Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Should you squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle or from the end?
ThisDinosaur
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by ThisDinosaur » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:02 am

@Edith
But it would work both ways. Maybe you think farmers or fossil fuel companies should be subsidized for food or energy security. But the corporate farmers and oil men receiving subsidies are biased, and should have less say in the decision.

I think a democracy should work like a mutual insurance company. A community of people pay into a common pool because there is a nonzero chance that they may need to take from it some day. Taxes bills are premiums, social security is longevity insurance, welfare is income insurance, etc... The two glaring discrepancies are that participation is compulsory vs. voluntary and there is no solvency incentive in government. This analogy is a very different thing than the class warfare perspective of taking from the permanent rich to give to the permanent poor. Thats an us vs them mentality as opposed to a community decision mentality.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:59 am

I object to any voting scheme that does not, at least, give me the right to vote based on the approximately $200/yr property tax I am paying on my garden lots :lol:

My general point being that votes distributed on basis of taxes paid is not exactly in alignment with ERE. For instance, could an individual enter polling place with proof of consumption sales tax paid for year, and be granted voting rights?

trfie
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by trfie » Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:48 pm

Riggerjack wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:28 am
First, I am always against compulsion. Not on moral grounds but efficiency grounds (nearly identical for me, but I am a bit different from norms). Making anything compulsory is efficient for the decision maker, and extremely inefficient for EVERYONE else. There are better (more efficient) incentives. So no, I wouldn't make voting compulsory, it would be self defeating to force people to participate.

As to worries about the rich having undue influence if votes were proportional to taxes, how is it different from today? The difference as I see it is to have a solid voter identification system, and moves the influence of money on politics from the back rooms into the open. The added benefit of people making governance decisions at the same time they are focused on the costs of those decisions is purely coincidental. :geek:

Plus, there's the precious irony of SJWs complaining the the upper middle class (aka the rich) are paying too much tax. Worth the change for that alone. :ugeek:
It's true that the rich control everything now, in a democratic system, and that it would be the case in tax-based voting. But I don't believe either of those make sense. The government is supposed to reflect the population. So sortition, which was used in ancient Greece, merits consideration. Persons are randomly selected from the population. It means that the government would exactly represent the population - based on gender, socioeconomic status, occupation, gender identity, and so on. Not the situation now where the government is predominantly white, male, lawyers, and very wealthy (plurality, not majority). It also means no influence of money. Politicians cannot be bought because no one knows who it is going to be, and once they are in office it is too late because they have limited terms. No elections means no special interest groups funding their candidate, which means that ppl serve the people, not the special interest groups that got them elected, and to whom they are indebted. Also everyone has an incentive to help her neighbor, because that could be the next congressperson, and in general to help others and society.

In the current system the people who run for office are those who want money and power, not the kind of people who are really needed in government. There is a real lack of diversity in terms of occupation, which really affects problem-solving because there are no experts on any of the issues that need to be solved. Approval ratings of government in the US has been very low for a long time, but would have to reflect the population with sortition. It's unimaginable to think that with sortition we would have had many decades of wars in the Middle East.

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Bankai
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Bankai » Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:21 pm

trfie wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:48 pm
It also means no influence of money. Politicians cannot be bought because no one knows who it is going to be, and once they are in office it is too late because they have limited terms. No elections means no special interest groups funding their candidate, which means that ppl serve the people, not the special interest groups that got them elected, and to whom they are indebted.
What makes you think that you can only corrupt people before they are in the office?

trfie wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:48 pm
Also everyone has an incentive to help her neighbor, because that could be the next congressperson, and in general to help others and society.
Similar to how now everyone has an incentive to help her neighbour because that could be the next lottery winner? (both are roughly equally [un]likely)

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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by trfie » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:51 pm

Bankai wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:21 pm
What makes you think that you can only corrupt people before they are in the office?
Because these are not career politicians. They will not have done anything similar in their life. With being so busy trying to figure out what the legislative procedure is, and how to fulfill their daily responsibilities, they are not going to have much time to get courted by a gazillion special interest groups that are all trying to reach them at the same time, because it is going to be a new cohort after their term is up. I imagine they would just shut off all the outside special interest contacts.
Bankai wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:21 pm
Similar to how now everyone has an incentive to help her neighbour because that could be the next lottery winner? (both are roughly equally [un]likely)
No, the odds are not at all similar. There must be tens of thousands of elected officials when you add up the local, state, and federal levels. The odds of winning the lottery are in the millions?

