Money has always been inseparable from politics. This blog argues the admixture of money with politics is a feature, not a bug, and a contributing factor for the enduring resiliency of our republic when many other governments have succumbed to corruption, incompetence, and revolutions. Let’s consider a thought experiment where candidates are prohibited from receiving any donations, but are instead issued a stipend by the government to spend however they want on their campaign. Thus one can expect that candidates and politicians would have a incentive to enact and promise policy that would get as many donations and votes as possible, regardless if it’s good policy or not. Promise everyone a handout and go after the ‘fat cats’ and you’ll get a lot votes. The introduction of unlimited contributions requires triangulation by the politician to get funding, as well as tacit loyalty by the politician to the donor to receive future donations when running for reelection.
Here are some ideas to improve the voting process and our government:
1. Let people sell their votes. This would require full electronic voting integration with the internet. Months before the election, registered voters have the option to put their vote for sale on a website. Through a dutch auction process, the votes for each state are auctioned off to politicians willing to pay for them. (In the presidential election, I imagine 100 Florida votes will be worth more than 100 California ones.) Then participants vote electronically and get a unique confirmation code afterwards linked to the candidate they voted for, which they have to enter on the website. Upon completion, they are credited the monetary proceeds. But if they defect and vote for another candidate, the code is invalid and they get nothing, although the unfaithful vote is still valid in the electoral counting. The politician would only have to pay for valid votes. This can work for state and national elections.
2. Make votes proportional to wealth, and in presidential elections, let the rich cast their votes in any state. So a republican billionaire living in California would have the option to cast 10,000 Republican votes for Florida.
3. Repeal all voting amendments, and restrict voting to only individuals who have an income, IQ and or net worth above a certain threshold. A literacy test is too inclusive since you only need an IQ above 80 or so to read.
4. Anther option is to set a minimum individual donation that is high enough to preclude most low-income people from donating, but the problem is this can be evaded if they pool their money together.
5. Let corporations and individuals, both foreign and domestic, donate as much money as they want directly to candidates.
6. Let corporations have representation in government beyond lobbying. A representative for Walmart, for example, would be able to vote along with senators and congressmen. Such positions would be auctioned off by the government to help raise revenue.
7. Require that all candidates pay for their campaigns out of pocket, a process similar to how Ross Perot ran his campaign. This would guarantee that only economic stakeholders (the wealthy) would be able to run.
Ultimately, we need more money in politics and less voting. Let economic stakeholders decide how the country is run instead of low information voters. Americans are good at consumer spending, but not economic or foreign policy. Leave that to the experts.
From Thomas Sowell ted cruz and point no return
Sowell, having outlived his expiration date, has become a concern troll. The will of the people isn’t always the correct one, and the founding fathers knew this, which is why they created a constitutional republic instead of a direct democracy and why early America had numerous barriers to voting. It’s better for the economy and the security of the nation to have moneyed elites in power than populists, because the former have much more to lose, so out of some combination of preservation of self-interest and selflessness, they will make the necessary but unpopular leadership decisions during crisis, as well promoting pro-growth policy at the behest of their donors and their on personal financial interests. Politicians have to be malleable and ‘flip flop’, because changing times call for changing policy. Do you want a president who says he’s anti-war to remain anti-war if in the unlikely event the country is invaded?
The rich won because they create more economic value than everyone else, and policy is designed to help the rich get richer. It’s not that politicians support rich people for the sake of supporting rich people; it just so happens that rich people, by virtue of being economic stakeholders, know more about what is good for the country than average people, so politicians take heed. That’s why we need more money in politics and less democracy and egalitarianism. The rich create the technologies that improve our standard of living, and they create jobs, so why don’t they deserve to have more influence in how they country is run? That is the fair, pragmatic approach to governance under a meritocracy.
But Obama received a lot of donations and his campaigns were very expensive, so isn’t that an argument for less money in politics? Not necessarily, if we also restrict voting. Furthermore, the beauty of our tripartite government is that power of the executive branch, especially under far-left presidents, tends to be severely compromised.