by James Altucher: Politics
Is a Scam — Why I Will Never Vote Again
last time I visited my congressman (when I was 12 years old),
he was both drunk and senile and I couldn’t understand a word
he said. His administrative assistant had to translate everything
he said. And then he got re-elected four more times before finally
dying. Did he really represent my interests?
most apolitical person I know. But I do like to think of things
that can improve the country. Let’s forget July 4th for a second,
which was a war fought mainly between the values of the East India
Company and the values of colonial tea smugglers that cost the lives
of the children of 35,000 mothers. Note we tried to invade Canada
twice to get them to help us but they would have none of it. Now
they are our biggest supplier of oil. Go Canada!
lets not view the Constitution as gospel. Countries, people, systems,
technology evolves. As they do, its important to see what from the
past is good and what can be discarded.
about the Legislative Branch in our system of checks and balances.
It costs us billions a year, its fully corrupt, and is taking perhaps
hundreds of billions of dollars out of our economy through inefficient
Replace the Legislative Branch with Mass Internet Voting on the
we need it? Don’t we need to Check the President? Of course!
So lets YOU AND I do it!
going to rant. I hate blogger rants. So here it is:
1) The Founders,
who were all male, white, landowners, didn’t trust the servants.
Several were on record saying the servants (and certainly not women
or slaves) should not vote since their votes would just go the way
of the landowner. (Noted HBO star, John Adams said, “…men
who are wholly destitute of property, are also too little acquainted
with public affairs to form a right judgment, and too dependent
upon other men to have a will of their own”.) So they wanted
to set up a system where even if the masses were against an issue,
the landowners could force it through. Hence, Congress, since it
was almost certain that a landowner (at that time) would have the
means, money, and wherewithal to be elected (it’s still true).
was needed because information was slow to travel. Everyone
had to be gathered in Washington DC to communicate with each other
(there were no phones, telegraph, or Internet then) to get the information
about laws that needed to be passed and then to vote. This is
obviously no longer necessary since we now have the Internet.
3) It wasn’t
until 1919 that people were even allowed to vote for their Senators
(Senators were selected by state legislatures) so half of the legislative
branch was two levels removed from the masses until recently anyway,
which again shows the original inclinations of the Founding Fathers.
So what should
1) Get rid
of the whole thing. Shut down Capitol Hill and make it a museum.
Get rid of Congress and replace it by a true democracy. In a democracy
we each have a vote and get to vote on the issues important to us.
single citizen should have the right to directly vote on laws
via the internet. Only 19% of Congress admitted reading the healthcare
bill last year. Which is probably why the courts keep overturning
parts of it and its hard to implement. So Congress is probably even
less informed then the masses. Get all the information online. We’ll
vote directly from our homes, thank you. No help necessary by our
3) How would
laws get introduced? Most major legislation is introduced by
the President anyway in his State of the Union address and then
is put together by whoever his stooges are in Congress. Now people
can submit laws based on a Digg-like system and the laws that are
voted to the top are the ones we’ll vote on. Chances are the
President’s suggestions would still rise to the top but instead
of being voted on by a basket of his friends, it would be voted
on by “We the People”. In most cases, we don’t really
need new laws. The first law passed in 2011 was the “Polar
Bear Delisting Act” that took polar bears off the endangered
species list? Do you really need to spend billions of infrastructure
to get that law on the table and passed.
4) The President
and Supreme Court are still there to provide checks and balances
on anything outrageous. But my guess is this would get millions
of people more involved in the political system than are currently
5) The costs
of lobbying would go up astronomically. You no longer can just
buy dinner and a prostitute for your local congressman to corrupt
him. Now you’d have to spend tens of billions on TV and newspaper
advertising/manipulation to convince the masses of a law. Would
probably save those industries from extinction.
6) The House
& Senate costs tens of billions to maintain and they can
hardly be considered to represent us anymore in an information age
where access to all information on laws and bills are at our fingertips
anyway. The legislative branch should be made up of you and me,
not the incumbents that get elected year after year automagically.
7) No more
earmarks. No more deals for “bridges to nowhere” in
exchange for “highways to hell”. This will save billions
in inefficiently allocated capital.
How much fun
would this be? We’d all get to really vote. We don’t currently
live in a democracy, by definition. We live in a republic where
we chose others to represent us on important issues. Heck, we don’t
even directly elect the president (hence the Electoral College).
We elect electors by state and then they elect the President. Lets
get rid of the electoral college and the state-by-state system.