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Give Children The Vote?

Our future
“After soccer practice, I’m going to bring you to the polls.”

“Ah, mom! Do we have to go?”

“Everybody has to vote, Johnny. If you don’t, you’re disenfranchised.”

“I want Spiderman to win!”

“Now, Johnny, don’t be silly. Spiderman isn’t running.”

“I can vote for anybody I want to!”

“I just hope I can fit the stroller into the booth so your sister can vote, too.”

This scene is the earnest product of Miles Corak’s fevered imagination. Corak is (according to Reuters) an intellectual at “Canada 2020, a Canadian progressive research group.”

Works like this. Corak figures “rising income inequality and declining social mobility go together.” Which group has less income than kids? Therefore which group therefore “suffers most” from declining social mobility? You got it, baby. Babies.

Infants have no job prospects. Couldn’t get an interview if they begged. Nobody will hire them. Blatant—and legal!—age discrimination rages, my friend, positively rages.

“Older individuals, and those with more education working in higher-skilled occupations, are more likely to vote,” Corak writes… “But, in addition, there is a broad bias by virtue of the simple fact that children are disenfranchised. Children’s rights are not adequately recognized and they have a reduced political voice in setting social priorities.”

“Children,” Reuters quotes, “are one of the last categories of humans denied the most fundamental right of citizenship: the right to vote.”

To prove to you that Corak doesn’t live entirely in a bubble, he added, “When you first hear about [child voting], it sounds like a crazy idea.” Amen. It does. But after you cogitate over it a while, why then it…still seems like Corak has been spending too much time in the Canadian winter without his coat.

In his favor, Corak says he didn’t originate the idea. He blames a guy named Paul Demeny. Social scientists call lines of infants at the polls “‘Demeny voting’ in his honor.”

Demeny’s version is a little different than Corak’s because Demeny recognize that children and infants do not possess—how can we put this politely?—the intellectual prowess to decide between, say, Joe “Wakka Wakka” Biden and George “Jeb” Bush, the two candidates most fret will vie for this nation’s top spot in 2016. (On the other hand, if it were these two gentlemen, maybe the only ones who could be talked into voting would be children.)

Not only is Junior too stupid to vote intelligently, he also can’t reach the machine to register his opinion. Solution? Let mothers vote for their children. Demeny says this is “justified by logic and justice”. Reuters agrees that mother-proxies are “a data-backed view: Mothers are best at spending shared resources on their offspring, which is why state child support usually goes to them.”

Whither fathers? After requiring they fund the enterprise, forget them. The brutes.

Now this idea, representative voting, is not silly. It is after all true that a family of eight—mom, dad, and six currently ineligible voters—has more at stake than a confirmed bachelor. Why shouldn’t the larger family have more say? As it is now, the bachelor has four times the voting power of either the mom or dad. Social injustice indeed!

But then doesn’t the man who has ten-thousand acres of Wyoming stashed away in a corner have more riding on the country’s prospects than does the fellow who rents month-by-month a single-wide trailer in Tornado Alley, Oklahoma?

Maybe votes should be partitioned by a formula which weights land ownership and family size equally.

Consider too that the aged; those eighty and over have have expended their stores of “social mobility”. These people aren’t headed to the future, but to Florida—if I may employ the euphemism. Infants and newborns, on the other hand, have decades in front of them. The value of their social capital is two orders of magnitude larger than the elderly’s.

That means the weight of children’s votes should be larger than the weight of adults’ votes. Kids who, through say an inheritance own land, would be allocated the largest number of votes. Fair is fair.

We haven’t nearly finished. It is obvious that a man (or woman!) who through intelligence and hard labor employs and therefore provides a living for a hundred men (or women!) is more in the game than one of this man’s (or woman’s!) wage earners.

We have to factor in intelligence, too. Those who can correctly identify their country on a globe should receive twice as many votes as those who admit to watching wrestling on television.

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Hat tip: Hot Air, where the Reuters article was originally linked.

11 thoughts on “Give Children The Vote? Leave a comment

  1. End the unconstitutional (I know, the use of such a term is a question-begging epithet per Jeremy Bentham) system of wealth transfers (temporal and inter-temporal), and we begin moving back to a system that some considered the original intent.

    When each vote has more a temporal than an inter-temporal flavor, children no longer need a proxy to vote to protect their futures.

    But does anyone really think that parents today, in general, will protect their children’s future using politics of the present?

    Given the underlying assumption that the vote is used to dole out wealth transfer, that claim is refuted by the need to consider children to begin with.

  2. corrected post:

    End the unconstitutional (I know, the use of such a term is a question-begging epithet per Jeremy Bentham) system of wealth transfers (temporal and inter-temporal) and we begin moving back to a system that some Founders considered to be the original intent.

