What do you think of allowing only property owners to vote?

@dragon54u (31617)
United States
October 4, 2010 7:16am CST
Before you all go ballistic, I've heard that's how it was in the beginning years of the U.S. The reasoning was that property owners had worked hard and presumably were thrifty, money conscious, and would want the national spending to be limited to only what it needed to be. A property owner had "a dog in the fight", so to speak. I have heard and read discussions about this topic and non-property owners, it is argued, tend to vote for entitlement programs because they have nothing to lose and everything to gain from voting that way. Non-property owners do pay taxes but they have nothing of value to lose like a house, a farm or a building they've bought for their business. Property owners would probably not vote that way as much because they realize that the taxes they pay could go to other things such as education, defense, veterans affairs and other essentials. I'm not taking one side or the other because both have their merits. This issue, when I bring it up in conversation, never fails to get people into a rousing discussion. What do you think of it? Should only property owners be allowed to vote or should everyone? Were the old ways better, would the nation be different if they were still in effect or do you think it is fair that everyone gets to vote in every election? And what would happen if everyone could vote locally but only property owners could vote in choosing representatives including the president?
5 people like this
22 responses
• United States
4 Oct 10
Limiting the vote to property owners was a failure of our founders to live up to their ideals because they hadn't quite broken free of the notion of a feudal society. Understanding this error and correcting it by extending the vote to those who didn't own land was a victory in America's struggle to live up to our ideals. Going back to those days is incompatible with American patriotism.
2 people like this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
4 Oct 10
Then again, the property owners back then made much of the wealth of the country. Things have changed a lot and a lot of people who rent do so by choice. I think you are right about the mind set back then. Most of the people I discuss this subject with in "real" life are more concerned about voters enacting more and more entitlement programs than restricting the vote. I think there's a better way to restrict entitlement programs than taking away someone's vote! Thanks for adding to the discussion by bringing up the traditions and attitudes of the founders. That will explain why the provision was there in the first place.
• United States
4 Oct 10
You forgot to type some of the words in the sentence: Then again, the property owners back then enslaved the people who made much of the wealth of the country Fixed that for you.
1 person likes this
@LadyMarissa (12162)
• United States
4 Oct 10
God Bless Our Country... - Home of the Brave & Land of the FREE!!!
I think that if you pay taxes, you should have the right to vote!!! As previously said...where do you cut off taking away the right to vote??? To even think somebody is thinking this way scares me!!!! To me this is akin to saying that just because a woman is divorced, she shouldn't be able to keep the children as the father can provide a better home. I rented for 20 years & I've been a property owner for 20 years & it hasn't changed the way I vote!!! Even when I was renting, I had to pay property tax on my car. Are you going to make a distinction on which property is more worthy of allowing someone to vote??? I have poor friends who rent & take their privilege to vote seriously. I also have rich friends who own mansions, boats, fancy cars, etc & they just vote for who is going to give them the most money no matter what it does to the country nor you & me. For that matter, does the fact that a renter doesn't vote the way you think they should make them wrong??? It just means they think different from you. That is what has made this country GREAT...we have the right to choose what we think WITHOUT persecution!!!
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
4 Oct 10
It's not what I think that I was speaking of. Most of the people that have brought this subject up in conversation have become disillusioned with all the entitlement programs like public assistance. They say that people on public assistance tend to vote for whoever or whatever will give them more. I've known people on public assistance and I don't think that's the case with the majority. Most want to get off it as soon as they can! There is a small core of moochers, though, who don't want to. I don't think that that segment of our population cares much to vote, to tell you the truth. Gerty brought up a good point--education. I think we should bring back civics classes so that our up and coming voters will know better than to take a politician's smooth talk at face value. I think that would solve the problem of gullible voters much better than choosing who can vote and who can't!
1 person likes this
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
4 Oct 10
If I own a house in a different community than I live in and pay taxes on that property should I be able to vote in the community elections (only those government bodies who can tax that property)? If I don't get to vote then the local people could raise my taxes to reduce theirs. In one community near me the City Council voted to repave a street and put in curb and gutter with a sidewalk. The sidewalk was placed on the side of the street where most of the houses are owned by people who do not live in the community (these are vacation homes on a lake within the city). There is no sidewalk on the other side where the local people live. Is that fair to tax the people who live out of the area paying for a sidewalk for people who live in the community and use the sidewalks on a daily basis. In the winter the people who did not live in the houses year round had to pay a local person to clear their sidewalk or be fined by the city. Now move this to the national level and people who pay no federal tax getting a say in who and how much people pay in taxes and how the tax money is used.
