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Setting up a theory[edit]

The following is an attempt at setting up a theory on the subject of Dollar Voting. I'm making this up as I go :). If I had had a website I would have put this there and put an external link to there in the article. Lacking that, this setup (with a link from the article to the talk page) seemed like a good alternative. However, now someone has removed that link....

The free market system can be regarded as akin to democracy, though applied to production (economics) raher than politics, in that people use their money as a means to vote for a product, giving the producer an incentive to continue its production. This has come to be known as dollar voting although, of course, it works with any currency.

However, there are some differences between dollar voting and democracy:

  • In political elections, everyone (with some exclusions, such as children) gets an equal vote. In the free market the richer you are the more you can vote. In that sense it leans more towards plutocracy than democracy, although it doesn't restrict power to the 'happy few', it just gives them more 'democratic' power. One might also call it a form of meritocracy, albeit a strange one, in which the merits gained in one field (production - earning money) gives more votes in another field (consumption - spending money).
  • In political elections, the places where you can vote are spread fairly evenly, with usually one such place nearby and all with the same, complete, selection available. In the free market you're limited to the shops in your neighbourhood and the selection of products that those shops have.
  • In the free market everyone can vote, including children and foreigners, provided they have money.
  • In political elections, all 'products' are uniform in the sense that they are all about the same sort of thing, with (usually) all aspects the product can have described for each product (ie, the views on all topics). In the free market, various products may cover your needs in different ways, without you knowing that, which makes the choice more difficult. Also, one choice may lead to another. If you buy a certain digital camera you're stuck with the type of memory card that goes with it (again, possibly without you knowing it).
  • In political elections, you get a complete overview of who you can vote for. In the free market such information (ie, what products there are) is much harder to come by and usually limited to the selections that the local shops have.
  • In political elections, all 'products' cost the same, namely nothing. In the free market, products not only perform differently, but also cost different sums of money. And it is usually not clear what those price differences stand for (if anything - the price may have more to do with marketing than performance of the product).
  • Political parties may change, but not as much as products do. A product may disappear (even if it is a good product - again to do with marketing) or a product may be presented as the same, but really have changed (often for the worse, alas).
  • A new product can be tested by one person, who can then tell others about the outcome. A new political party needs to be 'tested' (voted for) by a large group of people before its performance can be assessed.
  • In the free market, if a product doesn't do what it is supposed to do, you can generally get a replacement or your money back. However, if you vote for a certain party and that party doesn't do what it promised, you generally have to wait for several years until you can get satisfaction by voting for another party (hoping that one's better).
  • If a product you bought doesn't do what you thought it would, you're stuck with it indefinitely. But you can go and buy another product (hoping that one's better).

But what the two systems have in common is that they work best if the voters/buyers are well informed and intelligent. And especially with dollar voting, ie the free market, things might change considerably with the Internet, especially concerning the first two points. Sites emerge that give complete (or so one may hope) overviews of all products in a certain category. And internet buying means that the location of a shop becomes almost irrelevant (except when it comes to shipping).

DirkvdM 09:31, 2005 May 8 (UTC)

You can't "set up new theories" on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is about non-original work, so if this is a scientific theory, write a scientific article on it and publish it. What you wrote resembles theories of supply and demand, but also Game Theory. Wouter Lievens 22:22, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I know, and I deliberately made that clear in the beginning. But it is in a way just a normal way to edit in Wikipedia taken further. Most of my edits are based on a general insight I have. I hardly ever look something up specifically before editing. I work with the 'knowledge' I have in my head, but I suppose that that goes for most people. And what is knowledge anyway? (I'm sorry, I've studied philosophy :) .)

But I must admit that I have crossed a line here. I suppose I should in this case read up on the subject and then synthesise an article from those findings. There are plenty of writings on the Internet on this. But the problem with those is that they also are though up by other people. Likewise, I can come up with a theory and then publish that here. As you point out, the rule is that one should only place non-original work in Wikipedia. So if I publish my theory and someone else (a friend?...) puts it here, it should be ok?

A better rule would be that what's in Wikipedia should be a synthesis of the most accepted theories. But then who is to moderate that?

I understand your criticism, I just mean to say it's not all that clear cut.

So now what? Should this be removed?

DirkvdM 12:08, 2005 May 15 (UTC)

I think we should keep it. I know a lot of economics and the theory is proffessional enough to show it on wikipedia. It is a good article. Yours, Wiki213ip 19:26, 11 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Fair use rationale for Image:Pyat rublei 1997.jpg[edit]

Image:Pyat rublei 1997.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 11:25, 6 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Relevant discussion elsewhere[edit]

At the free market talk page there is an old discussion that would be more in place here. In stead of moving it, I decided to place a link here. However, that is an archived part of the talk page, so any continuation of this should take place here. FYI. DirkvdM (talk) 18:00, 2 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]


Personal opinion WP:SOAPBOX comments
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I think it should be mentioned that "dollar-voting" is profoundly anti-democratic and in no way conducive to democracy, especially with today's massive wealth inequalities. It amounts to people like Bill Gates having more voting power than entire nations. Sorry if my comment is misplaced. WjtWeston (talk) 05:20, 6 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]

