Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What happens if you have a mortgage?

Jon Chait talks about a new idea from Tea Party Nation:

Tea Party Nation Judson Phillips thinks the franchise should be taken away from renters

Of course, the complexities in trying to operationalize such a plan are, shall we say, staggering.


  1. This criticism always sounds a little hollow--when people talk about interpreting the constitution 'as the framers intended', I'm pretty sure they don't mean the parts that later amendments changed.

  2. I think that the actual quote is quite revealing:

    "The Founding Fathers originally said, they put certain restrictions on who gets the right to vote. It wasn’t you were just a citizen and you got to vote. Some of the restrictions, you know, you obviously would not think about today. But one of those was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you’re a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community. If you’re not a property owner, you know, I’m sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners."

    This idea has been around for a while; Robert Heinlein mooted the idea that only vets should vote (and these restrictions of either property or military service were common in the Greek city states).

    I think it will be worth a post expounding exactly what I think the issues would be with this in practice.

    This is not to say that I don;t have a lot of interest in arguments from original intent. I was merely commenting on the practical difficulties implicit in such a change.

  3. Yeah, you're absolutely right. My apologies.

  4. @David: no troubles. There is a line of attack that does do precisely what you were concerned about and you are right to keep us honest.