If you could start a country right now, what would it look like?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Texanmike, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. Texanmike
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    Texanmike Active Member

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    OK. Lets be honest about this. Liberals aren't happy with their representation, conservatives aren't happy with their representation and there is a $14T debt that will likely never get paid off. Whether it was execution or design, something clearly went wrong in this country. Liberty, even in light of the CRM of the 60's, is at an all time low. Joblessness is up and government is up even farther. I don't believe it is a stretch to say that we, as a people, have lost our morality. I'm not talking about marriage (though the divorce rate is symptomatic of it), I'm talking about the way we deal with one another. "Accidentally" drop a $5 bill in the mall. See if someone even bothers to stop you. Put it on the table at a cafeteria and watch how fast it disappears. Look at even the arguments we have. How quickly do they erode into nothing more than name calling and rhetoric. These are not the discussions the great men of our past meant us to have. Congress is no longer a forum for debate, it is a marketplace on which the liberty of a nation is bought and sold. Did I mention $14T? Yeah, by the time you have finished reading this paragraph that number has gone up by several MILLION dollars. Yep. Oh, and we just extended the ceiling we are going to allow ourselves to borrow.

    Ok. So that is kind of bleak. Now for the bad news. The people in Washington are unlikely to fix it. I don't believe that they can fix it. Why? The system is broken. We decided to cut representation off at 435 in the house and since then the average house rep. has gone from representing 20,000 to representing 870,000 people. We have broken the Senate by electing them by the population and our Judicial system is as partisan as they come. Everyone I know feels that their freedom is encroached by the federal government in one way or another. Be it taxes, behavior, a combination of the two, marriage, religion, abortion... and that doesn't even speak to the fact that we spend, on average $12,000/person/yr to "govern ourselves". That is every man woman and child and granted it is at all levels of government but it is still insane. That means that we are spending an average of $48,000/yr to "govern" a 4 person household. I really don't think I'm getting my money's worth. Oh, and that's before we consider paying off the debt. Tag on another 43k/person (that's a little under 129k/family of four. How can we ever get out of that?

    So lets start over. New Constitution. You can start from scratch, you can start from ours, you can start from the Communist Manifesto if you must. Just try to cite some historical basis (or why you are straying from historical principles). It is supposed to be a thought provoking exercise. Would you create one country? Two? 50? Three? Would you have one currency? Would you fix it to something or make it electronic? I'll post one a little later down but I'm curious to see what people would change.

    I look at the work that Madison did before the Convention at Philadelphia and he went back and read commentary on all of the republics, monarchies and various forms of democracy in history before he authored much of what we have Today. Who would you turn to to write an outline for a government today?

    Mike
     
  2. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Don't need a new Constitution, just enforce the one we have.
     
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  3. Texanmike
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    Texanmike Active Member

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    Are you telling me there is nothing wrong with the current one?

    Mike
     
  4. Salt Jones
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    Salt Jones BANNED

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    Depends on who I would have dominion over.
     
  5. Douger
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    Douger BANNED

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    The current one murka "uses" has no resemblance to the original.
    My Ideal one ?
    It's a long read...........
    BTW. I'm a socialist.
    Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela | venezuelanalysis.com
     
  6. Texanmike
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    Texanmike Active Member

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    Well then, I'll start.

    I would create a Constitutional Republic, not unlike the one we have. I do think the Constitution represents the best attempt to secure liberty to date but I believe there are a few fundamental flaws, most of which were unforeseeable when it was written. I will draw on the words of Plutarch:

    So here is my delicate and trembling hand:

    1. Institutional legislation - Since the first men agreed to a protocol for social interaction some form of legislation has been a part of it. Prior to the Constitution most institutions were subject to change as leadership changed. I don't think the founders had the benefit of observing the effect of a phenomenon I refer to as the "spider web effect" of law. What happens when you have elected, perpetual representation is laws are written much like a spider weaves a web. Ever law becomes an obstacle to certain behaviors and usually winds up with unintended consequences. Under most governments prior to our system laws were subject to quick repeal or change (aside of a few basic laws common to most civilized populations). This had a destructive effect and was kind of like a running a broom where a spider has spun his web. Even the Dynasties of China experienced this and it had a habit of getting rid of certain unnecessary rules. Our system does very little to eradicate bad or unnecessary laws. Another problem is that we have a tendency to leave legacy laws in place. These become subject to loopholes and generally allow a few (especially privileged people) to circumvent the system. My solution would be a mandatory expiration of all laws. I know it sounds radical at first but how many bad or unnecessary laws still exist? I would do this for both state and federal levels of government with the federal level being shorter than the state. The only exception would be amendments (which are passed with the approval of a 3/4 majority of the state legislatures). I am not sure what the velocity of law should be but I cannot imagine why we need to write a law today that we expect to still be in force in 20 years. At least not one that isn't reviewed or re-written.

    This would serve two purposes. First, it would prevent useless and meddlesome laws from being written. As it stands right now we send our representatives to Congress to do one thing, to legislate; and boy do they ever. Our legal code is so large that we could never possibly hope to reform it. I've seen estimates that range from a few hundred thousand to a few million laws that are on the books in the US. There are so many laws that no person can reasonably expect to go through a year without accidentally breaking at least one law. Tell me. What is that doing to preserve our freedom.

