Looking for a way to fix the voting system? Why not try the tried and true method of revoking the vote from poor people? Or is that a bit too insensitive and extreme?
Okay, okay, before you come after me and write me off as a complete jerk let me explain myself. There is a divide between why people believe that some people are poor and others are rich. Many people believe that people are either rich or poor based on choices they make throughout their life. Sure, not everyone starts with the same set of cards, but in places with a decent amount of economic freedom, like America and Europe, if you're born poor you don't have to remain that way. You have the ability to go from poor to rich in places with economic freedom. We see this all the time.
But now we also have an increasingly common viewpoint that states the people who are rich or poor are born that way and it is a result of their environment. We are seeing more and more people who believe that people don't really have the ability to make their way in life and decide whether to be rich or poor. We now have people who say that you are what you are born into.
If you're born poor, well then that sucks, you're out of luck and you're a victim of the system.
Now you're screwed and unlucky. People born rich are totally lucky but not so much for you. You just have to rough it and accept that other people are rich because you're poor.
So this is the divide. These are the two opposing ideologies. Of course, most rich people believe that they are rich by choice because, well, they are and many poor people believe that they are poor because they're a victim of [insert any excuse here]. The list of reasons for people being poor is endless and if you don't buy these excuses then you've obviously never been poor and you're a bad person with no compassion. Shame on you for telling poor people that they have control over their lives!
I've written an entire article talking about this before and the topic is quite heated. You have some people backing me and agreeing with what I'm saying and then you have some people that think I'm a privileged white guy who has had everything handed to me my whole life simply because of the color of my skin.
So are people poor because of their environment or because of choices? Of course the answer is mixed. I think everyone will agree on that. So then the question becomes, well, which one is it more? Are people poor more because of their environment or are people poor more because of choices, or more specifically, bad choices they've made? I obviously am of the opinion that it is mostly due to choices that people make.
And if you agree with this then this article isn't for you.
If you agree that poor people, as all people, are pretty much responsible for their decisions that they make in life then that means that these people are accountable to the decisions they make. This means that people are adults who are actually capable of making mistakes and taking ownership of bad and good decisions. This means that if people mess up it isn't always because they were a victim or because they came from a bad environment. This means that if people mess up then it is usually on them and not some external factor outside of their control. Yes, of course there are exceptions. Yes, of course it's not always 100% on them. I get that. But it most certainly is not 100% not on them. It's not even 50% not on them. Most of the time it is on them. And if you disagree with this then let's continue based on the thesis that people are not responsible for their own choices.
If people are poor by circumstance and don't have agency over their choices then we can't possibly allow them to vote. Voting is for people who have the ability to make choices. If people just end up wherever the wind takes them and life is basically one giant lottery then we can't possibly change our situation. If this is the case then we must accept the following about poor people:
Poor people are not responsible for their choices.
If this is the case then we can't possibly let poor people vote. If poor people can't actually take responsibility for choices that lead to poverty then they can't take responsibility for votes that affect their life in any way. These are people that are incapable of making choices on their own, or more specifically, being held accountable for the decisions they make. This isn't my standard. This is the standard of people saying that poor people are victims and it's not their choice to be poor.
We don't let children vote because they are not responsible.
Children aren't mature adults who are responsible for their actions. Children don't have the foresight to fully understand the effects of their actions. We know that children are easy to manipulate and fool which is why we don't give them full agency over their decisions. This is also why children face different penalties for wrong actions they may do. Children are not fully responsible for their actions which is why we don't let them vote. The same thing can be said about poor people who are not responsible for their actions.
If poor people are not responsible for their choices because they lack education then we clearly can't have poor people voting. Many people will say that poor people make bad choices, or are not responsible for their bad choices, because they don't have access to the education that rich people have. First of all, this is pretty false, especially these days when even poor people have access to the Internet. But let's assume that it is true.
