Voting with dollars

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"Voting with [your] dollars" refers to the idea that spending money is equivalent to voting for the product or service one is purchasing or the business from which one is purchasing it.

Anarcho-capitalists often raise this point in support of free markets as an alternative to government because free markets which will arise in the absence of government regulation provide a mechanism similar to voting and therefore democratic government is unnecessary.


This argument makes the following assumptions:

  • Free markets will arise in the absence of government. Unfortunately, free markets require government.
  • In the absence of government, society will be more meritocratic.


It should also be noted that "voting with dollars" is essentially what wealthy campaign donors do when they use their money to control government via campaign finance -- which most people consider to be a form of corruption. Nonetheless, some people find this acceptable, while anarchists tend to blame this problem on the existence of government power -- ignoring the fact that political power does not originate with government, but with technology.