I'm going to try to answer this question, even though I would like to know myself what numbers the question is based on. Has their been data pulled and put in a post that suggests that most steemians doon't upvote? Or don't upvote enough?
Upvoting vs RCs
In the many situations where lack of RCs stymies any type of consistent activity, RCs can be an issue regarding voting. However, since the emphasis is on what is considered 'excess' RCs, or what I'll just call enough RCs to function normally, RCs aren't really the main consideration anyway.
What probably does come into play for most users with enough RCs is their voting power. Regardless of the size of the account, each user can only make 10-11 upvotes with 100% voting power within a 24 hour period. Most people don't upvote that way, but do so in smaller percentage amounts, some with the intent of getting a post or comment comfortably over the dust vote threshold. That means upvotes of at least $0.02, though higher is better due to reward allocation degradation.
So, if people aren't upvoting, voting power might be an issue.
Another reason why users might not be upvoting is because of not finding enough posts or comments that they find of value. Most people will refer to this as not finding quality posts, even though quality is highly subjective. So is value, but in my mind, it allows for some people finding value in something while others don't, while quality could be considered to meet certain agreed upon standards (except on STEEM, where it's hard to get a consensus on much of anything).
It's tough to be seen. Even with lower posting rates, there's still plenty out there to see. Things can get lost really quickly if people aren't specifically looking for them. Most people follow an insane amount of other users, making their feeds impossible to curate from. They might have GINAbot to alert them when a favorite author upvotes, but doing so limits them to whoever's in their notifications.
A lot of people upvote, but they don't really curate. What I mean by that is, they don't actually read the posts they're upvoting, but rather, some curation trail is doing it, or they have read a few posts by various authors, decided they're worthy of an upvote, and then lock in the percentage for that user. In so doing, if they're checking periodically, they might discard some who are no longer meeting value expectations, go search for someone else to the list, or they might just let it run indefinitely. In such a case, they end up just upvoting those they initially found.
So, in reality, upvoting based on sufficient RCs to do so isn't really an issue. It's based on things I've mentioned, any combination thereof, and probably some other things I've missed. I can't see anyone trying to horde RCs by avoiding upvoting, however.
I completely understand what it's like to put effort into a bunch of answers and get little to no attention. My advice is to hang in there and keep writing.
There are a lot of reasons that answers get upvotes. Some of those reasons you can control, and others are wildly out of your control and completely defy prediction.
Take a good look at your answers. Are they unique? Do you offer something special? Are they composed well? Is there any background information you could add that would make it better?
How many people are you following and how many people follow you? Like it or not Steemit is a social network. Reach out. Get to know some people. Give positive comments on other people's work. Upvote other people. Follow people that are getting a lot of upvotes and study their work. Steemit is what you make of it. If you're just putting your work out there, then you're missing half the experience. Also, the more people who are following you, the more people will see your work and upvote you. Be the change you want. Are you upvoting people? I have no idea why some people are so stingy with upvotes, but if you want to be upvoted more, might I propose that you start doing so as well.
Maybe try answering more questions to get your name out there. Try a few survey questions. Answer questions with more followers and more answers. In other words, answer questions that more people are interested in.
I am in no way encouraging you to write just for upvotes. But you asked. How much do you upvote others or compliment their answers? People are more apt to check you out if you reach out to them. **Get your name out there. People will soon discover you.**
I have a few hundreds followers and most times struggle to get double-figure upvotes. My activity has slacked off lately. Sometimes I’ll hit a quality answer. I don’t write mainly for upvotes. I write for fun.
I know it was frustrating when I first joined Steemit. We all go through that. If you stick with it, pick your questions well and remember that Steemit is a social network you'll be getting more upvotes in no time.
As many will probably state, it is really hard to determine what is going on in the minds of most people. I think there are a lot of people that upvote on specific users and by the time they are done with that, their VP might be down around seventy or eighty percent. At that point they probably want to hold off on voting for a little bit so their VP can regenerate for the next day.
Yes, that means they are leaving a lot of RC unused, but maybe they are doing other things on the blockchain that require RC's like commenting or playing Steem Monsters.
I know when my wife and I first created her account, she was not able to play more than one or two rounds in Steem Monsters because her RC was too low. I delegated some SP to her and that took care of the problem.
Some people are pretty picky about the stuff that they upvote. It has to be someone they have known for a long time or something pretty fantastic for them to even consider voting on it. Likewise, if they are not following you, they will never see your posts on their feed and sometimes people do look at other areas besides their feed.
I have a handful of users that I interact with on a daily basis by commenting on their posts and it is pretty rare that they ever visit my posts and upvote or comment on them. I have learned to just move on though and hope that eventually someone will see my stuff that enjoys it enough.