Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Democracy in action

What if we bought groceries the way we choose a government? We would all vote on buying spaghetti sauce, and if a majority of people voted yes, we would all have to buy spaghetti sauce. We would do the same for spaghetti noodles, milk, grapes, bread, yogurt, and peanut butter.

But of course, that's not quite right. We don't vote on individual policies, we vote on bundles of policies all at once. So we would vote between one shopping cart with spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, and grapes and another cart with spaghetti noodles, milk, yogurt, and bread. Whichever cart gets most votes is clearly what the people want.

But of course, that's not quite right. We aren't actually guaranteed to get what we vote for. So we would vote between two closed boxes with the contents written on the outside. One box says spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, grapes and diamonds, the other says spaghetti noodles, milk, yogurt, bread and gold bars.

But of course, that's not quite right. We don't get the policies we voted for immediately, someone has to work to give them to us. So instead of voting on boxes, we vote on lists goods and at some point in the future a delivery man will try and deliver the things we voted for. One week we may get a jar of spaghetti sauce, then a month later everyone gets one ton of peanut butter, and after about a year of waiting we all get a grape.

This system may sound undesirable, but we all know democracy is the best. If you don't like getting a ton of peanut butter, you are free to change it. You just have to vote in a few years time and hopefully enough people agree with you. The system is responsive to your needs and wnats, unless you want an apple, no one is going to give you an apple.

1 comment:

  1. And your posts are always more thoughtful than mine.