1 person likes this
@LadyMarissa (12162)
• United States
4 Oct 10
My you was NOT directed at "YOU". It was directed at whoever put those thoughts in your head!!! You just happened to be the one asking the question. I AVOID the subject of politics as much as possible. If anybody's rights should be taken away...it should be the politicians!!!! They say that people on public assistance tend to vote for whoever or whatever will give them more. Please tell me how this differs from those against public assistance??? Our society has become a GREEDY society. Everybody seems to be out for themselves!!! NOT everybody on public assistance is there because they are lazy. NOT everybody on public assistance deserve to be there either. I feel the screening process is what is lacking!!! I help take care of disabled young ladies when necessary. One in particular tried extremely hard to NOT go on public assistance. She could walk & she appeared to talk intelligently. The only catch was that her thought process was severely damaged by her disability. You had to be around her for a while before you could even see it. Nobody could see the pain she was in from trying to walk through a day's worth of work. Nobody saw when her thought process when haywire. Anybody looking from the outside would say she didn't deserve disability because she was just lazy. They couldn't see with their own 2 eyes what that child was going through. Most who say that would NOT suffer what she did in order to try & keep a job!!! Because her brain didn't work as well as others, she was discriminated against by her coworkers. Because of her disability she was discriminated against by the public in general. It took 18 years to get her on disability because some azzhole said if she could walk, she could work. She was too disabled for a decent paying job & not disabled enough for a minimum wage job. She was in that Catch 22 area. Yet I had a neighbor who received disability because she "thought" her husband was running around on her & couldn't keep a job because she kept taking off work to follow him around so she could catch him cheating. She was a FULLY able body person who had what I perceived as a quirk. One girl I worked with went on disability because she said she had to pee too often. Hell, if that's a reason not to work, I'd gone out 40 years ago!!! I love Ms Gerty's idea. I have learned in my lifetime that if a politician's mouth opens, you can be sure a lie will fall out!!! I've often said, if they want to run, they should be disqualified!!! They give themselves pay raises yearly & hide it so the public won't be outraged. They ALWAYS know a better way to do it...that is...until they get in office. Being a politician is their JOB. Of course they are going to tell us what they think we want to hear!!! Once in, they are NOT held accountable for their actions. I've had a friend who raises hell every year about one particular politician...yet he votes FOR him every time the election comes up. How are we going to get change IF we vote the basttards back in??? I think we should be able to vote every 3 months & vote them OUT of office if they don't do what they say they are going to do. OR let them have ONLY 1 year terms. I also like the idea of term limits. Give them 2 terms to implement their ideas & then kick them out & bring in new blood!!!
1 person likes this
@Keepee (67)
• United States
4 Oct 10
My husband is a United Methodist Pastor. As a pastor, he (we) move around every few years. I'm 26, he's 28. Fiscally, we aren't to where we could afford to own a property because it's hard for me to start a career when I know we'll be moving soon, and he's at the bottom rung of the pay scale because he's only being a pastor for a few years. Our housing is provided for us as part of his compensation package, so really owning a house would mean we couldn't live in it and if we bought something in A then moved to B 4 hours away, it would be really hard for us to deal with renters. I would hate to be told I couldn't vote, even though I (and he) work as hard as property owners because we moves around and we've made the decision that it's not financially responsible to put ourselves in to debt to buy a house we can't get use out of.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
4 Oct 10
That's another good argument against my friends' arguments! I know that when I was your age I moved around a lot, too. Even now, if I'd known 3 years ago what I do today I would not have "bought" a house but rented somewhere. I love my little house, it's perfect for me and my dogs, but it's 1800 miles away from my adult sons and I miss them like crazy. Welcome to myLot! You must have a very interesting life as the wife of a pastor. Challenging, to say the least. I hope you enjoy it here and make lots of friends! I also hope you'll start some discussions in which you share with us what it's like having so much responsibility. I guess you've read the rules--just don't post referral links!
