Happy Election Day! I think regular Lazy Man and Money readers know I’m not one to side with any political party. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t write about politics in this space. I believe in voting for the person, not the political party. Most of the time I just hope I’m not in situation of voting for Kang or Kodos, but far too often it feels like I am. I guess I don’t have much of an affection politics either.
So I’ll put much of that aside and pass on this cool tool to see what your vote is worth online. The tool asks you a few questions and determines how much your vote is worth considering the billions that the candidates are spending online. My non-swing state vote in California is worth $21. As usual my wife has bested me… her vote is worth $38. I played with the tool a little and found that if you are undecided woman in swing-state Ohio who uses Facebook a lot, the vote could be worth as much as $48. I don’t know how accurate it is, but I can over look it for the sake of fun.
Wouldn’t it be a fun social experiment to see how many people would take the straight cash for their vote? As someone who went by Taco Bell for a free taco last week, I can attest that numerous people will go through great lengths for $1.29 (though Dorito tacos are particularly awesome).
I found another tool Politify that allows you to determine how much the candidate will impact your net worth by 2015. According to the tool, Romney winning will net me a cool $3,500 more than Obama. So you might think I’d be a Romney person. Well, due to Romney’s history of support of MLM/pyramid schemes, I have decided he isn’t the person I want to see as President. I estimate that these scams cost consumers around $20 billion dollars a year. (If there is reader interest, I could explain the calculation in more detail.) That’s the equivalent damage of a hurricane Sandy every two and half years (using the $50 billion damage estimates I’ve seen)… and few people seem to care.
With that, I give you reason #519,285 why Joss Whedon is awesome (and I’d find it funny even if it was directed at Obama):
I say your vote is worth exactly zero and here is why …
Lazy Man says
Excellent article. So if someone paid you what this tool said your vote was worth, would you do it? (Assume that it was trivially quick and easy for you to vote, no long line or anything else making it not worth your time or effort.)
Kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says
Lazy – you talkin’ to me? If so, thanks for the compliment.
Now, just to be clear, are you asking me …can my vote be bought? Do you want to know if I could be seduced into partaking in corrupt system for the right price? Are you wanting to know if I would be willing to participate in the further exploitation of my fellow countrymen for money?
I know how strongly you feel about MLM/pyramid schemes, so let me turn the tables on you and ask – if I paid you to join my MLM scam would you sign up knowing full well that your involvement would endorse the exploitation of other people? Would you do it? :)
Lazy Man says
Yes, I was talking to you. I spread your article via Twitter and got a few positive responses.
Your article was a little on the long side and I didn’t finish it before asking if you’d take the money. After reading it, I’m guessing the $30 or whatever it is, isn’t consequential to you… especially considering your point about voting by not voting. I was thinking of the people who don’t vote for the traditional reason that they don’t live in a swing state. If that were the reason, it would be pretty easy to say, “Hey, I’ll take the $30…”
Turning to your point on MLM… If an MLM offered me something like $50 to join and I didn’t have to spend any money, sure I’d do that. Presumably I wouldn’t have to be active in spreading anything, so there really would be no downside and an upside that I took some $50 from an MLM company (winnning!). If you vote, you really aren’t directly or even indirectly endorsing the exploitation of people (at least in my view). Spreading an MLM has a very real, very measurable, economic effect, so I don’t see it being similar.
$40 and i voted last week, waited on line for 90 minutes.
Again, thanks for the kind words about the article.
Yes, there are big scams and little ones, but the size of the scam shouldn’t determine on our participation in it. The negative impact of small ones may feel more real and be more immediately measurable, but ALL Ponzi’s, MLM’s and Pyramid schemes regardless of their size share the exact same characteristics: They are all chronic abusers of their power, thrive on the exploitation of their members, indoctrinate their members in the established belief system, and the elite’s at the top of the heap make laws/rules that legitimizes their ongoing extortion and theft. Sound familiar? It certainly should.
Vladimir Lenin said, “People always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be.”
$39 in Colorado. I would have paid double that to not have seen ads. Maybe 10 times as much
$21 but I can’t imagine that being true since I tend to vote republican and am in New York