Direct Democracy. Would you vote for it?

This is a discussion on Direct Democracy. Would you vote for it? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by Sharke 1) I will ask you for the forth or fifth time to stop lying about me ...

  1. #31
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    1) I will ask you for the forth or fifth time to stop lying about me having expressed the opinion that we should have "no state."
    I have not said that even once. I was pointing out that all your rhetoric about wanting "less government" is really about wanting a government only for the purpose of assisting property owners to exploit people. I would not call that less government, I would call it a government with a different focus.

    When I referred to "no government" as an outcome (but not your intention), I meant that a government with such a narrow focus -- that exists only to serve the interests of property (and not people) will in time cease to resemble anything respectable and (in effect) simply serve as a principle uniting a bunch of semi-independent fiefdoms (as has been observed, eg, in parts of Africa and Afghanistan), where a small number of people own everything, and so everyone else is forced to do whatever they ask just in order to have somewhere to live. Very "Noble" minded you are, Sharke.


    That's entirely due to your inability to reason objectively.
    If reasoning by your standards is just spouting rhetoric and throwing mud, no, I guess I don't see how anyone is going to do that "objectively".

    No private corporation or business has the right to abrogate anyone else's rights. For example, they have no right to physically enslave an employee or otherwise force them to work. They do, however, have the right to offer whatever wages they want to offer, the same as an employee has the right to accept those wages or take his labor elsewhere.
    Well, here's an idea for you. If you are all about freedom (which, to me implies choices, and not a lack thereof), I think a sort of "opt-in" system would be in keeping with the idea of "direct democracy" and also a very interesting social experiment. So as a business owner, you could opt in to pay taxes and be responsibly regulated (labour standards, environmental standards, the FDA, etc) or, you could "opt-out", pay no tax and be subject to no regulation. The difference would be that you could then make no claims (other than unverifiable personal ones) about the safety of the workplace and your products. In other words, if you want to pay people $2 hour, dump toxic sludge into the river, and sell food with cholera and lead flakes in it, you can go right ahead.

    It could be that everyone would just opt out. However, it could also be that there would be enough people who'd prefer to spend their money in places that are held up to guaranteed, third party standards, and which contribute back to the community in a reasonably objective manner thru taxation, to ensure that such willing partners in society exist. Of course, no one in the opt-in system would have as good a chance to amass as much individual wealth as those who opt-out (in theory, at least), but the opt-in would obviously come with some public perks, such as services like health care, education, et. al. Probably everyone would be happier that way since they would be making a choice, instead of being forced to participate in something they resent.

    I'd be very fascinated to see where that would go -- I think it would better reflect the general will of the population from place to place (so some places would end up mostly opt-in, others would end up all opt-out). At that point, you're free to move.
    Last edited by MK27; 05-28-2010 at 10:29 AM.
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  2. #32
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    What makes you think that the majority would want to correct their "mistake," or even accept that they'd make a mistake in the first place? What happens if, for example, cultural forces transpire in such a way that the majority once again see Jews as the problem and see the elimination of Jews as the solution? Or if the majority decide that the capital of business owners would be put to better use if it were seized and redistributed in order to satisfy their immediate short term needs? I have no trouble whatsoever with the idea of direct democracy, as long as the power of the state is strictly limited as outlined in the Constitution so that no mob majority, no matter how large, may abrogate the rights of the individual as outlined in said Constitution.
    I am just saying that it is easier to correct a mistake if you have the ability to vote again.
    In any case, the representatives would have a lot more chances to go against minorities, because the possibility of having the majority of the people as Jew-hater is less than having the majority of representatives as such. Because a Jew-hating group for example can try to control the representatives, support them for example in order to be elected. That is a far more difficult scenario than controlling the majority of the people.
    If the majority of the people in any case are controlled, no matter what kind of democracy you have, they will do what they want to do.
    If the majority wants a redistribution of money, they have the right to do so. Except if the laws protect its individuals wealth, which it does. And of course it protects the integrity of the people so they won't be able to get seized. If the people go as far as to vote for laws the will result of a redistribution of money, then in a democracy you respect that. If that time comes, you don't want for some rich people to be protected because they have political support. You want at least to have a direct equal law. Raising taxes on oil companies for example and not bank, because the banks supported the presidents would be unfair. The people thought would vote for something for direct, like "the rich pay".

