In general, when one goes to the polls, they are given a list of items to vote yay or nay on. More funding for project X? Yes or no. Slight tax increase for reason Y? Yes or no.
Nick or Kevin for position A1-Z1000? (Because apparently the whole government needs to be voted on even though it’s so huge and no one really knows who is who anyway.)
Many of these items are a decision of who you want to represent you in a given branch of government. Who do you want to run the state executive branch? Who do you want to represent you in the state legislative branch? But the ones that worry me the most are the measures that require funding. I recently read an article about rejecting utopianism that brought up a good point.
Sometimes the market doesn’t do what we like. This got me thinking. Voting day always tries to do something we don’t like, and if more than 50% of the votes are yes, I have to pay for it. Wouldn’t it be great if voting was done the same way the market works, to vote with your dollar?
Let’s say that instead of a single yes or no vote, you get a dollar amount vote. You can vote yes as many times as you like, as long as you have the money. That way, if you really want it, you can hedge your bet. Want more funding for public schools? How much, 50 bucks? Okay, write a check to the state on your way out, etc. Want that new public road connecting I-10 to the I-5? How much do you want it?
Voting day could happen several times per year, and it wouldn’t have to be verified so you could do it online. If some foreign entity wants to fund our roads and schools, awesome!
As it stands, every vote you make for a special project, tax increase, or government subsidy, is in and of itself worth hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars of someone else’s money. It’s easy to get someone to spend someone else’s money irresponsibly. You don’t even have to read about the project your funding. The project doesn’t have to convince you it will do any good, the title just has to sound good. For all you know, the project is being completed by the mayor’s nephew’s new business that just started last week before the polls opened.
If you change the funding to a voluntary money-based voting system, taxes would decrease, projects would have to prove themselves to voters, and probably have to show progress to continue getting funding, waste would decrease, and taxation wouldn’t be theft.
This money-based voting system wouldn’t work for everything, but I think it would eliminate the vast majority of the spending bills that always come out every 4 years when all the naive millennials get around to the polls and don’t have time to do research before wasting more of our tax dollars on nice sounding titles of pet projects that are worthless.
* Micheal Tarr “Jath” is an avid outdoorsman and lover of freedom. He is a conservative libertarian who believes that libertarianism is the bridge that can reconcile the differences in the ideologies of Americanism. You can find him at Libertarian Mastermind on Facebook.