A Stable and Fair Republic

by: Ender

Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 15:56:51 PM EST


(Food for thought from a self-described right-ist... far worthy of debate in my humblest of opinions. - promoted by Diane G)

My goal is to show that a fairer, healthier, and more transparent society is possible by transcending both Socialism and Capitalism while keeping major elements of both. This society would reward unlimited success, while providing a fair solution and support for the poor. I don't provide any new ideas - just my own views on the structure I prefer.

The form of government would remain a Democratic Republic.

Ender :: A Stable and Fair Republic
In this society, people would have a right to certain absolute basics: Housing, Food, Healthcare. Citizens would also have a right to stop working. Those who do not work for any reason, aside from disability, would receive subisidies to provide for the absolute basics listed above, in addition to a reasonable stipend for entertainment/etc. I will call them Welfare citizens. The only price for not providing for yourself would be a loss of a right to vote. The loss of the right to vote would not be permanent and would be restored if at any time a Welfare Citizen decides/is able to start working again. Disabled Welfare Citizens would not lose the right to vote as it is not their voluntary choice to not work.

It is my view that those who depend on society's providing for them, should not be able to have a say in governing that society, mitigated by the fact that there is an absolute right to being provided for.

These absolute basics would be subsidized by the progressive Welfare (Stability) Tax. As it is in society's interest to provide for the unemployed to keep a stable society, this tax would be levied progressively on the working/non-welfare citizens.

People would also have a right to equal justice under the Law. This will be accomplished to removing private Lawyers from the sphere of criminal/civil law as applied to individuals. All individuals, Rich or Poor, will have exactly the same right to a public attorney (or a team if warranted) for defense or prosecution. Private attorneys would still exist for Corporate/International law, keeping the law profession lucrative for many, while opening up the profession for those interested in a just society. The Public attorneys would be subsidized by the progressive Justice Tax.

Elections would be financed through the flat Fair Elections Tax. All private contributions to both candidates and parties would be prohibited. Ads by outside groups would be prohibited. Candidates would be fielded through accepted parties internal processes, and have equal public television/radio access. New parties would have a chance to be accepted on every election day by listing their abridged platforms and receiving above a certain vote percentage.  Voting would be on a weekend and mandatory.

There would be a much stricter separation between the Government and the Private Sector in all aspects. Government would be able to provide grants/loans to the small/developing businesses, but that would be completely prohibited from interfering with, bailing out, or otherwise subsidizing corporate entities. Government would be able to regulate everything related to environment/public health/employee safety/discriminatory practices, but almost nothing related to competition (with exception of the media/communication).

There would be some regulations in the media market, preventing high levels of media consolidation and providing for media diversity as it allows money to influence public opinion and interferes with free and fair elections.  There would be no controls on the views expressed in the media market.

Considering the enormous citizenship benefits, immigration in this society would have to be tightly regulated.

In addition to the Taxes outlined above to provide for the Welfare, Justice, and Fair Elections, there would also be the Healthcare, Defense, Education and Infrastructure Taxes. All these Taxes would be income/capital gains taxes. Separating these taxes instead of lumping them all together, provides Citizens with a much better understanding of what money goes where, and makes it much more difficult for the Government to make changes or increase spending as they would have to increase each relevant tax rate to accomplish it. Additionally it would be impossible for any individual to avoid paying these taxes, as all of them would be mandatory on all income including capital gains and bonuses. A flat Sales Tax would exist to provide for all other Government operations.

Corporate/Business taxes would be progressive but lower than current rates to promote growth.

These are just some of the broad brushstrokes that I've been thinking about for a future society. A society that is business/competition friendly, but at the same time fair and decent and compassionate to all of its citizens. I would even argue that the general level of taxation in this society would not be higher than what we currently have, but by breaking up all the taxes into individual components, keeping most of them progressive, and removing exemptions and complexities of the current tax code, we would collect a higher level of revenue than we currently do.

I've written a much more detailed outline than this one, that includes Education, Science, Space taxes and incentives to promote development of those resources and driving bright young people to excel. It also expands on all of the above areas with more justification and financial specifics. It's just an exercise of what in my view would be a moral government/society.

I've considered creating a website where people would discuss creating a virtual country with all of the features, via a legislative democratic community process, again as just an exercise but it could be interesting to see what intelligent people might come up with as fair and just.

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very interestink. (8.00 / 5)
There's a lot to like here.  One major concern is the loss of franchise for people out of work through no fault of their own.  In the grand scheme of things, businesses will fade and die off, laying off workers in the process.  When businesses are overcome by 'irrational exuberance' and over-invest in certain areas, only to crash later, these things take time to work out.  There are an awful lot of people out of work in this country for a year, two, or more.  To deprive them of voting rights strikes me as unfair.  

With respect to taxation and regulation, I think the FSM is in the details.  

Thanks for getting an interesting ball rolling.  Gives me something non--fattening to chew on over the holiday.

