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Author: Subject: Outside-of-the-box ideas for government/economies
anotheronebitesthedust
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Outside-of-the-box ideas for government/economies

I've become completely disillusioned with the way the world works. It seems like even in the most advanced and evolved nations we are still forced to vote for the "least worst" politicians. And by their very nature these men and women we call "politicians" always tend to be childish, egotistic control-freaks. Every now and then there is a Ron Paul who has steadfast, un-corruptable beliefs, but even he has his faults.

Why do we have to even elect human beings to lead us and control every aspect of our lives? Everybody has their faults, and most people are corrupt. At the very least people will change over time. Look at how Obama changed from a President for the people, to a CEO for the US Dollar within 4 years. Plus we're all so complex and different from each other, we're always going to have our differences.

So wouldn't it make more sense to vote what percentage of our tax dollars go to various departments? Like if my car is vandalized by thugs I could go and vote for more of my taxes to be spent on police. Then a week later once I've calmed down and thought about it rationally I could change it back and give more money to education and youth programs. This way I'm voting on numbers, and numbers don't lie, cheat, manipulate, steal, and do all the other shit politicians do.

Anyone see any downfalls to this system? Is it too Utopian to succeed? Any better ideas or innovative thoughts on the government and/or economy?
zoombafu
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Personally I am anarcho-capitalist, which partially means I am an anarchist, but I believe in property rights, and peoples ability to voluntarily participate in economic markets. This way people could spend their money where they want to spend it. The government wouldn't waste 1/2 the money they receive on corrupt bureaucracy like they do now. However I do realize that a voluntary society isn't possible, as government will always exist. Right now I support the Libertarian party which I think will bring government towards a less intervening position.

gregxy
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Here is a website that has some ideas for more "direct government".

Unfortunately no one seems to be very interested in it. Apathy is a big problem.
People are happy enough not to stick their necks out and politicians aren't going
to ruin their gold mine.

gameover2012.org

[Edited on 1-3-2012 by gregxy]
bahamuth
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As with all governments in the world, some people (the very few) don't like where it is heading while the majority is just happy to tag along as long as they are fed entertaintment through the livingroom cathode altar and have just the right amount of restrictive laws as so make them feel safe from the bad men.

The bottom point is that most people is sheep, and the sheep can be pretty badly mistreated before they shows any discomfort.

It's all in biology, most of us like to be sheep and to be hearded around, with the more rules and restrictions making us feel safer.

There are only two solutions as I see it:

1. We evolve "away" the stupidity (though this is very unlikely in the forseeable future, though this may be possible through engineering on the molecular level)
2. We either merge with machines, or machines will rule( this way perhaps all unlogical thoughts may be suppressed or removed).

A "Star-Trekkian" society is probably very far into the future if at all, as even educated people, scientists argue and bicker past the observed data....

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
phlogiston
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One problem I can see with your solution is that just dumping more or less money into various departments is not the same as making policies.
Politicians can make a lot more difference by setting the departments goals, changing the way they operate, making them more efficient, etc. etc.

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"If a rocket goes up, who cares where it comes down, that's not my concern said Wernher von Braun" - Tom Lehrer
anotheronebitesthedust
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 Quote: Originally posted by zoombafu However I do realize that a voluntary society isn't possible, as government will always exist.
I don't think all government sectors are bad. Obviously universal education and health care are great. I just want more control over the way my government handles my tax dollars in the first place. They should have to serve us and answer to us not vice versa.

 Quote: Originally posted by gregxy People are happy enough not to stick their necks out and politicians aren't going to ruin their gold mine. gameover2012.org

 Quote: Originally posted by bahamuth The bottom point is that most people is sheep, and the sheep can be pretty badly mistreated before they shows any discomfort.
Agreed. As long as 51% are comfortable, the other 49% just need to be intimidated enough to keep quiet. At least until hyper-inflation sets in. Spreading around ideas can't hurt though I say.

 Quote: Originally posted by phlogiston Politicians can make a lot more difference by setting the departments goals, changing the way they operate, making them more efficient, etc. etc.
I disagree. Because often people in power will do favours for one another. One example is having unnecessary travel expenses paid for by the taxpayer. Meetings in Honolulu, expensive dinners and outings, etc. Living lavish lifestyles while everyone else suffers. Not to mention that pretty much all government employees have great benefit packages and job security.