@Keepee (67)
• United States
4 Oct 10
Thanks for the welcome! It's definitely been a challenge, but I am luckier than some- I knew marrying him what he was going to be doing for a living. It still doesn't prepare you for seeing the uglier side of human nature (sometimes) though!
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
4 Oct 10
Yes, but if not for our uglier natures we would have no challenges and thus not deserve the grace that the Lord grants us. He would have sheep instead of children, and that would not be very gratifying or set good examples of what faith can do!
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
4 Oct 10
Think of it this way... For every renter, their is a property owner renting his property. In most cases, the renter is paying the mortgage of the property owner. While you are at it... Perhaps you should remove the woman vote, since the husband own the property in most cases. And since most black American are still poor, you should remove their vote as well. So, are you serious? Or are you trying to stir the pot?
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
4 Oct 10
I'm serious because I want to know what people think. I've already learned something because you replied--I did not think of the issues you've brought up and those are good points against limiting voting. I've heard this argument more and more lately and was wondering what everyone else thought. I have not heard your arguments brought up, though, which is surprising. I voted when I was not a property owner and I think I did so responsibly.
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
6 Oct 10
Aussies, do you really believe that in most cases only the husband owns the property the couple lives in and that the wife's name is not also on the deed or were you just being facetious?
• Australia
6 Oct 10
It would be in the husband name if he was the only bread winner, because he would be the only one being able to apply for the loan. But I agree that times have changed, and it is almost impossible for an ordinary family to buy a home on one salary. So most couples today have both their names on a house, since they both work and share everything 50/50. But I still think it would be totally ridiculous to limit voting to property owners. Here we have a world trying to introduce equality at all levels, and you suddenly want to create a divide between those who can afford a house and those who can't. What a total lot of nonsense.
@murderistic (2280)
• United States
5 Oct 10
In an economy where it is often the "thrifty" and "money conscious" choice to RENT over own, I don't see how the argument makes any sense. Besides that, the idea that only people of wealth are competent enough to have a voice in choosing their government officials was just as absurd back then as it is today.
1 person likes this
@Keepee (67)
• United States
5 Oct 10
I haven't seen that most folks are advocating renting in the economy. Most folks I've seen say now is the time to buy buy buy and talk about using that rent money as payments on your own home, where you are building equity and not essentially tossing money away. I do agree though that "the idea that only people of wealth are competent enough to have voice in choosing their government officials was just as absurd back then as it is today" is very true :).
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
5 Oct 10
I don't think the people I was discussing this with were thinking that wealth equaled intelligence, although it may have been the attitude back in the 1700's. The concern I heard voiced was all the people on public assistance or getting some benefit from government entitlement programs such as food stamps, etc., would vote for anyone who promised them more free stuff. I don't know that I agree with that but I do know that people tend to believe anything a slick politician says. They are lazy and don't investigate on their own, watch only one news channel, listen to only one radio station, etc., and let themselves by brainwashed by the bias of whatever media they prefer. And our media IS biased to the right or left, depending on what one prefers. To tell the truth, I think renting is a better option right now. The economy won't get better anytime soon. Thank you both for contributing!
• United States
6 Oct 10
Dragon - unfortunatly that was the general sentiment back then, wether or not they actually came out and said it, we all know that was the main reason. They were afraid that people of lesser intelligence (which to them meant women, blacks and the poor) would ruin the idealistic government structure that they had set up. The idea that people who are not incredibly intelligent shouldn't get a say in their own government is to me quite UNdemocratic, honestly. If we allow only the wealthy to have power, we set the poor up for massive discrimination. Who knows, the poor might be taxed 50% on their income while the rich get all the tax breaks!
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
4 Oct 10
Well first off let me clear up some confusion about renters because I seen it several times. I was a renter for a very long time and the simple reason was not because I couldn't afford a home it was because when something broke I didn't have to worry about fixing it or hiring a contractor or even fixing it myself. Now, that I'm a homeowner I have to fix my clogged sink instead of calling my landlord. It sucks! I want to go back to renting. I think and this is only my opinion that voters that do not own homes should not be allowed to vote on issues that effect property taxes. Like in my city we pay for: the zoo, library, fire and police, city bus, streets bridges and harbors (I don't know what the harbor does but we are on the port) and schools. My property taxes sends $1800 a year to a school district that doesn't and can't service my children. The school district is asking for another levy and if it passes, it will go up another $100 a year. During the spring the school put an issue on the ballot for 3/4% income tax (to fund the school) and it was voted down. So I completely see the point of property owners not voting but, only on issues for property taxes.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
4 Oct 10
That would make sense. As I told another poster, when I was young I thought property owners were rich and I voted to raise property taxes every chance I could! Now I'm wiser and more practical!