"the dog ate your financial system." -- J. H. Kunstler


when writing I was thinking of a ground up design (7.67 / 3)
not necessarily applicable to the current US situation as the changes are massive. And if I was to apply it to US in a hypothetical move towards the system I suggested, the loss of voting rights would not apply to those out of work due to economic conditions. I would apply it to those who decide to stop looking for work.

My concern is that there would be a possibility of a sufficiently large percentage of non-working population that might influence the political system for an ever increasing amount of benefits to themselves. But there could be safeguards for that. So the part about losing voting rights, even temporarily, is negotiable.


[ Parent ]
Yeah, that was my sticking point as well. (7.00 / 1)
I was going along with much of it until I got to the loss of franchise.   I mean, if you're too messed up to work, for whatever reason, your voice is still important.

Tongue firmly in cheek...judging by current trends, the great mass of unemployed would be swayed to vote for their own extinction, rather than an increase in benefits.  


[ Parent ]
Now that you mention it... (8.00 / 1)
..isn't that what happened a few weeks ago??

..it is apparent that America is suffering some kind of paranoid psychotic episode.  ~ Matthew Norman  

[ Parent ]
I don't believe for a minute (8.25 / 4)
that you could define a segment of society and tell them they cannot vote if they receive social services at some level, without marginalizing them.

My fix on this is nobody gets to vote unless they can pass the same citizen tests immigrants to the USA have to.

Keep money out of it.

Your thesis leaves a lot of room for people being told they cannot vote because they are not technically "disabled." Thus, if you cannot figure out how to make enough money in your system, you can't vote, unless you fit into whatever "disabled" box is created by whomever is in charge of designing the box.

Next; the idea that only corporations should be allowed to pay for high-end attorneys, while everybody else is stuck with (likely overworked) public attorneys, is questionable, to say the least. What happens when it's an individual vs. a corporation? Only the corporation is allowed to pay for top talent? This is ludicrous.

Much of what you write here sounds socialist, actually. But it also sounds based on the premise that if you only will allow the rich to become richer without any serious obstacles to their progress, they will automatically lift the boats of the poor.

In practice, this doesn't happen. The rich instead tend to bribe their way through whatever bureaucracy exists, and there is much on paper that doesn't come through in reality.

I appreciate your taking the time to write this; you obviously have given it some thought, and it's even polite.

But I don't buy it for a minute, Ender.  


this is not some (11.00 / 2)
final draft for a "perfect" society. This is just some general ideas without the specifics ironed out or loopholes solved. I only discussed removing the right to vote from those who have voluntarily decided to not work at all and be completely dependent on the society. Why should those who decide to voluntarily stop contributing anything to the society tax wise, while only taking, have any say in how that society spends that tax money? It's a general idea. Those who try to work would of course not continue to be able to participate.

As for the Corporate vs Individual, and private vs public lawyers - what I meant was when it is Individual vs Individual, public services would be utilized, and when it's Corporation vs Corporation, private services can be paid for. If we are to start drilling into specifics, which I simply did not, we could come up with compromises where Corporations would not be able to use high end private lawyers when fighting regular individuals, but would be on equal footing with public defenders.

I also did not mention giving any decision making power to the rich. I talked about setting up rules that all would have to abide by - a constitution of sorts. So in that hypothetical constitution, the "poor" would have the right to Housing, Healthcare, Food, Clothing, whatever and those rights would be paid for by the general population's taxes.  Make those rights immutable.

You are viewing this through the lens of our current society, and that is fine, but it's not meant to be thrown up for a vote of 21st Century's US Congress.


[ Parent ]
strike the "not" in the (7.00 / 2)
"Those who try to work would of course not continue to be able to participate."

[ Parent ]
Ender, I am going to leave you to (0.00 / 0)
the rest of the bloggers here. Perhaps they will have something to say.

I'm opting out of this conversation, though. Because I don't trust you, and I don't have time for this.



[ Parent ]
must be time to sleep then (0.00 / 0)
the Democratic Party did not approve my message.

[ Parent ]
dude (0.00 / 0)
talk all you want. I'm not going to go around trying to encourage people to throw you out.

I just think your framing sucks. It's very easy to pick it apart.

And I will.

I thought your post had some good things, but overall it seemed to me to lack coherence. I had no sense whatsoever that you'd really thought any of it out.

It looked very much cut and paste.

(shrug)


[ Parent ]
obviously, there is some history here (8.00 / 1)
I've had only positive impressions of each of you so I will endeavor to ignore the suggestion that neither of you is perfect.

[ Parent ]
generally speaking (13.00 / 1)
it's always a good idea to NOT ignore any suggestions that neither of any of us is perfect.

That doesn't mean you have any obligation to act on any of that.

Just sayin'.


[ Parent ]
Like Diane, I find little to disagree with in principle, (8.50 / 4)
but I have some nitpicks and/or questions.

With respect to your point that those who choose to depend on society to provide for them should not have a say in how that society operates, how do you really draw the line?  Everyone has something of value to offer even though it may not be considered mainstream "work".  Do you let a starving artist vote?  Does it depend on his willingness to give up his art in order to work the assembly line?  Do you let the rich kid vote just because they inherit the money and despite the fact that they have no intention of ever doing an honest day's labor?  What about the rural farmer who works hard every day, but is unable to eek out a living due to crop failure or market manipulation of cattle prices or Monsanto's horrendous fertilizer scams?  It doesn't seem fair to deny him the vote.

Turning the tables, will recipients of corporate welfare then be denied the right to buy our votes?  The banksters and the health insurance industry denied access to K street?  

Regarding the tax structure - the problem I have now is that taxes are so separated.  We pay this tax to this authority and that tax to that authority and then complain generally about the overall high tax rates while our public schools falter.  Wouldn't it be better to pay one single tax with the understanding that x% of our tax money goes to fund these things and y% to those things?   Are we still looking at separate federal and state taxes?  What about property taxes (both real and personal) and what about retained earnings?  Most importantly what about special district taxing authorities and the privatization of government functions?  

What about the environment?  Do we all have a right to clean air and clean water?  Monetary subsidies might buy a temporary substitute, but they can't fix the loss of an aquifer to gas drilling.  

I think you should start that website. Thank you for opening the discussion.  


yeah (10.00 / 1)
Thanks.

It's eke, not eek.

Sorry, I'm a spelling troll.

Otherwise; wonderful.


[ Parent ]
ender... (7.00 / 1)
Thank you for bringing this conversation to our table.  While I think some of your ideas are brilliant and some not so much so.. the fact that you're willing to discuss says a lot about you and I applaud that.

One thing I'm sorry to see here is anyone attacking you.  I'm sorry that's happened .. it does not follow our basic principle:

     

It's okay to disagree it's not okay to be disagreeable.

If we cannot learn to listen to other ideas and bat things back and forth then there really very little hope for the future.

..it is apparent that America is suffering some kind of paranoid psychotic episode.  ~ Matthew Norman  


I get to disagree with Ender (0.00 / 0)
And that bit about being disagreeable is laughable; Ender has been much more disagreeable elsewhere.

If you can't deal with  my level of being disagreeable, then this blog will fold up and die.

Guaranteed.

Have at it.

Sad to see it. This looked like it had a lot of potential.

Oh well.

Miep


[ Parent ]
My point is merely (0.00 / 0)
that we're looking for a new way of doing business.  I don't know either you or ender.  However, I've not seen ender be hostile HERE.  

..it is apparent that America is suffering some kind of paranoid psychotic episode.  ~ Matthew Norman  

[ Parent ]
(shrug) (0.00 / 0)
I understand. But I may well go wander away until you get over Ender.

Just saying.


[ Parent ]
oh, and okay (0.00 / 0)
you win. Ender wins. I'll go away now.

I'm deeply sorry to have offended you. The last thing I want to do is mess around with bloggers.

Have a nice blog. I must deeply apologize for having the temerity to drop by here; that was obviously a terrible mistake, what with my being so incredibly inferior compared with stellar bloggers like Ender.

I'm sure he'll be very happy to read this comment.

Nite. Bye.  


[ Parent ]
jeez (0.00 / 0)
calm down Miep. I am sure no one has a problem with you disagreeing with me. And I am sure you have some idea that I have a thick skin. Please don't go just over this. I would be sorry to see you go.

Why would I be happy over this???

And masslass - we were hostile to each other on a blog that pretty much encourages some of that hostility, which I won't mention here.  


[ Parent ]
dude, it's about politics (0.00 / 0)
You've made it clear that you think Republicans are better for us than Democrats.

It's a complicated discussion, but I don't for a minute buy that idea.

I thought this was a leftist blog. I was perhaps wrong.

I was pissed because you were immediately frontpaged, with your governmental frame that I think is faux.

At that point, I thought; "Well, life is too short, and blogs are many."

So, I will leave you to write the sort of anti-liberal shit you write at Free Speech Zone, and go hang at other blogs. For a bit.

I'm actually quite curious as to how these folks will react to you, ultimately.

I know a lot of these people.

(shrug)


[ Parent ]
sure (8.00 / 1)
That blog is all about in your face confrontation, and I never shied away from it. It is good in small dozes. I also have some history with some of the people there, so there is some good natured jousting without serious malice. That's the paradigm there. Taken in vacuum it looks strange.

Also earlier on, on this blog, I've mentioned that I am on the Right and to me voting for the lesser evil is voting Republican.

It's a completely different environment here, and I have an interest in a serious conversation without degenerating into political food fights. If people can't separate the two, I'll be happy to shut up :)


[ Parent ]
No... (8.67 / 3)
don't shut up, that was not my intention with that comment. I think what you've written here is commendable and I agree with much of it. I'm not being confrontational here, as I believe we are not going to straighten out this mess until the right and left understand the wedges that are dividing us, we DO need to find some common ground.

I just wanted to get to know you a little better and point out that some of the statements you've made here don't jibe with what you've written elsewhere. Such as this:

"I do agree with you on a lot of what you said about our current financial state. It pains me as an Ayn Randish moral capitalist to see so many non-productive financial leeches :) People deserve to make money if they produce value, otherwise we got the garbage that we got."

Which doesn't seem to fit in with this statement made here:

In this society, people would have a right to certain absolute basics: Housing, Food, Healthcare. Citizens would also have a right to stop working. Those who do not work for any reason, aside from disability, would receive subisidies to provide for the absolute basics listed above, in addition to a reasonable stipend for entertainment/etc. I will call them Welfare citizens. The only price for not providing for yourself would be a loss of a right to vote. The loss of the right to vote would not be permanent and would be restored if at any time a Welfare Citizen decides/is able to start working again. Disabled Welfare Citizens would not lose the right to vote as it is not their voluntary choice to not work.

It is my view that those who depend on society's providing for them, should not be able to have a say in governing that society, mitigated by the fact that there is an absolute right to being provided for.

These absolute basics would be subsidized by the progressive Welfare (Stability) Tax. As it is in society's interest to provide for the unemployed to keep a stable society, this tax would be levied progressively on the working/non-welfare citizens.

Or perhaps you've had a change of heart? And yes, I do understand that you have presented an outline to begin the discussion.

I just want to let you know, I do like you, ender, and do appreciate you starting the conversation. Some of the points you make are to the left of some of the lefties, so let me ask you this. Are there many other conservative Republicans, as you describe yourself, willing to bend enough to meet in the middle, or are you a one in a million anomaly?

Carry on.

Peace...


[ Parent ]
there are reasons (8.00 / 1)
It's almost an all or nothing scenario. I don't think we can implement some of the welfare suggestions without changing the tax code and some of the other things I described. Unfortunately I have to go pick up my wife at the airport and my explanation will have to wait until later.

[ Parent ]
It seems most odd (4.00 / 1)
that the writer of such a sensible piece finds the intellectually bankrupt, uberpartisan party of Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, etc. to be the lesser of two evils.

[ Parent ]
intellectual bankruptcy (0.00 / 0)
is in the eye of the beholder. Additionally intellectual ability is no guarantee of good intentions or even rational thought.

[ Parent ]
Who are you, O reasonable person? (8.00 / 1)
And what have you done with Ender?

hey gzodik (0.00 / 0)
Good to see you here. When I see a place that has a constructive/productive attitude, I adjust accordingly. Sometimes the poo flinging gets tiring...

[ Parent ]
Well, I personally thank you (8.00 / 2)
for linking to this site over at the poo flinging site, as I had not heard of it yet.

I shall check it out, decide whether to contribute, but most likely fade away into blogging obscurity as I have done in the past.

Lautreamont


[ Parent ]
I fade away most of the time myself (0.00 / 0)
Life often intrudes.

[ Parent ]
Ender, I appreciate your essay no end (9.50 / 2)
Even though I have problems with much of what you propose. Chief among my objections is what I perceive as a pronounced bias towards the corporate world. And in particular the idea that corporate taxes are too high at their current levels. When companies like BP can get a tax refund, essentially paying  NO taxes, when companies can off-shore their corporate offices, essentially removing themselves from the tax base, and with all of the subsides and write offs that the corporate world enjoys, there is no way that I can agree with your statement...

Corporate/Business taxes would be progressive but lower than current rates to promote growth.

From what I have read, the corporate tax level is now about 1/3 of what it was during Eisenhower's administration. And that was the tax structure that produced the strongest middle class the world has ever known. It is also the tax structure that promoted the incredibly strong industrial nation that was America in the 50s and 60s.

And next is a big one for me.

A representative democracy is obsolete, given it's set terms of service. As long as people are elected for a set term of service, the corporate elite will find a way to corrupt those elected. I take that for a given. The only answer, imho, is for a delegative form of democracy, where there is an option for (nearly) immediate recall of the elected official. This form of elective government would be based at the precinct level, not the federal level. With precincts determined by a strict grid/population system, instead of the constant gerrymandering by who ever is in power at the time of the census, a much fairer election process could begin to emerge. At the precinct level a delegate is elected to the next level of government. These elections at the precinct level are at the precinct's whim; if the delegate that was elected to the next level is not performing to the satisfaction of those who elected her/him, an election could be called and the delegate could be recalled instantly, with no further voting privileges for the delegate at that higher level of government. This model would continue to the highest level of legislative government, with each level of government having the ability to recall their delegate to the next higher level on a instantaneous basis.  

Of course, this would require an informed, and active, electorate, which is a joke these days. The wholesale corporate takeover of this nation's press and information media has destroyed the fairness doctrine, giving rise to the 24 hr news cycle that promotes only one side of any topic, and consequentially, animosity and finger pointing. Once again the Founding Fathers with their insistence for a free and viable press comes to mind. Until the fairness doctrine is re-instated, until the act of investigative reporting is re-invigorated, until the populace has both all sides of a topic to study, the corporate elite will continue to feed the masses the information that will benefit their bottom line, not the information needed to create a more just and sustainable society.

And how does this entertainment society of ours become involved? That, in my opinion, is the 10,000 lb elephant in the room. As long as most everyone is more concerned with what the current actor/actress baddie is doing, rather than the intricate and absorbing process of governing ourselves, it is absurd to even have a conversation about self governace, not enough people are going to join the conversation to make it any more than a mastabatory experience.

Be well


Reality is a constantly created occurance, and very personal. What are you creating today?


i've come to think we (9.00 / 2)
overestimate the bad guys and underestimate the rest of us.

people, ordinary people are growing weary of the bullshit. it is time to find a way to use this discontent to our advantage. not by creating better lies and sweeter propaganda but by proposing something truly radical: life is tough. resources are limited. but these things, in and of themselves, do not make life "bad."

the more we are challenged, the more we are forced to become engaged in our real lives, away from magical rectangles with endless games and meaningless noise and empty SMS messages replacing the human ways of staying in touch.

life isn't any easier with conveniences. not when you have to run so hard to maintain all this infrastructure and pay for it over and over again... time, money, health, impersonal relationships.

maybe less will bring us more.

simplify... writing in the rAw


[ Parent ]
I am biased towards the Business/Corporate world (0.00 / 0)
but in the sense that I admire those who have the ability and manage to create the private industries that have driven our country to heights no other country has every achieved. I admire success. It is innate to me. I don't have a desire to try to extract more money than necessary out of those who succeed. I admire self-reliance, perseverance, hard work, creativity, invention, individual strength.

That doesn't mean I am blind to the amount of corruption in the system, and I've mentioned it in this presentation of some of my ideas. I've said how I would begin to deal with it. I am also somewhat averse to the idea of making money out of nothing - such as most of the Financial Sector.

Before I would do anything to change Corporate tax rates, I would remove the corporate ability to evade their tax responsibility because I agree with your complaints. I would make sure that they did pay the full share under the law without any exemptions.

I do also think that our representatives need to be much more responsive to the electorate and perhaps initially term limits are the answer. Yes, term limits are somewhat undemocratic as they can counteract the will of the people but it will prevent some of the outside influence from setting root.

I don't agree with the Fairness doctrine idea and also with the idea that our media is controlled by one side, but I do dislike the current media presentation of the issues in general. Like I also said, I would like less media consolidation as well.

Who knows how to get out entertainment society more involved in governing, but perhaps some forcing is in order. I mentioned mandatory voting. A future society could also have features like every single bill that is being passed by our government, would have to be broadcast to all voting age citizens, with arguments presented for and against - have a government involvement day every week or month where everything else is turned off. :) Who knows, but yes the current state of our disconnected society actively promotes the unimpeded growth of the corruption.

Thank you for the response.


[ Parent ]
Good to see a reply :~) (8.00 / 1)
Beyond all else, a dialogue must be maintained. Not that you and I are on a disputational tangent, I don't see that at all, I reference the dialogue as a matter of communicating, which we, as an entertainment society are doing on a much more rare basis as time goes by. Instead of communicating there are accusations and acrimony, neither of which is a positive action.

Basically I was/am glad to see a reply because of the late hour on which I joined the conversation, I didn't know if you would be returning to it again. Glad you did.

I have absolutely no problem with success, as long as it isn't exploitive, or environmentally degrading. Unfortunately however, success has morphed into greed pretty much across the board. Which brings up your statement  

I don't have a desire to try to extract more money than necessary out of those who succeed

I want to know, what is the basis of determining what is necessary. Is it necessary to have ten homes? Or even two homes when how many millions of people have no home at all, save maybe a card board box? Is it ok to give some loan shark in a fancy suit hundreds of millions in bonus money when how many millions are panhandling for their living, as meager as it is? It is not a corruption of capitalism to have a CEO pulling in those insane bonuses, or having extra homes, it is in fact the pinnacle of success in the capitalistic system, which rewards greed.

The Revenue Act of 1964 lowered the top individual tax rate from 91% to 70%, and the top corporate rate from 52% to 48%. At this point the top individual rate is somewhere around 35% and the effective corporate top is probably around 0% when all the subsidies, write-offs, and incentives etc. etc. are figured. Why not go back to the '64 rates? I find it hard to say that it is going to kill the American business world, when I remember the health of the economy back then.

It would seem to me that a form of the fairness doctrine is what you are advocating for with your " Government involvement day (week, month)". I feel that the demise of the fairness doctrine is what allows the outright lying to go on in the name of news, and political reporting, seen on several stations, faux news in particular. All the fairness doctrine supported was equal time for opposing viewpoints. It kept the brainwashing to a minimum. :~) With the current crop of news organizations, the numbers of players has dropped to 5 or 6, and I don't know of any of the ownership groups which cold be considered liberal, let alone progressive. Some of them, Rev Moon and Murdoch, in particular, are so far right that they are to the right of the old John Birch Society. The term "the liberal press" is such a complete misnomer it would be comic if it were not such a serious topic.

