Is 50% the tipping point? Does a free market driven democracy derail when there are more takers then providers? And can’t the takers decide that what they are taking needs to be increased from those providers through the democratic process of electing those representatives and office holders who understands the price (buying support) of elections?
All good things to ponder when you realize that we have just about reached the minus category (you knew it was coming):
Half of all Americans don’t pay income taxes, says a study from a conservative Washington think tank.
The percentage of Americans who didn’t pay federal taxes jumped from 14.8 percent in 1984 to 49.5 percent in 2009 at the height of the recession, the Heritage Foundation found.
All told, about 151.7 million Americans paid nothing in 2009, compared with 34.8 million in 1984
Human nature being what it is, if you are not paying for the system, you are not going to exercise due diligence and responsibility for the system. If you know someone else is picking up the tab then you are more apt to order more expensive fair on the menu. But for Americans the tab will be picked up by future generations, eventually.
In the early days, only property owners were allowed to vote, the main reason being that when you are at risk, have something on the line, then you will naturally be more judicious and diligent in participating in your government’s welfare. We still honor this system today. Only union members vote on union business, only shareholders get to decide what direction the company should take, having skin in the game requires selfless acts, lest it crash on the shoals and ruins you and everyone else.
Naturally, we can’t go back to this form of limitations on voting, but I often wonder (and lament) our current system, where not only stupid people but people totally uninformed and unmotivated to intelligently participate get as much representation as I do, a system where people who do not pay for it in the form of taxation gets to decide with equal weight where the country should go with those that do pay income taxes.
The system gets skewed when politicians can pander to the voters strictly in the form of gifts which they don’t pay for, the guy that promises them the most loot, like the parent who never says NO and always gives in to the child’s demands will always be more popular then the parent that tries to exercise responsibility.
Sadly, I think this is why many (how many, I don’t know) folks always vote Democrat and voted for Obama. Working is hard, being responsible and being an adult is hard, some having little confidence in their own abilities would rather sit it out, not put anything at risk, and just be provided for. And the politician that makes this acquiescence easier will always get their support and to the detriment of those pursuing some fiscal sanity.
When the have not’s out number the haves, the have’s better watch out.