    Whenever you come up with a scenario you have to think how it would be handled in both forms of democracy.

    Hitler said something like that "the bad thing about democracy is that you have idiots to vote". He was right. Hitler probably would make better military decisions than the majority of the people. Maybe economical as well. But when it came on humanitarian choices, he made the worst decisions as well. His intelligent worked in a bad way, not in a good way. You want good and smart leaders, but the "goodness" is something that you cannot really know. That is the problem with a representative democracy. You cannot really know who you vote for. You have friends betraying you which you know for years, you talk with the often etc etc. Now think of a politician you vote for. You haven't talked with him/her, not met him/her in person. How can you really judge him/her? Let alone that you have to predict that they won't get corrupted when given power.
    In the end a good representative democracy is the one that seems an utopia.

    The real problems of a direct democracy is one. Organization. Getting all those people organized. After the French Revolution their was chaos. Everybody went against France. At that time a direct democratic system was just out of the question. The people would have to plan ahead on "what would happen once we killed the king". Today we have all the time in the world to plan on a good alternative political system. Not everywhere in the world. But in countries like the US, where people have freedom on speech, ideas, to go to court and sue even their mother etc etc the people deserve more power. At least for issues that the majority can understand. Maybe they are not ready to vote for economical laws that result in a balanced system (which even that failed in Greece), but to decide for things like the environment or policies about illegal immigrants they need nobody else. That been said, even if the majority of the people are really that stupid politically, that doesn't mean that the only right minded people are the politicians. Why not have anyone that can read and understand a law vote on it? You can have your politicians + those "ready" people. The people have already the media to inform them as well as the internet to find information in ms. Whoever wants to know about something can. Put they don't still get to decide...

  3. #33
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I have not said that even once. I was pointing out that all your rhetoric about wanting "less government" is really about wanting a government only for the purpose of assisting property owners to exploit people. I would not call that less government, I would call it a government with a different focus.
    Prior to that, you had said and I quote: "..what you are talking about is no government at all." And please do not try to tell me what my rhetoric is "really" about. It is really about protecting the individual rights of people, rights which include the right to own property. If you want to fly off the handle with a bunch of over-dramatized crap about evil property owners and the poor downtrodden exploited "little people" then that's your choice.

    Let's make one thing clear: government that is stripped of much of the overreaching powers it has now is most certainly "less government." That's just a fact. And yes, it's a government with a different focus. A focus on protecting rights instead of dictating lives and redistributing wealth at the point of a gun.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    When I referred to "no government" as an outcome (but not your intention), I meant that a government with such a narrow focus -- that exists only to serve the interests of property (and not people) will in time cease to resemble anything respectable and (in effect) simply serve as a principle uniting a bunch of semi-independent fiefdoms (as has been observed, eg, in parts of Africa and Afghanistan), where a small number of people own everything, and so everyone else is forced to do whatever they ask just in order to have somewhere to live. Very "Noble" minded you are, Sharke.
    Once again, either point me to a quote of mine which suggests that what I am proposing is a government which "only serves the interest of property," or stop your repeated lying. Protecting the rights of property is one aspect of a government that I propose, but I have not implied in the slightest that this would be the only function of such a government. No matter how many times you lie about this, it will not become so. Protecting the rights of property is an essential role of government, but it is not the only one. Other rights include the right to walk the streets at night without being threatened by the physical violence of others. Or the right to have a signed contract honored. The whole brunt of your argument seems to be to misrepresent everything I've said, lie outright, and then go off onto some wild non-sequitur about how a government that protects individual rights will eventually turn into some horrific Mad Max world and that I'm an evil person because this is what I really want. I've said it before and I'll say it again...this is like arguing with a 14 year old.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    If reasoning by your standards is just spouting rhetoric and throwing mud, no, I guess I don't see how anyone is going to do that "objectively".
    I'm actually citing reasoned arguments and am prepared to defend them objectively. You're the one who decided to bring mud into this, by calling me mean, a fascist, greedy etc. It is simply not possible to have a debate with a child without them throwing the word "fascist" around like it was confetti at a wedding. You lose claim to any notion of objectivity when you do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Well, here's an idea for you. If you are all about freedom (which, to me implies choices, and not a lack thereof), I think a sort of "opt-in" system would be in keeping with the idea of "direct democracy" and also a very interesting social experiment. So as a business owner, you could opt in to pay taxes and be responsibly regulated (labour standards, environmental standards, the FDA, etc) or, you could "opt-out", pay no tax and be subject to no regulation. The difference would be that you could then make no claims (other than unverifiable personal ones) about the safety of the workplace and your products. In other words, if you want to pay people $2 hour, dump toxic sludge into the river, and sell food with cholera and lead flakes in it, you can go right ahead.

