Category Archives: Democracy

The way the world works

Michael Chertoff, appointed as head of Homeland Security under George DUBYA Bush,

(1) Insisted on installing Rapiscan full body scanners at all airports in America.

(2) Started a lobbying firm that was then hired by Rapiscan (here’s your payback)

Jon Corzine:

CEO of Goldman Sachs; member of the Bilderberg group; Democrat Senator for NY (spent $62 million of his own money to buy the election; $33 million of which was used to buy the primary

] In 2002, he proposed a tax cut that exempted the first $10,000 of income from the $765 of Social Security taxes for both employers and employees. Corzine also proposed making dividend payments tax deductible to companies as a form of economic stimulus.

Corzine was appointed CEO and Chairman of MF Global, a multinational futures broker and bond dealer, in March 2010. On October 31, 2011, trading was halted on shares of MF Global prior to the market opening, and soon thereafter MF Global announced that it had declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Shortly afterwards, federal regulators began an investigation into hundreds of millions of dollars in missing customer funds.  It was reported that Corzine declined a severance package worth $12.1 million.

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As long as Americans keep voting for these crooks, right and left, the rich will get richer and everyone else will get poorer.

And we will keep fighting for our crook over their crook.

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How to reform the US government

I write here about the US government, but some of these ideas (which I will add to over time) will apply to other governments also.

1. CHANGE THE IDEA OF DEBATE.

In school, children are taught debate as follows: Team A and Team B are picked, sometimes at random, and then they are given a topic, and sometimes even a position to take on that topic, which they then defend using as many rhetorical tricks as possible. The goal is to win the game.

This system carries over into the US politics, where politicians, who often have no interests but retaining power, adopt one or another party, and then use rhetorical techniques (and other techniques that are less savory) to win their party’s position.

The problem of this approach is that debate in congress is meaningless; the only thing that matters is the vote count to decide the winner at the end, and that is predetermined by the results of the election. Party whips ensure that this is true. The result is that what we call “political debate” is merely a series of set talking points, rhetorical fighting, and feeding red meat to the party base.

So here is the ALTERNATIVE:

Instead of having debates between politicans in the house, have debates between people who have a vested interest in the issue at hand, together with facts provided by experts, both independent experts and experts picked by the debaters. So, for example, in a house debate on going to war with a country, you would have historians, army leaders, peace protesters, foreign leaders etc. debating on the house floor in front of the house of representatives.

At the end of the debate, the politicians would retire and could discuss the issue among themselves over a glass of brandy and a cigar if need be; they could also consult their constituents. After some time, maybe a week, they could come back and formally vote on the issue.

This alternative will not affect the nature of representative democracy; the politicians can still vote along party lines and probably will be inclined to do so.

What it will do is to end the meaningless college debating society level of meaningless posturing by the politicians and replace it with a space in which the stakeholders can present their positions to the politicians.

Democracy is broken

That’s what people say; politicians are crooks that only work on behalf of the corporations, the system is rigged, the system is bought, and so on. It’s easy to see why people feel this way.

However, the corporations only run politics because the voter lets them.

If the voter educates himself about the policies of the candidates, not their personality; if they educate themselves about the consequences of these policies, if they READ BOOKS rather than watch FOX and MSNBC to get soundbites (some programs are good – Stossel and Maddow take some time to discuss policy, not personality, and dont just hire guests to parrot their biases), if the voters do this, then no amount of corporate-sponsored soundbites will win out (I use the US names here, because the US is particularly bad in this way, but the same concepts translate globally).

The reason that money wins is because the voters are lazy.
First they vote for who their parents voted for; then they vote for who they voted for last time around; and then they vote for someone of the same party. Thats not going to get you anywhere different. The worst phenomenon is that the people who dont do the above three vote in the first idiot who says “I’m not like them”. They vote out the current people, but dont give a thought to who they are replacing them with.