Imagine if you could go online and cut your personal funding to a wasteful department. If 25% of the population did the same, that department would be severely punished. They would be way more careful about spending $if we had that type of control. (Hey I can dream can't I!) zoombafu National Hazard Posts: 255 Registered: 21-11-2011 Location: U.S. Member Is Offline Mood: sciencey There have been some interesting ideas on this thread, which is interesting, because usually this type of stuff turns into people bickering about conspiracy theories. One of the things that I hate the most in America is the two party system. Either you are a republican or democrat. Both the parties control the political system, and it is very hard for anyone with ideas 'outside' of the accepted to get in. And each party is just as corrupt. I think that if there were some new ideas, and some outside influence it would help the government a lot. phlogiston International Hazard Posts: 1336 Registered: 26-4-2008 Location: Neon Thorium Erbium Lanthanum Neodymium Sulphur Member Is Offline Mood: pyrophoric  Quote: Imagine if you could go online and cut your personal funding to a wasteful department. If 25% of the population did the same, that department would be severely punished. They would be way more careful about spending$ if we had that type of control. (Hey I can dream can't I!)

Yes, but so would you, as you probably still need the services of that department. Say education performs poorly and inefficiently. Then everyone cuts the education budget. People are fired, schools are closed and what remains is a very inefficient, understaffed education system that will take years to recover and reorganize to become an efficient. Your kids are left with no proper education which will affect the country for years to come.

What should have happened is that the system is changed to improve its performance first, freeing money and then to spend the leftover money to whereever it is needed most.

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"If a rocket goes up, who cares where it comes down, that's not my concern said Wernher von Braun" - Tom Lehrer
bbartlog
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Some departments/areas are just sexier than others and would be overfunded, while others would languish. My mother used to be in charge of fundraising for an urban hospital. Vast numbers of donations were earmarked by the donors for neonatal or obstetric needs. No one earmarked their donations for things like dialysis for seniors.
In a like vein I would expect social security and medicare to be underfunded while some other things like national parks or the space program would do well. In general I don't think it would work out well.

The less you bet, the more you lose when you win.
White Yeti
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I think there should be more people knowledgeable in science holding positions in government. I'm not saying a Pd.D. in science is necessary, but if politicians could know as much science as a high school dropout, they could probably make better decisions on important things like energy policy and stem cell research.

Some politicians, when it comes to science, are so dumb it makes me want to cry.

An example:
a proof is a proof is a proof
Canadian prime minister cannot explain what a proof is^^

I read an article on the subject last year, but I can't seem to find it.

"Ja, Kalzium, das ist alles!" -Otto Loewi
anotheronebitesthedust
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 Quote: Originally posted by zoombafu Either you are a republican or democrat. Both the parties control the political system, and it is very hard for anyone with ideas 'outside' of the accepted to get in. And each party is just as corrupt. I think that if there were some new ideas, and some outside influence it would help the government a lot.
Exactly. It doesn't matter whether you chose McCain or Obama in 2008 because they both would've continued the wars in order to back the american dollar. Shouldn't democracy give the people the choice between going to war or letting the economy collapse? It was the people who chose to create the debt, so shouldn't we also be able to choose how to deal with the consequences?

 Quote: Originally posted by phlogiston Say education performs poorly and inefficiently. Then everyone cuts the education budget. People are fired, schools are closed and what remains is a very inefficient, understaffed education system that will take years to recover and reorganize to become an efficient. Your kids are left with no proper education which will affect the country for years to come.
So people should not have the right to vote because they don't know what's good for them? I thought democracy was about taking power away from individual people or militant groups and giving that power to the people as a whole.

And yes I agree that teachers and nurses should not be fired immediately. Perhaps a system could be implemented where the "higher-ups" suffer first from budget cuts instead of the lowly public servants. And as far as voters becoming emotional and making drastic cuts to essential services, maybe the cuts could be spread out over a yearly average so as to not create immediate penalties. Plus if a department was faced with budget cuts because of a mistake or bad choice they made, they could always appeal to the public to give them a second chance or whatever.

 Quote: Originally posted by bbartlog Some departments/areas are just sexier than others and would be overfunded, while others would languish. My mother used to be in charge of fundraising for an urban hospital. Vast numbers of donations were earmarked by the donors for neonatal or obstetric needs. No one earmarked their donations for things like dialysis for seniors. In a like vein I would expect social security and medicare to be underfunded while some other things like national parks or the space program would do well. In general I don't think it would work out well.
But again it comes down to the will of the people. If people want to give their money to help babies instead of old people, why shouldn't they have that choice? If I value babies more than the elderly and I have to work for my money why can't I decide where my money goes. And if a news report discovered that the neonatal unit was wasteful I could then lower my funding to them as well. Everyone should have an equal voice. Democracy just needs to be updated and reinforced to reflect modern times.

