Presenting America's Political Apathy: Voter Turnout Rate < 50%

Tyler Durden's picture

The following chart from the OECD via Goldman, speaks volumes as to just why it is that the "democratic" process is slowly but surely completely breaking down in the US. Of virtually the entire developed world, American voter turnout is the second lowest of all countries, and only modestly higher than South Korea, but well below 50% in either case. Furthermore, since the voting population is roughly equally split along the middle in its party affiliation, it is astounding that less than 25% of America's voters set the political stage every four years. One wonders just what the source of this record apathy may be: perhaps it is that as empirical data demonstrate, neither party actually represents any longer the interest of a majority of the US voters, but merely those of corporate lobby groups and, of course, Wall Street. As such, over 50% of voting age Americans don't even bother to make it to the ballots. It may thus be only a matter of time before disenfranchised if silent majority finally says enough, rereads some of this country's founding documents, and agrees that taxation is only fair with representation. Actually never mind: since about half of America pays no taxes whatsoever, the data actually makes perfect sense. And so the pillage of what's left of the American middle class will continue, with nobody batting an eyelid, until such time as the only items left in said class' possession are various weapons of assorted muzzle velocity and other sharp and/or dull but heavy objects.

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A Nanny Moose's picture

If we stop voting, will they just go away?

Zero Govt's picture

not a snowballs chance in Hell

the only vote to cast to get rid of these parasites is to stop paying your taxes

Manthong's picture

Unfortunately, the real turning point probably won’t happen until the lower 50% realize that their easy street is really the road to slavery with a brief rest stop at serfdom.

economics9698's picture

In the 19th century there were real issues, gold, alcohol, freedom, and things that mattered to the people.  Democrats were making a comeback on the Republicans.  Species payments were resumed after the civil war, alcohol was kept legal, and the Democrats successfully fought off the Republicans from making America a corporate shit hole Lincoln dreamed of.   The Republicans were on the defensive.

The progressive in the Republican Party came up with the bright idea to try and demoralize Democrats and lower the voter turnout.  William Jennings Bryan (1896) was the gift they were looking for, he was a “soft money” progressive and voter turnout has never been the same.

Both parties learned from the election and so did the corporate leaders who wanted cartels for their products in banking, oil, agriculture, retail, transportation, communications, and every thing they could think of to eliminate “messy competition.”

Both parties have been trading “issues” for over a century to keep voter turnout low and please the elites.  First was the banking cartel, Federal Reserve 1913, the agriculture, oil, telecommunication, transportation, drugs, and medicine, all formed into cartels that could rip off the people of their labor and money.

We have had a one party system since 1896 for all practical proposes, which is why I vote Libertarian.  There is not a dimes worth of difference between the Ds and Rs.  Both are fucking corrupt beyond repair.  The best thing that could happen is we the people start hanging these politicians up at the nearest tree until they are dead by the thousands.

Fukushima Sam's picture

I'm going to write in Ron Paul this year.

TruthInSunshine's picture
Can You Spell The Second Great Depression? Posted on by Davos

You can read the full list there, or here are 18 facts that are most disturbing (from Davos website, actually):


  1. 48 percent of all Americans are currently either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty.
  2. In the middle of the last century, the United States was #1 in the world in GDP per capita. Today, the United States is #13 in GDP per capita.
  3. Today, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents.
  4.  In 2011, our trade deficit with China was more than 49,000 times larger than it was back in 1985. 
  5. One out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards.
  6. There are more unemployed workers in the United States than there are people living in the entire nation of Greece. 
  7. Sadly, more than 52 percent of all children that live in Cleveland, Ohio are living in poverty. 
  8. The median price of a home in the city of Detroit is now about $6000. 
  9. Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs. Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.
  10. According to author Paul Osterman, about 20 percent of all U.S. adults are currently working jobs that pay poverty-level wages.
  11.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, approximately 167,000 Americans have more than $200,000 of student loan debt.
  12. There are 313 million people living in the United States. 46 million of them are on food stamps.
  13.  In the United States as a whole, one out of every four children is on food stamps.
  14. More people have been diagnosed with mental disorders in the United States than in any other nation on earth.
  15. The United States has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain.
  16.  If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.
  17.  The U.S. national debt is now more than 22 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.
  18.  It took from the founding of the nation until 1981 for the U.S. national debt to cross the one trillion dollar mark. Today, our national debt is well over 15 trillion dollars and we add more than a trillion dollars to our debt every single year.
Uchtdorf's picture

I think the working statistic in item #9 is so low because you forgot to add all the folks with great jobs pressing those license plates in prison.

