NOTE: This post is going to contain a ton of glowing generalities.
I have come to a conclusion as to why it seems that the Democrats and the Republicans cannot agree on anything. It is because of what base assumptions we make about human behavior.
It seems that every Republican I talk to uses, what for the longest time to be a Fox News talking point, the argument that we cannot tax the rich more because there will be a disincentive to make more money.
My usual response is that no matter what the tax bracket, there will always be rich people. Just because they have to pay more taxes doesn't mean they are going to stop making money.
But then it dawned on me: These people see money as the only reason people will do anything. If you do not supply the monetary incentive, then you will not have people do anything.
What my base assumption is, is that if you can find the things people love to do and feel fulfilled in doing, then, as long as their base needs (and a few splurges!) are fulfilled, money isn't the main motivator. I would rather do something that I love and not make as much money rather than be stuck in a job I hate just to have an expensive car.
I think when discussions happen, I come from the self-fulfillment end of the spectrum. I just don't understand the (sociopathic?) quest to make more and more money. I think when I get in discussions with these people, we have trouble because we are not starting from the same point and we are pointing in different directions.