Perkins: Dollars are equal, people aren’t

What is the function of voting in a democracy? Is it to have a say in the decisions that affect your life, or is it to decide who gets to exercise power over everyone else? Venture capitalist Tom Perkins came out last week as a proponent of the latter approach.

What’s adorable is that Perkins is pretending the wealthy don’t already have vastly disproportionate political power in this country. The rest of us don’t have the luxury of not noticing that. What I find amusing is that he’s using the same “one dollar, one vote” formulation that liberal and left advocates have used for years to critique the role of money in politics.

But really, isn’t it just the logical extension of the idea that the market is the only legitimate way of determining who gets what resources in our society? Or maybe it’s the other way around — that idea of the market is the logical extension of seeing the dollar as a more important unit of society than the person.

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