If poor people lack education because of the environment they were born into then do we want uneducated people voting? If they're not responsible for decisions they make in their everyday life because they failed to receive proper education then why do we want them voting on topics that they are not properly educated on? Do we want educated people voting or uneducated people voting? I'm not trying to be rude about it, but this is the logical conclusion of what people are promoting. If people are not responsible for decisions they make in life because they lack education and proper training how can we expect them to be responsible for decisions they make in voting?
Why do we hold this duplicitous viewpoint? Why this contradiction?
We're literally treating poor people like children and then thinking it is okay for children to vote. I'm over here telling poor people they're not children and they are responsible. So which is it?
Yes, I can hear it already:
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?
DUDE, ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?
YOU ARE SO UNBELIEVABLY DUMB!!!
You might say but then we'll just have a ton of rich people getting even more control over the society. Rich people already run the country and they will just seize even more control if we get rid of poor people voting. If poor people don't vote then rich people will just screw the poor people, the very people who shouldn't be getting screwed and can't afford to be screwed. Okay, let's dissect this a little bit more.
The whole idea of everyone having an equal vote irrespective of education, property or other metrics is a relatively new concept. Originally in America it was only property owners who had the ability to vote -- i.e., non-poor people. You don't have to be rich to have property, however, most people with property probably aren't poor. And people with property probably have a decent education. And there is a good reason why America operated this way: if you don't have property why is it any of your business on how people who do have property handle their property?
If you don't own property why is it your concern on how a tax or a law should work concerning what property of others gets transfered to you?
It clearly isn't.
Radio host Jim Quinn sums this up nicely:
Now, back in the day, when this was the law of the land, anybody who wanted to vote needed to step up to the plate, achieve, get a stake in America, and then vote. I know you think this is anti-democratic. Well, actually it is anti-democratic because you don't want a democracy. Democracy is mob rule. You want a republic. Originally, if you didn't own land, you didn't vote, and there was a good reason for it: because those without property will always vote away the property of other people unto themselves, and that's the beginning of the end. But, oh no, that was -- that was just too mean-spirited.
There are many more poor people who make use of tax dollars than rich people. To put it simply, rich people pay taxes while poor people consume taxes. Taxes are a win for the poor and a loss for the rich. So rich people basically pay for poor people. I'm not saying this is a bad thing in itself, but I'm saying rich, or rather, non-poor people are the ones who pay all the taxes. So without rich people to pay for taxes poor people would really be in trouble, or at least need to depend much more on themselves.
Now, people vote in their own, personal best interest. This is human nature and it is obvious. Rich people want to pay less in taxes. Poor people want rich people to pay more in taxes so that they will have more taxes coming to themselves. It's a well known fact that Democratic/Liberal policies favor the welfare state which is why so many poor people are Democrats. Poor people vote more Democratic because they want the state to take resources from the rich in the form of taxes and transfer them over to themselves.
This now gets into an economic discussion, which isn't really the point of this article, but suffice to say rich people obviously have a better understanding of economics. Rich people are better with money and know how to create more of it. Rich people know how to create wealth. No, I'm not talking about crony capitalist wall street bankers who leverage fiat currency. I'm talking about the vast majority of rich people: creative, hard-working entrepreneurs who have earned their wealth.
Not every rich person is a stereotypical asshole. In fact, the vast majority of rich people are honest, resourceful, kind and charitable.
But another thing the majority of rich people are is forward-thinking. Most rich people know economics and know what creates wealth and what works long term. This is usually why they are rich in the first place. And because of this they know that government programs that redistribute wealth are a long term disaster. They get it. It's not that hard to figure out. But when you're on the receiving end of government taxes and when you've been told your whole life that the only reason other people are rich is because you're poor then it shapes the way you view rich people and the whole world. When you believe that you're an actual victim because of rich people then you want to do everything you can to take their money. And you also don't care about the long term consequences of this.
