My Opinions on Voting

I usually don't blog politics, but since it comes up with my opinions on Fedora lack of voters and some other items... I figured I should just go ahead and do it. Today I received a couple of emails from relatives and such trying to explain how bad the US budget is, and why it should be explained easier as that of a family. One set went to blame the politicians, another set blamed the special interests (tax and spend liberals, cut and spend conservatives). In the end, they both neglected to point out who the real culprits are.. the absentee landlord of the United States, the voter.

Look at the following revenue amounts.
  1. Tax Revenue:    $2,170,000,000,000
  2. Fed Budget:     $3,820,000,000,000
  3. New Debt:       $1,650,000,000,000
  4. National Debt: $14,271,000,000,000 
Now some people will cut off the zeros and then compare it to a family budget... or some will go on long screeds blaming the politicians or special interest groups. That misses the important part of democracy. In the end, the politicians are a proxy. They may be influenced by "monied" interests but the special interest they are mostly interested in is the voters who every 2-6 years say whether or not they will get to serve again.

To make this fair, let us change out the regular blamees to the people who actually are supposed to be responsible whether they like it or not.
  1. Amount majority of US Voters Want to be taxed.
  2. Amount majority of US Voters Want to spend.
  3. Amount they are happy to borrow.
  4. Amount the taxpayers has to pay back plus a lot of interest we didn't calculate.
Notice, I don't put in voters in the bottom. People who don't vote and most non-citizens in this country pay taxes so they get stuck with the bill whether or not they vote.

If you are outraged about the amount spent versus the amount taxed.. you need to do the following:
  1. Register to Vote.
  2. Research the candidates who will either up the amount taxed, lower the amount spent, or a combination of the two.
  3. When the election occurs, vote for the candidate that fits your needs best. Remember always that there is no perfect candidate, you will have to make do with what you can get.
  4. Watch whoever gets elected and ask why they voted for this or that. Keep them on their toes. People who know that they are watched are psychologically more likely to be honest and dependable. They are also more likely to follow the social norms of the people watching them. Most politicians get in trouble because the only people watching them are other politicians.
  5. If you don't like how things occurred, vote for someone else the next time.
  6. Talk to your neighbours and find out why they don't vote. Get them to register and vote too. They don't have to vote for the person you voted for, but they need to watch the elected just the same as you.
  7. Keep at it. It took 20+ years to dig this whole, it will take 20+ years to dig out of it.
If you aren't registering to vote, you have lost any right to be taken seriously.

You can sit in a park, you can show up at the IRS office with bags of tea at the IRS office, or you can email me pithy statements about how horrible everyone else is, but you have given up your most important voice.. and the only one I will give credence to, the vote.

[PS Take the above as my opinion and my default answer when you email, blog, facepoke, etc about the dire straights of a nation. In my limited and very biased view, the above can be used for most nations.. the amount that people will happily borrow because they want it and don't want to save for it will always be larger than it should be. I don't have much sympathy for a bond market that doesn't take that into account in the interest rates and fees they initially charge.]

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