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Post 0

Friday, March 6 - 3:43pmSanction this postReply
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The most basic problem is that in a politically mixed economy, everyone is on “welfare” one way or another. Do you never use the United States Postal Service? Do you never use the public streets? Have you never attended a public school? In the context of positive welfare, are you a government-licensed engineer, barber, electrician, school teacher, or undertaker (or any of 50 other occupations commonly regulated for the monopolistic benefit of their practitioners)?

Now, that is a statement lacking logical rigor.  It equates using the post office with means-tested welfare. The U.S. Postal Service should be completely privatized, but in the meantime, we needn't worry that large numbers of people are choosing a political candidate for national office so they can continue to buy stamps at the post office.  But it is reasonable to imagine people voting for a certain candidate because he will continue the means-tested welfare programs that pays them thousands of dollars a month.

 

The argument was to target those large categories of people with a conflict of interest that was significant and specific and would affect which candidate they voted for.

 

The context was voting for candidates for national office.  The issue of state and local voting laws weren't being discussed. But the principle remains the same: If there is a strong conflict of interest, then the person shouldn't be allowed to vote. Ask yourself this question, "Is it just that the vote be used to take from some to be given to others?"

 

The purpose of the vote isn't to fulfil a 'right' held by someone just because they were born in the US and live in some part of the country. And it isn't about justice for a given individual. The purpose is to establish a check on government's tendency to act as if it were soveriegn, and not the individual. The government does so by growing larger and larger and it attempt to 'buy' influence with some voters by paying them money. This means significant amounts of means-tested welfare. Voting is a mechanism, like the checks and balances of dividing legislative, judicial and administrative functions.

 

How one would toggle on or off a given category of citizens voting status, based upon how much welfare is received or from what programs... that's just details. The principle is to protect the validity of voting by eliminating, as much as is reasonably possible, conflict of interest.

 

You imply that Jules and Bill were just asserting their feelings, but that you are here to set them straight with your objective reasoning. Don't you think that's a bit condescending of an assumption on your part?
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Finally, the only real answer to this is to end all government attempts to hand out other people's money for any reason other than the protection of individual rights.  I doubt that we could ever tweak the voting categories or methods in any way that would lead towards better government.  The only way to really improve government is to educate people as to what better government is.  



Post 1

Friday, March 6 - 5:33pmSanction this postReply
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One day an Anarchocapitalist, the next day a collectivist.  A little cognitive dissonance goes a long way MEM?  Some days I wonder if you are in fact batshit crazy, then you write something like this and all doubts are swept away..



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Post 2

Saturday, March 7 - 3:59amSanction this postReply
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I am afraid I am partially to blame for this current flame exchange since I suggested here that suffrage ought not to be universal.

 

This prompted the subsequent dialogue on that thread that motivated the current MEM article.

 

What I had in mind with my remark was some kind of basic "licensing" test similar to the test immigrants must take to become United States citizens.  Why in the world outsiders have to "earn" the license to vote while everyone else "deserves" it eludes me.  Supposedly those raised here from birth will "understand" American voting through assimilation and government schooling.  Clearly this offers no guarantee that the average citizen will have a clue about what constitutes good government.



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Post 3

Saturday, March 7 - 7:40amSanction this postReply
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Luke,

 

I agree that having immigrants prove they've earned citizenship while others, who have done nothing but be born here are automatically citizens doesn't make sense.  

 

It would be better if a person had a right to life-time residency, no matter where they are born as long as at least one of their parents has life-long residency or citizenship.  So citizenship would be something different, something that was added onto life-long residency and it would only be confered on those who study and then pass a test on capitalism and our constitutional republic - no matter where they were born and no matter what the status of their parents.

 

And the difference between citizenship and life-long residency would not be very much - maybe just being eligible to hold a national elected office and voting.



Post 4

Saturday, March 7 - 11:46amSanction this postReply
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Steve, you and I are in basic agreement.

