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Purdy (2383)

Purdy
  jasonNO@SPAMpurdy.info
http://purdy.info/
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Bleh - not feeling creative right now. You can check me out on PerlMonks [perlmonks.org].

Journal of Purdy (2383)

Tuesday June 25, 2002
07:49 AM

Vote with your Dollar

[ #5927 ]
I've come under a new (at least to me) understanding of our government (US) and I suppose other capitalist governments like it:

We represent ourselves with the money we spend.

We no longer have an affect on the politicians we elect into office. They listen more (and probably only) to those who contribute to their campaign.

Point in fact, I sent three letters to three different state representatives, expressing my concern on a local issue and asking them for a response on their position. No response (and I sent the letters on May 5th).

Now I'm not bitter, but that was the first time I took the time to write my representatives and it's very discouraging to not get a response (out of three attempts). I assert that if I were a major contributor to their campaign (and probably had a hotline into their office/desk), I would be heard.

So those that find themselves on the 'have' side of the fence (millionaires on both the individual and corporate sense) basically rule our country. Where do they get their money? From us, the wage-earners that spend on their products/services.

Those who may still have some idealism and say "But Jason, we have elections!", I would counter that we elect those that are most prominent or charismatic, those politicians that have the most campaign money to get in our faces/minds through modern media.

There's only one fix to this problem (well, there may be others, but this is me being idealistic again ;)) that I can see and that's major campaign-finance reform. When I say major, I mean NO contributions at all allowed. Modern media would be forced to provide candidates with equal promotional opportunities and the government would provide a set and small budget for the candidates to travel around and meet/greet the people they would (hope to) represent.

Until then, watch where you spend your money, know who will ultimately get it and how they will spend it. If you're a liberal, spend your money on companies/people that think liberally and vice versa if you're more conservative.

The same can go for countries, as well. If you don't like the way that China treats their people, then don't spend your money on products made in China (that's hard and sometimes more expensive, but it's really your call and it does have an impact).

Jason

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  • I get letters back from my Congresspeople all the time. Both from mail I send them and from email I send them. Haven't sent mail in awhile. You know, of course, that the mail is being quarantined and checked pretty carefully since the Anthrax scare.

    • There's only one fix to this problem (well, there may be others, but this is me being idealistic again ;)) that I can see and that's major campaign-finance reform. When I say major, I mean NO contributions at all allowed.

    Oh great, fix our problems by limi

    • If you're asking the first questions as a potential candidate, then I say you can spend as much money as you can afford... I'm not prohibiting your right to free speech/expression. I'm prohibiting the advantage that politically-minded corporate support would afford you an edge over your competition and make you their slave afterwards.

      But I see your point - then we would slide into a system of rich candidates being able to buy more exposure/mindshare than a government allotment for a candidate of lesser f

      • I took the question as coming from an individual who supported a candidate in some way - giving money, time, etc. to help that candidate get elected.

        Free speech must be available to the voters - including the ability to "speak" with their wallet by publishing their own views in a way that will be available to many people.

        That makes it a very bad idea to prohibit campaign contributions. A cap on contributions is worth looking at, but as was said it is hard to decide what is a contribution.
  • We no longer have an affect on the politicians we elect into office. They listen more (and probably only) to those who contribute to their campaign.

    It's not none and only, but it's close. They listen most to the forces that will most affect their ability to get into office (or return to office).

    One obvious force is campaign doners, but an even stronger force is the strongly expressed will of the people. The lone opinion of one unknown individual is almost never a significant force. However, if you ra
    • Good point... I'll remember that next time I'm provoked into public action. I did write a letter to the editor along with those three letters, but it wasn't published.

      Jason