Monthly Archives: May 2012

Votestarter

I am really impressed at how a small startup can grow and encourage the best ideas to come to fruition. The Internet is a great place to throw ideas out and see what has traction and connect the ideas to people who have means to make stuff happen.

I am less optimistic about the world of politics so far. Nobody in a democracy can agree about how goals are to be met, but everyone has an opinion about how best to get there. And none of the largest ideas can be completed without a majority of people contributing their taxes towards the goal.

But what if our democracy did not consist of people without skin in the game pontificating about how to spend other people’s money, or future money? What if we all voted with our tax dollars as a percentage of our work, time and effort, and not one dime was spent until the goal was virtually funded on paper? I get bombarded by ads and automated phone calls asking me to support or not support this measure or that measure, to generate funds by taxing some evil industry and set up a committee to manage the funds, etc.

What I would prefer would be a secure website where I could choose initiatives to build better transportation infrastructure or hire teachers or establish departments of whatever, and be shown what my total estimated tax bill would be in the following year. All of the priorities and interests of voters would be distilled into only support the programs that have enough support to be actually completed, and the great ideas that were too expensive would not come to pass, and the programs that are knowingly abused would cease to be supported by the general populous. A fourth branch of checks and balances would be set up for the people as individuals, also encouraging active participation in voting. This would not give people with more money more power necessarily in a democracy, but would prevent big expensive programs from starting without the actual means to be funded.

Kickstarter would never work if people could vote with fake money. Neither will our government.