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AFL-CIO: The umbrella organization for many labor unions in the United States, with AFL standing for American Federation of Labor, and CIO the abbreviation of Congress of Industrial Organizations. The AFL-CIO began as just the AFL in 1886 as a collection of craft unions representing skilled workers. It expanded to include semiskilled and unskilled workers represented by industrial unions. Differing interests among the two groups lead to a division of the original AFL in 1938 into two separate groups -- the AFL containing craft unions and CIO containing industrial unions. This rift was closed in 1955, when the AFL and CIO merged to form the AFL-CIO.

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CONSERVATIVE:

A political view that favors--(1) limited government intervention in the economy, (2) extensive reliance on markets, (3) strong national defense, (4) protection and promotion of existing cultural ideals and beliefs, and (5) economic rewards predominately based on productive efforts.
Conservatives tend to come from the ranks of the second estate, which has extensive ownership of and control over resources, especially capital and the material resources of land. As such, they usually support policies and government leaders who protect their interests. Conservatives also tend to be strong advocates of free enterprise and find philosophical agreement with economics theories that call for limited government intervention in the economy.

The Political Influences of Financial Wealth

While assorted factors influence and determine political views--including religion, morality, a sense of what is right or wrong, and a philosophical notion of what is best for the country--economic forces tend to be among the more important. In particular, wealth, income, and the ownership and control over productive resources have a strong influence on political views. Those who possess more financial and economic wealth support policies designed to protect or conserve that wealth.

For example, Winston Smythe Kennsington III, who has sizable bank accounts and owns oodles of corporate stock, is politically conservative in large part because conservative policies tend to support, retain, and effectively conserve his financial wealth.

Other Forms of Wealth

Financial wealth, however is not the only type of wealth that influences political views. Members of society are often inclined to conserve physical and cultural wealth, as well.

Physical wealth includes ownership and control over resources (labor, capital, land, and entrepreneurship) and goods (especially durable consumption goods). Those with more ownership and control of goods and resources, tend to be more conservative.

A suburban consumer like Jonathan McJohnson tends to be more conservative because he owns a house, two cars, household appliances, furniture, a computer, garden tools, and sporting equipment, even though he has almost no financial wealth.

Cultural wealth includes the body of cultural attributes, including language, religion, history, and other intangible institutions, that make up a nation. Those who share in those attributes have a greater cultural wealth, which they would like to conserve, and thus tend to be more politically conservative.

A solid citizen like Herb Haberstone, for example, has very little physical or financial wealth, but tends to have conservative political views because he shares the dominant language, religion, and history of the country. Although by no means wealthy, Herb wants to conserve the dominant intangible institutions of the country.

Favored Policies

Policies favored by political conservatives typically promote, protect, or otherwise conserve the financial, physical, and cultural wealth of a nation. A short list includes:
  • Safety: Conservatives favor policies that protect wealth both from other nations and other members of society. As such they tend to be strong on national defense and law enforcement. In the perpetual debate over guns versus butter, conservatives usually come out in favor of guns.

  • Business Environment: Policies that promote business profitability also tend to be favored by political conservatives. As such, they are usually opposed to government regulations (such as environmental, occupational safety, and minimum wage), while they are supportive of government subsidies for capital investment (such as investment tax credits and lower capital gains taxes).

  • Economic Stability: When it comes to economic stability, conservatives usually consider inflation (which erodes financial wealth) a bigger problem than unemployment (which is more harmful to people with less wealth). Conservatives also support government stabilization policies that are less likely to redistribute wealth. Monetary policy is usually preferred over fiscal policy.

<= CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICECONSTANT-COST INDUSTRY =>


Recommended Citation:

CONSERVATIVE, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2020. [Accessed: March 30, 2020].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | liberal | four estates | second estate | third estate | incentives | capitalism | equity | efficiency | ownership and control | free enterprise | laissez faire | paternalism |


Or For A Little Background...

     | political views | normative economics | government functions |


And For Further Study...

     | economic goals | distribution standards | economic system | economic thinking | American Enterprise Institute | Cato Institute |


Related Websites (Will Open in New Window)...

     | Republican National Committee | Republican Party of America |


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