Thursday, August 03, 2006

New Religion for American Leaders, Money as the Solution to All Problems

The state of Arizona will consider a measure that pays one lucky voter $1 million dollars on their ballot this November. The logic is similar to corporate leaders, people won’t do anything worthwhile unless paid or given the opportunity to reward.

Studies actually show the opposite. People performing a task, normally challenging and rewarding “in and of itself”, lose interest when compensated. It’s as if people say “If they have to pay me to do that, it must not be very fun”.

The other problem with throwing money out as solution to every problem is the causes remain. Giving people a lottery ticket to vote does not deal with the underlying reasons they haven’t been voting in the first place. Should selecting hyper-competitive far right or far left candidates and running negative campaign keep people away from the polls, how would a bribe help?

One Arizona voter had this to say about the proposed payoff for voting:

David Garcia, 36, said the idea makes him uncomfortable: "The government encouraging democracy through a monetary reward I think starts to go down some slippery slopes. Just for some reason, mixing the two together doesn't sit well with me."

Mr. Garcia should call President Bush and Congress as that is the exact method they plan to use to spread democracy in Cuba, through monetary reward. What kinds of people will they draw with this approach? Did they not learn their lesson with Mr. Chalabi in Iraq?

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