 

MEM, I think the Heinlein idea of military service as a citizenship requisite has some merit but also bears the risks associated with having militarism inextricably tied to citizenship.  I never read Starship Troopers but gather from the movie that things got so bad in the future under unbridled liberal democracy that conditions warranted a military coup.  I would hope our descendants could develop something better that focused more on productive mental effort and less on brute force muscle.



Post 5

Saturday, March 7 - 5:52pmSanction this postReply
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(So, Luke, granted that how you vote is nobody's business, have you ever voted for Bill Nelson?)

 

I have no problem with objective requirements for voting.  I think that postive requirements - poll tax, civics and citizenship knowledge tests, etc., etc. - have more merit than prohibitions.  For instance, felony disenfranchisement is problematic.  

 

The explanation in Starship Troopers is that when you vote, you call upon the full power of the state do your bidding, and no one should be allowed to do that who does not understand the consequences.  I point out that in the 6th century BCE and forward, the citizens of Greek cities who voted to go war were the men who would fight in the war.  We might consider applying that to our own government.  

 

Alternately, it might be argued that no one directly employed by a govenrment should be allowed to vote in elections at that level or in that jurisdiction of govenment. Police, teachers, and others would not be allowed to vote in those elections.  The problem with disenfranchising public school teachers is that taxes for schools are collected by both local and state governments.  So, they might actually be allowed vote in county and township elections, but not city or state.  It gets complicated. 

 

What if you work for Boeing? If a company sells to a government, should the employees be barred from voting in elections for that jurisdication?  Again, it gets overly complicated.  That is why I prefer positive requirements rather than prohibitions. 

 

As for welfare and voting ...  Should people on social security or people with kids in public schools be allowed to vote?  Steve jumped on the USPS and I agree that no on picks candidates who promise low-cost postage, but that concrete was only illustrative of the problem.  It is wider than that, as I trust that everyone knew.

 

Voting and the Public Largess

A Bipartisan Nation of Beneficiaries

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/12/18/a-bipartisan-nation-of-beneficiaries/

The survey also finds that most Democrats (60%) and Republicans (52%) say they have benefited from a major entitlement program at some point in their lives. So have nearly equal shares of self-identifying conservatives (57%), liberals (53%) and moderates (53%).

The issue of entitlements moved to center stage during the 2012 presidential campaign. The survey finds that among those who voted for President Obama last month, 59% say they’ve benefited from a major entitlement program. It also finds that 53% of those who supported Mitt Romney have benefited from a major entitlement program.

 

 

The politics and demographics of food stamp recipients

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/07/12/the-politics-and-demographics-of-food-stamp-recipients/

"The share of food stamp beneficiaries swells even further when respondents are asked if someone else living in their household had ever received food stamps. According to the survey, about three in ten Democrats (31%) and about half as many Republicans (17%) say they or someone in their household has benefitted from the food stamp program."

 

Statistical Correlations of GDP Per Capita, Welfare, and Voting by State

Posted on November 10, 2012 by jsphfrtz

http://jsphfrtz.com/statistical-correlations-of-gdp-per-capitawelfare-and-voting-by-state/

 

Arizona

Bush

Bush

McCain

Romney

Kentucky

Bush

Bush

McCain

Romney

Maine

Gore

Kerry

Obama

Obama

Michigan

Gore

Kerry

Obama

Obama

Missouri

Bush

Bush

McCain

Romney

Montana

Bush

Bush

McCain

Romney

New Mexico

Gore

Bush

Obama

Obama

Tennessee

Bush

Bush

McCain

Romney

West Virginia

Bush

Bush

McCain

Romney

 

And, finally, we have the states we all whine about.  The places with the lowest GDP per capita (meaning they pay less money into the system by way of taxes) and high welfare recipience (meaning they take more from welfare, compared to what they pay in).  This is where the conventional wisdom falls down.  While 37% are states who vote Democrat, 63% vote Republican!  So everyone talking about how the win for Obama is because of people who want to not work and take handouts and mooch off the government…that’s just nonsense!  63% of the states that do that vote Republican!  Consistently!

http://jsphfrtz.com/statistical-correlations-of-gdp-per-capitawelfare-and-voting-by-state/

 



Post 6

Saturday, March 7 - 6:20pmSanction this postReply
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...it might be argued that no one directly employed by a govenrment should be allowed to vote in elections at that level or in that jurisdiction of govenment. Police, teachers, and others would not be allowed to vote in those elections. 

