Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Socialism in the Ballot Box

Daily I get some bizarre ideas across my desk for show topics and the latest I have found has taken the cake. There is a relatively new site out there called Votesizing.com. The thesis of the site is simple -- the value or power of a vote should be adjusted according to income level.

So if someone is poor, working class, and financially struggling, they would actually have a more "weighted" vote that those who are financially successful. The more you make, the less power you have.

This is a ridiculous proposition on so many levels, it is difficult to begin. The policy is, simply, anti-American. Our political system, built on concepts such as "equal justice under law" simply makes a policy such as this contrary to our core values.

Also, if the poor had more power, America would likely become more poor. They would continue to vote for politicians who would promote distributionist policies that would make the corporations that can fight poverty extinct. As Ronald Reagan liked to say, "the best social program is a job." Businesses create jobs, "Vote sizing' would destroy business

If anything, I get the impression that the most affluent may be under represented. Consider the following breakdown of who pays what in taxes:

* The top 5 percent of wage earners pay over 50 percent of the tax bill.

* The top 10 percent pay over 64 percent of the total tax bill.

* The top 50 percent pay over 96 percent of the tax bill.

That leaves 50 percent paying around 4 percent of the tax burden.

"Vote sizing" will simply make more Americans poor as politicians pander to that group. There are already "poverty pimps" whose political fortunes depend on people being poor and who promote excessive taxation, artificial wage increases, and other irresponsible policies that preserves poverty. "Vote sizing" will make it worse.

John Stuart Mill, the great classical economist, proposed a radical idea. He argued that the only way one could keep government fiscally responsible is to take the vote away from voters who receive government support -- be they rich corporations receiving subsidies or the poor. Now that is the kind of radical idea I would find interesting.

Best selling author Ken Blanchard recently revealed the secrets of entrepreneurship on a Houston Business Show. Receive a free copy of the complete program by emailing Info@HoustonBusinessShow.com.

Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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