As for my pet project, delegative democracy, I think that you misunderstood my thesis. I do not advocate for term limits, that will never happen, the pigs will never vote themselves away from the trough. No I mean there are no election cycles at all for our legislators: no 2 year terms for representatives, no 6 year terms for senators. The precinct up model has local legislative actions and elections on an as needed action. Instead of electing someone to the local government, the local precinct commission conducts surveys, and votes if that is their desire, on issues that need looking after. They also vote on someone to express their desires at the next level of government, which is another commission or committee overseeing a larger swath of the country. At any time, a lower commission can vote someone else in place, and  recall the representative who isn't doing their bidding. Though like I said  before, this takes an active and informed voting public, and I think that in this country that is pretty much an oxymoron. Very few want to think, they want their opinions presented for them, by a pretty face on TV, in between their war stories and action flicks. Thinking about the homeless is a definite bummer compared to the thrill of another alien invasion or the disgust and fear of another "saw" movie, another chainsaw massacre.

We can't legislate desire for good government, but when the only place a person can vote is at the very local level, in their precinct, people will have to participate in the local stuff first and foremost. This removes the chance of any one "buying " an election, corporation or individual. It also cools the rhetoric as Rush, and Beck, can't know what is going on in every precinct in the country. Likewise, when a representative is caught with the predatory lobbyists, they are out immediately and the corruption that is so pervasive in Washington is curtailed to a large degree. Another benefit of the delegate model is that the two party system gets disrupted, and possibly, hopefully, destroyed. Giving people just two choices out of a 360 degree field of play is just plain limiting and stupid, there are so many eloquent voices lost when only two can speak. Plus the animosity inherent in the us against them model of the two party system loses traction. In a precinct setting ideas can be debated face to face and then voted on. With out the two year election cycle our governance would be way less reliant on personality cults and negative campaigning. And, god, wouldn't it be a relief to not have to have all that campaign crap clobbering our senses so much of the time?

It is time for boat work, ah.......the honest labor of tool meeting wood.

Be well.  

Reality is a constantly created occurance, and very personal. What are you creating today?


[ Parent ]
thank you again (8.00 / 1)
I will respond later - busy this day.

[ Parent ]
Ender, thanks for this (7.00 / 1)
and the challenge to our leftward thinking.

please keep us in your circle. who knows what will happen!

simplify... writing in the rAw


Ender is Ender (0.00 / 0)
you can go around and find him here and there. He got tossed from DK for being a right wing troll, and he bragged about that on Free Speech Zone.

I was just kind of shocked to see Diane frontpaging him here.

I'd be interested in hearing what Noam Chomsky thinks about Ender's work. I hear he blogs on Red State.

Diane, you're a good person. I do believe that. And you write good prose; you are a very talented writer. And I know you're going through a very tough time right now.

But still; I can only say; think for a little longer before deciding to frontpage essays on a blog that has attracted a lot of talent.

You can do this, you can get better at this. But what I keep seeing is that you're too trusting.

It's confusing for me, because you are clearly very smart. You impress me a lot with your writing.

But you seem to look for people to approve of you.

This is old shit, and it's not your fault you got sucked into it. Well, that's just imho.

Ender is ender. He's not stupid. But he's on the opposite end of the spectrum from Noam Chomsky, and I just have to say that you really need to think this stuff out better, if you're going to be doing publishing business with both of them.

Much love,

Miep


you actually followed what happened to me (0.00 / 0)
that far back? Or you just read the stuff I wrote on FSZ in my latest comeback a month ago?

I got tossed from DK because I was a right wing troll? By troll you mean I was right wing and DK does not allow anyone with a dissenting view to post, right?

Am I misrepresenting myself here? I stated up front that I am on the Right. No ifs ands or buts about it. I always was and I always am. I've always voted Republican, but I've never been an operative of anything and I've always just represented myself and my own views.

I am a futurist and an idealist and I have my own ideas on how a good society should function. I see the many faults on the American Conservative Right but I rarely voice them because well I am either in the presence of Conservatives, and why would I want to get kicked out, or I am in the presence of angry Dem partisans, and I get aggravated and feel the need to defend.

I react angrily to opposing partisans like you who are not interested in engaging my side. I am not sure why I am even responding to this.

I find that I deal better with non-partisans of all stripes, on the Left and the Right. When it's just discussion of ideas without constantly falling back to the Party Talking Points. Which is why sites like these intrigue me and provoke me to think beyond the Talking Points.


[ Parent ]
Ender (0.00 / 0)
anybody can go and go search out your history at Free Speech Zone.

http://www.freespeechzoneblog....

That's what Free Speech Zone is all about.

I like that blog more all the time.

Meanwhile, have at it. Continue to promote your arguments that stealthily veil those little bits about how people who don't have money shouldn't be allowed to vote.

Have the hell at it, Ender.

This is all sad, but you can't see that, can you?

Oh well. Jack knows what you are.

Hopefully, lots  of other people here on Writing in the Raw do too. But as long as you get front paged here, I have better things to do.



