They aren't questions that apply to reality. Instead, I've got you 10 questions based in the reality of the job market and economics to give back to your conservative friend.
1) How important is a robust middle class to the wellbeing of the "free market" and both the economy and the ideals of the United States of America as the Declaration of Independence describes it - that every citizen is "free to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".
2) What do we do as a nation to ensure that every adult has the opportunity to make a living wage that can support a small family when they are employed and be able to strive to move up the economic ladder on his or her hard work, skills and talents?
3) Do you are you happy with the current political distance between capital and labor? Do you think having money and property, no matter how you attained it, is more important politically than having a skill or a trade and the opportunity and ability to work?
4) It is a known fact that not every person has the opportunity, skills, or talent to be a manager or business owner (we are as we were made), and that realistically there are only so many economic positions in a community or society available that require management or specialty skills, and only so many feasible markets or business that can be owned. The reality is that the majority of realistic economic opportunity available to 75% of citizens who are able to make a living is found in the capability to earn a wage while working for others.
Do you think it prudent to make a politically economic decision that working is far less important than already having wealth- and wealth should be given greater social value and economic benefits than production and work?
5) When there is not enough private sector interest in providing enough living wage jobs or endowments to social charities, and not enough charitable resources to provide "a safety net" to the poor or unlucky families within a community who are not headed by "criminals or cheats", what, then, is the best interest of government to deal with a surplus of capable adults who are willing to work?
Remember - in this question, the private sector "free market" and charities are either unwilling or unable to deal with that surplus amount of capable working adults who are looking for jobs to support themselves and their families.___________________________________________________________________________________________
6) While it is apparently acceptable for a government is required to support state, national, and international businesses, corporations and organizations that are of national economic interest and security with subsidies and bail-outs to the tune of billions of dollars when they make poor decisions or are affected by disasters or market instability, why is it not acceptable for the government to temporarily support individual citizens when they are affected by disasters, job or economic instability in large enough numbers to affect local community and state interests and security?
7) If individuals do not have the ability or opportunity to survive on their own or provide for their own independent well-being through work for others, should they still be considered a citizen and have equal value as a member of society as those who can survive or provide for their own independent well-being? Do not limit the the confines of question to capable adults; include the 60% of the citizenry who are underage children, elderly, and disabled.
8 - a two-part question:
8a) What is the actual percentage of individual "cheats" within a subsidy or assistance system that are allowable before a system is deemed a failure or a waste of money?
8b) Is this percentage applicable to the cheaters in the overall system, or a local perception of cheaters within a particular subset of that system?
9 - a two-part question:
9a) Which is a more important concern - taxation without representation or representation without taxation?
9b) As these are absolutes, what should the boundary be drawn between the two?
10) Is it better to be merciful and mistaken or mis-led, or to be cruel and mistaken or mis-led?
When a group has a vested interest in telling you what you want to hear, making you outraged or fearful against fellow citizens who are only living their own lives to make a profit or score political points, should you give them your complete, blind loyalty?
And too many so-called Conservatives forget history for their own sense of pride and grasping for social standing. In the "good old days" before unions or worker's movements, most people starved during a good portion of their lives, and never made it out of poverty, while a few people who had silver tongues or silver spoons were able to con or buy their way into great fortunes and access to the majority of resources. There were the very rich and the people who lived off crumbs thrown their way, the struggling and thrifty family business owners who usually lost their hard - worked businesses within two generations at a rate of 90%, individual farmers who maintained their living through subsistance, the good-will of neighbors, and the vagarities of the climate, and the very poor.
Until we had unions, the New Deal, and social safety nets, we didn't have a large thriving middle class.
What the current Neo-liberal (Free Market), and Neo-Conservative (Moral Majority) types forget is if a majority of people are able to survive and hope for a future while in some comfort, they will not turn to crime or to destructive habits. If that means that due to the lack of resources, or the free-market worship of the bottom line, some people will be have to be dependent if we are going to retain a "free" and "civilized" society - like older people who have been laid off who will not get re-hired because too many younger people also need the work, or skilled people who have gone through years of training, to find out most of the available jobs and opportunities are going to the lowest bidder (off-shoring or H1Bs), or the just average people who are just average that don't have the personal mental or physical capabilities to work the few above minimum wage service or retail jobs that are still available in today's economy.
Retirees or workers with property or less than $2 mil. in the bank better hold on to their hats.
If we don't do something about the increasing amount of worshipers of Mammon, who hold a greedy prosperity gospel above justice, mercy, respect, and patience, there's going to be nothing left after those few with the money to buy have bought all the resources necessary for survival available (or access to them)- and will sell them back to the rest of us at a high price.
That is the way to a Feudal State, where Money is King, and will lead to a painful, bloody end to a large number of fellow citizens and family members. And it's being done through pure spite, greed and ambition, not because of any prophecy or natural condition. Tell people what they want to hear, tell them they're "special", and they'd be perfectly happy to murder and enslave their fellow citizens to keep their "special" status. The very wealthy have always known this.