Sunday, December 5, 2010

Who Should Get The Vote?

Recently the liberal rag, The Huffington Post, published a disdainful article based on some comments of the Tea Party President Judson Phillips. Mr. Phillips had indicated in an interview that he agreed with the notion that perhaps only people who own property should have the right to vote. Of course, the lefties spent the remainder of the article railing against the unfairness of the idea as far as the poor huddled masses yearning to be free are concerned. The only thing they didn't do was discuss the idea rationally and look for historical and other precedents like corporate decision making to weigh in intelligently on the proposed concept.

When our Founding Fathers were forming our government some two centuries ago they were decidedly ambivalent about democracy. The main worry was that the masses with no stake in their community i.e., no property, would vote themselves the treasury. It was a real concern at the time. The reason the Senate exists today is to act as a "saucer to cool the hot tea" that the Fathers believed the House of Representatives would constitute.

Today as our government sinks into socialism and our economy and once great dollar lies in tatters, can we truly just derisively laugh at the worries of our wise forefathers concerning democracy? Was it not the actions of popularity-seeking politicians elected by a rootless electorate, caring only for their bread and circuses (as well as free healthcare and other social "free money" programs), that has led to our present national debt of trillions of dollars?

I believe we need to look at a well run corporate model to discover the proper way to restore legislative and fiscal responsibility to our suffering country before hyperinflation destroys whats left of our "City on a Hill".

When important issues need to be decided in a publically-owned corporation, a shareholder meeting is called. Shareholders are then given voting privileges directly related to the amount of shares they own. The more shares, the more your vote will effect the outcome. The thought being, of course, that people heavily invested in a company will tend to vote responsibly since it is in their best interest to do so. Any notion of extending voting rights to non-shareholders would be ridiculed, and justly so, since people with no real financial stake in a company could naturally be expected to vote themselves one big dividend and close the company down.

The US government and the dollar are ready proxy examples for my corporate governance example above. Every owner of a US dollar in a very real sense owns one share of the federal government. Indeed, the dollar is really the most prevalent evidence of an investment today, not property. Every April when we do our taxes we reaffirm this principle by paying a substantial amount of our income to fund the folks in Washington D.C. in their work. For this reason I believe a measure of an investment stake should be weighed in terms of taxes paid each year by US citizens, rather than how many houses or condos they own. After all, someone sending in thousands of their dollars in taxes each year certainly should have a greater say in how those funds are spent than an individual who has paid nothing. It just makes good common as well as fiscal sense.

I am willing to consider the assessment of bonus points for certain classes of voters, like soldiers who have risked their lives in defense of their nation. Shed blood counts as an investment in my book.

The sickness the US suffers today isn't just a malaise of the economy or leadership, it's one of imagination. If this country is to weather the storm that it presently finds itself in, we must start thinking of out-of-the-box solutions ASAP. Business as usual thinking will only see our ship-of-state run aground, and it's citizens shipwrecked.


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