Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Here is a fun idea -

How do we get true representative democracy working as our government? (Set aside for the moment any doubts that democracy is True Religion.)

Libertarians say the less government, the better. There is some truth to that. But efficient and unobtrusive government can only be had if the election process is clean and not corrupt. One of the highest aims of government, therefore, is ensure that the process is clean. We are justified in spending whatever amount of money it takes to generate a clean election process.

Paying people to vote, if you pay them enough, is a good way of ensuring that everyone will vote. Only the very rich will not be incentivised to vote by a payment of $5000. The incentives to vote for the rich are already adequate, because they have a huge financial stake in what happens with the government. $5000 per person, per election voted in, would be paid as a refundable tax credit. All you would have to do is submit your receipt for having voted.

There would be little incentive or scope for fraud. You could forge a voter receipt, but it is probably easier just to go to the polls. Only one person could get each voter payment. And it would probably solve the poverty problem in one swoop. I know that sounds grandiose, but think about this: All that spending power, unleashed by poor people, would stimulate business, and therefore jobs, stupendously. All the now-unemployed people who would get jobs, would further stimulate the economy. And the _really_ poor, unemployable, mentally ill people would oftentimes get taken in by their now-middle-class in-laws. (Not to say that the people who are currently "middle class" often take in poor relatives. But the recently-poor-now-middle-class people do so.)

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