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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by jacob » Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:42 am

trfie wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:51 pm
Because these are not career politicians. They will not have done anything similar in their life. With being so busy trying to figure out what the legislative procedure is, and how to fulfill their daily responsibilities, they are not going to have much time to get courted by a gazillion special interest groups that are all trying to reach them at the same time, because it is going to be a new cohort after their term is up. I imagine they would just shut off all the outside special interest contacts.
Or maybe lacking any real interest or understanding of government they'll just listen and follow whichever lobbyist or aide they talked to most recently? Since they'll be out anyway come next "random election" they might feel no long term commitment to [trade or defense] treaties and tear them up left and right and randomly? They might start wars on a whim. They also might just not care about governing and decide to spend much of their time playing golf or hanging out at their vacation home. Alternatively, they might use the position to further their own interests hiring friends family members for positions they too lack any qualifications for like putting their nephew in charge of solving the Palestinian problem or maybe just having their son meet from foreign agents. There's also the inevitable book deal and the money that fame brings, so maybe they would just focus on personal brand building instead of governing. Conversely a randomly elected politician might just spend the time implementing laws or making deals with foreign governments to help their personal business.

Of course it's hard to imagine things going that bad ... I'm probably just being cynical :?

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BRUTE
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by BRUTE » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:30 pm

what if the problem is not the demos, but the cracy? all the different forms are just putting lipstick on a pig.

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Bankai
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Bankai » Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:28 pm

trfie wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:51 pm
Because these are not career politicians. They will not have done anything similar in their life. With being so busy trying to figure out what the legislative procedure is, and how to fulfill their daily responsibilities, they are not going to have much time to get courted by a gazillion special interest groups that are all trying to reach them at the same time, because it is going to be a new cohort after their term is up. I imagine they would just shut off all the outside special interest contacts.
That's a very naive vision. What you are suggesting is letting a random selection of individuals run the country. What this means is:

1) Since 40% of Americans can't cover $400 emergency expense, this population would be very susceptible to lobbying/corruption... vote few times in a way someone kindly asks and be set for life... hell yeah!

2) Average IQ in this group would be 100 and about several % would be classified as 'cognitively impaired'

3) 27% will not have read a single book in the prior 12 months. Instead, your average congressman would have watched a whopping 1850 hours of TV in the previous year

I could go on with this, but the point is even if something worked 2.5k years ago, it doesn't mean it would work now. The world is many orders of magnitude more complex now than it was back then.
No, the odds are not at all similar. There must be tens of thousands of elected officials when you add up the local, state, and federal levels. The odds of winning the lottery are in the millions?
They are the same for practical purposes. No one is going to change their behaviour towards another person based on a minuscule chance of them being 'drawn', no matter if the chance is 1/25000 or 1/2500000.

ZAFCorrection
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by ZAFCorrection » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:59 pm

I assume that it is taken as a given that there should not be any referenda on whether to start a nuclear war, which suggests a reasonable approach. Everyone can vote, but not everyone can vote on everything. In fact, the things/people that people can vote on should be extremely limited, i.e., local representatives who in turn vote on local issues and elect representatives for larger regions. An example of an improvement would be the repeal of the 17th Amendment to the US constitution.

Ideally, people would only be voting on issues that are fairly close to their area of knowledge, assuming the average Joe can keep himself educated on local issues and representatives can likewise be somewhat familiar with issues related to the next higher governmental structure. So federalism with lots of layers.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:34 pm

@7w5, you paid 200 in state and local taxes, your vote would be proportional. I am guessing that you paid no Federal taxes, and your vote would be proportional. See how this changes the game?

@ Jacob
All Federal elections totalled 6.5 billion in expenditures in 2016. Federal spending was 4 trillion the following year. Assuming that some of the electioneering money was spent on a losing candidate, for simplicity of math, let's just say 4 billion was spent on winners.

If someone gives a dollar to a politician, for a chance to dip his beak, he only needs to redirect one dollar in a thousand to break even. This math only works because we allow political contribution to happen behind closed doors. In other words, the rich can only outbid us because their money goes to politicians, and our money goes to taxes.

The Koch brothers and all their croneys weren't able to come up with a billion, between all of em. Political contribution is small potatoes compared to taxes. If a rich person wants to buy an election, so much the better. Spend the money, buy the election, and keep spending the next election and the next. Either the unpopular choice will stop us from paying taxes to support a bought decision, or the election result gets reversed in 2 years.