 

I believe that those directly employed by a government should not vote at that level of jurisdiction.  It wouldn't bother me if exceptions were made for police and military.  But trying to fiddle with all the details, or trying to carry the conflict of interest principle down into the weeds with minor numbers of voters (like Boeing) feels academic.

 

School teachers should not be public employees, since schools shouldn't be public.  And all the different welfare programs simply shouldn't be, and the massive numbers of government employees should be working in the private sector.  

 

All of this discussion of applying a conflict of interest principle in this way, or in that way, is somewhat academic since moving towards ever smaller government reduces the harm that comes from not having that principle.  Getting the right kind of government is the primary thrust, then tweaking the different checks and balances as secondary.



Post 7

Saturday, March 7 - 6:38pmSanction this postReply
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MEM people who work at mcdonalds nor thier immediate family get to play monopoly when those contests are running.  It isn't difficult.



Post 8

Saturday, March 7 - 6:58pmSanction this postReply
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We need to differentiate the here-and-now from the Objectivist Future.  You can claim that people who are on "welfare" should not vote, but as we seem to agree it is complicated by context.  Steve claims that police should be allowed to vote here-and-now, but school teachers should not because in a Perfect World they would not be government employees.

 

 As for Jules' cite to McDonald's and the Monopoly Game, that is totally irrelevant.  McDonald's employees (and their famliies) should be allowed to win.  The game is beyond their control.  Moreover, restaurants may be corporate or franchise, two totally different engagements. McD's made the rule to prevent the perception by their customers of wrong-doing by their employees.  No actual wrong-doing could take place. And many "McDonald's employees" are not McDonald's employees.  It is all perception.  That is totally different from the claim that people who take any money whatsoever from the government - wages, pensions, benefits - should be barred from voting.

 

I understand and appreciate the problem at hand.  I said above that perhaps those directly employed by a jurisdiction should be debarred from voting in that jurisdiction.  I do not know that that is true.  I only suggested it as a point of inquiry; but my interest is in discussion and discovery, nothing more or less.  And I repeat for the nth time that in a mixed economy, we all take benefits from the state: fire protection, EMS, libraries (I am a big one there), licensing of professsions, streets and roads and parks ... 

 

Austin, Texas, has a lot going for it, not the least of which is the Circuit of the Americas Formula One race, subsidized by the State of Texas.  So, if an Objectivist owned a taco stand, would she refuse to serve Formula One fans in town for the race because if she served the taco to the subsidized tourist, she would be morally obligated to surrentder her right to vote?

 

Instead of venting at "welfare" recipients, perhaps we should invest some thought in what a good citizeship test would be?  (I find all the ones online trivial, but I studied from my grandparents' books from the 1930s.)

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 3/07, 7:12pm)



Post 9

Saturday, March 7 - 7:37pmSanction this postReply
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We need to differentiate the here-and-now from the Objectivist Future.

I agree. The logic on this voting issue goes like this:

 

In the Objectivist Future we would have a very tiny government. And there would be no government provided welfare. So, there would not be a large block of voters with a conflict of interest who could shift the vote towards some kind of redistribution.  But, making a rule that government workers couldn't vote would be a minor, but acceptable check helping keep that tiny government from growing larger.

 

In the here-and-now we have a problem that has two parts: One is the very large numbers of people with a conflict of interest who vote for redistributionist policies, and this makes it harder to move the government in the direction of being smaller - to begin moving in the direction of the Objectivist Future.

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Steve claims that police should be allowed to vote here-and-now, but school teachers should not because in a Perfect World they would not be government employees.