 Quote: Originally posted by White Yeti I think there should be more people knowledgeable in science holding positions in government.
Good point as well. I think that people from generations that did not grow up with modern science and technology are a lost cause though. And yet because of the way the current system is set up they are still the ones with control.

[Edited on 4-3-2012 by anotheronebitesthedust]
Aperturescience27
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"There have been some interesting ideas on this thread, which is interesting, because usually this type of stuff turns into people bickering about conspiracy theories. One of the things that I hate the most in America is the two party system. Either you are a republican or democrat. Both the parties control the political system, and it is very hard for anyone with ideas 'outside' of the accepted to get in. And each party is just as corrupt. I think that if there were some new ideas, and some outside influence it would help the government a lot."

There is a better election system, outlined here, that would eliminate this problem.
Aperturescience27
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anotheronebitesthedust, I think that your proposal would have a number of problems:

It would have many of the problems associated with direct democracy: unpopular but necessary parts of government would be underfunded, and funding would be based on the rapidly shifting desires of the population at large, resulting in chaos. It would require that citizens be familiar with the intricacies of the government, and since that could never happen, people would make uninformed decisions.
It would also favor the rich. Because people who earn more pay more in taxes, they would have more say in government funding.

Have you read Plato's Republic? This idea is similar to his "Democracy".
AndersHoveland
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 Quote: Originally posted by Aperturescience27 One of the things that I hate the most in America is the two party system.

The only way to change it is to allocate more than one elected representative to each voting district. This would necessitate either increasing the size of the Congressional House of Representatives, or enlarging the size of the voting districts.

Land Value and Natural Resource Taxation

I believe that one of the most important solutions is a land value and natural resource based tax, which should be applied based not just on "ownership", but by equity. If the banks have made so many loans that they control half the equity of the residential/commercial properties, they should be paying half the land value tax. Because if an individual "owns" property, but still has to make mortgage payments on that property, he does not truely own it.

And the real owners are not really the banks themselves, but the stockholders of and investors in these banks. By the mere act of putting money into a bank, one is in fact becoming an indirect owner of everything the bank has invested in or holds a mortgage on.

I think there should be an important distinction made between capital in the form of land and capital in the form of productive businesses, or buildings.

Most of the money being traded in New York city and London actually represents mortgages on land throughout the world.

The accumulation of capital in the form of land is not productive, and the interest/rents are, in many ways, parasitic on economic productivity. Again, I advocate a land value tax to rectify the problem.

Denmark experimented with a national land value tax for a time, and the economy was certainly not the worse for it. But in the end the land owners had enough political influence to reverse the policies.

I suggest that there should be a land value tax on the unimproved value of land and natural resources, and that each person (at least within the country) deserves to be given a payment for being deprived of such land and natural resources. The tax could be used both to help fund the government, and to make the payments to citizens. This would be a fair and practical way to help reduce poverty.

Many economists think that income taxes create disincentives in the economy, so one solution to this potential problem would be to shift away from income tax, and start to use a land/natural resource value tax instead. If a person's land value taxes were less than his entittled compensation payment, he would not be liable to pay any land value tax. Which is to say that those who own less than the average price value of land, less than their "fair share", would not be required to pay such a tax.
Aperturescience27
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anotheronebitesthedust, I think that your proposal would have a number of problems:

It would have many of the problems associated with direct democracy: unpopular but necessary parts of government would be underfunded, and funding would be based on the rapidly shifting desires of the population at large, resulting in chaos. It would require that citizens be familiar with the intricacies of the government, and since that could never happen, people would make uninformed decisions.
It would also favor the rich. Because people who earn more pay more in taxes, they would have more say in government funding.

Have you read Plato's Republic? This idea is similar to his "Democracy".
DerAlte
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Anotheronebitesthedust:
 Quote: I've become completely disillusioned with the way the world works.
Get used to it, sonny. It has been that way for about 4000 years and will be for the foreseeable future (5 minutes)

Ozoombafu:
 Quote: one of the things that I hate the most in America is the two party system. Either you are a republican or democrat.

