It's hard to figure out the exact ratio for the conversion of upvotes to realvotes, but as long as it's positive, buying upvotes is just a roundabout way to buying votes.
Yes! Resoundingly, yes!
Reddit is not a democracy, it's a private forum for discussion. Confusing this with a media outlet or a public forum (to say nothing of a democracy!) is as patently insane as confusing an infomercial with a scientific paper.
Feeding into the outrage only makes the beast stronger. Just roll your eyes and focus on the things that matter, like democracies.