Political contributions are just a drop in the bucket, if they were dropped in the same bucket...

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:55 am

Riggerjack wrote:@7w5, you paid 200 in state and local taxes, your vote would be proportional. I am guessing that you paid no Federal taxes, and your vote would be proportional. See how this changes the game?
Well, I guess I would commence to behave as though I was no longer under the jurisdiction of those governments to the extent that my vote was not proportionally represented, so in general it would tend towards the creation of an anarchist-libertarian society?

ThisDinosaur
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by ThisDinosaur » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:07 am

No representation without taxation. But if you dont represent me, I'm not following your damn rules.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:11 am

Well, I guess I would commence to behave as though I was no longer under the jurisdiction of those governments to the extent that my vote was not proportionally represented, so in general it would tend towards the creation of an anarchist-libertarian society?
That's one way of looking at it.

Another would be that this changes the game from one of everyone pays, and a few benefit by using outside funds to divert the flow of money, and everyone tries to minimize her own tax; to one where everyone benefits, and is rewarded for participating.

If one cares about election results, maybe one would look to shoulder some of the burden, oneself, rather than trying to maximize one's own goals at the expense of others.

If one cheats or aggressively avoids taxes, influence is equally avoided.

The dead would only vote once, in the election of the year of death. TX could benefit from this "the dead can only vote once" rule. For that matter, we have had some elections in WA that were swung by the dead... But voter registration isn't an issue when one votes with a tax return.

Currently, Senate seats cost millions. Because they are worth millions. If we want to reduce the influence of money on politics, the only way is to shine daylight upon it. That means providing a legit path for influence, and harshly punishing transgressions. The rich can buy our system, simply because they are buying direct, they aren't bidding against us. And we allow this.

Now if the Koch brothers want a bill, they kick in some campaign money, and it gets written for them. Then they spread the money wider and swing some votes, and they only have to compete against other lobbies. This makes buying laws cheap.

But if they had to buy votes directly, they would buy them at the same rate we pay. At retail, a billion over 2 years is very little money.

At the other end of the scale, 47% of Americans pay no income tax. But they pay SS, and cap gains, etc. Tax dollars are tax dollars, and count in elections at the level that they are paid. But more to the point, would 47% of Americans tolerate not having a voice in elections? I don't think they would. And I think that getting the bottom of the income scale involved in governance would be a good idea.

Really, I think this is about empowering the middle class in politics. They pay the taxes, they should have the influence. Until the free riders want to buy in.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:57 pm

Right now, we have about a 50% turnout for a presidential election, less for others, far less for local elections.

The reason is easy to see. People don't think their vote counts. And for good reason, we don't count all the votes. Not all the votes we count should. Some of the votes of the dead are legit, but every election has illegitimate votes. Some would argue that even requiring ID of voters is somehow wrong.

Tying votes to tax returns fixes all of this. One knows exactly how much one's vote counts for. One knows that one's vote will be counted, and one will pay taxes, regardless, so one doesn't have to take extra time to vote in a small window of time, after waiting in line. Nobody votes, expecting the costs to be picked up by someone else.

Also, because this ties voting to taxes, it gets easier for people to pass local and state issues, rather than national. This means local and state projects can be more effectively funded by local and state budgets. Less oversight and compliance between levels of government, and a larger fraction of the cost of a project can go to the project, rather than intergovernmental overhead. But that's just a side effect.

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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by heyhey » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:37 pm

Sometimes people are right that their vote doesn't count, as I think you have basically the same situation we have, where you are voting within a region. If you know you are in the overwhelming minority for your region (a Labour voter in a safe Tory seat, a Democrat voter in an always Republican state, or vice versa) then your vote doesn't count. It won't be added in to a total in the way it is in nations that have proportional representation.

I used to agree with universal suffrage. Then we had the Brexit vote and it shook me to the core, and now I wonder. Is it really OK for a decision like that to be made by people's whims on one day, and how much did any of us really understand the issues when we voted for or against something that will affect our nation's prosperity for decades. Should that decision have been made by people who were just placing a bet for their own benefit as they saw it? I guess though that I still believe there is no better system.

Regarding what you say about tying votes to tax returns. I don't know how it works in the US, but in the UK, a lot of people do tax returns who still end up paying no tax. And a lot of people who are employed don't have to do a tax return because it's taken care of through their employer. The people who would be disempowered by relating voting to tax returns would be the dependants, wives especially. I wouldn't be in favour of that.