AldousHuxley's picture

Pass a law requiring elected officers to get majority vote.

If one candidate gets 20%, the other gets 10% and 70% people don't bother to vote, then have a runoff election with top 2 candidates running against a 3rd and 4th party candidate.


Harlequin001's picture

How about, 'if you can't get a majority, you can't form a government?"

tgatliff's picture

Communist ideas I tell you!!!   They can never stand..

Our US system of government today led by an outstanding group of small elite oligarchs are exactly the way it should be, and exactly the way our founding fathers should have wanted it.  If not, these crack team elite oligarchs will just make sure to rewrite the history books to make sure that they do...  I mean where would the world be if 99% of the public had a voice??

oldman's picture

Hey Truth,

What can you expect in the nation of the walking dead?

Why do you stay there?

Just asking, as they say          om

macholatte's picture


The Politics of Numbers


Population = 300,000,000

50% eligible to vote = 150,000,000

50% actually vote = 75,000,000

50% needed to win =  37,500,000

1% Margin = 49% to 51% = 375,000


Divide = Conquer


Uchtdorf's picture

The number of Diebold machines needed to win when the popular vote is lost = 47.

malalingua's picture

Ron Paul is the thinking person's choice. Yes, if you don't think or understand the massive problems facing America today then you vote for the other automatons.

AldousHuxley's picture

Problem with Ron Paul is that not many Americans think....they vote with emotions.


To address the problem, more average americans need to start challening their own politicians by running against them. More candidate the better for voters.

Elites know this so they make sure public leadership position is not economically feasible for most Americans with low salaries, so only their trust fund kids have enough capital to launch a million dollar campaign.

Ask yourself why would anyone spend millions for a position that only pays $150k-$250k tops? because the real benefit is not in the salary but exclusive power and connections only offered by legal monopoly called government.


Kind of like college. Rich don't want to compete against poor because they know they will lose, so they make sure only those with money can afford the opportunity.

Redhotfill's picture

Me too I'm writing in Ron Paul.  I dont want Mittens to think he actually has any support for his ideas!

jeff montanye's picture

i disagree.  mckinley won that '96 election over bryan only to meet an assassin's bullet at the buffalo world's fair, bringing teddy roosevelt to the presidency.  the cartels were then reduced somewhat through the sherman anti trust law and the new reform regulations of roosevelt's administration.  no it wasn't perfect and the corporations retained great power but rockefeller would have rather it hadn't happened, not to mention the food and drug companies subsequently under the f.d.a.  ditto for the banks etc. under f.d. roosevelt in the '30's (  

at various points in history or on vital issues there have been real differences between the evolving two major parties, however much, at other times and on other issues, they have largely overlapped. an example is the '60's when lbj had a different take on civil rights than goldwater, although he felt powerless to resist the anti communism of the times that dictated the vietnam war he thought could not be won.

the one two punch of bush and obama is fairly amazing both for how like they are to each other and how different they are both from much of the prior history of the country.  9-11 really changed a whole lot and nearly nothing in a good way (well maybe israel and the u.s. are less all powerful).

i agree that many of ron paul's views are the corrective this country needs.  perhaps it will take the reanimation of the very temporarily staved off deflationary depression followed by extreme inflation that seems in the cards to wake the sleeping.

CharlieSDT's picture

That's as right as you can be without capitalization.

A Nanny Moose's picture

What if the only ones voting are the same ones who are already NOT paying any taxes?

LowProfile's picture

Then your democracy is over.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Nothing wrong with ending tyranny of the majority.

LowProfile's picture

Ah yes, the tyranny that follows will be much better than the previous tyranny.

A Nanny Moose's picture

To what tyranny are you referring? How does it come about?

Ending democracy need not result in serial tyranny.

