…on life, the universe, and everything

Tyranny of the Majority

Many people, especially liberals, are concerned about the “tyranny of the majority” and spend much time thinking and discussing how we might make things better and more fair. Specifically, how to put a check on the power of the majority. A noble goal.

The problem: If you give minorities – say we aim to help transgender people – a check on the power of the majority, then what happens to that other famous minority, millionaires? It’s not like the millionaires have had a hard time advocating their interests up until now.

Compared with other minority groups, the millionaires are better organized. They have resources. They’re connected. You’d better believe they will take full advantage of any systems designed to empower the other minority groups, no matter how noble the intent. This isn’t theoretical; look no further than the electoral college and the tax code.

Of course, we can make targeted changes to benefit a specific minority each time there’s a need. Which does work — if you can make it happen. That plan relies on the majority though, to notice and accept the specific minority actually has a need. Which, historically, hasn’t been reliable.

I don’t have solutions, but I find this concerning.