Election Day Advice: Vote With Your Feet

We begin this Election Day issue of The Daily Reckoning with a reminder to all those trigger-happy voters out there: Remember, a vote of no confidence is still a vote and, for true freedom lovers, perhaps the most important one of all.

To this editor’s mind, the only way to avoid being complicit in the crimes the victorious party will inevitably commit is to wash your hands of the whole affair today. Vote with your feet, in other words…by walking away from the ballot box and tending instead, as Voltaire might say, to your own garden. That way the next time the Republocrats decide to dip into your kiddies’ savings account to prop up this or that corrupt financial institution or to start a greasy war to “win hearts and minds” in some far off land, at least you’ll know they didn’t do it with your implicit backing.

As Doug Casey pointed out recently, “I think it’s like they said during the war with Viet Nam: suppose they had a war, and nobody came? I also like to say: suppose they levied a tax, and nobody paid? And at this time of year: suppose they gave an election, and nobody voted?

“The only way to truly de-legitimize unethical rulers,” the International Man went on to say, “is by not voting. When tin-plated dictators around the world have their rigged elections, and people stay home in droves, even today’s ‘we love governments of all sorts’ international community won’t recognize the results of the election.”

Those looking to affect real change in the system, therefore, might wish to start by refusing to support the existing one. Just a thought…

But by wading into politics we’ve digressed from our non-stated mandate; strayed from our usual beat.

Wait! No we haven’t!

More and more these days do the spheres of politics and economics overlap. Both can and do seriously impact your money. And that’s what these pages are about: your money and, at least of equal importance, your money as a means to achieve your personal freedom.

Welfare/warfare states aren’t cheap to run, Fellow Reckoner. There are bombs to make, bases to build and banks to bail out. Then think of all the people the government pays not to work…the 42 million mouths-worth of food stamps…the money to bribe people to trade in their old cars for new ones…and, of course, the cash to hand directly to the auto companies themselves!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, of course. A “good” politician is never short of something to sell. A new scheme, scam or the like. Let this racket run long enough and pretty soon plasma television ownership becomes a “basic human right” and the overreaching arm of the state takes to telling you what you can and can’t watch on the thing.

Society is full of busybody do-gooders and naval-gazing morons who are happily eating up a larger and larger share of the nation’s once-productive capital. And, as this group grows and grows, they eventually shift from a disheartened minority down on their luck to taking full control of Congress. That’s when the taxpayer checkbooks really come out.

“Just look at what has happened in the last three years,” observed Bill Bonner recently, “total US government spending has gone from $2.5 trillion to $3.4 trillion. Take out this extra government spending and you see that the real economy is smaller today than it was in 2004. All the increases in GDP since then have been increases in government spending – most of which are completely unproductive. The longer this trend continues, the less able the economy is to ‘grow its way out’ of its debt hole…and the closer it gets to final insolvency.”

Initiatives that begin as “state services” invariably end up making us servants to the state. And, in the end, voters only have themselves to blame.

Joel Bowman

for The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning