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Izzy

Government for the people. How?

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The objective of this thread is to altruistically* design a political structure wherein the needs and interests of EVERY inhabitant of this country are met. (None of this "general public" crap, we should try to make everyone happy. smile.gif ) It's impossible to not be aware of how inconceivable this sounds, but I think by being mindful of what we're trying to accomplish, but.. just might be feasible?**

Now, before we can even begin devising laws, creating our constitution, bill of rights, etc., I think it's best we assemble a list of what people want from their government. Feel free to contribute ANYTHING. (I stole some of these from the world's smallest political quiz and the bill of rights. >_>)

1. Government should not censor speech, press, media, or internet.
2. Military service should be voluntary.
3. There should be no laws regarding sex for consenting adults, where a consenting adult is anyone of 16 years of age or older.
4. Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs.
5. End government barriers to international free trade.
6. Let people control their own retirement; privatize Social Security.
7. Keep government welfare, but no taxation without representation.
8. Freedom of speech, religion, sexuality, peaceful protests, and petition.
9. Soldiers may not be quartered in a house without the consent of the owner.
10. People may not be unreasonably searched or kept in captivity.
11. The right to a free, public, and speedy trial.
12. Laws are to remain the same from State to State.
13. Eventual globalization is a priority.

*We can get into the semantics of altruism later. I have.. mixed feelings, but this most closely elucidates my intentions. (Lol, I swear, I bounce back and forth from being the apathetic hippy civilian who just wants to live to the extremely fervent humanitarian practically daily. >_>)
** Eh, truthfully, it isn't. Too many people disagree on matters of religion, which define the moral code for a LOT of people (even if they don't strictly adhere to it, haha). We need to agree now to define morals for ourselves and not base them off of religious texts. Like, if someone proposes "Don't kill", that's perfectly acceptable, and I expect it to be fully ratified. If someone else suggests "Love God", this is more open to debate. While you can submit ideas that coincide with religious texts, submit them because they are mandates you want and agree with, not just because your scripture of choice tells you to follow them.

Edited by bonanova
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Economy aside, China keeps vetoing the notion of Darfur being a genocide, meaning we can't technically do anything, because of their oil interests. What Bush did wasn't any better, but that's unacceptable.

...Why doesn't Germany have veto power? We're better than the French. :P

Or, better thought. It's a union. No one should have complete veto power, and if they do, vetoes from the other veto powers should un-veto the veto.

Think of it like soup. You don't have to taste the entire bowl to know what's up.

Illegals should be counted. We still need to know how many schools, hospitals, etc. we need.

I agree, I was just stating the way it is. We might have been in a position to nix WWII in the bud had we been members of the League of Nations, the precursor to the UN that Woodrow Wilson started after WWI, but the US failed to join it after isolationist Republicans in Congress refused to ratify it. So the only countries in the LoN were war-torn and fairly destitute. They had no political muscle to combat the Nazis or the Japanese when they rose to prominence. Had the US been a strong member, they might have been able to impose stricter punishments when Germany broke their treaties and averted the conflict that erupted.

But because we didn't want there to be any skin off our nose in various European territorial disputes, the Republicans blocked it. That's why the UN gave the Security Council this automatic veto power. Neither we nor the Russians would have joined without it. And of course, we had to give the same to our nominal equals, the Brits and the French. The Germans of course didn't get a piece of the pie because they were divvied up by East and West. They still don't have a vote on the SC for the same reason we still have troops stationed there. We don't trust you. :ph34r::P I agree that Germany does deserve a spot on the SC, though I would be happy if the rules changed to make it harder to blanket veto serious decisions by any one party. I think that at this point, things should only be vetoed if at least two of the countries on the SC veto it. A veto from a single country is madness most of the time.

And I also agree that all the people living in the US and using services ought to be counted.

Dawh: The thing is, I understand it would be less expensive, but it would also be less accurate. I think, here, we need to use both.

Complete direct counting would be illogical, because of those who can't be or don't want to be counted. Estimation isn't what the constitution had in mind, either. And with something like taxes and HoR on the line, it should be as accurate as possible.

I was saying that for our "Politics of the Future," I think that statistical models could probably be created with sufficient accuracy to work for a census. A truly random sample of sufficient size (as Izzy just said) would give us a plenty accurate representation of the populace. As things currently stand in the US today, I do think that direct counting is going to be around for a good long while, but I do agree that some mechanism for counting those who fall through the cracks ought to be put in place. Otherwise, we're not doing our job counting everyone under the US' jurisdiction.

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We don't trust you. :ph34r::P

...but.. the Russians?! :duh:

Hah. Joking. :ph34r: They has scary weapons thooo.

/spam

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Possibly a strange question, but what about the market?

Something about the free market, although appealing, has never quite settled right for me. I don't know why, but the competition doesn't benefit everyone or give people equal chances. Economic communism is too utopian, but capitalism isn't the balance. I'm totally lost on this one.

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Well, yes, that would fix the problem, wouldn't it? =) I agree to that.

Oh, and aren't we all 'domestic terrorists' for making this thread? :lol:

And yes, you can't diprove it. =) Agnosticism for the win =)

Dawh: There shouuld at least be a way to challenge the estimate with enough evidence. then, OK.

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Market wise: Reform out the wazoo. Any ideas?

I'll post more when I have time.

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And yes, you can't diprove it. =) Agnosticism for the win =)

I don't want to push the issue, but are you also agnostic about gravity, the boiling point of water, the existence of mental disorders, the existence of atoms, etc? You can't prove anything. You can't disprove a negative. That's where intuition comes in a bit. :P

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They were proven, though, by science. God, however, can't be proven or disproven; so, you can't know. like multi-verses.

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They also rely in a faith in scientific tools.

He can be disproven. It just hasn't been shown to the effect the masses desire, yet.

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I always hear that from atheists, yet nobody ever gives me examples. Please enlighten; and I want evidence that, without a doubt, proves that there is NO chance (not even a slim one) that he exists.

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I'm not doing this again. Look into one of the *at least* twenty threads on this site. Google the dragon in Carl Sagan's garage. Compare you belief (I'm assuming you're refering to the Judeo-Abrahamic God?) to the beliefs of people from different geographical regions. Compare God to Santa Claus. If you know Santa doesn't exist beyond a reasonable doubt, I don't see what aside from emotional ties hinders you from making the same conclusion about your sky fairy. Is this scientifically sound? No. Is it possible to disprove a negative? Not with current logic. Does this mean we should stay agnostic on the stances of these negatives? Hell nah broski.

Back to politics. Seriously. I'm sorry I brought it up.

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I'm sorry I continued it. :unsure: Last thing I'll say: I wasn't referring to the Judeo-Abrahmic God. He doesn't exist. My god simply made the most basic fundamental law of Physics, which started everything up, and then left it alone. And it isn't a person, it's more like a force.

Whatevs. It may be emotional; I transitioned from Christian to agnostic. And its hard to give up old habits. i dunno. Hard for me, who spent most of my life woth god, to imagine a world without... SOMETHING.

Anyway, Free Market: My belief is that the freer the market, the less free its users, because of monopolies, trusts, etc. etc. I think it needs to be regulated more buy the government, to give more power to small businesses. this includes: Outlawing slave labor in ANY country for US companies (can't do much about it period without a world wide change); making companies pay all of its workers, including those outside the US, at least minimum wage; and others I can't think of right now.

After all, as some guy told me: The biggest business in the US is small business.

Also, I think we should pursue the idea of being able to trade polution rights for stuff.

For example, company A needs a little more polution room, since it has used its alloted amount. Country B needs money. Trade. Country B has money. Company A can add a little more polution. Now, it isn't perfect, because there's still polution involved, but it's a step in the right direction.

Things like these will improve the free market. It's a great tool, if watched over carefully.

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Guess I can jump in on this now.

For all the talk of "free" markets in this country, the government has always heavily subsidized many of our staple industries. We still have a lot of "farm subsidies," which some people claim go mostly to shareholders for huge agribusinesses that have "farms" much more than actual farmers. Corn is cheap in the US primarily because the government subsidizes it so much (oil too for that matter).

NAFTA, CAFTA and the like were billed as these monuments for "free trade," but there are some pretty disturbing clauses in the actual text of the treaties. Chapter 11 of NAFTA seems particularly dangerous. It gives companies the ability to sue the member governments for compensation when "actions taken by those governments (or by those for whom they are responsible at international law, such as provincial, state, or municipal governments) have adversely affected their investments." That seems to give an inordinate amount of power to corporations over sovereign nations. :blink:

Like gvg said, a truly "free market" system inevitably leads to trusts and monopolies. They "free market capitalists" like to talk about competition and how just letting companies compete freely will keep each other in check; a version of "survival of the fittest" they might say. But cooperation is much more powerful than competition. If a group of companies get together and agree to all sell their products for the same price, who can stop them if you have a completely free market? :huh: They can all guarantee themselves a steady flow of income if they price fix as a unit.

An interesting experiment I remember (can't tell you where I heard about it :unsure: ) had to do with some number of people sitting around a table. In the center, there is a bowl with a number of $ bills in it. I think that starting arbitrarily with one of the people around the table, they are allowed to take any number of bills from the bowl and then the person next to them and so on. If there is still money in the bowl after everyone has had a chance to take a bill, the tester will refill the bowl and people will go around again. At first, the people who went first generally took all the money or most of it and the rest went without, but after talking together and agreeing to cooperate, everyone would go around and take one bill at a time, so there would always be more. That way, everyone made more money when they were working together than the person who initially took everything did by himself.