Not exactly.  I said I wouldn't object if the police and military could vote.  But I wasn't talking about here-and-now.  I was trying think of what would reasonable approach given those government functions that are key to defending individual rights.  And it was just a thought that I typed as it came into my mind.  It's not a thought that I'm all fired up about that.  And I'm not that excited by the even the larger issue of the limits on the vote as such.  Getting a constitutional government is what has to be done and that needs education to create the number of individual needed to assert their sovergnty effectively.
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And I repeat for the nth time that in a mixed economy, we all take benefits from the state: fire protection, EMS, libraries (I am a big one there), licensing of professsions, streets and roads and parks ...

And I repeat... that's nonsense in this context because we are talking about the PURPOSE of implementing this principle of conflict of interest. The purpose is to prevent elections being driven by LARGE NUMBERS of people who share an interest that is in conflict with individual rights. Marotta can only ask a question about the woman fearing selling a taco to tourist who is viewing a local government sponsored sporting event if he totally drops the context of the purpose which only involves LARGE NUMBERS of people who are voting themselves benefits out of the pockets of others.



Post 10

Sunday, March 8 - 8:16amSanction this postReply
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Exactly Steve!



Post 11

Monday, March 9 - 3:32pmSanction this postReply
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In Post #5 above, I cited sources of facts to show that large numbers of Republicans and conservatives get govenrment welfare.  We went through this before when I submitted statistics showing that self-identified Tea Party participants approve of social security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  

 

Steve's point about means-tested welfare is important.  I think that it supports my point of view specifically because those people must meet objective criteria.  Moreover, if you look at those sources (http://jsphfrtz.com/statistical-correlations-of-gdp-per-capitawelfare-and-voting-by-state/), you will see that overall, the number of people on welfare is small. They really do not constitute a huge block of votes.  Interestingly, the largest proportion is in Washington DC, which has no representation in Congress.   

 

In #5 above, I asked Luke rhetorically if he voted for Bill Nelson. The former NASA mission specialist was a Congressman from the space coast and is now a US senator.  I would be surprised if people who work in and around the Cape complex did not vote for him.  And they should.  He supportst their interests.  That is what Congress is for.  In southern California, the Republican/Conservative base rests on the aerospace industry.  Up north in Silicon Valley, where they get far less direct funding, the computer industry is more liberal.  Moreover, here in Texas, former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison was so adamant a supporter of NASA that she criticized them for contracting space launch to a private firm here in Texas.  (http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2012/03/sen-hutchison-challenges-nasa-spending-on-commercial-spacecraft/) She never had a kind word, not an attaboy, for Space Launch Systems of Houston.  I assume that many NASA employees who voted for her agreed with her.  Now, Ted Cruz is on the Senate Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee. He might be more open to a free market than she was.  In any case, if it is not wrong for Republicans to vote for representatives who support their jobs (and it is not), then how can it be wrong for a mere 1.5% or 2.5% of the voters to prefer candidates who want a firm floor under the poor to prevent undue suffering?  

 

(You can argue against the programs themselves.  You cannot deny people the right to support their own interests.  Newt Gingrich tells of being asked if he did not think it wrong that people traded their food stamps for 75 cents on the dollar so that they could buy alcohol and tobacco.  He said something like, "Of course not.  These people are Americans.  You cannot give an American a negotiable instrument and then complain when they negotiate it for something they want."  He had several proposals for turning welfare around based on the actual values of American culture. One of the programs paid kids a dollar for each book they read.)

 

If you want to limit voting with a poll tax of $100 or $35,000, then that can be a proposal. If you want to let people buy extra votes, that can be a proposal.  Saying that some people should not vote because you do not like them will continue to fail as its many internal contradictions and counterfactual claims are revealed.

