October 11th, 2008

standing spin

Why electoral voting?

I came across an interesting tidbit about overeager voter registration drives today. Evidently a community organizer umbrella group turned in 5000 voter registration forms in Gary, Indiana, of which the registrars found that the first 2100 were all fake before putting the rest aside to review potentially legitimate forms from other sources.

This is how the infamous Daley machine kept control of Chicago back in the 1960s, when death didn't terminate your right to vote.

One thing that occurred to me is that the electoral college tends to buffer Presidential elections from this kind of voting fraud. Since there are a lot of states with a bigger population than the popular vote edge in most presidential elections, massive voting fraud, even if local to just one of these states, could tip the popular vote. However, since the electoral vote tends to be a lot more lopsided, fraud in a limited geographical area is less likely to tip the electoral vote.

Made public on 20090509 since the election is over.

Sources:
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/09/acorn.fraud.claims/index.html
More detail but from a less objective source:
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/rnc-cnn-exposes-how-acorn/story.aspx?guid=%7BE0F68C91-381A-43E8-9857-D990EFC33B34%7D&dist=hppr
standing spin

Confidence

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has a theory that the great depression was caused by a loss of confidence in the banking system. He's trying to prevent that now by injecting cash into the system.

The problem is that confidence isn't a concrete thing like cash. It's a psychological thing: more about trust and sense than about dollars and cents.

If you wonder what's happening to the stock market - or to your retirement plan - right now, it's directly related to lack of trust in Bernanke, and in the government in general. The stock market trusts capitalism and the private sector; the more government intervention it sees - especially with talk going around about nationalizing banks and such - the less confidence it has that stock certificates mean anything, and the lower the value it assigns to those certificates.

The answer is not, as Bernanke and Paulson and Bush and Pelosi seem to suggest, more intervention. The answer is for the government to back off and let the free market do its thing.