I couple weeks ago someone said to me, “I’d rather sell my vote on EBay then vote for Romney or Obama”. After serious consideration I think this may be a good idea. Let’s leave aside the fact that a single vote is statistically irrelevant to the outcome of a presidential election and focus on the idea of selling your vote for money.
About half the country votes and the other half does not. Of the half that doesn’t vote some are registered voters and some are not. So, for half the country selling your vote may mean an extra $10, $20, or $50 in your pocket. Perhaps it is enough money to feed your family for a day or for several days. An uncast vote is like unused inventory in certain businesses. Once the data has passed the inventory can never be sold (i.e. a hotel room sits unsold one night the company loses the opportunity to sell it). Well, votes are no different. The vote has potential monetary value up to the time polls close. After the polls close the vote is worthless.
Some pundits may say that is irresponsible, immoral, or even un-American to sell your vote. This is blatantly untrue. It already happens every election cycle. Many people cast votes based on the benefits they may receive. For instance, view this recent video of a Romney protester explaining that she’s voting for Obama because she got a free cell phone (and she encourages others to vote for Obama for the same reason).
Of course there are many millions of voters that want to receive some so-called government benefit. Whether that is social security, Medicare, food stamps, public housing, tax credits, subsidies, grants, funding for projects, etc. During the 2008 election, a colleague said to me, “I’m voting for the person that gives me the most things.” In other words, when government provides “free things” to people, the voters respond in the voting booth. It’s human nature to want to get things for free.
Voters sell votes based on the real or perceived benefits they believe they’ll receive under a particular President. Conceptually, this is absolutely no different than selling your vote on EBay. Most likely, the primary difference is the amount of benefit received.
There’s another reason the idea appeals to me. Candidates espouse opposing views during the election cycle, yet when it comes time to govern the only outcome that is assured is maintaining the status quo. The words, slogans, and promises of a campaign trail become fodder for the ash-heap of lies, deceptions, and half-truths the American people have suffered under for generations. What’s promised and what’s delivered are as opposite as night and day.
The reality is governing isn’t campaigning, and the actions taken in office are the only unequivocal, empirical measurement that matters. History has proven demonstrably that both parties are culpable in the current state of the leviathan known as the national government. Representatives from both parties act arbitrarily and capriciously when it comes to the Constitution.
In economic terms government debt has risen from near zero in the late 1920s to $16 trillion today. Numerous social programs exist that violate the unalienable rights of others. The purchasing power of the dollar has declined in the past 100 years where a dollar in 1913 is now only worth 3 to 4 cents. The number of rules and regulations has risen tremendously over the past forty years. The number of government agencies, departments, bureaus, commissions, etc. has grown. The number of government employees continues to grow.
Inversely proportional to government growth is the reduction in our freedom and liberties. The number of criminal laws on the federal books exceeds 30,000. Violations of our unalienable rights under The Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act occur under the guise of “keeping us safe”. The liberty to participate in a free market economy by choosing whom you associate and contract with continues to be abridged or denied. The government now forces people under threat of fines or imprisonment if they don’t purchase a product. The government forces people to use paper-based currency that is not authorized under the Constitution and has been forced upon the people through legal tender laws. Property rights under Eminent Domain, Agenda 21, and numerous environmental schemes continue to erode and diminish the right to own property without government authorization, oversight, and compliance to rules and regulations developed by ideological bureaucrats.
For those naysayers that cast doubt on the idea of selling your vote on EBay, it’s time for some introspection. Most of you have been selling your votes for some so-called government benefit for decades. In doing so you give consent to those in office to plunder property, violate unalienable rights, and evade the Rule of Law. By selling my vote on EBay at least I can use the proceeds to engage in an economic transaction for a real product that I desire. Certainly beats selling, I mean casting, a vote for a set of promises that are never delivered upon.