 

Finally, in The Anabasis by Xenophon, the Greeks are blocked at a mountain pass by hostile villagers on the high ground.  He calls his Spartans. He says, "You Spartans are raised to be thieves, so go steal that mountain pass for us."  The Spartan laughs.  "You Athenians not only loot your public treasury, you vote into high office anyone who promises to steal even more of it for you.  But, OK, we will take the pass."  The problem is not poor people on welfare.  It is deeper than that.

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 3/09, 3:45pm)



Post 12

Monday, March 9 - 4:02pmSanction this postReply
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There is an awful conflation going on when means-tested welfare is compared to Social Security.  Means-tested welfare, regardless of the number of people or the amount of money (which do matter with the idea of a conflict of interest in voting) is different in principle from social security.  Social Security was pushed onto the public as if it was people paying into an account that they could then draw upon.  We know that the actual financing of social security doesn't work that way, but the principle is that this is your money coming back to you, while the principle behind means-tested welfare is that you have no right to your money when someone else has a need for it.  Progressives want to sneak out redistribution legislation in trojan horses packages where they don't look like redistribution, but then later, they point at what has been passed and say, "well, that isn't any different - it is welfare just like this is" but there are differences and they need to be sorted out and identified.



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Post 13

Monday, March 9 - 4:43pmSanction this postReply
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Since MEM asked, no, I have no recollection of voting for Bill Nelson.  The thing is, anyone who runs and wins in this area has to be pro-space. The whole system is vicious in that way as others have noted.  Better qualifications to vote would curb that trend.



Post 14

Monday, March 9 - 4:56pmSanction this postReply
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As at least some "poor people on welfare" actually vote Republican, you would disenfranchise them, also.  Consider, also, that in 2006, I was elected a precinct delegate frmo Ann Arbor Township to the state GOP convention.  We had people at the $15,000 level, but none of them was poor.  They lived in large - I dare say "huge" - houses, paid off, within limited income but tremendous wealth.  We understand the difference, of course.  However, Steve's point about Social Security is important.  I agree with his assessment.  That is why I look more to Medicare and Medicaid, which are welfare programs enjoyed by old people who are Republicans - and who (unlike the poor) actually do vote.  It is also important to differentiate Medicaid because it is a state-level program.  (The funding can be as it may, qualification is through State government agencies.  

"Here's the problem: poor people actually don't vote that often. According to a CNN exit poll in 2008, those making less than $15,000 a year made up 13 percent of the population but just 6 percent of voters, while those making more than $200,000 a year made up just 3.8 percent of the population but fully 6 percent of voters:

 

Chart of Voting Statistics: the Poor do not Vote

Washington Post here.

I underscore the fact that those numbers are opposite for rich and poor.  The poor make up 13% of the population, but 6% of the voters, whereas the rich make up 3.8% of the population but 6% of the voters.  (Over half of them supported Obama, by the way, perhaps because rich people enjoy government handouts, too; or perhaps for other reasons.  It does seem that the very rich and very poor almost cancel each other out, leaving the decision to the middle class.

 

Steve makes yet another cogent point when he notes that "the principle behind means-tested welfare is that you have no right to your money when someone else has a need for it." That is the basic problem of all government financing.  It might be sine qua non problem of government. I do not want Steve to accuse me of being an anarchist, but if defense is a basic service of the govenrment, and if poor people tend to serve in the military in far greater numbers than the rich, then, yes, once again, some people are sacrificed to benefit others.  That is why (not being an anarchist), I look to a paradigm shift in the broad implicit philosophy of our society.  Just as classical Greece, the Renaissance, and the Enlightment superseded previous cultures, must we bring a new paradigm to the social discourse.

 

As for who should vote, I agree with Steve's two-tiered status: residency is one thing; voting is another.  The devil is in the details.

Luke wrote

Since MEM asked, no, I have no recollection of voting for Bill Nelson. The thing is, anyone who runs and wins in this area has to be pro-space. The whole system is vicious in that way as others have noted. Better qualifications to vote would curb that trend.