[ Parent ]
Not as completely uninteresting as I had first guessed it would be (0.00 / 0)
Mostly because of the reactions by the so-called Progressives.  It is my view that Progressives are now a right wing / center-right movement.  Certainly their reactions here tend to make that more plausible.

I notice that you claim this piece is a mix of capitalism and socialism.  In fact there's no socialism in it at all.  It's 100% capitalism which is no shock given your own views.  I am kind of wondering why you thought that though.  What does socialism mean to you?

Does socialism mean looking after people who are poor to you?

In summary the ideas you present are (in order of importance):
(1) create a second class citizenry of non-workers who can't vote
(2) lower taxes and regulation for the rich
(3) election reform
(4) legal reform

So basically there's not a lot there but the first point.  The first point is self contradictory as you currently express it.  On the one hand you pretend these non-workers serve no social purpose and you use that as an excuse to brand them as untermenschen and deny them basic civil rights.  On the other hand you say that they are needed.

it is in society's interest to provide for the unemployed to keep a stable society

So which is it Ender?  Do they help keep a stable society or do they do nothing?  Make up your mind.

The fact is that your vision of a new society is basically very little changed from the failure that is current crony capitalism.  One of the reasons that capitalism is a failure is because of unemployment which is necessary for capitalism to work.  The problem is that production keeps increasing.  For example every year computing power per dollar more or less doubles.  It is clear that you just can't employ everyone in a capitalist society and its only going to get worse.

So the unemployed are inevitable.  On what basis therefore are you punishing them?  On the contrary your society would simply not work without sufficient people agreeing to be in this group.

As for the rest of it the lower taxes on the rich in a country that already has practically non-existent taxes on the rich with the result that the country is overrun by parasitic elites -- oh yeah that's going to work.  Lower taxes for the rich.  Isn't that what every Republican always says?  And we see the results today.  By comparison the US did the best when taxes on the rich were the highest.

And you say there should be no regulation on the rich outside of a few broad categories.  For example no regulations at all on the banking and finance communities.  Well we have seen recently where that leads of course.  


The form of government would remain a Democratic Republic

Obviously a society where half the people don't vote is not a representative democracy.  So basically not democratic, not socialist, not fair and extra capitalism with lower taxes and few regulations.

Again: no surprise that so-called Progressives like Diane said they agreed with your vision.


"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it",
Helen Keller, communist.


you mis-characterize what I wrote (0.00 / 0)
I would remove all of the corporate welfare, and the exemptions that allow the wealthy and the corporations to shield their money from taxes. So in reality they would end up paying a fair and a higher share. It is necessary in order to provide those basic necessities for the poor.

I also didn't advocate removing the right to vote from the unemployed. I stated and clarified that it would only be for those fully capable of training and looking for work, but who for whatever reason voluntarily decided to stop doing so. It's a voluntary trade-off. They get to live without any pressure but they also don't get to participate in decision making.

I would not remove the right to vote from those who are just unemployed but have not given up. So I am not punishing the unemployed. Besides, this is a very small part of what I wrote, and it's negotiable. You choose to make a big deal out of it, but this "second class citizenry" would be much better off than the current unemployed or the destitute or the homeless.

It's a fact that most of the violent crime comes from desperation of the poverty ridden communities. If you stabilize society by removing the desperation, you will get less crime.

So you completely mis characterized what I said. The rich would actually pay more, and the citizenry would be much more involved. The quality of life would be better on average, and there would be no homeless, nor starving, nor sick without an ability to get better.


[ Parent ]
Not sure how you think I mis-characterised you (0.00 / 0)
(1) I suggested you were creating an underclass.  You don't seem to deny that.

As a matter of interest wouldn't all housewives be part of that no-voting rights class?  So you are basically rolling back the 19th amendment with this one?  Women can't vote unless they take on the male role of going outside the house for official paid employment?  Another surprise that the feminists didn't seem to realise you were saying that.

I have to say your idea seems like a hideously anti-equality, hideously anti-civil rights, hideously sexist, hideously anti-poor.

What exactly is the difference between these untermenschen and the unemployed then?  If the unemployed are better off then why would anyone choose to become untermenschen?

Can you explain why you feel the need to punish these people you want to volunteer for the sake of society to forego the chance of a job?  Why do you insult the very people who you call on to make the ultimate sacrifice to stabilise your society?  Frankly I'd say those people would be the ones you want voting not the rest if I had to choose.

I don't understand why you think forcibly not allowing half the population (or a quarter, whatever) to vote will make people more involved.

(2) I suggested your formula of lower taxes and lower or no regulation for the rich would benefit the rich.  

You seem to disagree somehow.  Huh?  You said yourself these changes were designed to benefit corporations.  You say that you want no more corporate welfare but that is unrelaistic given that you maintain the same power structures in society - and in fact enforce them.  The rich are still going to rule and therefore there will be the same corruption.  You removed all regulation except for four broad areas so things like the banking crisis we are going through now will be much easier and therefore bound to happen.

Under those circumstances and given your second class status the dole for these non-workers will be slashed and slashed again by successive corporate governments.

