One dollar, one vote

Dow down another 121 points. Gold up $12.

That puts the Dow down more than 400 points since the election results were announced. What does it mean?

Maybe nothing. Maybe it’s the beginning of the long march to the bottom that we’ve been waiting for. Unless they’ve got a very long term perspective, dear readers should be out of stocks. Wait for them to get down to bargain levels before buying back in, what’s the hurry?

Meanwhile, we spent eight hours driving down from Burlington yesterday. That gave us plenty of time to listen to the radio and catch up on the news. We listened to CNN most of the time. Very depressing.

For hours on end, the CNN team worried about the election results. There was almost endless discussion of the roles played by the outside organisations, big donors, and campaign advertising. Experts criticised the Republicans’ strategy. And most were very critical of the US presidential election system. The electoral college seems to give some voters – those in ‘swing’ states – more importance than those in other states. And looking at a map of results by county, which turned into an obsession with the CNN crew, you will see that almost the entire nation is red, while the winner of the election is blue.

Every expert, layman and kibitzer allowed to express an opinion had the same one: that something is wrong with the system. All seemed to think that every vote should have exactly the same weight as every other vote. But how could this be? Inevitably, a close race will give greater importance to the few voters who are still on the fence, since they will determine the outcome.

“Everything happens at the margin,” John Maynard Keynes once said. He was speaking of economics. But it is true in politics too. Some people will definitely and always vote the Democrats’ ticket. Others will vote Republican, come what may. The people who decide the outcome are somewhere in-between, capable of being swayed one way or the other depending on the candidates’ charisma, policies or bribery.

Most commentators wanted to make the system simpler, so that the winner would be chosen by majority of the popular vote…

But we wonder: why should one person’s vote count as much as another’s? What is sacrosanct about the one man, one vote principle?

Yesterday, we explained that zombies shouldn’t vote at all. People who get money from the government should abstain; they have a conflict of interest. Naturally, the zombies vote for more blood. And now, there are so many of them, it’s impossible to stop them.

And what about people who haven’t bothered to read the paper or inform themselves about the issues? We admit; such people are usually way ahead of the common, brainwashed voter, but for the sake of argument, shouldn’t the informed voter’s vote be worth more than the uninformed voter’s vote?

People who don’t pay taxes shouldn’t be allowed to vote either. Golf memberships, clubs, corporations – almost all require that your dues be paid up before you have the right to vote.

Come to think of it, how come the government doesn’t operate on a “let them who pay the piper call the tune” basis? Why don’t the people who actually pay the costs of government get more say in how it is conducted? Why don’t they get more votes than people who pay nothing? You might get one vote for every $1,000 you pay in taxes, for example. If you pay nothing, you get no vote. If you pay $1m, you get 1,000 votes. Wouldn’t that be fairer?

Or, how about this: auction votes on the internet! You just put out, say, 100 million votes. Make them available by national auction. And then voters get to decide for themselves how much they are worth, and how many they are willing to buy. You have an election every year, and give the proceeds to the government.

You could allow for a market in votes. Vote scalpers could buy votes in block early, and then sell them off to desperate voters on election day.

Yes, let’s have an honest election, for a change!

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  • Dave Allan

    A very interesting concept. This idea was in vogue in Britain for a number of centuries when only landowners could vote. Once the masses were allowed to vote in the early part of the 20th Century, and particularly after the labour government of 1946, the financial problems of this country began to seriously deteriorate.
    BB’s view that a democracy eventually goes bankrupt through self-flagellation should be made compulsory reading to ALL students of politics and economics.

    A great article – please continue the good work Mr B.


    Dave Allan

  • NigelB

    OMG Bill.
    That’s the best yet. Paid up members only get a vote.
    Tax payers vote by amount they’ve paid.
    How you gonna set this one off?
    Bring it on.
    You shouldn’t have taken your hat out of the ring!!!
    We’d have voted for you ahead of the UKIP even over here.

  • Alistair Clark

    You sure have let your brain run away this time!

  • Lupulco

    Who is going to compensate all the non-voters and their descendants over the years to ptotect the Land owning class.

  • Boris MacDonut

    This article is disgusting. I am totally and utterly appalled that MW would even countenance publishing it. It shows what a sorry state the USA has fallen into. So inexoarbly fixated on money they believe the poor should be disenfranchised and the only value a person has is his bank balnace.
    Initially I thought it might be an April Fool. Bill should be ashamed. MW should apologise. Do I really have to go into detail as to why we all get to vote…..not just the rich?
    Unfortunately Yanks cheapen everything they get their hands on,including democracy.

  • mikkip

    Those that contribute the most in tax are the very rich and corporations. If they could decide who governs then they would skew things even further to their advantage. This is a good thing as obviously poor are unevolved and should die out… thanks

  • Boris MacDonut

    I did try complaining about post #6 as to say this is outrageously offensive. But MW clearly feel it is okay.

  • BobtheBozo

    Love the idea of a vote auction with a secondary market in votes. Brilliant. Less happy with straightforward buying of votes. Seems to me there’s too much of that going on already.

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