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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Nomad » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:02 am

All adults in good standing should be allowed to vote.
For me that would mean anyone who isn't currently in jail.

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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by trfie » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:49 am

jacob wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:42 am
They might start wars on a whim.
Really? The average person you run into on the street is going to decide to start a war with another country? Keep in mind most Americans cannot identify the US on a map (or at least a large number).
jacob wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:42 am
They also might just not care about governing and decide to spend much of their time playing golf or hanging out at their vacation home.
Since when does the average American have a vacation home or know how to play golf? The average American is not a multi-millionaire.
jacob wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:42 am
There's also the inevitable book deal and the money that fame brings...
There is no fame because it did not mean anything to get in office, and no one is going to buy the book of a random Jill in Congress.

All your points seem custom-designed with the career politician in mind.

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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by trfie » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:00 am

Bankai wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:28 pm
That's a very naive vision. What you are suggesting is letting a random selection of individuals run the country. What this means is:

1) Since 40% of Americans can't cover $400 emergency expense, this population would be very susceptible to lobbying/corruption... vote few times in a way someone kindly asks and be set for life... hell yeah!

2) Average IQ in this group would be 100 and about several % would be classified as 'cognitively impaired'

3) 27% will not have read a single book in the prior 12 months. Instead, your average congressman would have watched a whopping 1850 hours of TV in the previous year

I could go on with this, but the point is even if something worked 2.5k years ago, it doesn't mean it would work now. The world is many orders of magnitude more complex now than it was back then.


They are the same for practical purposes. No one is going to change their behaviour towards another person based on a minuscule chance of them being 'drawn', no matter if the chance is 1/25000 or 1/2500000.
For all the negative cherry-picked points, there are as many positives. As mentioned, the % of engineers, teachers, software engineers, doctors, farmers are going to be represented. So there will be expertise in every field that needs decisions made on. There would be just as many extremely smart people as those who are cognitively impaired. Congresspeople hardly read any books at all. Their ignorance is staggering.

You are completely underestimating the corruption of the current politicians, who are taking in millions from special interest groups. While a random sample would be susceptible to lobbying/corruption, there are going to be lobbyists in all directions, so it is impossible to think that everyone is going to sway the same way. And there is not time to form long-term relationships, whereas look at the length of the corrupt relationships in Congress. To think that they are all going to unify in some corrupt purpose is ridiculous.

The jury system is based on the same principle.

It is clear that the system i proposed is very different to what we have now. So the question is, overall is it going to be better or worse than what we have now? No one said it would be perfect. It's inconceivable to think that we would be having wars in the Middle East for 50 years with sortition.

Keep in mind that Americans are very opinionated, and in all directions. There are ppl against abortion and for it. Ppl against the death penalty and for it. Ppl against big government and ppl for it. So again the idea that some lobbyist is going to convince pro-lifers to favor abortion, etc, is silly.

If nothing is accomplished in this system, the country would be better off. What is the point of having so many trillions in debt, wouldn't that money have been better spent by individuals, rather than turning it over to the government to fritter away, or in causing death and destruction?

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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by jacob » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:10 am

trfie wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:49 am
All your points seem custom-designed with the career politician in mind.
Actually I had a particular and rather conspicuous non-career politician in mind. Shouldn't be too hard to guess who.

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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by trfie » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:18 am

Bankai wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:28 pm
The world is many orders of magnitude more complex now than it was back then.
Curious how the world has gotten many orders of magnitude more complex, but people have not changed at all in thousands of years, including in their knowledge.

Presumably you would not be opposed to sortition at the local level, eg city/town. In those elections, the only qualification ppl have is that by and large they have lived in their community. They don't have specific knowledge in how the electricity grid works, how to create schedules for trash pickup, or any other things that happen on that level. At the federal level, politicians by and large have no relevant experience in problem-solving or even what it means to work a regular job. Look at Paul Ryan's comments about someone saving a few bucks a week and Trump's comments about market rate for rentals in DC. These people are so out of touch with reality that it would be better to have someone who has a background in a field, or knows what it means to work a job.

But more importantly, ppl running for office are those that want money and power. These are exactly the people who should not be in office. Is someone who is greedy and covetous less likely to be corruptly influenced than someone who is not so power-hungry? It's not the case that richer people are less susceptible to influence. There are a number of opinions:
https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2 ... orruptible

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