I am a white 55 year old male who has lived in SoCal since 1969. So my experiences can only reflect what happened in this area. I've examined the past 40 years and decided it was time to stop voting against my own interests. All the altruism in the world doesn't matter if you are not receiving help like others.
I was always pro affirmative action. I found that in the 80's I couldn't get any civil service jobs regardless of test scores because of affirmative action and vet preferences. Even as late as 2010, I got work a year later than vets with lower test scores in the Census Bureau. If you go to any state office here like DMV, you can count the white male employees with one hand. These turned out to be pretty cushy jobs. None of the the 8 times I was let go or fired would have happened under civil service rules. Even now with layoffs, they got to work an additional 2-4 years than private sector workers like me who were laid off in 2008. Plus if I had gotten a civil service job in the 80's, I would have had the seniority to avoid layoffs now. Civil Service is also the opposite of the private sector since seniority keeps your job in govt while being the higher paid in the private sector gets you laid off 1st.
I was raised by a single mother and supported women's lib(remember that anyone?). In 1990, I was laid off by a woman supervisor while I was out for a month on disability. Yet, this past year I have had 2 female relatives out for 6 weeks on disability while it was illegal for them to lose their jobs. In 1994, I hurt my back and was out for a month on disability again. The company I was with had a policy of paying female employees their full pay while out on pregnancy disability. I filed a complaint with the EEOC saying that was discriminatory and I should receive the same as a male. The female EEOC staff and attorney said I had a good point but they would not pursue it and would not provide me with the right to sue letter I needed to file my own suit.
In 2000, the Clinton Justice Dept filed suit against me for a 1984 $2500 student loan that I had defaulted on in 1987 after paying off about half before I ran into financial problems. They had retroactively changed the law so I could not go BK on it. I had to sell my car and they settled for $2000. Now, students are going to get their student loans forgiven at taxpayer expense. (You wait and see-its coming from the wave of the mortgage bailouts.)
Now, as a long term unemployed 55 year old white male, there are no programs for me. I am one of the ones the pundits say are permanently out of the job market. Vets are getting publicity and job programs. The recent graduates are getting publicity about jobs and loans. I didn't buy a house I couldn't afford-no mortgage bailout.
There, my liberal friends, lies your dilemma. According to Prof. Jonathan Haidt, conservatives feel strongly about fairness. I can now see the problem with the govt picking winners. You lose the support of the losers-can you blame them? If you made an affordable home purchase and kept up your payments-LOSER. If not, you get a $100K loan reduction-WINNER. Or get a loan mod to limit payments to 31% of your income. If you are a renter paying 50% of your income-LOSER. If you have large credit card debt or medical bills-no bailout-LOSER. If you don't make payments on car, appliance or other credit purchase-you get repo'd. If you don't pay back your student loan-keep your degree and get loan forgiveness. If you or your parents saved and worked and paid your college loans and expenses-LOSER.
So Obama will get all the WINNERS vote-but did he pick enough? All us LOSERS or people who care about fairness have no reason to vote again for him. Can I be any more unemployed under Romney? Who will the new winners be next year when another recession hits here-not me. So, when I get my $100K bailout check, I will vote for Obama and even tattoo his name on my ass. Until then, I'm voting repub even though it doesn't matter much here in CA. Hey repubs-need any paid workers?