 

I applaud your principles.  As I said, it might be right that no one with a direct payment from the government (employees, whatever...) should vote.  We all know that a thousand years ago, Ayn Rand excused her young admirers from guilt over government scholarships.  Should you be banned from voting until your Student Loan is paid off? (Ayn Rand was mute on that point.) And should that not have been a pre-condition, rather than imposed later?  My point is that it is not merely "the poor" who are "welfare recipients" if by that we mean those who benefit from government largesse.

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 3/09, 5:12pm)



Post 15

Monday, March 9 - 5:43pmSanction this postReply
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....if defense is a basic service of the govenrment, and if poor people tend to serve in the military in far greater numbers than the rich, then, yes, once again, some people are sacrificed to benefit others.

With a voluntary military, no one is sacrificed - people choose to join the military or they don't.  Saying that the poor are being sacrificed by the rich is the kind of statement that the far left might bring up to demonize "the rich."  
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I look more to Medicare and Medicaid, which are welfare programs enjoyed by old people who are Republicans - and who (unlike the poor) actually do vote.

Medicare is much like Social Security.  Everyone pays into Medicare - it comes right out of the paycheck and it is for everyone.  The understanding was that you would get that money back when you were retired.   But as everyone here knows, it is really a collectivist, redistribution, control by elitists scheme.

 

Medicaid is a means-tested program that explicitly stands for an altruistic, forced sacrifice of some to the needs of others.  And it is not age-dependent. Even young adults can qualify for Medicaid.
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Should you be banned from voting until you Student Loan is paid off?

There should be no government-provided student loans. That is a function that should only be done by private firms. (That's the proper answer to almost all of these conflicts of interest. Eliminate government involvement in things that aren't about defending individual rights).



Post 16

Tuesday, March 10 - 6:18pmSanction this postReply
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Steve you are evading the issue at hand with calls to ideological idealism.  You claimed that people on "welfare" should not be allowed to vote. You claimed that they always vote to support candidates who advocate for more welfare, i.e., for Democrats. I demonstrated with facts, presented several times, that Republican voters and self-identified conservatives also enjoy government benefits.  I cited facts validating that they vote for candidates who support their favorite programs.  I demonstrated with facts that the number of "welfare" (food stamps, ADF/ADC) recipients who actually do vote is marginal.  I suggested several positive ways to limit voting: by paying a poll tax, or by buying voting shares.  Now you are backpedaling and hand-waving.  

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 3/10, 6:30pm)



Post 17

Tuesday, March 10 - 6:59pmSanction this postReply
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You claimed that they always vote to support candidates who advocate for more welfare...

False.  Look at my words.  I did not say that.  I always framed this issue in terms of a conflict of interest that could alter could the validity of a vote.
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I demonstrated with facts, presented several times, that Republican voters and self-identified conservatives also enjoy government benefits.

And in my reply, I pointed out the difference between means-tested welfare and other benefits and why that matters in this context.
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I demonstrated with facts that the number of "welfare" (food stamps, ADF/ADC) recipients who actually do vote is marginal.

That fact that they vote in fewer numbers than non-welfare recipients does not change the fact that there are votes made and that there is a conflict of interest.
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I suggested several positive ways to limit voting: by paying a poll tax, or by buying voting shares.

Take a look back at the posts.  I suggested a poll tax in the thread that kicked this one off.  I have argued against your suggestion of buying votes on another thread, long ago.  Another of those floating abstraction you appear to like.  And to be clear I'm not trying to limit voting, but to make it serve its proper purpose.  If the voting mechanism showed more integrity and honesty, the number of votes might actually increase.
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Now you are backpedaling and hand-waving.

Nonsense.  That doesn't characterize my arguments in any way.  
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Unless you have a positve proposal, we are an impasse, my dear Vezinni.

I've made several positive proposals. And to be honest, I'm quite happy to be at an impasse since I know I've maintained my intellectual integrity in this discussion.  But, Marotta, I would prefer that you not refer to me as your "dear" anything - I'm not.  And be so kind, or at least as respectful, as to not cast me as a some comic movie character.