@bellis716 (4806)
• United States
5 Oct 10
Like you, I can see the pros and cons, but I doubt that our present system of 1 vote for each qualifying citizen will change or will ever be challenged. I suspect that we property owners are out numbered by non-property owners.
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
5 Oct 10
Actually, renters pay a lot of property tax. The landlord's obligation in insurance and taxes definitely figures into how much he is charging for rent. If property taxes go up, rents will too - simply because that is what the owner must do to continue to pay his overhead and make a profit. This is why renters should not be excluded. They pay property taxes indirectly. When it comes to people renting in subsidized housing or whose rent is paid all or in part with public funds, that may be a different situation.
• United States
6 Oct 10
I don't think it should be limited to property owners, but it might not be a bad idea to test potential voters to see if they have a clue who they're voting for and what that candidates position on the issues are. Do you remember the most recent presidential campaign when a report went into the heart of a particular district and asked people there what they thought of Obama's running mate, Sarah Palin? obviously those people neither knew nor cared who was running with Obama. They knew, as we all did, that they'd vote for Obama no matter who his running mate was or what his policies were. These were not the only people who voted for him for the wrong reason, and chances are other presidents have been put into office for the wrong reason. Sometimes I wish no candidate would be allowed to reveal his/her party affiliation so we'd have to pay attention to that candidate's platform.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
6 Oct 10
That's a great idea, Precious! We have so many uninformed voters--worse yet, lots of them support one party over another no matter where the candidates stand on the issues. I really don't see why we have to have parties at all. I'm a registered Republican but I've voted for plenty of Democrats whose ideas synced more with mine. I don't care which party they are, what they look like or how slick they talk--too bad I'm the exception rather than the rule. But I think we're changing that! I'd like to take it further and prohibit candidates from using television for campaigning. More people would read literature then, or listen to the radio and kick start their atrophied imaginations! For sure, better decisions would be made.
• United States
7 Oct 10
You're right. If the candidates weren't allowed to be seen on television or heard on radio, they couldn't use their twinkling eyes, engaging smiles, the color of their skin, or clever manipulation of words and phrases to lure anyone into their camp. A voter's decision would have to be on the issues alone. I also wish they'd not be allowed to say anything negative about the other candidates. All I'm interested in as a voter is what is the candidates platform and principles. I'm not interested in what the other candidate will do or has done wrong. I want to know what you, as a potential Senator, Representative, Governor or President will do right and why it's the right thing to do.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
5 Oct 10
Dragon, I read this earlier but was in a rush and not able to respond...now I doubt that you'll see it. I believe that everyone in this country is equal whether they own property or not so, no, property owners should not be the only ones allowed to vote. Should only parents with children in school be able to vote on issues relating to education? Since my husband and I are property owners and also own a business, should we be permitted more than one vote each? We own two properties and the business so that makes three each according to my count. Keep in mind also that women fought hard for the right to vote and anything that takes away from that right is disgusting to me as a woman.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
6 Oct 10
It is kind of hard to imagine in a country the size of this one that one's vote would matter but if tens of thousands felt that way and did or didn't vote based on those feelings, the outcome of many elections certainly would be different. I vote for the same reasons you so...others fought hard to give me this right and I take it seriously. I also agree with you about uninformed voters. It takes time to learn about a candidate and too many folks are too lazy to invest the time. Some key phrase or promise will stick and that's all they need to hear.
