Contributed by Josh Fryfogle
Voting in an election is having your say!
Voting with dollars is what you do every day!
The greatest danger of voting in elections, and electing representatives, is that the People might be lulled into belief that they have done all that is expected of them - as Americans and as Alaskans - and afterwards it's out of our hands.
This is the fallacy, which the candidate can do what they say they want to do - what we say we want them to do.
Once in office, pressure comes from all around them. Spending fuels the economy, and newly elected representatives must quickly learn this reality. The economy is the gauge of the People’s daily activity - what the People do. Spending patterns are what really shapes our political circumstance - not an election. Elections just decide who will proxy for us in dealing with that circumstance we create.
We hear people talk an awful lot about government spending, but really, it’s our spending that matters. We say we want American jobs, Alaskan jobs, but we spend the majority of our money with outside companies. These same companies report their earnings, by law, to the state and federal government. It is measured. Taxed.
So, the politician you sent to Juneau or DC gets a crash course in reality. And reality doesn’t jive with what the voters elected the politician to do - what they said they wanted them to do. No, in action the everyday spending patterns of all the People create the metric by which the government realizes itself.
Political actions do jive with what we, the People, actually do every day. As money changes hands, checks, cards, chips, whatever way we choose, we see increase in those areas. We create the economy, the landscape of finance that enables government to function. We are always voting, in action as well as words.
Without the economy to measure, the government would not and could not exist as we know it.
In that predictable cycle, we elect people and then we are disappointed, because we believe the myth that we can transfer responsibility with the simple act of voting in an election. That we can wash our hands of this government, by the People, for the People.
No can do, People.
Every time we spend, we empower the people with whom we invest our dollars.
We often complain that politicians rarely do what they say they will do. We complain that outside interests have such influence. We complain that politicians are influenced by big money.
Where do you think these outside interests get their big money?
Shifting your spending pattern intentionally to your neighbors, buying local a little more than usual, can realize political change. It changes the economy, and that changes government.
Sure, it's not as salacious as the presidential race, not as contentious as our Senate race, and we all like to have our say...
But what do we do?