November 2, 2011

More stupid than smart

The problem with our republic is that you never know who will bother to show up at the polls on voting day.  My little town learned that lesson last May, when what normally would have been a shoo-in re-election of the incumbents was rocked by the election of two no-name candidates, both with checkered criminal pasts.  How did that happen?  Well, less than 10% of the registered voters bothered to show up and cast a ballot.  The phrase I've heard most often was, 'Joe always gets re-elected, we didn't think there was any reason to go vote.'  Gah.

Colorado voters just rejected an education funding measure
Colorado voters turned down a citizen initiative to raise taxes by $2.9 billion for an education system that ranks 39th in the U.S. in spending per student.
Proposition 103, the only statewide tax vote on the ballot, failed 64-36 percent with 72 percent of the projected vote counted, the Associated Press said.
It should be noted that Colorado is widely regarded as being populated by 'smart' people:
A likely swing state in 2012, Colorado is a particularly interesting place to see which argument voters cotton to. Its population is well-educated, with more than one-third of residents older than 25 holding at least a bachelor’s degree.
So, a state of well-educated voters decided that throwing money at a problem wasn't the best way to fix the problem.  That is notable, especially when the measure was education funding.  'It's for the children' usually gets everyone's knickers in a twist.

My town gets hit every few months with the same contingent of six or seven older people who demand a property tax freeze for people over 65.  We toyed with the idea of putting it on the ballot, to let the collective populace decide the measure once and for all (or at least to shut people up for a few years).  The thought process being that 85% of the residents are young families with children who would not like the thought of taking on an increased tax burden, and would be smart enough to see the harm in passing a measure that can never legally be undone.  But, you never know who will bother to vote and some things are too important to be left to chance.

Judging by our current president and most of Congress, stupid shows up more often than smart.

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