Ghordius's picture

tell me one instance in history when this happened... our way of life depends on very long supply chains and the armed control on them - stop the organized control of those supply chain and you have immediately at least warlords

your thinking is a remnant of the psyche of the great frontier and the Wild West - which was embedded in the greater global imperial struggle - politically something like the eye of an hurricane


It matters not who casts the vote. It matters who counts the vote. 

jeff montanye's picture

this not paying any taxes is a canard: they don't pay income taxes (as the link says).  they pay property taxes, social security taxes, medicare taxes, sales taxes, licenses, fees, etc. etc. etc.  stop with this poor language (i'm talking to whichever tyler wrote the above post).  that is imprecise language used to very vile ends, and ends which are, imo, contradictory to the larger purposes of this site, i.e. not to turn the relatively powerless against the absolutely powerless but to mobilize both against the heinously illegitimate but very powerful elite which runs this country and the world.

Umh's picture

After they get the tax credits from the federal government they are probably ahead on taxes.

Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

All your votes are belong to us.

Flocking swans's picture

No, you don't have to worry about that. They don't vote. In two of my last jobs, one with 55 and one w/ 95 employees (the one w/ 55 now employees 20, and the other is shut down. closed forever.) I was one of two people that voted, me and a fat secretary. When I came in from lunch w/ my 'I voted' sticker on they looked at me with total confusion. These people have never voted. Never even registered. They couldn't tell you shit about politics. Clueless by design....

And regarding taxes....they all loved tax season! I was in charge of about half these fools and each and every one of them came into my office the fucking first week of Jan. looking for their W2. I had to tell them very slowly that the W2 came from the corporate office..... They all came in the next week asking again for their W2's ....because they got a fat IRS check for every diaper-filler they had back at home.

And when the check came....they all showed up w/ new rims and tattoos.

vast-dom's picture

voting today is about as moronic as new rims and tattoos. aah the cool tattoed sheeple.....they all get what they deserve in the end.

Redhotfill's picture

OT  but   "

voting today is about as moronic as new rims and tattoos. aah the cool tattoed sheeple.....they all get what they deserve in the end."

I'm a criminal defense lawyer,  every time somone gets sentenced for a felony a parole officer writes a report to the court, the report lists tatoos scars etc,   in 12 years of practice I have only seen on person sentened on a felony who didnt have a tat!

Larry Dallas's picture

Wow. This sounds like something our of Jay Leno's "Streetwalking".

"Who's the vice president of the United States?"

A: Duh, Alex Baldwin?

Woodyg's picture

It's sounds fun to parrot some dumb ass comment made by an author BUT

The Statement that 50% don't pay ANY taxes is just pure 1%er propaganda....

Fill up the gas tank? Taxes paid...... Buy something at a store besides food? Taxes paid....... Rent an apartment? Property taxes paid..... Etc etc etc - you can't turn around without hitting some tax.....

And on and on it goes......

Saying that No Taxes are paid is pure 1% Propaganda - OWS has their hands full trying to educate the willfully ignorant.

I'd wager that the poor sap who doesn't make enough to pay federal Income tax still pays a higher overall tax rate than our next president Mitt Romney -

It's all fun and games as a Comedic interchange BUT the problem is too many people actually believe that Bs.

The same people who think its true are the ones who bitch about the 'sheeple' then bitch about the Occupy crowd out in the street.

Excursionist's picture

Propaganda, perhaps... but the core point remains, since the consumption taxes you cite differ from income taxes.  Taxes from gasoline purchases are (mostly) routed to road construction and maintenance.  Uses of property taxes vary by municipality but generally fund police, firemen, teachers and general upkeep of a community.  It's the basics that tend to get funded from U.S. consumption taxes, and the billionaire driving a Bugatti en route to a fundraiser consumes the same amount of road as the poor bastard driving a Chevy Nova to his McDonald's day job.  This is all good and fair, though as you point out, the billionaire feels the tax pinch a lot less than the burger flipper.  But this is also fine.  Contrary to liberal myth, the majority of wealthy U.S. individuals is self-made, so the billionaire not feeling a consumption tax as much as the high school dropout is just rewards.