    2. Repeal the 17th Amendment.
    As a republic the states serve as the barrier between the federal government and its expansion, and the people. The states absolutely must have representation because their existence has different priorities than the whims of the people. They should serve longer terms because there does need to be some sort of stability in the government but they should serve a stable body. They should be appointed (and recalled) by the states. I know that corruption was the reason the 17th amendment was sold to the people and to that I say either get rid of the Senate or get rid of the corruption. As for how each state does that-- I would leave that to the states.

    3. The lack of accountability of the Judicial system to the states. The federal government exists for one reason, to perpetuate the existence of the States. There is no other reason to have a federal government. Plutarch argued that a small republic best preserved a people's liberty and Hume countered (kind of, they never met but if you read Hume you will see the point I'm making) that a large republic was safe from eradication from neighboring nations. That is the basis for the need for a Union of states. To ensure that we weren't swallowed up. But we were to remain independent. How do you do that when the federal government has a panel of judges who are the highest law in the land... and they are not subject to the approval of the states over which they preside? It is a pretty simple solution. Give the states, upon a convention of the executives of the states, the ability to recall any justice. A 2/3 majority would be necessary but it makes the SCOTUS accountable to the states while not subjecting them to the same bribes they might otherwise be subject to if they had to campaign. It allows you to remove activist judges or judges who are not judging adequately. It also encourages the President, when he makes his selection, to find someone who will likely (since it is still a life-time appointment) to find someone who will not be too far to one side of the political spectrum or the other. Today, we are usually not very surprised how the supreme court rules. There are one or two justices who are not very partisan but for the most part we have a bunch of activists who you can predict what they will rule before the case is even heard. Try it. Look at the opinions in most major cases over the last 20 years. Partisan almost down the line. Very little dissent from the party who nominated the Judge.

    4.The wholesale purchase of politicians. It simply too cheap to buy and sell politicians today. Promises of book deals, nice jobs and political favors are just too easy to make I propose that you make three changes to fix this. First increase representation. Instead of one representative per 820,000 people (who cannot possibly represent that large of a population) reduce the representative to 1-100,000 or 200,000. Second increase the pay to something astronomical with an astronomical retirement pension. I know the cost for legislation seems unbearable but I'm pretty sure that the cost of the fire sale they have with our liberty is exponentially more. Pay them 1 million/yr with a 500k pension. If you ever work (or write a book) or receive a dollar from another individual or corporation as long as you live... you instantly lose your pension. If you are bought and sold you will forfeit your million dollar a year salary and your pension. Its not as hard to buy out a 200 politicians who make a hundred thousand dollars a year... try buying out 1000 who make a million dollars a year. Its just not that easy to do. Even for these large multi-national corporations. Especially when you consider the pension. (the numbers may need to be tweaked but you get the idea).

    5. The ability to coin and spend money. Create an amendment that states that congress cannot raise the budget in a calendar year in which there is a net debt without 2/3 majority of the states executives. Pretty simple.

    I have a few more, I'll add them in later. Its 1:30 and I'm just tired of typing this book.

    Mike
     
  7. Texanmike
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    Texanmike Active Member

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    I'll read it. I don't know that I agree with it but I'll read it. Is it possible to find this in print in the US at like B&N? Are there any changes you would make? Do you know who influenced it?

    Would you be ok with a federal constitution and a socialist state within the union? (I see no reason they cannot coexist.) I've never seen a reason that you, as a socialist, cannot set up your own socialist republic (In accordance with Art IV section 4). I'm just curious what the tolerance is for two systems of government in this union. I would honestly have no problem with the Texas becoming more libertarian in ideals and Cali becoming its own little social republic. I don't honestly know how well it works but I like that idea better than trying to force you into my ideal government while you try to force me into yours. Seems like you agree to let me be free of you and you be free of me until such time as one of our freedom is threatened by an outside nation.

    Mike
     
  8. theDoctorisIn
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    theDoctorisIn Senior Mod Staff Member Senior USMB Moderator

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    It would look like a small island, probably. Most of the other land masses are taken.

    It will probably have trees on it, sand on the beach, and perhaps a volcano.
     
  9. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Our Current Constitution is fine IF we can get back to it.

    Take this for example.

    If we can return to the ACTUAL powers listed here in then a lot of the Governments over reach and Unconstitutional powers go away.

    The United States Constitution - The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net

    Our current Liberal masses claim this allows the Government to do just about anything it pleases.

    The argument being made is that somehow the supposed General Welfare clause ( of which there is none) allows the Government via the Congress to do anything at all as long as they just say " it is the general welfare of the Country".

    First off it does not say that, secondly Congress KNOWS it does not say that.

    NOT one of the many unconstitutional laws, institutions or powers Congress has created cite this supposed clause. No one IN Congress has ever made the argument that this clause even exists.

    Further the Founding Fathers were clear. The Constitution is a LIMITING Document. Not a Document meant to grant unlimited Power to the Government. Rather to SPECIFICALLY limit it to narrow defined powers subject to Amendment for more power.

    The MAIN culprit in the power grab is in fact this portion of the 8th.

    The term Commerce has been so stretched as to be useless as a word in regard Congressional Power to create, pay for and run any enterprise the Federal Government wants.
     
  10. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    I think I'd propose a parlimentary form of government.

    Its less efficient than what we have now, but that lack of efficiency is actually the price on pays to offer people more choices in who runs the nation that we have right now.

    Its a more subtle for of government that demands the leaders accomodate and work with minority parties.

    If we had that in this nation we'd have vibrant Libertarian parties, socialist party, fascist party etc etc.

    Of course devising a way to keep big capital from perverting the democratic process would be high on my list of things to insure, too.

    Not sure how that's done, but I believe it is doable.
     

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