Last week, Tom Perkins, who’s becoming America’s most controversial venture capitalist, suggested the very rich should get more votes than everyone else. In his ideal system, he said, “it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How’s that?” Well, un-American, for starters. But more on that in a minute. Perkins quickly indicated he wasn’t being entirely serious, just as he’d backtracked after saying on another occasion that criticism of the 1% was akin to Nazi persecution of Jews. Apparently his pronouncements aren’t to be taken literally; they’re pleas for understanding from a brave member of a victimized minority group. Right. Yet Perkins has given us the gift of a great thought experiment. What if we took him literally and granted more votes to those who earn more? One dollar, one vote. It would seem antithetical to every notion of equal citizenship and fair play, and at odds with our constitutional ideal of one man, one vote. But in fact, the result would not look terribly different from today’s political reality.
As things stand, without even needing to implement what Perkins calls “The Tom Perkins System,” the wealthiest Americans already have grossly disproportionate voice in elections, campaign finance, lobbying and policy making.
In the first place, let’s consider the fact that we’re paying attention to this civic crackpot even though he has no command of American social or political history, no appreciation for the multigenerational legacy of public investment that made his success possible, and no apparent empathy for anyone outside his rarefied circle. Why does he have a megaphone? Why do we listen? Because he’s spectacularly rich.
Full Article: Opinion: The rich already have more votes than you – CNN.com.