I want to extend a sincere thank you to Rob Wells for introducing me to Bruno Leoni today. I’d never heard of this European scholar before, or if I had it was fleeting.

For about fifteen years I have considered that economic factors are a better “voting” mechanism than any political ballot box. I called this Dollar Voting for lack of any better phrase. In the free market you vote on the best solutions, weighed by your knowledge of the subject and with your own resources. In this way the stakeholder is most responsible for the outcome that affects their own situation. Options are increased and overhead (paying politicians) is reduced.

Sure, everyone may not have the same number of dollars to vote with but in a 80/20 Rule sort of way there stands to reason that the number of poorer folks will amass a large factor that could outweigh rich fat cats on the market for solutions. In most ways no one would need to overcome some bloc of one-per-centers, there are multiple outcomes with market solutions. All the same for any given need one might desire to spend zero dollars (abstain from voting) and simply not subscribe to a service. If the local police are not treating everyone fairly then why should you be forced via citywide taxation, to pay for an inadequate or objectionable service? Possibly you jump at the opportunity to provide an alternative service to your community. If one finds out they have terminal cancer why would they knowingly fund a retirement plan for the last twenty months they are able to work? The opportunity cost for paying these services might better be used to provide the last few months of comfort or better used to enjoy a memorable trip with family.

With election ballots the losers may lose all. In a market system, if 20% of the people vote (with their dollars) to choose one education method they still win. Every time. And the other 80% get what they believe is best. Leoni covers my thoughts on that very well in Voting versus the Market

Only later in the last century did several prominent scholars and statesmen start to realize that there was no more magic in the number 51 than in the number 49. For instance the French garantistes as well as some famous English thinkers had no hesitancy in declaring their dislike for the unconditional application of majority rule in political decisions, and for the underlying assumption that Herbert Spencer was to brand in 1884 as the superstition of “the divine right of majorities.”

In politics we see that a businessman may be elected to run a city even though they have little background in education or fire departments. A nurse may become the congresswoman but what does she know about running the treasury or foreign policy? A lawyer becomes president who even with well educated advisers on trade and social programs the masses are stuck with massive changes in their services. If it is a bad policy then several hundred million people are affected. Compare that to individuals totaling up to 49% of any population group making a bad choice. At least some of the folks aren’t directly burdened with decisions they were completely opposed to. Compared to the market I believe the current system looks like an utter mess. Chaos.

I hope you enjoy Voting versus the Market as much as I did, possibly this quick read will save you the time of bantering the subject in your own head for a decade or so.