My personal definitions without looking at a thesaurus:
Pragmatist: "Looking at the facts, option 1 is much more likely to prevent the bad thing than option 2." Idealist: "But then this other bad thing would happen. Wouldn't it be nice if we went with option 2 instead and everything turned out perfectly?"
Being pragmatic means you do what is necessary to complete a task. In it's extreme it is little more than cold calculations devoid of any emotion or morals to achieve the goal. Think of how machines would work. The opposite is an idealist, someone who may not do what is necessary because it opposes any ethical code they may have or other pre-conceived views. It's a more emotional response.
The largest portion of government spending is the military contract spending budget followed by corporate subsidies. Both are incredibly bloated a more importantly almost completely unnecessary BUT it's the conservative republican stance that neither should be cut at any cost and would rather the American people suffer for it instead.
Government should provide for the common defense. That is pragmatic.
And why do subsidies exist? To promote growth. Why is growth important? Because it raises revenues while decreasing the burden of the paying portion of the citizenry. That is pragmatic.
But I don't agree that conservatives think you should never cut costs in either.
But idealistic is thinking that if you make $1 by selling hotdogs at $2, then all you have to do is sell hotdogs for $2,000,000 and you can support your $4,000,000 crack habit. Democrats have a crack problem.
The corporations that tend to receive far more money than any social programs and many of them so large and make so much profit there is absolutely no need for them to be receiving subsidies. And as for the military budget there is no reason for it to be so much larger than that of the next 35 countries military budgets combined. What needs to be done is for the government to stop catering to the rich, raise taxes on the richest 2%, stop bailing out banks, refund public education, raise minimum wage and draft a workforce to repair the national infrastructure.
Raise minimum wage, you raise the costs of goods that tend to affect those on minimum wage. You can't artificially increase pay without a totalitarian control of pricing and profit.
And actually, the US spends more on social programs than subsidies and military spending combined.
The US does more with its military than anyone else. We have more humanitarian troops deployed across the world than most countries have combat forces.
And again, in pragmatic terms, what is a possible effect of promoting certain businesses? Growth. What raises more revenue, creates more jobs, reduces the need for government entitlements, as well as a laundry list of issues? Growth.
Do you realize that our record federal revenues came from Bush after he cut taxes? And while we were engaged in the height of two wars there was only a $151 billion dollar spending deficit?
This is what happens when you cut $2,000,000 hot dogs back to $2.00, people actually buy them, business grows, and so does tax revenue.
Reality vs. idealistic liberals that want to hurt the rich despite the negative impact to their own social message.
That statement reminds me of how the founder of Papa Johns would rather make a majority of the jobs part time rather than raise the price of their pizzas 10 cents to cover employee medical insurance. Insurance that he could easily pay for from his profits but of course you have to cater to the rich.
Like I said the vast majority of the military budget goes to military contractors rather than the troops themselves.
You promote new and smaller businesses not well established ones otherwise you're just feeding the already obese companies. This is why the republican party is bought out by big business. They keep the cycle of misappropriated wealth in each other's pockets.
At the same time it's when corporate rates are at there highest is when job growth is at it's highest as opposed to what the corporate lobbyist wants you to believe. You need only look at the statistics from the Clinton years.
@picturefragments Hmmm,interesting response picturefragments (& you to stoneman123) but what about someone like a passionate pure mathematician?.I mean they would certainly be doing things that are abstract,would prob.have some romanticism in them that keeps them passionate & of course they have a job!).What then,eh?.
A pragmatist does whatever is necessary to get the job done. I would say the opposite would be a hippie, who doesn't even have a job, won't get anything done, and expects others to do what is necessary.
I think "romantic" might be a better alternative. It's possible to have idealism tempered with pragmatism, after all. Being "romantic" however could be used to imply the abandonment of realistic expectations in favor of an idealized fantasy.