Statistically One Vote Doesn’t Make Any Difference

Politicians know better than to talk about real issues. Instead, they argue about which one goes to church more often…or who is best able to fight “terrorists”…or whose taxes will be raised. Of course, they might want to talk about the real threats to the nation, but they know the voters wouldn’t stand for it.

“Who are you going to vote for?” asked a well-meaning friend from New Zealand.

“Vote…I never vote.”

“Why not?”

“Statistically, it is a waste of time,” we explained. “Barack Obama will be elected Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan before my vote makes any difference in a presidential election. But there’s a moral reason too. Suppose my man wins? Then, I bear some responsibility for what he does. I have no idea what he might do…and no control whatsoever over him…”

“But isn’t this an important election?”

“Maybe, maybe not. Economically, the cake has already been baked. The next president isn’t going to like it very much. And he’ll do all he can to avoid having to eat it. All these rebates and bailouts – I suspect that we haven’t seen anything yet. Whoever is elected…we’re probably going to see $1 trillion deficits…and the collapse of the dollar, along with the post-Bretton Woods financial system…”


Until tomorrow,

Bill Bonner
Markets and Money

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind Markets and Money.
Bill Bonner

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7 Comments on "Statistically One Vote Doesn’t Make Any Difference"

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Coffee Addict

Compulsory voting (UK, NZ & Australia) leads to statistically better (if imperfect) outcome.

Optional voting brings out the nutters and those with extreme views on election day. US politicians have no option but to pitch their campaigns (and their policies) to these people and their polarised views.

Bill has no obligation to vote but he should “give it a go” anyway.

Voting is not compulsory in the UK. Hence the low turnout even at general elections. Compulsory voting forces all the idiots to vote and makes politicians dumb things down even more. If you really want to increase voter turnout have political parties that disagree on the important issues, the more vehemently the better. Labour vs Conservative, Liberal vs Labor, Republican vs Democrat just gives you the option of primarily different presentations of extremely similar policies. I’ve long since given up hope of getting even moderately intelligent politicians elected. We just keep getting strategically shaved monkeys in parliament who just want… Read more »

So it’s, I didn’t vote so don’t blame me. Well a whole lot of moderates didn’t vote and look what you got.


Who cares whose views the politicians pitch to? They change colors quicker than chameleons, it doesn’t change what they will actually do once they’re in office.

I’m pretty sure Bill voted for Ron Paul in the primaries though.


So is that the same “imperfect” as in the same imperfection that got the US G.W Bush? NZ Helen Clark? (note we had to vote for her cause the opposition had only wet blankets to offer)

Yeah compulsory voting is swell you can get dud either way…

We’re yet to find out if Rudd is alas the same as the others and if Obama is as well…

Agree with Bill, democracy makes us feel empowered to some degree, but actually causes each individual to have a level of influence that is virtually meaningless. But what else? The real trick is to own/pay a couple of TV stations and papers etc so that you can put out just enough information to guide enough voters to back the required party or person. You have to do training and pass a test to drive a car. Perhaps instead of getting the right, or compulsion, to vote at some age, we should all instead be banned from voting until we have… Read more »
Worse than not voting yourself, you are actually advocating not voting to others, primarily it seems, because you feel your vote should be more important. By the same logic, you could justify littering the streets and flushing poisons into the sewer. Since its just you, the damage would be insignificant. Of course, other people might start to follow your example… but perhaps you tell yourself that its up to other people to make their own choices? Its obvious the system is broken, but until we work out something better, we’ll have to do our best with this one. Boycotts aren’t… Read more »
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