Thursday, 14 October 2010

Easy Targets

I hadn't planned on posting anything today, but this article at NRO (one of those conservative American websites that's so convinced its ideas are brilliant you have to pay for the privilege of telling them how wrong they are) is so wonderfully, psychotically stupid I felt compelled to share:
None of my family and friends is allowed to appear on Wheel of Fortune... If there’s not a real conflict of interest, there is, at least, the appearance of one... So should state workers be able to vote in state elections on matters that would benefit them directly? 
Quick answer: yes.  Slightly more involved answer: Sajak can't have his kids appear on his show because there is a conflict between running a fair game and helping out his kids.  There is no conflict whatsoever between having a job and wanting for that job to be better.  It doesn't matter in the least that you are working for the guys who will implement the policy the voters choose.

Sajak has to be seen as not caring which contestant wins the game.  State workers are under no obligation to pretend they don't care how their wages are determined.  People do not require them to come to work every day asking themselves "Which of my life choices will benefit the state the most?", because the United States isn't, in fact, the inside of Lenin's head (a truth which one would assume Sajak would take some comfort in).
Of course we all have a stake in one way or another in most elections, and many of us tend to vote in favor of our own interests. However, if, for example, a ballot initiative appears that might cap the benefits of a certain group of state workers, should those workers be able to vote on the matter? Plainly, their interests as direct recipients of the benefits are far greater than the interests of others whose taxes support such benefits.
Remarkably, Sajak is getting stupider.  We should consider denying the vote to people whose interests are particularly on the line?  None of the above really relates specifically to public sector employees anymore, Sajak just thinks we need to start thinking about how much someone wants something before they should be allowed to vote for it.

Of course, this prompts an obvious question.  What would Pat Sajak consider to be those things in his life that are too important for him to have a say in?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say it'll be a pretty short list.

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