TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Graphing Your Political Philosophy

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Law professor bloggers have taken to posting their scores on a political survey hosted by Chris Lightfoot that plots your position on left/right and idealistic/pragmatic axes. Some law prof notables (with figures on a -1 to +1 scale, where available):

Ann Althouse (Wisconsin) is left of center and slightly pragmatic (near Tony Blair).
Stephen Bainbridge (UCLA): is well right of center and slightly pragmatic, near Margaret Thatcher
Kevin Heller (Georgia) is well left of center and slightly pragmatic (-0.5715 (left/right) and +0.0086 (idealistic/pragmatic)). (He proudly announced: "I'm to the Left of Everyone!")
Mike Rappaport (San Diego) is right of center and pragmatic (+1.47 (left/right) and +3.49 (idealistic/pragmatic))
Tung Yin (Iowa) is slightly right of center and pragmatic (+0.0291 (left/right) and +0.1949 (idealistic/pragmatic))
You take the survey by answering 75 questions (Agree Strongly, Agree, No Opinion, Disagree, Disagree Strongly). Several of the questions are tax-related:
• It's more important to make the poor richer than to decrease the gap between rich and poor.
• Cutting taxes can't ever increase government revenue.
• Drivers shouldn't have to pay taxes to cover damage to the environment caused by motor transport, since that would price some people off the roads.
• The wealthy should pay a larger proportion of their income in tax than the poor.
• The government should raise revenue by taxing income rather than consumption.
For the record, I am almost exactly in the middle on the left/right axis and slightly idealistic (+0.0024 (left/right) and -0.0584 (idealistic/pragmatic)):
Graphic of Test Results

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