Conservatism is a political and social philosophy dedicated to the retention of traditional social institutions. While open to innovation, conservatives see value in many past practices, most of which were formed over centuries of trial and error. Conservatives generally believe that these norms are proven, while most change that conflicts with established norms is better avoided. This leads to specific positions on particular topics. Conservatives believe that the PEOPLE know what works best, and that government should remain limited in its role in society. [See “What do we believe?” below.] Therefore, in social matters, conservatives believe that people should be free to do what they wish, within the established norms (remember, these norms were established through centuries of trial and error, and should not be abandoned recklessly). In financial matters, conservatives believe in a free market economy in which government involvement is extremely limited. For instance, economic policies should be based on known, past behavior. In the 1980’s, reduction of income tax rates led to increased economic activity and a surge in entrepreneurship. This, in turn, led to a revitalized economy, which improved the overall incomes of most of the country. The increase in income led to an increase in the total amount of taxes paid, and the result was that the Federal revenues doubled over the decade. As a contrast, liberals (progressives) claim that the decreased tax rate somehow injured the poor, and they commonly refer to the 1980’s as the “Decade of Greed.” This argument is based on class envy, as liberals attempt to foment jealousy against anyone richer than their listener. Liberals build their political power by promising to remedy this wrong, while constantly promoting and implementing policies that only make things worse. The worse things get, the more they promise, and the more they blame conservatives. This never-ending cycle is the only way liberals can continue to remain in power.