    When each vote has more of a temporal than an inter-temporal flavor, children will no longer need a proxy to vote to protect their futures.

    But does anyone really believe that parents today, in general, will protect their children’s future using politics of the present?

    Given the underlying assumption that the vote is used to dole out wealth transfers (both temporal and inter-temporal), that claim is refuted by the need to consider children to begin with — not to mention empirical observations.

  3. It would follow that children should also pay their fair share of taxes on their milk money, birthday checks, and the quarters that neighbors give them for helping out with yard work.

  4. Here there are talk to lowering the age of voting to 16 year old. The idea is floating around but does not have a lot of support.

    The idea of one person one voteis still the best and there is no discrimination in living it to adult.

    It kind of worrisome the number of States in the US that are trying to restrict the vote, through tougher registration, or ridiculously long ballot or lines.

    Most state that voted Republican in the las election could be qualified as takers. These states are where the largest numbers of people living in poverty or receiving government “handout”.

    It is interesting to see that the people that Romney/Ryan called the takers were actually there base. Maybe it is by shame of receiving this money that these people vote against their own interest.

  5. Why should humans be allowed to arrogate the right to vote to themselves alone? Millions of animals feel the impact of Government decisions so, clearly, they should have a say in who makes those decisions. My dog tells me he’ll vote for any party that promises more horse meat in burgers and is confident that dogs outnumber horses.

  6. RE: “Older individuals, and those with more education working in higher-skilled occupations, are more likely to vote,” Corak writes…

    HHhhhmmmmm…in some jurisdictions the odds that many deceased people will vote/have voted is unusually high (at least if one considers dead people voting unusual).

    It does[n’t] make sense to have kids–humans whose very brains are still maturing/in a “still under construction” condition–decide things.

    Such a trend will, sooner or later, lead to election by random lottery. And if/when that happens we might not be able to tell the difference from how things are now.

  7. Kids who believe a society that steals, from the productive to enrich the useless, will be sustainable are already voting.
    Given the high number of voters who claim no difference exists between most candidates and hence no choice why bother;

    It is time to get ZZZ#1.None_of_the_Above, onto the ballot.

    If NOTA wins, all candidates get banished from running for 10 years.
    Now we will not get this choice thro electoral reform, as this option terrifies career freeloaders.
    We need one person in each riding to change their name, (maybe number the ridings for differentiation purposes), have enough organization to meet nomination signatures and do nothing for duration of election.
    Maybe encourage voter turn out by claiming a ballot box pleasure/surprise?
    But definitely low budget solution to the party zombies.
    Now I can’t remember which end the ZZZ# needs to be on to ensure bottom of ballot position.
    But the horror of the professional politicians would be priceless.

  8. Sylvain Allard:

    “Most state that voted Republican in the las election could be qualified as takers. These states are where the largest numbers of people living in poverty or receiving government “handout”.”

    Oh, you mean like California? Or perhaps you should take a look at urban vs. big city voting tendencies? Might be a more interesting lesson there.

    “It kind of worrisome the number of States in the US that are trying to restrict the vote, through tougher registration, or ridiculously long ballot or lines.”

    The myth that ‘everyone should have a vote and should have it counted’ is a good one, but it is a myth. There have always been lots of restrictions around voting: I have to be a certain age, I have to not be a felon of particular stripes, I have to bother registering to vote — and by a certain date, I have to show up to the polling place — and on time, I have to mail my ballot or show up on the correct date, I have to take some time to understand what the heck I am doing when I step into the booth so that I mark the ballot correctly, and so on.

    If I do *all* of those things then I have a reasonable legal expectation that my vote will be counted. If I fail at any step along the way, I have no such expectation.

  9. @Eric Anderson,

    Federal spending by state:

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/08/americas-fiscal-union

    2012 election result

    http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/2012/results

    Looking at the data between the election result and the payment balances between the states and the federal shows how strongly the states that showed a deficit toward the federal government voted for Romney while the states that showed the biggest surplusses voted for Obama.
    ,
    Of the 50 states, 21 states show surplusses and 29 show déficit. 24 states voted for Romney and 20 of them are in deficit and 4 of them show surplusses (Nebraska, Texas, Georgia and Arkansas). 26 states voted for Obama, 9 of them are in deficit and 17 of them show surplusses. Thus the data proves my point that most of the takers voted for Romney.

    In Canada, every Citizen has the right to vote and we are automaticly registered when we produce our tax returns and we can also register our vote at the polling place if there was any of problem. The only exception to vote is the age 18+. We do show a photo ID but this ID is the universal health care card. Felon don’t lose their right to vote.

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