    It could be that everyone would just opt out. However, it could also be that there would be enough people who'd prefer to spend their money in places that are held up to guaranteed, third party standards, and which contribute back to the community in a reasonably objective manner thru taxation, to ensure that such willing partners in society exist. Of course, no one in the opt-in system would have as good a chance to amass as much individual wealth as those who opt-out (in theory, at least), but the opt-in would obviously come with some public perks, such as services like health care, education, et. al. Probably everyone would be happier that way since they would be making a choice, instead of being forced to participate in something they resent.

    I'd be very fascinated to see where that would go -- I think it would better reflect the general will of the population from place to place (so some places would end up mostly opt-in, others would end up all opt-out). At that point, you're free to move.
    I think you have a very shallow and childish understanding of economics and the free market. In your world, everything is either one extreme or the other because you don't have the intellectual sophistication to discern nuance and the full spectrum of variation. For instance, if someone "opts out" then of course there is no other explanation other than them being evil industrialists who want to pay $2 per hour and dumb unlimited toxic sludge and basically act like the cartoon character that naive young leftists have in their minds when they think of a "capitalist." It doesn't occur to you for one minute that there are very good reasons to believe that the so-called "regulations" and "standards" imposed by government are in many cases meaningless, arbitrary, non-rational and subject to corruption and bribery. Nor does it occur to you that in a free market, a company could choose to "opt out" of your little scheme - along with many other companies in competition - and adhere to standards as measured and certified by a private agency whose standards are not dictated by unelected, faceless government bureaucrats (who more often than not face little consequences for their incompetence, dishonesty and corruption) but are maintained by virtue of the fact that if they do decide to certify a business based on shady backhand deals and bribery, their reputation as a private company is likely to be destroyed and their certification is going to be worthless in the future.

    We could even take the private certification agency out of the equation. What would be the financial incentive for a private construction company to build something which falls down? How much business are they likely to get after that? What about a company who works its employees to death? Again, I'm not seeing a financial incentive to having sick employees on the brink of exhaustion or death, or to constantly have to retrain new employees because the old ones died. In your shallow understanding of economics (and consumer psychology) however, the company with no standards is far more likely to "amass wealth," despite the fact that the only way in which they're going to amass wealth is by satisfying consumer demand and despite the fact that consumers, given a choice, will generally choose the superior product and one which doesn't pose a risk to their health or their life. And if they make a bad choice with a product, they're not likely to make that same mistake twice, or recommend that product to their friends.

