DATELINE: Ballotville, October 25 – Back when the Founding Fathers were founding, only landowners could vote. There was none of this right to vote nonsense for renters or lesser beings. You had to have financial skin in the game in order to play. Otherwise, you were fated to make bad decisions.

Most people today who adore the landed gentry that delivered a bouncing baby nation wince at the voting restrictions back then. We’re used to every citizen 18 years of age or older voting, even without any identification. In fact, voter fraud is preferred in 39 states.

That’s quite a change over the past two hundred years or so. But not all of the early American voting ideals have been abandoned. Voters still have financial skin in the game. It’s just not always their own skin. Some do earn their own way and vote their wallets. But others are engrafted to their government assistance checks and vote the first group’s wallets, too.

That’s a lot of wear and tear on the same set of wallets. It, and a determined disregard of financial reality in Washington D.C., has got us leaning far out over the abyss of economic disaster. And the situation is worsening daily. You can’t have a solid financial footing if those with a vested interest in rooting out responsible stewardship outnumber the rest of the elected.

What’s a country to do? Leave it to the Chinese to come up with a solution. Hong Kong’s top post, Chief Executive, is an elected position. And citizens vote in the election. But, China doesn’t let things get out of hand. A nominating committee tightly controlled by the government selects the candidates and Beijing can refuse to install the winner.

So, while everyone votes, the multitudinous poor cannot tip the scale in favor of an irresponsible candidate.

Is this solution really so bad? Of course it is. Plus, we want to get away from government control since the government is the biggest part of our financial predicament.

How about this – the vote goes to those who get no government assistance. If the top rung on your life’s ambition ladder is labeled Fry Cook, no vote for you. But, if you’re industriousness enough to support yourself and your family on your own, you cast a ballot. The skin in the game is really brain matter, which is all that matters.

Will this solution fly? You bet it won’t. It’s too Greatest Hits of Stalinism-Nazism-1984ism on the same CD.

If the vote is too sacrosanct to mess with, where does that leave us? How about a kind of Chinese-y solution – no matter who votes or how often, we still get responsible leaders. You know, people dedicated to the good of the country who can work together to implement effective solutions.

The problem is, of course, that we’ve never had enough of those types at the same time. If we had, the national debt would not have grown larger than Gulliver in the land of the Lilliputians.

Perhaps the lack of quality candidates stems from the lack of quality control on candidate eligibility. Anyone with enough backing from wealthy, vested interest-holders can run and probably win.

Actually, that sounds pretty much like the Chinese solution. Maybe falling into the abyss is the only way to motivate responsible behavior.