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it",
Helen Keller, communist.


[ Parent ]
eh (0.00 / 0)
would those housewives be receiving subsidies for the free housing, food, healthcare, etc??? Of course not, because they would be living off the income of their husbands. It's only those who choose to accept all the free goods and decline to do anything to pay for any of it that would be in this "underclass". Why does that part keep eluding you? Are you really that stupid, or just have poor reading comprehension? The family of the housewife would still be contributing and living on someone's income, not free government dole.

How then am I punishing the few people who choose the safety of a guaranteed worry free, if not exactly luxurious, life with every necessity and even entertainment paid for?

Even in your favorite Stalinist Russia, people had to do something for much worse lifestyle than I am proposing to pay for via the taxes of those who choose to work for a living.

As for corporations, by removing most of the corporate exemptions I would in effect be raising Corporate taxes and making sure they pay their fair share. I also prosed quite a few changes that would remove corporate corruption on a currently unthinkable level. I would be willing to write the guarantees for the non-workers and help for frankly anyone else who doesn't earn enough for the essentials into the constitution so that no one would be able to slash it.


[ Parent ]
Yes you'd be banning many women from voting (14.00 / 1)
If you are a stay at home mom and you have the choice of (1) not getting a whole raft of free benefits and cash but being able to vote and (2) getting all that money and benefits but can't vote, which would you choose for your family?

It's not even close is it?  half of America doesn't vote so how many would vote if you paid them a lot of money not to vote -- which is what you are talking about doing here?  

I'm not sure.  Perhaps this is a minor point but OTOH it might be hard to avoid this sex bias while maintaining anything close to your original idea.  Women don't work as much as men for the reasons of child bearing when it comes down to it.  So anything aimed at non-workers you are looking at a big gender factor.

You know there would be a huge racial factor too.  

And then basically you are saying that these people (predominantly women and minorities) are second class citizens.  You are punishing them by reputation (you're charcaterising them as parasites) and by saying they are unfit to vote - which these days is like saying they are really not citizens at all.  That is a punishment.

Can you explain the concept of not allowing people to vote who are mentally able, respectable and law abiding members of society if it is not some sort of punishment?

Another aspect of your plan is that rich people would get double votes.  The rich would eschew the non-working dole for their stay at home partners because they don't need the extra money.  That means you are in effect saying rich families get to vote twice as often as poor families.

It gets worse.  If you are rich then you can find poor people on the dole who support your political views and buy their vote for them.  You are literally legalising vote buying.

Also I don't think a constitutional guarantee would guarantee your dole for the non-workers because (1) look how much notice anyone takes of the constitution as it is, and (2) because of the untermenschen status they would have it would be so easy to get people to vote for attacking them

Ender, the whole point of a democratic system is that people can vote to defend their interests.  You have taken that right and defence away from this group, so it is rational to ask, how then are their political rights to be defended?

Even in your favorite Stalinist Russia, people had to do something for much worse lifestyle than I am proposing to pay for via the taxes of those who choose to work for a living.

Same Stalin who basically emancipated the serfs, brought equality to Russia, democratised the work place so the factory workers voted on their own decisions, introduced the seven hour work day and paid vacations, free education, free universal health care, women's rights?  Same Stalin who had a buzzing economy while the US and the capitalist world was suffering through the Great Depression?

Stalin didn't have the same sort of unemployment issues as capitalist America had and has.  Pretty much the opposite.

Besides which this comment about Stalin is a huge conservative-style non-sequitur.  Stalin didn't have a scheme comparable to yours.

--------------------------------------

Back to the corporations.  Regulations are there to protect people from the corruption of corporations.  Recent events show that current levels of regulations are inadequate yet you want to slash them.  So a reasonable question is : how are you going to stop that runaway corruption with no regulation?  You can't remove the evil intent of corporations because that's built in to capitalism as a system.  Corporations very purpose is to screw people over and be as greedy and corrupt as possible and do anything they can no matter how immoral, to make a fat profit.  That is their be all and end all.  Given that fact which remains unchanged in your system how do you propose to stop these corporations gaining huge power?

Yes I can see you have election reform down on the list.  But if corporations are not regulated they will simply find other ways to use their power to control the system.  Money is power.  If you don't limit their money or regulate them how can you block them from taking over the government?

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it",
Helen Keller, communist.


[ Parent ]
I'll get back to you (15.00 / 1)
I wish I had unlimited time to respond :) I'll grant you some points - especially the punishing by reputation. On the other hand it's a lot better than what we currently have with people actually starving, and killing each other for minor shit, and begging for food and drugs.

[ Parent ]
The diary is on my "hot list" (6.00 / 1)
I guess because of the recommend.. so i should see a reply probably.

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it",
Helen Keller, communist.


[ Parent ]
oh, look (0.00 / 0)
David Byron. You're that front-end misogynist cat, right?


[ Parent ]
nice post (0.00 / 0)
Such a kind of article is really awesome,I daily read your blogs and give my notice for that here this article is too great and so interesting.YuanDao N90 S

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