    We don't even have to bring taxes into it. How about this. For every contract entered into between willing partners, those participants have a choice to pay the government a small percentage of the value of that contract. In return, the government will agree to enforce that contract in a criminal justice system should one side decide to refrain from supplying their side of the bargain. A contract could mean anything from a small transaction (for this dollar, you agree to supply this exact product) to a major business contract worth hundreds of millions. You can choose to avoid the fee, but should the other person break the contract you have no legal recourse (unless you're prepared to pay for it yourself of course). Thus, the government's role in this context is to insure contracts. Considering the millions of contracts of various sizes which are made in the US every day, the money raised could certainly support a limited government whose role was restricted to national defense, law enforcement and a court system.

    The rest of society is down to the free actions of free individuals, traders in a free market who make their own choices and decide for themselves what's worth their dollars and what's worth their time. That, and only that, can fully represent the "will of the people" in an accurate, granular fashion.

    If you're worried about the environment, then be aware that those countries which have made the most progress toward sustainable development have been wealthy countries. When people are forced to choose between food, clothing, shelter or the environment, you can bet your ass that a green environment is going to be viewed as a luxury item. When people are wealthy enough that they don't have to choose between green issues and survival, then effective stewardship of the environment becomes possible. And a desire for greater levels of wealth is naturally connected to the practical benefits of an increasingly efficient means of production and use of resources. Because of the free market, you now have a computer on your desktop that is thousands of times as powerful and efficient as the computers which launched and navigated the first Space Shuttle. Do you really believe that ultimately, there is a financial incentive to become more wasteful and less efficient?

    Like it or not, capitalism and the right to private property has done more to improve living conditions for poor people than any other factor in human history. A country's prosperity and general living standards are a direct reflection on the extent to which they enforce property rights. India, for example, has a wealth of infrastructure and a great potential for prosperity. But it was mismanaged by socialist governments for decades and its property laws are vague and ambiguous. The result is that it's extremely difficult to conduct day to day business in India and everything is stifled by layers of bureaucracy, red tape and corruption. If you really care about improving the lives of the world's poor, then take a minute to understand the reasons why capital investment - i.e. wealth creation - is the only way in which their standards of living will improve, and that the business which creates wealth cannot be conducted without property rights and contract enforcement. Whether or not your recognize this fact, which is the empirical truth and not conjecture, is of no consequence to me or anyone else who has ever owned property and run a business. My business is relatively small, but I have provided 12 jobs for people and I am certainly not ashamed of this, nor the level of prosperity I have achieved. Given that you've repeatedly called me a greedy fascist, perhaps you'd like to tell us what you have done for society.

  4. #34
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    How do you know what issues the population can understand, C_ntua? Specialization of labor has made the average person very good at what he does for money and a complete moron at everything else. In direct democracy, at the very least you are putting all sorts of people to the task of understanding law in 4000 page form. Good luck protecting everything you care about from a bunch of dicks who disagree. What form of obstruction does direct democracy impose? Isn't a majority staying in power for a coon's age not unlike a monarchy?

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    It would never work, people would have to quit their jobs to find the time required to inform themselves on every detail in every little question.

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    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteflags View Post
    How do you know what issues the population can understand, C_ntua? Specialization of labor has made the average person very good at what he does for money and a complete moron at everything else. In direct democracy, at the very least you are putting all sorts of people to the task of understanding law in 4000 page form. Good luck protecting everything you care about from a bunch of dicks who disagree. What form of obstruction does direct democracy impose? Isn't a majority staying in power for a coon's age not unlike a monarchy?
    The law is 4000 page because they made it 4000 page. That doesn't have to be the case. You can have a law 1 page that everybody understands. Too simple? Then you can make a detailed law, expanding it to 4000 pages. Nobody will read it yes, put it will be 90% of what they wanted. Somebody will be in charge to make that sure.
    There are drugs problem in a city for example. There is a need to make the laws more strict. They people get to vote on law A, B and C. They can read the summary, the media and the politicians can criticize them since they read them all and the people can have an opinion and vote.

    You are right. I will change my phrasing as "the people can vote on the degree they understand". The details that they don't understand would have to be done by experts.