We literally vote for politicians but we figuratively vote for people like Bill Gates. Given that my computer is running Microsoft Windows then you can blame me and millions of other people for voting for Bill Gates with our dollars. --Xerographica (talk) 09:49, 15 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I run GNU/Linux and refuse to purchase Microsoft windows. I can and already have bought computers that have never been tainted with Microsoft windows and I encourage others to do the same. This is voting with my dollar. The reason Bill Gates has so much wealth is due to the corruptness of the government. Microsoft lobbies to have their products shoved down kids throat in public schools and to use their products in other areas of government. The kids come out of school not knowing anything else but windows. Also Microsoft abuses patents to defeat competition. You see the government is the real problem. Remember what gives them the power to abuse citizens is the government. The government is what prevents people from voting with their dollar. The current wealth inequalities are caused by the government. To prevent this the government must be restricted instead of the people. Only with a truly free market will be able to truly vote with our dollar. Sonic12228 (talk) 03:26, 29 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Wall-Mart is our representative[edit]

Ran across this passage in the New Yorker...

Wal-Mart can’t charge more; if it does, its customers will go elsewhere. The same is true of Target and Costco. In a sense, Wal-Mart is the elected representative of tens of millions of hard-bargaining shoppers, and, like any representative, it serves only at their pleasure. - James Surowiecki, The Customer is King

From my perspective...this a pretty great description/example of the dollar voting concept. Anybody have any thoughts on whether it should be included in this entry? --Xerographica (talk) 18:58, 17 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Who voted for Michael Moore?[edit]

I'm a millionaire, I'm a multi-millionaire. I'm filthy rich. You know why I'm a multi-millionaire? 'Cause multi-millions like what I do. That's pretty good, isn't it? - Michael Moore

Does anybody have any objections to including this quote in this entry? --Xerographica (talk) 20:29, 19 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Yes. --S. Rich (talk) 04:25, 26 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]


I've tagged this article with the disputed template. At the very least, this article needs a thorough review by disinterested parties. It quite clearly violates Wiki guidelines on NPOV, and the documentation is pretty weak. Sarcastic Avenger (talk) 12:05, 11 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I'm gonna go ahead and remove that tag. This was added in 2013, so I don't know how it was at that point, but as a disinterested party, I see no violation of NPOV or disuptable claims. Feel free to actually dispute the claims in the talk page or by directly editing them in the article. --TZubiri (talk) 17:20, 11 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Single source & related article[edit]

The big majority of citations are from Robert Schenk, a professor at Saint Joseph's College (Indiana). He certainly knows a lot more about this than I, but he's lacking a WP article (which would bolster his reliability). If he is published in other, more established economic texts then he should qualify as WP:RS even though the cited material here is a WP:BLOGS. While I have your attention, please note Schenk uses the term consumer sovereignty. Maybe the best way to handle this article is to incorporate Schenk's material into the CS article and create a redirect.--S. Rich (talk) 23:10, 20 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Reliable sources were removed[edit]

Can anybody please explain why reliable sources were removed from this entry? Along the same lines...why was Mises removed from this entry? --Xerographica (talk) 01:19, 25 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

What was removed was a quote farm (some sourced), and one external link. No usable material, sourced or otherwise, was removed. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:20, 25 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The article by Walter Williams, Where Does Your Vote Really Count? and the paper by Eamonn Butler, Austrian Economics and the quote by Ludwig von Mises..."The capitalist society is a democracy in which every penny represents a ballot paper."...none of that was "usable material"? None of it is as usable as a source by Robert Schenk? --Xerographica (talk) 07:41, 25 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
They almost certainly are reliable sources, but you didn't provide any material for them to source. As has been pointed out many times, quotes are not helpful without a third-party source that they are about the topic. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 10:11, 25 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Are you arguing that I need a third party source that states that Williams' article is talking about dollar voting? --Xerographica (talk) 10:29, 25 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Well, it depends on how "dollar voting" is defined. As it hasn't yet been defined in this article, it may still be open. That the copyright violation you had included from Williams' article is relevant is not clear. You obviously think it's relevant; I think it's relevant; but, as this is a technical term without a clear definition, a source is still needed. Even if that weren't the case, the only value toward the article is the fact that Williams believes in the concept. If there really were an article about the concept, Williams' article would be useful as an external link, but not as a "reliable source", because there's nothing for it to source. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:11, 25 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I have no idea what you're talking about. I've read your paragraph at least 10 times and each time it makes less sense. Why isn't Mises' quote included in this entry? It was there for almost a year...and now it isn't. Did removing it improve the entry? If so, how? --Xerographica (talk) 15:21, 25 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

We appear to have the same problem over at the foot voting article. I'm starting to wonder if there is a basic misunderstanding as to what an encyclopedia actually is at work here, and if WP:COMPETENCE isn't an issue.Volunteer Marek 03:43, 31 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Please see tag on Article page[edit]

See tag on article page. SPECIFICO talk 17:23, 25 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

What reliable sources do you have that support your statement that this "theory" is discredited? --Xerographica (talk) 00:57, 26 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
If, as SPECIFICO says, the concept has historical value, it should be expanded upon. If it has current value, it should be expanded upon. Either way, an expert might help. Once proper expansion takes place the expert wanted banner gets removed.--S. Rich (talk) 04:34, 26 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
If SPECIFICO is basing his claims on RS...then why doesn't he just share his RS?--Xerographica (talk) 05:52, 26 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]