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Universal Suffrage, Property Rights, and the ACLU Universal Suffrage and Property Rights

Democracy's Snare

Employees' Interests

Hereditary employees are interested in short-term issues, such as keeping their jobs, expanding their health benefits, or being able to buy cheap imported goods at the store.

Hereditary employees are interested in keeping jobs, health benefits, and cheap imports.

There is also undue attention to non-economic 'rights' issues.

By the millennium, the results in American elections hinged on the rate of unemployment and cultural matters such as abortion, gay rights, affirmative action, and gun control.

What are the chances that the people will 'rise up' and retake control of government, turning the country decisively back to its capitalistic origins?

Considering universal suffrage, the composition of the current electorate, and the strength of demagogues and the liberal media, the chances seem remote.

Changing Views of Suffrage

In 1775, Alexander Hamilton foresaw the mischief implicit in universal suffrage and justified the ownership of property as a requirement for voting:

If it were probable that every man would give his vote freely, and without influence of any kind, then, upon the true theory and genuine principles of liberty, every member of the community, however poor, should have a vote…

America's founders saw property ownership as a condition for voting.

But since that can hardly be expected, in persons of indigent fortunes, or such as are under the immediate dominion of others, all popular states have been obliged to establish certain qualifications, whereby, some who are suspected to have no will of their own, are excluded from voting; in order to set other individuals, whose wills may be supposed independent, more thoroughly upon a level with each other.
[Papers of Alexander Hamilton]

By the year 2000, the distortion inherent in popular democracy, feared by America's founding fathers, had come to pass.

It is interesting to note that there is no 'right to vote' embodied in the Constitution of the United States.

The intention of those who created the American republic was to form a government in which property rights would be held in high esteem and in which 'freeholders' (i.e., landowners – ordinarily farmers and other small business people who made up the majority of Americans) would be those who voted.

Who Defends Property Rights Today?

James Madison, in line with the general opinion at the time, showed the prevailing commonsense, putting personal and property rights on an equal footing in his Federalist writings:

It is sufficiently obvious, that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.
These rights cannot well be separated. The personal right to acquire property, which is a natural right, gives to property, when acquired, a right to protection, as a social right.

The income tax was designed to violate property rights and tax some more than others.

Property taxes, excise taxes, sales taxes and other imposts common in the colonial period dealt with all citizens more or less equally.

However, the income tax, introduced in the twentieth century, was specifically designed to tax certain people more than their neighbors and, eventually, to transfer wealth from the haves to the have-nots.

Combined with universal suffrage, the stage was set, as Hamilton feared, for demagogues to exploit the weak-minded, indigent masses in order to keep themselves in power and to destroy any lingering eighteenth century notion of a 'natural right' to protection of property.

Enfranchising the Ignorant

In 1999, the lowest quintile of American households had an average annual income of only $8,400 and paid less than one percent of total U.S. income taxes.

From various academic studies, we know there is a strong correlation in America between income and intelligence.

In a book by Herrnstein and Murray, The Bell Curve, these scholars noted that Americans that ranked in the bottom 20% of intelligence included:

Obviously, in the U.S., low income is correlated with low intelligence.

One might surmise that this was also true in the early years of the nation.

When Hamilton and Madison advised against giving the vote to those without property — property in those days was usually associated with those who ran a farm or some other business — they clearly intended to place power in the hands of those who were likely to have an interest in building the nation and who had the intellectual and moral capacity to make reasonable decisions for the common good.

Pandering to Perpetual Fools

As Abraham Lincoln noted, 'you can fool some of the people all of the time.'

It would have seemed absurd to the America's founders to give the vote to drug-addicts, criminals, indigents, the mentally disturbed, and those without the character even to take advantage of free schooling or to run their lives in an orderly fashion, as is now the case.

The worst apprehensions of the founding fathers have come to pass

Today, the worst apprehensions of the founding fathers have come to pass.

Demagogues, generally affiliated with the Democratic Party, have long ago discovered that power lies, as Hamilton warned, in establishing 'immediate dominion' over 'persons of indigent fortunes'.

They do this by promising to act as Robin Hood, taking from the rich and giving to those that vote Democrat.

Recruiting Irresponsible Voters

With a cynical understanding that the 'deserving poor' were often the less intelligent segment of society, lax in their civic duties, and less likely to vote, the Democrats have specialized in rounding up those they would place under their sway, taking them to the polls by whatever means.

Clinton signed the National Voter Registration Act

In 1994, President Clinton signed the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) designed to increase the number of those likely to vote for the Democratic ticket.

The NVRA favored automatic voter registration on applying for a driving license (motor-voters), a social security number, or mail registration.

The ACLU Undermines the Constitution

The American Civil Liberties Union, virtually the legal-action arm of the Democratic Party, entered many lawsuits supporting voter registration assistance for ex-felons and voting rights for the incarcerated, the mentally ill, the incompetent, people under guardianship, and criminal psychotics.

The ACLU defends voting by the incarcerated, the mentally ill, and criminal psychotics.

Over two hundred years, the right to vote has slowly come to encompass not only the poor, but also the mentally disturbed and law-breakers.

This has produced results foreseen by the writers of the Constitution.

Populist democracy, with the help of political agitators, will always eventually succeed in transferring property from the haves to the have-nots –— the 'have-nots' to include the agitators themselves.

By combining the votes of the majority of citizens who barely pay taxes with the votes of the tens of millions who do, but who, directly or indirectly are on the government payroll, the Democratic Party found its winning formula: class warfare.

An Irreversible Trend?

Because the extension of the franchise is irreversible, income taxes are likely to continue to weigh upon entrepreneurial activity, producing increasingly negative effects on the American capital market.

Property rights have been seriously eroded as populists have shifted attention to issues barely perceived a century ago: civil rights, gay rights, abortion rights, animal rights, and the right to privacy.

Equity supplies are drained as Americans adopt socialist habits of their European cousins.

The supply of equities is drained as Americans adopt the socialist habits of their European cousins.

In mentioning the U.S. Constitution and ideas of the founding fathers of the Republic, the purpose is not to revel in nostalgia.

Instead, we need to discern the evolving nature of capitalism and the effects of social and political change on the supply of equities.

Is the shortage of stocks noted in the 1990s temporary, or is it a symptom of a more profound, irreversible trend?

By the millennium, the electoral balance of power between proponents of big government (the Republicans) and bigger government (the Democrats) teetered on a knife edge.


Before proceeding, check your progress:


The United States Constitutions presumed an electorate that consisted mainly of:
Choice 3Self-employed property owners.
Choice 1Public employees.
Choice 2Factory workers.
Choice 4The uneducated poor.
James Madison, one of America's founding fathers, argued that the primary role of government was to protect the individual's right to:
Choice 1Privacy.
Choice 2Property.
Choice 3Racial equality.
Choice 4Abortion.
The American Civil Liberty Union has defended the right to vote of which of the following classes of U.S. citizens:
Choice 3 White middle-class entrepreneurs.
Choice 1 Convicted felons.
Choice 2 The mentally retarded.
Choice 4 Criminal psychotics.

Investment Theory: Capital Flow Analysis Universal Suffrage and Property Rights : Continued >

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