    Quote Originally Posted by whiteflags View Post
    Complete moron
    That implies that they shouldn't have power at all since they are morons. People talk about politics. Don't they? Don't they have an opinion? Don't political shows have a lot of viewers? It is completely not true that they are complete morons. And if that was the case, their representatives would be morons as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by whiteflags View Post
    What form of obstruction does direct democracy impose? Isn't a majority staying in power for a coon's age not unlike a monarchy?
    The majority is not a person that will have the same opinion all the time. You might vote for A, but the majority wants B. But you might vote on C and the majority on C as well. You might belong and not belong to the majority. And that goes for everybody. The majority is not a specific group of people.
    The people are always in power. Since they don't have one opinion you use the majority of the opinion. You are comparing oranges and apples.

    Don't forget also that the people of a country wont' get to vote for everything. If the matter concerns the hospital it is the hospital that will decide. Not the whole city. The question is if all the doctors would have a saying or just the head doctor?

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    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subsonics View Post
    It would never work, people would have to quit their jobs to find the time required to inform themselves on every detail in every little question.
    Time is a problem. But you don't need to know every little detail as mentioned on my previous post. People watch political shows, the read the newspapers. They have political discussions. They do all these things already. They just don't get to express their opinion they made. That is all. There is enough time I believe for a lot of people. Maybe not for all, but those would simply (and unfortunately) not vote on everything. As they don't do now anyway.

    Even if they are not ready now, they could be educated to get ready, from schools for example. That would require a change to a direct democracy for them to have a serious reason to get educated. They could start with the ability to vote on minor things and after a certain time, get more and more privileges. In a way prove that the people are ready or not.

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    The law is 4000 page because they made it 4000 page. That doesn't have to be the case. You can have a law 1 page that everybody understands. Too simple? Then you can make a detailed law, expanding it to 4000 pages. Nobody will read it yes, put it will be 90% of what they wanted. Somebody will be in charge to make that sure.
    There are drugs problem in a city for example. There is a need to make the laws more strict. They people get to vote on law A, B and C. They can read the summary, the media and the politicians can criticize them since they read them all and the people can have an opinion and vote.

    You are right. I will change my phrasing as "the people can vote on the degree they understand". The details that they don't understand would have to be done by experts.

    That implies that they shouldn't have power at all since they are morons. People talk about politics. Don't they? Don't they have an opinion? Don't political shows have a lot of viewers? It is completely not true that they are complete morons. And if that was the case, their representatives would be morons as well.


    The majority is not a person that will have the same opinion all the time. You might vote for A, but the majority wants B. But you might vote on C and the majority on C as well. You might belong and not belong to the majority. And that goes for everybody. The majority is not a specific group of people.
    The people are always in power. Since they don't have one opinion you use the majority of the opinion. You are comparing oranges and apples.

    Don't forget also that the people of a country wont' get to vote for everything. If the matter concerns the hospital it is the hospital that will decide. Not the whole city. The question is if all the doctors would have a saying or just the head doctor?
    Well let me amend my thoughts. Let's just pretend people of voting age must vote. That's an important thing I think about when considering the political system. I do enjoy the freedom to waive my rights as anyone else, but working under this rule has helped me think straight.

    I call you naive. Reading the bills is a very important act, and something you'd expect your reps to do. There really is no substitute for deciding your vote, because if the bill should be defeated for any reason, you need to know what it is. That's part of the reason we have a slow legislative process, to allow time to read . Secondly, bills easily get inflated by people who attach unrelated stuff onto popular bills when they are in either house in the US. Having long bills is bad because it makes them harder to read in a timely manner. It seems the average law these days is very long. That's why there is such a thing as the Read the Bills Act. One wonders what reps do when something is too long. In my book, asking your advisers or reading summaries shouldn't cut it if you want to be sure others are honest with you.