Perhaps you would prefer the one party system: Model, USSR (defunct), China et alia.
Or the multiparty system: look up Italian history (recent).
Or a three party system in which a tiny minority (your own, hopefully, of course) can hold the balance of power by coalition.
Or you could choose anarchy.
There are good and self evident reasons why stable democracies always devolve to the two party system. Think about it.

White Yeti:
 Quote: I think there should be more people knowledgeable in science holding positions in government. I'm not saying a Pd.D. in science is necessary, but if politicians could know as much science as a high school dropout, they could probably make better decisions on important things like energy policy and stem cell research…. Canadian prime minister cannot explain what a proof is

High school dropouts, AFAIK, know bugger all about science and just about everything else. Elected politicians in general might know a little but the government employs vast numbers of scientists directly or indirectly. Academia is pleased to be consulted (for grant money, of course, or consultant fee). If a lawyer (or legislator) needs a scientific ‘fact’ (sic) he gets a scientist to explain it to him. Of course he may get his ‘facts’ screwed up a shade, or add his own twist. When politicians play scientist, we get Gored. And scientists are notoriously narrow-minded, if they are any good. Any scientist who becomes a politician is just that – another politician.

anotheronebitesthedust
 Quote: It doesn't matter whether you chose McCain or Obama in 2008 because they both would've continued the wars in order to back the american dollar.

Do you really think that continuing the wars backed the $? Does anyone in their right mind?  Quote: Shouldn't democracy give the people the choice between going to war or letting the economy collapse? Oh, absolutely! We should hold a referendum every time the powers-that-be enter into a war. In the meantime while we twiddle our thumbs waiting for the ballot to be prepared and to vote the assumed enemy has a signal advantage. We elect a commander-in- chief (or at least the majority does) and endow him with the power to act. It’s called representational democracy under a Constitution.  Quote: It was the people who chose to create the debt, so shouldn't we also be able to choose how to deal with the consequences? FYI, the people chose to amass their own credit card debt and enter into mortgages they didn’t understand (being high school dropouts, or having a drop out equivalency). This was a root cause of the crisis. And yes, they are now having to face the consequences. Aperturescience27: Yes, I had to read the damn thing in Greek when I was fifteen. I’ve read it since. Your points are on the ball. To those in the forum with a little more maturity, I can only say that I wish old Sauron were still with us. He never suffered fools gladly; in fact, as far as I can remember, he never suffered fools at all! I have the feeling I am turning into a Sauron. Der Alte gregxy National Hazard Posts: 421 Registered: 26-5-2006 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood I'm not one to believe in conspiracy theories, but the mortgage mess really looks fishy. Anyone with any knowlege of economics should have realized that giving people no-down interest only ARM loans would result in massive inflation of home prices followed by a crash and massive defaults. I don't feel sorry for those who took these loans, but I'm sure there were those who saved their money made 20% down payments and then lost their savings. What is stranger is that I have been trying to buy these homes (with cash) and now the inventory on the normal market has dried up. Well there are still plenty of forclosed houses out there, they just aren't for sale to the little guys anymore. 497 International Hazard Posts: 778 Registered: 6-10-2007 Member Is Offline Mood: HSbF6 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-democracy The sheeple didn't really design the education system that failed them. They can only be blamed so much... People are a product of their surroundings during childhood. It might be a little harder for DerAlte and Rosco to understand how the modern American child grows up... You guys are operating under the old fashioned assumption that parents are actually playing a major role in raising their children. Sadly it rarely works that way anymore. So who really is to blame when they never grow up to understand the simplest concepts like cause and effect or supply and demand? Who is really benefiting from a nation filled with child citizens? A word to the wise: NEUROFEEDBACK http://citizenworks.org/corp/dg/s2r1.pdf http://www.newscientist.com/mobile/article/mg21228354.500-re... http://www.shadowstats.com/article/no-414-hyperinflation-spe... "To expose a 15 Trillion dollar ripoff of the American people by the stockholders of the 1000 largest corporations over the last 100 years will be a tall order of business." Buckminster Fuller "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." Albert Einstein Aperturescience27 Harmless Posts: 39 Registered: 5-4-2012 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood What if all the smart people just started our own country? No "sheeple" controlling the vote, and we could legalize phosphorus! White Yeti International Hazard Posts: 816 Registered: 20-7-2011 Location: Asperger's spectrum Member Is Offline Mood: delocalized  Quote: Originally posted by Aperturescience27 What if all the smart people just started our own country? No "sheeple" controlling the vote, and we could legalize phosphorus! Someone already thought of that, and it won't work. Where would you set the "cut-off" for intelligence? I don't mean to shove the idea under the rug, but it's already difficult enough to establish a hackspace for chemists, I can't imagine a nation for intelligent people. In a sense, we are already isolated from sheeple. Intelligent people fraternise with other intelligent people, they don't bother taking interest in the mass culture, which is tailored to the masses. "Ja, Kalzium, das ist alles!" -Otto Loewi froot National Hazard Posts: 347 Registered: 23-10-2003 Location: South Africa Member Is Offline Mood: refluxed My idea is more like a constitutional policy. 1. The more you give to your country, the more your country gives back to you. 2. The more you take from your country, the more your country takes from you. 3. If you do nothing, you lose nothing but you also get nothing. How to apply this is the tough question. You begin life with a full set of rights and how you conduct yourself through your life determines weather you get to keep your rights and possibly earn more. If you choose a life of crime you start losing your rights, the fist one being your right to vote and the last being your right to live with a whole bunch at steak in between. If you choose to contribute to your country in terms of time or finances you will be awarded more rights reserved for those that should have a say in how the country is run and have a weighted input on decisions made. If you choose neither and prefer to just exist you will not lose any rights, but you also will not be able to effect the direction your country is heading. We salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who remove themselves from it. Of necessity, this honor is generally bestowed posthumously. - www.darwinawards.com dann2 International Hazard Posts: 1523 Registered: 31-1-2007 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood The definition of 'nothing' will be very hard to define and agree upon. anotheronebitesthedust Hazard to Others Posts: 189 Registered: 24-6-2007 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood  Quote: Originally posted by DerAlte Perhaps you would prefer the one party system: Model, USSR (defunct), China et alia. Or the multiparty system: look up Italian history (recent). Or a three party system in which a tiny minority (your own, hopefully, of course) can hold the balance of power by coalition. Or you could choose anarchy. I'm thinking more along the lines of a no-party system where people could vote on where their tax dollars go. The whole idea of having a king and queen, or a pope with a special hat to make all of our decisions seems weird to me. It's just a bunch of monkeys playing dress-up.  Quote: Originally posted by DerAlte Do you really think that continuing the wars backed the$? Does anyone in their right mind?