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Post 18

Wednesday, March 11 - 12:14amSanction this postReply
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"Should someone who receives a city welfare benefit be deprived of their right to vote in township, county, state, or federal elections?"

 

There really shouldn't be such a thing as 'welfare' benefits in the form tax paid handouts to people not performing any service to the taxpayers but that is a different question, as is the fact that minimum wage laws prevent such people, when they are young, from getting that first job and facing a life of crime or handouts.

 

There does need to be, however, equal protection under the law and if only one group of people is allowed to select law makers, enforcers and judges, other groups are deprived of equal protection.  Some believe that we wouldn't have 'welfare' benefits if recipients couldn't vote.  However, there are plenty of altruistic wealthy and middle income people who believe it is their duty (and everyone else's) to pony up money for the destitute.  'Welfare' benefits are not likely to disappear with voting rights for the poor.

 

A more fair way to do it would be for appropriations of taxpayer monies to be determined by taxpayer-'elected' 'appropriators' - kind of like legislators but with only one power - the power to appropriate tax money.  Appropriators would be selected by taxpayers with each taxpayer's voting weight proportional to the taxes he pays.  The appropriators would have no other power other than appropriation - not even the power to tax.  Since the legislature would be deprived of the power of appropriation (to buy votes), they would be reluctant to tax at all.  Government would thus start shrinking.



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Post 19

Wednesday, March 11 - 12:18pmSanction this postReply
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Hi David,

There does need to be, however, equal protection under the law and if only one group of people is allowed to select law makers, enforcers and judges, other groups are deprived of equal protection. Some believe that we wouldn't have 'welfare' benefits if recipients couldn't vote. However, there are plenty of altruistic wealthy and middle income people who believe it is their duty (and everyone else's) to pony up money for the destitute. 'Welfare' benefits are not likely to disappear with voting rights for the poor.

The equal protection clause doesn't apply. For example, to be the President of the United States you must be at least 35 years old. That applies equally to everyone who tries to become the president, but it doesn't mean that everyone, even people who are less than 35 years old, can be the President and their exclusion isn't a violation of the equal protection clause.

 

And, voting is the same in that only citizens can vote.  And, voting isn't a moral right, but rather a civil right (i.e., a legal right).  For example, it isn't a violation of the equal protection clause to have the law state that to vote you must be a citizen of the US who is 18 years of age or over, and have registered to vote in the current election period.  You can see that this cuts out a great many people yet it is not a violation of equal protection.

 

Equal protection is a concept that differs depending upon the context: Legal rights or Moral rights.

 

Voting is a legal mechanism established for the purpose of limiting government from turning against the people.  The particulars of the law that defines the voting rights needs to arise out of that purpose.

 

You exlude people, equally as groups, who would not serve the voting purpose - these groups for example: people who are not citizens, people who are less than 18 years of age, people who have a conflict of interest due to working for the government.

 

Would you let people who are citizens of, say France, and not citizens or even residents of the US vote?  No.  And that isn't denying anyone protection under the equal protection clause.  Same with turning away a 10 year old even though they are a citizen residing in the US.

 

I have always made the argument that voting is a mechanism to help limit growth of government and limit government abuse of individual rights.  By itself it wouldn't be much of a protection.  It is just one of many mechanisms (e.g., separation of legislative, executive, and judical powers, the various clauses in the bill of rights, the vesting of some powers in the states, etc.)

 

I agree: I don't see elimination of voting for those who are on means-tested welfare as a way to eliminate welfare. That isn't the purpose of that proposed voting limitation and it wouldn't be a practical way to eliminate welfare - it wouldn't work.

 

And I agree with you that altruistic aims can, and would, still be voted in by those not excluded by such a voting limitation.  I just argue that the primary drive must be to eliminate any redistribution laws, and that can only done in a sound, lasting way by an education of the public about rational egoism rather than altruism, and about Capitalism and about the purpose of a constitutional republic.  Then having more specific and purposeful limits on who can vote would make sense (but it is a very, very minor thing by comparison).



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