So once companies agree to work together, they can set the price and people have to either pay it or go without. If it's an essential service or product, people don't have a choice. There needs to be a mechanism in place to ensure that people are getting a fair deal. I support company ownership and private property and all that, but I think that there needs to be government regulation in place to protect the workers and the consumers. A purely capitalist system is extremely top-heavy, giving the most power to the people who have the most. People need some other entity there to intercede on their behalf when companies overreach and I don't see an alternative to government playing that role.

When the financial crisis occurred, there were rating service companies whose job it was to tell people how strong and safe a loan would be, but they were mostly in the pocket of the institutions they were rating, so a lot of these "toxic assets" were rated as AAA by these agencies, even though they were crap if you actually bothered to look at them. As long as money is a primary motivator for the regulatory bodies, it's easier to just buy off the regulators than it is to actually make safe products. There will almost always have to be a crash somewhere along the lines, but each entity always thinks that it's going to be someone else, at some other time. And especially since it's so easy for CEOs to hop from company to company, by the time that their disastrous policies actually bring down the company, they've moved on and nobody is willing to tie the failure to their actions. There's no accountability within the system. You need something on the outside to keep it all in check.

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Agreed =)

And that is an interesting experiment. But I want to know one thing: If the bowl emptied, would that end it there and then? If so, then what the participants did was smart for them, if not, then I'm shocked that the first person didn't take the enire bowl each time. Just wondering.

But I agree with all the points you made.

Personally, instead of something like NAFTA, I think Cnanda, the US, and Mexico should become a sort of North American EU. It would solve a lot of problems (illegal immigration, etc.) no?

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Agreed =)

And that is an interesting experiment. But I want to know one thing: If the bowl emptied, would that end it there and then? If so, then what the participants did was smart for them, if not, then I'm shocked that the first person didn't take the enire bowl each time. Just wondering.

But I agree with all the points you made.

Personally, instead of something like NAFTA, I think Cnanda, the US, and Mexico should become a sort of North American EU. It would solve a lot of problems (illegal immigration, etc.) no?

Yeah, the experiment ended if the bowl ever emptied. They ran several tests, but I don't remember if it was with the same people, or if they got different people each time, but gave them different instructions.

I don't see us starting an EU style arrangement with anyone anytime soon. That would necessitate our admitting that we are on an equal footing with other countries and American conservatives (the most conservative kind of conservative) wouldn't ever let us do that. They know that their influence in the world is waning, so they don't want to let any "chinks" in the armor show. They are incapable of recognizing that their knee-jerk hyper-patriotism is further driving a wedge between themselves and the conservatives of the rest of the Western world. That's probably the biggest chink there is; their incapacity to recognize that sometimes compromise is necessary.

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Completely right. But, I het to say it like this, those hyper-conservatives are dying out. Eventually, when the new generation takes over, we might look into this kind of thing.

The irony is that we are actually BEHIND many countries, and doin an EU type system would actually be a benefit.

But let's not bother conservatives with facts. It could hurt thier brains =)

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I'm not generally one to dredge up ancient threads, but I ran across this article on Salon.com talking about secular humanism and its faults (according to the author). As the main proponents of secular humanism are those pushing for world government, it applied to one of the topics that we were talking about here (though also related to the thread on the ).

The author, Michael Lind highlights the problem of the naive view on globalism:

For all the variations, the common theory of human nature underlying contemporary secular humanism seems to be cosmopolitan utilitarianism, the conviction that human beings, if liberated from superstition by science, would behave less like selfish, scheming social apes and more like self-sacrificing social insects, giving their all for the good of the 7 billion members of the global human hive.

From an evolutionary perspective (which is something of a cornerstone of humanist thought), the whole "selfish, scheming social apes" thing doesn't really bode well for developing robust, rational world government.

I like Lind's conclusion to the discussion:

Our simian psychology has obvious implications for naive models of democracy, in which a neutral, rational public listens dispassionately to all sides before making up its hyperlogical collective mind. And it has implications as well for naive models of economics, in which consumers and producers perceive, think and act with computer-like accuracy...t should render questionable all claims to wise and disinterested leadership, including those of America’s own altruistic progressive technocrats who propose policies to "nudge" the unenlightened masses into doing the right thing. It makes more sense to think of our leaders and intellectuals as half-crazed hooting howler monkeys -- just like the rest of us.

I can't really think of a better analogy for how our government is working right now. :duh:

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It LIVES!

I didn't know that was a part of secular humanism. Of course it's naive to think that all of a sudden human selfishness will just 'poof' away.

And yes, the conclusion is a good one. i agree =)

I'll read the whole article when I get the chance (damn my summer school work), but yeah, it seems right.

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