Your wallet is your vote

Reported by: |Updated: June 18, 2019

Strange things have been happening in the field of politics. The most notable trend is that businessmen now want to enter politics. 2015 saw Donald Trump jump into the US presidential elections and win the mandate. What’s new was that Trump was not a seasoned politician, rather he was a billionaire businessman. And he won.

Now billionaires around the world are asking themselves: Should I jump into politics? Can I be a president or prime minister?

For you and I as citizens, our spending pattern will soon align with our voting pattern. If a businessman becomes successful very quickly, it will be natural for him/her to feel that he/she has some special qualities, and that the nation will benefit by having these qualities being applied for national benefit. And there is a lot of rationale to presume so.

So, if lots of people start using Ola regularly, then Bhavish Aggarwal could feel tempted to throw his hat into the political ring. If lots of people start purchasing regularly on Amazon, Jeff Bezos could start looking at the US presidency. Jack Ma has chosen to retire from business life and go back to academics, but it is quite likely that some Chinese billionaires or the other will develop political ambitions.

The most radical feature of this new trend is that wallet-based voting is not limited to the national borders. Whenever I buy a product of a foreign company, I am creating a tiny ripple in the political pond of the country where the company is based. For example, I am a citizen and resident of India, and if I buy a Sony TV, I do a micro-vote in Japan. If instead, I buy a Samsung TV, I do a micro vote in South Korea. Under legal provisions, I am not entitled to any vote in any of those countries, but no provision stops wallet based micro-voting.

So is there a message for the common citizen – whether you like it or not, your wallet is your voting slip. What you buy will have an impact on who will stand for elections, and ultimately who will win. Your takeaway – spend wisely keeping not only the product or service that meets your desires, but also the owner of the company that you could be drawing into the political sphere.

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