Hamilton might have been served well to argue that all voters regardless of vocation or lot should pursue their long-term interest during ratification. He could have made a strong Lockean argument to the majority of eligible American voters that the American Constitution is merely a written social contract. The social contract would serve and protect the voters from both physical and financial security threats. This could be done by policies such as centralizing some of the governmental duties like national security and paying off the national debt. Since the majority of American voters were not directly profiting from the Articles of Confederation through contracts or by holding positions, a mere minority of voters would be voting against ratification because of direct personal conflict with the American Constitution. Once the insistence to pursue personal interest is made to those conflicted, arguments can be made for the American Constitution little demagoguery.
Some may push this objectivist argument down a slippery slope and ask what would happen if the loyalist to the Articles of Confederation pursued a policy of governmental hiring. What if government officers who were employed under the Articles of Confederation had started contracting or hiring voters who were undecided about ratification. What if this hiring extended to a point where more voters were employed by the Articles of Confederation than could possibly be employed by the new American Constitution. Would the argument of voting for self- interest still hold?
An objectivist would say the argument still holds if the voters are pursuing long-term outcomes with their vote. One could quickly demonstrate this idea by using game theory. The objectivist would argue that undecided voters would be given four possible options in this scenario:
- Not accept non-essential contract or employment under the Articles of Confederation and vote against ratification of the American Constitution.
- Accept non-essential contract or employment under the Articles of Confederation and vote for ratification of the American Constitution.
- Vote for ratification of the American Constitution and accept non-essential contract or employment under the American Constitution.
- Vote for ratification of the American Constitution and not accept non-essential contract or employment under the American Constitution.
Each of these options would provide varying levels of assurance and benefit to a voter face with the conundrum of being offered a non-essential contract by either government documented and asked to vote on ratification. The objectivist would argue that the first option would appeal to a voter who truly believed in the strength and long term benefit of the Articles of Confederation but do not want to burden the government with excessive non –essential expenditures. The objectivist would argue option D would appeal to voters who truly believe in the strength and long-term benefit of the American Constitution but do want to burden the government with excessive non-essential expenditures. A caution would be brought up, however, for individuals who fit into option B and option C.
The objectivist would argue that any person who is willing to accept non-essential contract from these documented governments is betting that they can make a short term gain off of government revenue while hoping that the government can financially sustain itself during their career. These individuals are betting that only a small portion of people are willing to accept non-essential government contracts because they know if too many people take advantage of this short term benefit, the government will not be able to raise the needed revenue to fund all contracts. This type of argument would expose the individuals to the full long-term affects of their vote and ultimately force the people not to accept option B or C leaving option A and D to be the only acceptable votes. A full debate can then be made on the accolades of the Articles of Confederation versus the American Constitution.
Pessimist might question whether a society can posses enlighten voters who understand the full long-term affects of this type of decision? An objectivist would argue that rational decisions always win out in the long term.