Americans Would Give Up Voting for a 10% Raise


What would you do for a 10% raise?

A recent LendEDU survey revealed that nearly 35% of respondents would give up their voting rights for life in order to get a 10% pay increase. LendEDU, an online student loan marketplace, surveyed 1,238 working-class Americans about what they would be willing to give to give up in order to get a 10% pay increase and the responses are eye-opening.

A question asked whether respondents would be willing to give up their children’s voting rights for life in order to get a 10% pay increase – 9% said they would! Twelve percent said they would break up with their significant other, 40% percent said they would give up dental care for the next five years and 18% said they would give up their social security benefits for the next two years.

Fifty-five percent said they would work an extra ten hours a week and 5% of respondents even said that they would eat a Tide pod for a raise. The survey comes as millions of Americans are struggling to find work, make ends meet and take care of families.

The option of giving up the right to a vote is controversial, as it includes willingly giving away the right to influence policy. Observers note that the responses are related to the fact that the federal minimum wage is still only $7.25 an hour. The findings betray two realities: One, raises are very hard to come by and two, the number, and nature, of rights, people are starting to consider giving up in order to take care of themselves, is growing.

Some states like California, Washington, New York and others have passed higher-minimum-wage laws. But the suggestion here is that giving up one’s right to vote forfeits their opportunity to impact a cause like this, among others related to employment. The idea of Americans being open to trading rights for money shows a desperation on the part of the working class that should concern citizens, corporations and maybe even the government itself.

Photo by U.S. Air Force 

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