1 person likes this
@bunnybon7 (36431)
• Holiday, Florida
4 Oct 10
i think voting should be based on your intelligence and knowledge. im almost afraid to answer this because of that belief. so many times at voting time, ive heard women say things like, "wow, im voting for him. hes good looking" or as in the most recent case, "im voting for him because hes black. that'd be cool to have our first black president" they said good looking with Kennedy and Clinton and they won doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure that out so, i think it should be the voters intelligence concerning the issues, and vote blind, just on what a candidates issues are. not their looks
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
4 Oct 10
Wouldn't it be nice if candidates were not able to show their faces until they were elected? We'd get a lot better elected officials! Unfortunately, intelligence and knowledge are sadly lacking in the voting booth. How many people do you think actually read those pamphlets that outline the propositions and issues? I know I do but many people either don't want to or don't think they have the time. Maybe we should have a quiz before one can enter the voting booth. Basic questions like what the issues are, multiple choice graded right there by computers that then present the voter with a ballot when they have a certain percentage of correct answers!
@bunnybon7 (36431)
• Holiday, Florida
4 Oct 10
yes, we could have them labeled as candidate A and B, etc. and hear their debates either on the radio or tv without their faces, etc. i really think this would be a better way to go for the USA since the 60's we are to focused on looks, charisma, and personality. not their intellect and ability to help our country.
1 person likes this
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
4 Oct 10
I have a Masters Degree in Political Science and because I CHOOSE to rent rather than OWN I should not be allowed to vote? How bizarre it that? I am also a Conservative. Does that mean I should not be allowed to vote? I am a woman. Should that keep me from voting. I voted the first time the DAY I turned 18 and I have voted every election since, even when I was overseas serving in the NAVY. I like you Dragon, but I do not think that taking away the vote from anyone in the US is a good idea. Education is a good idea. Not necessarily by politicians, but just general polling education. Shalom~Adoniah
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
4 Oct 10
I am not for denying anyone (except felons, that's the law) the right to vote. But the subject has come up several times in the past year among my neighbors and friends. It was bizarre the first time I heard it! It's still a strange thing to be discussing and it reminds me of the gradual creep of dictatorship. I think peoples' concerns, as you just said, would be somewhat alleviated with more educated voters. Many are learning fast the consequences of their local, state and national votes. We need to educate our young voters before they are eligible to vote, about the consequences of their votes and how slimy politicians can be.
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
5 Oct 10
Well the schools are not a very good place for our young people to learn about voting. Schools are teaching children to be good little socialists. They are teaching them to hate capitalism and everything it stands for. They sing songs praising Obama and the various leaders of today. It is scary. They teach nothing about our forefathers unless it relates to how terrible they were for having slaves. They do not even teach much about Lincoln. The History books denigrate America now and praise other countries. It is very sad....
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
4 Oct 10
Several years ago I was visiting another state and read in the paper where this school district was going to vote on building a domed stadium for the High School. To me it seemed a simple vote to vote against the new stadium simply because it was too expensive. But the article went on to explain that there was a very large power plant in the district and paid 80% of the school tax. The residents were willing to vote for anything they wanted because someone else was paying for it. The same thing happened in an area where the majority of the taxes were paid by people who have no vote. The same thing will happen when a majority of people pay no taxes but can vote to raise taxes on the minority. Just look at the politicians who will court a group of voters with promises of special treatment. Just look at the Senior voters and Social Security. I believe that everyone who votes should have money in the game. We have a growing number of people who feel they are "entitled" to a payment from the government or a hand out from others. Several weeks ago the Government employee Unions demonstrated at the state capital demanding a tax increase to get the raise they are entitled to. We need to redo the tax code so that everyone is paying some tax at every level of government.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
4 Oct 10
That's a very good idea, redo the tax code. I'm in favor of a flat tax, a percentage of your income over a certain poverty level. Your example of the school stadium is one reason that people will bring up this subject of voting--if someone else is paying for it, why not? That's all too common nowadays but they don't realize that we ALL pay for it. The company that pays 80% of the taxes? They have to raise their prices to make up for that, pay their employees less or compromise on materials. We all pay, one way or another. Be sure to vote in November, please. The politicians know the voters are angry and if we follow through, they'll begin to change things to be fair to the people instead of the lobbyists that line politicians' pockets.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
4 Oct 10
The power plant provided electrical power to a major urban area and not the community were they were located.
1 person likes this
@sender621 (14956)
• United States
4 Oct 10
I believe that every citizen should have the right to vote. This should not just be limited to property owners. We should all have an equal say in what hapopens in the world we live in.
