Down With Power Audiobook!

Number 898, November 13, 2016

There has never been any good
political news in my life. For
seventy years, no good news.

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Raw Numbers, Real People
by Jim Davidson

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

“A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.”
—Lysander Spooner, The Constitution of No Authority, No. 6, 1870.

There was an election on Tuesday 8 November 2016. In this election, the following votes were cast:

Donald Trump: 59,937,338
Hillary Clinton: 60,274,974
Gary Johnson 4,102,585
Jill Stein 1,228,862
Others 817,850
Total votes cast 126,361,609

The total population of the United States is: 324,961,751.

So, here is a very significant raw number: 198,600,142 people either did not choose to vote, including about 47% of registered voters, or were not registered, or not eligible to register to vote.

As a result of this one basic fact of non-participation, only 18.44% of the American people voted for Donald Trump. About 18.55% of Americans voted for $hillary. Fully 61.11% of the American people did not vote.

Now, some of those people, maybe 65 million or so, are children under the age of 18. So, they were not allowed to register to vote.

Keep in mind that persons as young as 13 have been tried “as adults” and in some cases, convicted of very heinous crimes. So, teenagers may be treated as adults when it serves the government’s agenda, but they may not participate in choosing “representatives” who are supposedly in the government taking choices on their behalf. Further to this point, everyone pays national excise taxes, state sales taxes (where applicable), and other taxes and fees to the government, including import duties on imported goods, but those under age 18 are not allowed to be represented in government. Children as young as 10 are allowed to work on farms, and have their incomes taxed by the national government.  Children under 18 with regular jobs also pay FICA withholding taxes. They are not allowed to vote. Whatever happened to “no taxation without representation”? Well, it was bullshit, from the start.

As an interesting fact related to this matter, you may recall reading in history books that women protested for the vote in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Men, having just voted in Prohibition to please Woodrow Wilson decided to give women the vote. Women, rather sensibly, voted in people smart enough to end Prohibition.

Some of us were alive and remember directly that in the late 1960s, as part of the protests against the Vietnam war, many young Americans protested that 18 year olds were being drafted, but were not eligible to vote. Yet another amendment was passed to bring about a lower age limit.

But, given the injustice of trying teenagers as adults, and taxing them as adults without representation, where are the protests? Why aren’t young people asking for the vote, when it is clearly unjust for someone capable of conceiving a child, being tried as an adult, working a regular job, and paying taxes to be denied the same “rights, benefits, and privileges” as other adults?

You can ask them. But I will tell you what I think.

Right around 120 million Americans who are eligible to vote either did not register or did register and didn’t bother to vote. And they did so because they don’t think voting matters, they don’t think the votes are counted properly, they don’t expect to change anything by voting. And around 78.6 million Americans are not clamouring to get the right to vote, because they find it just as absurdly pointless.

People have been voting in the United States, under the current system, since 1788. Looking at the bill of rights, the tax rates, the number of regulatory agencies, and the total amount of economic activity involved in government at all levels, since 1788, you can see that all these centuries of voting have not made things better. On every single measure of freedom, both political and economic, voting has made things worse.

The other happy news upon which to reflect is that people who aren’t interested in participating in the system are, in record numbers, neither being provided with government support nor holding regular jobs.  About 40 to 50 million Americans are living their lives and getting along without a reported “income” or regular job, and without food stamps.

My job, as an agorist, is to help another 150 million Americans join that growing crowd of non-participation. When we have made it possible for the majority of Americans to live without the government, a great many more will follow suit.

When government is no longer seen as necessary or useful, it won’t be supported. We don’t need to put our hands on the tyrant to push him down, he will fall if we only stop supporting him.

Jim Davidson is a principal with which is a news, information, and capitalist outfit seeking to disrupt a great many markets in ways that should benefit an enormous number of people. He is also the author of the books The Atlantis Papers, Being Sovereign, Being Libertarian, dozens of essays, hundreds of letters to editors and friends, and tens of thousands of e-mails. He is a poet, a scholar, a world traveller, a raconteur, and he is addicted to freedom.

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