1. Job creation. Directly and indirectly millions of people go to work for the war. Gotta keep people busy working otherwise they'll sit at home collecting welfare.
2. Stop the in-fighting and bickering and unite the country against a common outside enemy (real or perceived).
3. Get those young wayward minds to pledge allegiance to Team America and become good patriotic leaders who, when they come back home will influence other young men to become good patriotic leaders as well.
4. Expand the empire.

If you think that people do not profit from war you must be uninformed or just in denial. It's a massive industry.

 Quote: Originally posted by DerAlte FYI, the people chose to amass their own credit card debt and enter into mortgages they didn’t understand (being high school dropouts, or having a drop out equivalency). This was a root cause of the crisis. And yes, they are now having to face the consequences.
I don't think high school education has as much influence on people's financial savviness as you're making it seem. Certainly if someone chooses a career in economics that may help, but I imagine life experience is the most important factor. In fact, I bet the prison industrial complex had more to do with pushing people into bankruptcy than the lack of high school education.

[Edited on 20-4-2012 by anotheronebitesthedust]
DerAlte
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anotheronebitesthedust wrote:

 Quote: If you think that people do not profit from war you must be uninformed or just in denial. It's a massive industry.

That has nothing to do with your original statement :"Do you really think that continuing the wars backed the \$?"

Of course people profit from wars. These costs merely increase the overall cost. The point is, how much do the wars cost a country? I hear Ross Perot's giant sucking sound. So whose dollar was being 'backed"? Wars are costly and inflationary, and if unneccssary, stupid.

"I'm thinking more along the lines of a no-party system where people could vote on where their tax dollars go."

So you chose anarchy.

Der Alte
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 Quote: Originally posted by 497 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-democracy The sheeple didn't really design the education system that failed them. They can only be blamed so much... People are a product of their surroundings during childhood. It might be a little harder for DerAlte and Rosco to understand how the modern American child grows up... You guys are operating under the old fashioned assumption that parents are actually playing a major role in raising their children. Sadly it rarely works that way anymore. So who really is to blame when they never grow up to understand the simplest concepts like cause and effect or supply and demand? Who is really benefiting from a nation filled with child citizens?