Here Is an Example From Oregon Illustrating Why I Prefer a Representative Republic to Direct Democracy
Oregon, a state that we talk about a lot on this blog because it seems to be in the forefront of a lot of good and bad ideas, just raised taxes through a ballot initiative. Meaning, the good people of Oregon used the power of initiative petition to just jack up the tax rates on business and the “wealthy” in Oregon. A famous anonymous quote (often misattributed to Alexander Tytler and Alexis de Tocqueville) observed, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.” Luckily, the people of America have mostly proven that prediction wrong. However, votes like the one in Oregon, as well as the inevitable entitlement crisis we’ll face in about 20 years, may prove it right one day.
And, yes, I am aware that the entitlement crisis is just as much to blame on the elected officials who put the programs in as on the people who support them with their votes.