Monday, 23 April 2007

Denying non-taxpayers the right to vote

It 's not widely known, but the 600,000 residents of Washington, D. C. are barred from voting in Federal elections, something a new bill that has just passed through the House seeks to alter. George Reisman is opposed to the bill, and he has a strong expectation that it won 't survive in the Senate. Why is he opposed? The answer is quite simple.
The overwhelming majority of the citizens of Washington, D. C. are employees of the federal government. As such, they are not taxpayers, but rather the recipients of taxes paid by other people. Whatever taxes they nominally pay are merely a deduction from the tax proceeds they have received. All of the income they obtain and keep is from the proceeds of taxation.

Denial of the right to vote to citizens of Washington, D. C., serves in some measure to protect the taxpaying citizens of the United States from the depredations of those who live off their taxes and who would like to tax them still more.
Perhaps denying the citizens of Helengrad the 'right' to vote would perform a similar service here.

LINK: No Representation for Taxation - George Reisman's Blog


  1. What's Helengrad? New Zealand? Are you advocating that people in NZ shouldn't be allowed to vote?

  2. I have always wondered why people who don't pay tax get a vote.

    When you see it from the perspective that what right should people have to vote themselves an income off others, it makes sense not to allow those who don't pay tax to vote.

  3. Robert Winefield24 Apr 2007, 09:31:00

    Cactus, in the NZ situation it would be better to say that those who pay more tax then they receive in government benefits should have the vote.

  4. I notice he is not advocating that he also lose his right to vote even though he draws a handsom stipend from the public purse.

    also dening people the right to vote based on their assets (liquid or capital) is medevial stuff.

  5. appolgies. He is not a US congressman (I blame the blog author for making it look like that :P)

    still as an achedemic I am sure he has had his fair share of tax payer money

  6. Two sentences, TRS, and two errors.

    "I notice [Reisman] is not advocating that he also lose his right to vote even though he draws a handsom stipend from the public purse."

    In fact Reisman draws no stipend from the public purse. Error number one.

    "Denying people the right to vote based on their assets (liquid or capital) is medieval stuff."

    In fact their 'right' to vote is denied on the basis of their income source: the principle is that they should not be allowed to vote themselves rich. Pretty enlightened I would call that.

  7. TRS: Apology accepted on George's behalf. :-)

  8. So the police, military and our politicians should also be barred from voting?

    And non rate paying residents should be bared from voting in local elections as well?

    Oh and I guess we should also rule out beneficiaries as well.

    Oh yes nurses, doctors and teachers in the public sector should go as well.

    Academics and students should be off the roll as well.

    Disenfranchising people is a dangerous road that I would have though a Libertarian would be loath to go down..

  9. TRS

    Now you are making sense.

    The ratepayer one is interesting. Tell me again why non-ratepayers should get a vote?

    How disenfranchising is it to give people the right to vote themselves an income at the expense of others?

    Who are the victims here?

  10. Until the 1980s non-ratepayers could NOT vote in local body elections.

    Labour overturned this I believe.

  11. See we can argue and debate all sorts of things but if you don't belive that everyone has an inalienable right to vote reguardless of thier income or the amount of tax they pay or take in then we can't really have a conversation.

    You see you can disagree on what the government does and you have recourse, you can vote them out

    When you start taking away the right to vote you are no better than a dictator. And dictators can't be reasoned with.


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