far if they lead to affirmative action
    4. No, not on the basis of race or sex, but the means should be moral suasion, not government intervention
    5. Yes, for any reason, such as building a cohesive corporate culture. Firms that discriminate for economically irrational reasons will go out of business. Anti-discrimination laws often create conflict and lead to unintended consequences
  6. How big a problem is wealth inequality?
    1. Major problem that requires significant taxes on wealth
    2. Major problem, but not easy to remedy
    3. Minor problem; there are more pressing concerns
    4. Minor problem; the cure is worse than the disease
    5. Non-problem that will destroy the economy if pursued aggressively
  7. Are big companies like Amazon and Google becoming monopolies?
    1. Yes, we should break them up
    2. Yes, regulate them more
    3. Not sure
    4. No, there’s still plenty of competition
    5. As long as they’re not putting a gun to anyone’s head, who cares? We shouldn’t be punishing successful entrepreneurs
  8. Who should be responsible for K-12 education?
    1. Education is too important to be left to parents. Education is a basic human right… and responsibility
    2. Parents and government, with public schools available to all and federal government needed to establish standards
    3. Parents and government, with public schools and emphasis on local control
    4. Parents, but the government still has a role in making sure parents educate their children, either privately (including homeschooling) or with government-issued vouchers. Shut down the Department of Education
    5. Education is too important to be left to government bureaucrats. All education should be private and voluntary. Charity will fill the void for those in need
  9. Who are your favorite presidents?
    1. Lincoln, Wilson and FDR because they led in times of crisis
    2. LBJ, JFK and Obama because they were progressive visionaries
    3. Washington and Reagan because they were charismatic conservative leaders
    4. Jefferson, Cleveland and Coolidge because they avoided trouble and paid down debt
    5. William H. Harrison because he died just 31 days into his term
  10. Was Lincoln justified in waging the Civil War?
    1. Yes, on the grounds of abolishing slavery, preserving the union and majority-rule
    2. Yes, on the grounds of abolishing slavery and preserving the union
    3. Yes, but Lincoln went too far in jailing dissidents while Union generals like Sherman went too far in harming civilians
    4. No, the South should have been allowed to secede on the basis of self-determination
    5. No, Lincoln was a calculating politician who snuffed out any limited government impulses and ushered in an era of big government and total war
  11. What caused the Great Depression?
    1. Wild speculation led to the 1929 crash; FDR’s New Deal and World War II got the country out of depression
    2. The Federal Reserve made the mistake of sitting idly by while the money supply contracted sharply in the early 1930s
    3. Wild speculation led to the crash, but FDR’s New Deal spending went too far and possibly prolonged the depression
    4. FDR’s New Deal turned a garden variety recession into the country’s worst depression
    5. Aggressive money printing by the Fed caused a fake boom in the 1920s, while unprecedented monetary and fiscal intervention in the economy (by both Hoover and FDR) exacerbated and prolonged the depression
  12. What do you think about FDR’s social security plan enacted in 1935?
    1. Master stroke that kept many seniors out of soup lines; should be expanded and benefits means tested
    2. Good idea, but needs to be shored up, not expanded
    3. It made sense at the time, but didn’t take into account people living longer
    4. Very concerned. It should’ve been kept small, available only to those most in need
    5. Massive Ponzi scheme that will fuel generational conflict and likely bankrupt the country
  13. Which of these services should be provided by government?
    1. Roads, schools, courts, national defense, medical care
    2. Roads, schools, courts, national defense
    3. Schools, courts, national defense
    4. Courts, national defense
    5. None
  14. Which of these wars should the U.S. government have avoided?
    1. None
    2. Vietnam War
    3. Vietnam War, Iraq War
    4. Vietnam War, Iraq War, World War I
    5. Vietnam War, Iraq War, World War I, World War II
  15. How do you feel about the military?
    1. Heroes rooting out evil around the globe and defending our freedoms at home; we need to increase defense spending and create more jobs
    2. Doing heroic work, but we’re reaching limits on how much we can afford to spend on defense
    3. We should maintain a strong military presence abroad, but pull out of quagmires like Iraq and Afghanistan
    4. We could easily cut defense spending in half by shutting down bases and bringing our men in uniform home
    5. The military industrial complex is kicking over hornet’s nests around the globe, bankrupting the country, feeding the government parasite, and threatening our freedoms at home in the process. Dismantle the empire and ultimately privatize defense
  16. Where do you stand on the large trade deficit with China?
    1. Use all means possible to reduce this, even military force as a last resort
    2. Raise tariffs and apply political pressure on the Chinese to enforce intellectual property rights
    3. Use diplomacy
    4. Avoid any restrictions on free trade and enforce intellectual property rights
    5. Statistical nonsense. Trade is mutually beneficial; encourage more by removing all tariffs and other trade impediments
  17. What do you think about trade embargoes with countries like Iran, Cuba and North Korea?
    1. These are our enemies; starve them into submission
    2. Limit trade and any foreign aid to food and medicine
    3. Allow government vetted tourism and limited trade
    4. Allow unlimited tourism and limited trade
    5. End all embargoes, regardless of the regime in power, and allow our citizens to trade with and visit these countries without government interference
  18. How does it make you feel when a large multinational company builds a factory in a poor country and hires workers at well-below American wages?
    1. Sick to my stomach. This is capitalism at its worst: big business exploiting the poor who have few options
    2. I see where these companies are providing slightly better opportunities for these poor workers, but why don’t they do more to help them? Greed
    3. Mixed emotions. American consumers are benefitting from the lower prices, but some Americans are losing their jobs
    4. Pretty good, actually. Everyone benefits: foreign workers, the company and its shareholders, and American consumers
    5. In addition to the win-win-win of foreign workers, shareholders and consumers, the world is becoming more interconnected and less bellicose. These companies should be applauded
  19. What should the role of the Federal Reserve be?
    1. Smooth out the business cycle and prevent a systemic collapse, i.e. a “run on the bank”
    2. Focus on avoiding deflation (keeping inflation at 1-2%)
    3. I have no strong opinion, but probably prevent depressions
    4. Minimal role: should be audited and severely limited in its scope
    5. Should be abolished. The Fed serves special interests on Wall Street and creates the boom-bust cycle, misallocates capital, and causes inflation in the process
  20. What are your thoughts on health care?
    1. Should be a basic human right with medical services provided by government for everyone
    2. There should be private health care for those who can afford it and public health care for those who can’t. Government should provide more assistance
    3. System has its flaws, but it’s still the best in the world. No need for major changes
    4. Litigation reform and repealing state laws that mandate unnecessary insurance coverage would make health care more affordable
    5. System is a mess thanks to government intervention. Get rid of Medicare, Medicaid, licensing laws, and costly malpractice lawsuits and allow the free market to work its magic
  21. What are your thoughts about climate change?
    1. Global warming will reach crisis proportions within a decade. We need a massive world government response in order to save us
    2. This is a serious problem that must be dealt with, but I fear giving up our sovereignty to a world government. Bring on the Green New Deal
    3. I’m concerned, but fear the issue has been politicized. We need less hysteria and more balance
    4. This is an overreaction; global warming isn’t happening
    5. Global warming may or may not happen, but that doesn’t warrant impoverishing ourselves with world government solutions costing trillions of dollars. The free market is the best way to adapt to any changes in climate
  22. How do you feel about legalizing drugs?
    1. No way; drug use and addiction would explode
    2. Legalize marijuana, but regulate and tax it heavily
    3. Start with the least dangerous drugs and go from there
    4. Legalize all narcotics, but keep the FDA
    5. Legalize all drugs and abolish the FDA
  23. Where do you stand on intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, copyright)?
    1. Necessary to promote innovation
    2. Necessary, but sometimes goes too far
    3. In need of reform
    4. Leads to frivolous lawsuits and in need of major overhaul
    5. Restricts competition and should be abolished
  24. Where do you stand on the Constitution?
    1. Too confining and gets in the way of governing
    2. Living document that should bend with the times
    3. Adaptable, but should be rigid when guaranteeing certain personal freedoms
    4. Should be (but hasn’t been) interpreted literally and faithfully, betraying the limited government vision of the founders
    5. Nice try, but opened the door to high taxation and big government
  25. What are your impressions of democratic government?
    1. Ideal way to govern and protect our freedoms; will of the majority should prevail
    2. Great idea, system of checks and balances was put in to prevent abuse of the minority by the majority
    3. Doesn’t work quite as well in practice as in theory; still, it’s the best system of government man has come up with so far
    4. Founders feared democracy and tried to limit government tyranny of the minority; they’re probably rolling in their graves
    5. Two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner

To calculate your score:

(A) answers = 0
(B) answers = 1
(C) answers = 2
(D) answers = 3
(E) answers = 4

If your total score is 0-10, you believe the heavy hand of government is needed to restrain innate impulses of man towards chaos and depravity.  You identify ideologically as totalitarian along with people like Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler and Pol Pot.  If your total score is 91-100, you believe a free society brings out the best impulses of man towards spontaneous order and goodness, while government intervention brings out the worst.  You identify as anarcho-capitalist along with people like Murray Rothbard, Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Lew Rockwell.

Scores from 11 to 90 range from statist to minarchist (or classical liberal).  The labels “conservative” or “progressive” have little bearing on where one lands on the ideological spectrum, although conservatives usually have higher scores (but not always).

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