This forum is in permanent archive mode. Our new active community can be found here.

Money is Not Speech

edited May 2006 in Flamewars
This is an election year in America, so I thought I would lay this thought out there. Money, the possession of such and the right to spend such, is not freedom of speech. They are rights given to Americans, but not under the free speech provision of the constitution.

If you have less money then someone else, does that give that person inherently more right to have a voice in our government?


  • Having more money doesn't give you more of a right to free speech, it simply gives you a louder voice.
  • Every year is an election year in the USA :)

    Posession and expenditure of money isn't freedom of speech, you're right. However, freedom to do as you wish with your property is essential to capitalism. One can also argue that it is essential to freedom in general. Read the classic economics text "Capitalism and Freedom" by Milton Friedman if you want to hear about that.

    I see you were trying to make a connection, but right to "voice in government" has nothing to do freedom of speech. Constitutionally speaking, your only voice in government is your vote, and the right to petition. Of course, you can also run for office and act as the voice of others.

    It's a sad state of affairs where corruption and bribery cause the reprsentatives of the people to represent the rich people and the large corporations instead of their constituents.
  • Agreed. Ideally, everybody's "voice" should be heard just as loudly by the government, and our system is technically set up that way. Well, sort of.

    However, people are people, so bribery and corruption happens.

    Here's the sticker though: how do you deal with it? You're dealing with a facet of people; most people are essentially greedy and selfish, to some extent or another, and quite often, when put in a position of power, these attributes manifest as corruption.

    No government in history has been free from this problem, except for the odd enlightened despot. So what do we do?

    I say, burn it all the fuck down.
  • Become the Borg maybe?
  • Make the civilian leadership answerable to military law?
  • Katsu, could you explain your suggestion some more as I'm not quite sure what you mean by military law.

    As to actually dealing with corruption, I think the best way to deal with it in politics is to be extremely draconian with it. Any elected representitive's or senior offical's finances must be open for scrutiny from when they first declare for election or are considered until quite some time after they leave their position, and any corruption must be punished harshly, perhaps with a stint in federal pound me in the ass prison.

    Also, anyone should be able to donate however much money to whatever candidate or party they want, but it should have to be anonymous. Then we'll see who really believes in the people they give money to and who just gives money in the hope of favours in the future.

    A different option is just to give all elected representitves a blank cheque from the government for life. I'm pretty sure the US government can afford it.
  • You're right Scott, I presented my idea in a somewhat rushed fashion, because I did intend to mean the bribery and wholesale purchase of our elected representatives.

    I think a way to deal with it might stems from the way I tried to frame the question, the removal of money from politics. We should have publicly financed campaigns, disallow politicians to accept anything that might be taken as a bribe, and kill all lobbyists, and kill anyone who tries to start it up again after we shoot them all. For so many of these companies, they buy government because it's a cheap investment.

    I think publicly financed campaigns might stand to balance the playing field between those who can just announce that they are running and be able to outspend anyone else as the money rolls into their campaign. We already have the problems of name recognition making it easier for them to pull your lever, why should we add the benefit of being able to drown your opponent in spending?
  • I'm not really for the publicly financed campaigns. Nor am I for forcing donations to be anonymous. All those types of solutions mean more beaurocracy and less freedom.

    A better solution would be to fix things on the voting end. If votes mattered as much as they should, and perhaps the voting method were changed, then appeasing constituents would be more important than appeasing contributors. The problem is that appeasing constituents means heavy pork-barrel politics.

    If only the electoral college worked the way the constitution originally meant, and not the way it does now.
  • Do you know who the fuck I am? I'm the Juggernaut, bitch! I don't need no money. I just kick your ass till you give me what I want.
  • Having the civilian government be subject to military law means that the punishments which can be leveled against the civilian leadership are the same as those which can be leveled against a military officer.
    None of this wussy impeachment; hang them.
Sign In or Register to comment.