Margaret Thatcher said it best:
"The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money"
And rich people know this. Poor people may know this as well but they don't care. They don't care about the future. They care about having enough money right now to carry on with their immediate life. Some of this is precisely why many of them are poor to begin with.
So we have to understand that everyone will vote to their own best interest. And the best interest of poor people is to take as much as they can from the rich. If you're allowing poor people to vote to take away money from the rich in the form of welfare why would they not vote for it? And why would this not encourage even more people to become poor?
When we have poor people voting they are going to trend to take away the money of rich people.
The problem is, rich people are much more effective at spending money. When you use money for government welfare programs you are getting less bang for the buck. There are unseen losses that nobody talks about and unless you have a certain level of insight, which many people do not have, you'll never see it. You can spend money a number of ways. And not all ways of spending it are equal.
More government spending on welfare programs to take care of poor people is just going to encourage more poor people. It's going to discourage poor people actually taking care of themselves or finding ways to become wealthy. It's going to discourage other types of charity outside of government which will more efficiently use the money and also more efficiently help poor people get out of poverty.
The point I'm trying to make is to show that poor people don't always have their own best interest at hand. We've all heard the saying: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Simple. Stop being poor. Unable to stop being poor? Then you don't possess the criteria necessary for voting. This is what I am saying.
People go from poor to middle class all the time in the modern world. This happens on a daily basis. People shift their financial class based on decisions they make every day. All you need to do is work towards it each day until you accomplish it. And working towards it means you need to stop making excuses for yourself. Working towards ending your own poverty means changing the way you view the world and yourself. Working towards wealth means taking responsibility for yourself and your actions. Instead of blaming others you need to start blaming yourself for where you are.
When we vote we are letting people who have a stake in something determine what to do with that something. With early America property owners were determining what to do with their property. They were determining what the state, not federal, government should do with the funds contributed by property owners. In many ways this is an improvement over how we currently do it because it doesn't allow good intentions to destroy the people who actually create jobs, wealth, innovation and improve the standard of living (rich people).
When you have a car you don't let other people determine what to do with your car. It's your car. You decide what to do with your property. Why should voting be any different? Why is it understood that you shouldn't be allowed to mess with somebody else's car but you should be allowed to mess with somebody else's money via taxation? Because we all voted for it? Get it -- voted for it. Maybe that should have never been on the table for voting to begin with. And in early America it wasn't.
If we are going to let poor people have a say in what to do with property they don't have then we should allow rich people to have a say in what to do with property they do have.
If poor people can vote to take money from rich people then rich people should be able to vote to not pay taxes for poor people.
And this is how it worked earlier on. This is exactly what was going on.
But of course the cries of people trying to make rich people feel guilty eventually took hold and things slowly started to change. Eventually rich people were convinced that they were bad people for working to become rich and then choosing how to use their taxes. Instead, non-property owners needed to be included in the mix of voting. And so the barrier for voting became lower and lower until now all that's required is a pulse, if that. Now anyone can vote. It's a basic "human right". Right. Okay.
Here is the view many people have on poor people:
If these are true then poor people shouldn't be voting. Again, we don't allow children to vote for precisely these reasons. So if you're going to play the victim card on poor people, and not hold them accountable to their decisions, then you need to revoke their voting ability. This is something people who are able to make good decisions can do, or at the very least, somebody who is going to take responsibility for their decisions.
Poor people need to take some responsibility for their lives. I know all day long the media and governmental institutions feed poor people with the BS that they are victims. No you're not. You're a human being capable of making good and bad decisions just like everyone else. We all come from different starting points and we all face challenges. Some of us face harder challenges than others. So what? Own up to the decisions you make, including the bad ones. Stop acting like and using the same excuses as a child.
I'm on your side, but you're not.Filed under: Politics / Government, The Point of No Return, Victim of Life, But What About The Poor People?, Doing Bad While Feeling Good, Good Intentions / Bad Education