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
4 Oct 10
I would tend to agree but the person who first introduced me to this concept cited all the voters on public assistance that keep voting for entitlement programs because they pay no taxes other than sales tax. He was very adamant that they not be allowed to vote. However, there are many responsible people who happen to need public assistance but get off it as soon as they can--look at all the former homeowners now on some sort of public assistance! There are arguments for and against. I would not like to have my vote taken away if I lost my house and decided to rent. But I also want entitlement programs to be sharply curtailed among the able bodied once we are past this financial disaster--if we ever are.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
4 Oct 10
I take it to mean that at that time, renters stayed renters because the reason they rented was that they could never ever afford to buy their homes. They were at the mercy of the property owner and since I usually do not think with my emotions, I take the logical approach. (Yes I cry when something hurts me, about babies and puppies, but not about this subject.) Since the renters then could never afford to buy at that time, if they had been given the vote, they would have been like those nowadays who think the world owes them a living or they are owed entitlements. Now it is different, many renters can if they work hard enough and save their money, eventually buy a house even if it is only a small two bedroom, think well "I do not want someone to make the neighborhood look bad by having a junk pile in his front yard," so I will not vote for that. So many vote as if they did own the property because perhaps the owner of the property has agreed to take more rent from them and put part of it down so the renters could own the property. Oh yes and not all property owners rent to tenants.
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
4 Oct 10
"like those nowadays who think the world owes them a living or they are owed entitlements" I think those types of people are what concerned the person who first brought the subject up to me. Jefferson (one of our founders) is the one I think said that once people find out they can vote to make other people give their money to benefit the poor or lazy, it's all over and the republic will be destroyed. We are there now. But I like Gerty's suggestion better than restricting the vote--educate children, our future voters, with civics classes so they understand that when they vote for a tax or an entitlement it is coming out of their own pockets.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
4 Oct 10
That is a good suggestion. I do think that if people on reading the subject think with their heads rather then thinking with their emotions, it would be better. I do think that renters and those who are on welfare have to realize that if they want money, they also have to pay for it as well as the property owners. It is known as adulthood. Some taxes are only put on those over a certain income but usually what happens is that first everyone pays them including the poor and the poor get a deduction at tax time. It is sort of like when I was young and wanted something stupid from my parents, I did not realize until later that that stupid thing might make the difference between us having a nice Sunday supper or just having to eat leftovers. Sort of a weird way of explaining it, but that is all I can think of at the moment.
• United States
7 Oct 10
I understand and agree with the concept of only letting property owners vote. However, in these modern times a more fair method of ensuring competent voters only are allowed to vote is needed. How about only persons meeting 2 of the following 5 criteria be allowed to vote? 1) High School graduate or equivalent. 2) Honorably serving or discharged Veteran of the Armed Forces. 3) Property owner. 4) Pay more in taxes than receive in direct money benefits from the government. 5) Pass a state mandated test on the issues and the candidates. If every person needed to qualify under at least 2 of the above 5 conditions in order to vote, there would be far fewer stupid and/or dishonest people elected.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
7 Oct 10
I like 2, 4 and 5 especially! #4 would insure that we wouldn't get a lot of voting for entitlement programs--the exception should be made for retirees because some of them don't have much more than Social Security. Thank you for such a thoughtful response!
1 person likes this
@K46620 (1996)
• United States
5 Oct 10
It's an interesting idea I will have to give more thought. The current system doesn't work very well.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
5 Oct 10
I've discovered a lot of new ways of thinking about this by posting this discussion. I think education is preferable to limiting voting rights. I'm convinced that we need to educate voters and demand more thought in voting, not restrict it to certain people.