Income taxes, on the other hand, fund all sorts of government goodies that get disproportionately used by the burger flippers of the world:

  • 21% Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP
  • 20% Social Security
  • 20% Defense
  • 14% Safety Net Programs
  • 6% Interest on Debt
  • Remaining 19% is miscellaneous noise


So guess what?  The statement that '50% don't pay ANY taxes' may be technically inaccurate, but it sure as shit captures the correct spirit of the majority's tyranny when trying to appropriate ever-increasing sums of tax dollars to fund the United Socialist States of Amerika.

Incidentally, in case anyone is interested, these cats are actually trying to do something about the way U.S. elections are funded and run:

slowimplosion's picture

You've fallen for the same game the 1% ers have been playing forever - keep the little guys at each others' throats and they won't notice we're POUNDING THEM IN THE ASS EVERY DAY IN EVERY WAY.


Keep worrying about people getting crumbs while the whole loaf is being stolen right under your nose.  You probably think you are pretty smart.

Excursionist's picture

Dude - all I ask is you keep your fuckin' grubby hands out of my back pocket and make your own way in this world without scapegoating someone or something.

oldman's picture


All that you say is true, but

Who cares, woodyg?

You get something for being alive in the form of a human being.

All of this crap about who pays what and who rides for free and How much 'I' pay versus 'you'

All of this shit is divisive and exactly one of the biggest fucking reasons nothing will ever be done in the US of A

We are just a nation of complete fools to keep pissing on the other person's shoes      

I'm so tired of this---it has been the same all of my life----maybe i'll take some time away from this site               om

vast-dom's picture

Agreed. Paying taxes today is like paying to be punched in the face, hard.

non_anon's picture

amen ZG, yet, get ready to be frog walked

Renfield's picture

You always say Stop Paying Taxes. I agree and I marked you Up as I normally do, but you say that like it's easy. I would like nothing better than to stop paying taxes but if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it, right?

I work in a job for a paycheque from which the tax is withheld at source. My deductions are the minimum I can arrange but I still have to wait a year to reclaim the surplus (what gov decides is the surplus) of what they've already stolen before I could get it.

Whenever I file it's for a refund. That's b/c I have no way to make my withholding lower.

The only way for me to stop paying taxes is to quit my paid job. This is what I would love to do, and we are working toward it, but finding ways to replace that income "under the table", or to provide for ourselves what we would normally buy, takes a great deal of resourcefulness and connections. It takes time and a learning curve, a pretty steep one for those of us born & bred in the matrix with few useful skills, surrounded by friends and family who also have few useful skills (e.g., cooking, sewing, mechanical, electrical). Then there's learning to deal with the friends/family who are suspicious and wary of us as they see that we are really serious about pulling off the grid. For most people who collect a paycheque, as the matrix has bred us to do, it is a very difficult thing learning how to live away from it, especially with so little community support. You basically have to figure it all out and learn how to do everything yourself.

Had to get that off my chest b/c as much as I agree with what you say, it always kind of bugs me that you just say it like it's that easy and obvious. It's simple, maybe, but it is not easy, and it comes at a price. And I think that should also be acknowledged. Any additional tips you feel like giving along with Stop Paying Taxes would certainly be appreciated.

Paul Bogdanich's picture

The basic problem is the two party system and the cost of campaigns.  Unless you are a woman who needs an abortion or gay there is no substantial difference between the candidartes on any major issue.  All of them are bank whores.  All of them are spendthrifts.  All like the imperial wars.  All bow down in front of the Jewish lobby.  Look at the 2008 election.  One party won a large majority in the house 60 votes in the senate and the presidency and what did they do?  They continued all the major policies of the prior administration and then you wonder why nobody votes.  What for????  You can't get a democratic outcome under this rigged system no matter what you do.  2008 proved that.     

kridkrid's picture

For sure.  From where I sit, it's the 50% who vote who should be mocked, not those who don't vote.  Hell, voting just provides an air of legitimacy to something which clearly isn't.  The "get out the vote" campaigns aren't done to tip an election one direction vs. the other... they're done to make the rigged game look legit.

SheepDog-One's picture

Voting is for morons. Voter turnout should be 0%, seeing its as high as 50% means we've got real problems.

philipat's picture

"In a democracy you get the Government you deserve".