• United States
5 Oct 10
I think if you pay taxes, you should vote, but I also think every adult, who is not totally physically disabled or mentally disabled, should pay taxes. It's ridiculous that over 40% of the people in this country pay nothing in in federal and local taxes. Yes, I know they pay FICA and other payroll taxes, but that isn't the same, by far, as Federal and local. Every person in this country has the opportunities to make something of themselves, if they have the mental and physical capabilities to do so, but too many drop out of school, refuse to move out of an area that offers nothing to help them along, and blame society for their pitiful lives. When the glass and box plants closed in my family's area, it was the major supplier of jobs for many members of my family. They were offered the same jobs, same pay, AND moving expenses to move one state over. My sister and her husband turned it down because she refused to move from the state where she lived all her life. Their standard of living dropped enormously and has never risen back to where it was before. They had a chance and refused it. Do they blame themselves for refusing to move when there were no comparable jobs in the area? No, they blame the company for closing that branch. What's worse is that she has the opportunity to vote and turns that down, too. If you live in this country, then you should be paying taxes like anyone else.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
5 Oct 10
I certainly agree with you, Maggie. I'm sorry for your sister but we all make choices. The problem is that we have become a country of people that refuse to take responsibility for our actions. That includes our actions in the voting booth!
@dark_joev (3043)
• United States
5 Oct 10
They did this because most of them owned land but the idea behind it was more of if you owned land you would care about what was going on more than a person who didn't own property which was the important thing you had to be an owner of a house to vote because in those times you would own the land your house was on and would care if something was threatening you house family or other property. It was changed because the people decided that even people who don't own the roof over their head can care and I feel that the Idea that none property owners are likely to vote for entitlement is well a false statement because people who own houses can feel that they are entitled to things. I don't own the place I stay at I rent but I don't support a lot of the social programs that we have because I like to be self sufficient which seems at times to be an unpopular thing to be. I also don't like taxing the government more than it needs as their are people in a lot more need than I am in. I am still healthy and able to gain employment and people that aren't in that position in life should be able to use the resources available and designed for them. I also am involved in the political activism in this country and consider my self to be very patriotic and I feel that the federal government needs to live in side its budget.
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@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
5 Oct 10
We need more voters like you and then this subject would not even come up. What has happened to our country's pride in being self sufficient? We need to get that back and then things would take care of themselves!
• United States
4 Oct 10
Since America was born on the principles of liberty and equality, I would have to say everyone should be able to vote. It has been the basis for all of these years, and has worked so far. Revolts would occur if we attempted to limit voters, and history would just repeat itself. Have a good day.
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
5 Oct 10
Yes, I shudder the think of the revolts. Worse still, what if there were none? Say the government offered incentives to non-property owners not to vote and it was enough to keep them quiet? That's horrifying but I suspect it could possibly come to be true. On the other hand, I think there might be enough non-property owners who truly care about the country and vote responsibly to make a stink about something like that. And there are a lot of property owners who don't vote at all. If people would vote responsibly instead of for the person who looked the best or talked the slickest, this question would not even be voiced.
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
4 Oct 10
Either thing you owner is your property and unless you bought it under the table you paid taxes on it. So even home renters are property owners and have sink in the game. So either way everyone would have the right to vote unless someone specified how much property and what kinds of property would make someone eligible for voting.
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@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
5 Oct 10
Someone else made that same point! This discussion has been very educational for me and now I have some counterpoints the next time a friend brings the subject up. Thanks!
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
4 Oct 10
At the time the Constitution was written, the idea of allowing only property owners to vote made sense if you look at the makeup of the society. The idea was that property owners were vested in the community and probably providing employment, perhaps goods to the community. Nowadays that is not as true. With the advent of modern transportation methods, society has become more mobile, more fluid. People who are employed and contribute through taxes and in other ways support the economy don't necessarily own property, they may rent all of their lives, even if they rent large properties such as houses. I would definitely consider a proposal to allow only those taxpaying members of society to vote and only for one reason - to allow those who pay no tax to, by their votes, determine how much tax is paid by others is tantamount to taxation without representation. If Peter pays Paul and you ask Paul how much Peter should pay, then Paul is going to ask for as much as he can get. Certainly the social programs and benefits must be funded properly and we cannot abandon entire sections of the population because they do not work and pay taxes, but we have to consider the quite understandable feeling of the taxpayer of being used and abused. Large voting blocs of benefits-supported people can certainly affect how much tax is levied to support those benefits through legislation on taxes. What is a perfect plan? How about a flat tax, each person paying proportionate to their earnings. A flat tax with limited loopholes and exemptions ensures that a fair tax is applied to all. The rich won't have loopholes to hide their money and they won't need to. 10% of $100,000 is always going to be larger than 10% of $20,000 so the rich will pay more, the poor will pay less and the IRS can be disbanded, leading to a huge savings in the federal budget.
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