    You're talking about giving the job of lawmaker to everyone and assuming everyone can read law -- not rhetoric -- for comprehension. I'd like to invoke the law of adverse effects: People don't get what they expect -- they get what they deserve.

    You're also pretending that large groups of people can't hold the same opinions for a very long time. That's how I feel you are addressing my argument, but as you know, politics is close to many people's lives. They may be open minded but, even so, they may spend their lives agreeing with the same ideas. If popular makes correct, then you damn well better make sure there is some form of obstruction,lest the majority leave a significant majority in its wake. In direct democrazy I can think of two ways to obstruct, by breaking a quorum, or by attaching ........ you want to a popular bill with the expectation of getting it passed. You might think that first one pretty safe, but a quorum is usually a large percentage of the voting public. I think its safe to say that even if you do it, the average person will not have the integrity to hold out for long, especially if there are other things to vote on. I'd want more possibilities.

    I also find it scary that hospitals are legally autonomous in your head. Doctors may cast the best votes with respect to all the regulations affecting hospitals, but they're not the only people that would be important. Misinformation is a plague on the masses. At least in representative democracy there is a buffer for that, called committee.

    I hope you don't get too mad at me for disagreeing, but we had enough of this ........ in Athens. I'm pretty set against it.

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    Last edited by whiteflags; 05-28-2010 at 05:46 PM.

  9. #39
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    In your world, everything is either one extreme or the other because you don't have the intellectual sophistication to discern nuance and the full spectrum of variation. For instance, if someone "opts out" then of course there is no other explanation other than them being evil industrialists who want to pay $2 per hour and dumb unlimited toxic sludge and basically act like the cartoon character that naive young leftists have in their minds when they think of a "capitalist." It doesn't occur to you for one minute that there are very good reasons to believe that the so-called "regulations" and "standards" imposed
    I could care less why. Maybe you want to set up your own community economic system, dispersing the wealth you have reaped from the world, like Christopher Coke or Robin Hood. Great for you dude, I would totally encourage that and that is why I am suggesting an opt-in/opt-out strategy to government spending. We could make it so the only thing the government guarantees to everyone is the right to own and hold property, which is what you are asking for. That's fine -- but the only way I would go for that is if people retained the option to continue to be part of the existing public social structure. If you do not like it, you do not have to participate, and you do not have to pay taxes or obey the law (eg, with regard to wages, the environment, whatever. Do whatever the hell you want. Impress everyone: You are welcome to ignore or exceed the standards set by the law and still opt-out of taxation! Hooray! You can band together and build schools and hospitals for each in complete independence! Or not! Opt out!* You can racially discriminate on your property to your heart's content! Or you could set an example in openness and love! Be free to choose. But once again, the government will ensure the right to one's personal safety and property. For everyone. There is no opt-out of that, so your stuff will be safe. I do not think America needs another civil war ) However, people who do want to contribute to society through taxation and enjoy the benefits of such can, if they wish. Otherwise you are just imposing your own kind of restrictions on everybody's freedom, and telling them they have to live according to your philosophy and your laws. That is not freedom.

    Beyond that, I don't really care to discuss anything with you, unless you find something to say I and everybody else have not heard ten thousand times already. You have not produced one original thought in this entire thread. It's boring. You have nothing interesting to say and there is zero possibility of participating in any kind of dialogue if you are just determined to regurgitate garbage. I don't care. Honestly. Go paste your leaflets somewhere else.

    * I would encourage the Tea Party to pursue this strategy. I think they would have a good chance of people allowing them to do this. Opt out.
    Last edited by MK27; 05-28-2010 at 07:06 PM.
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  10. #40
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteflags View Post
    Well let me amend my thoughts. Let's just pretend people of voting age must vote. That's an important thing I think about when considering the political system. I do enjoy the freedom to waive my rights as anyone else, but working under this rule has helped me think straight.

    I call you naive. Reading the bills is a very important act, and something you'd expect your reps to do. There really is no substitute for deciding your vote, because if the bill should be defeated for any reason, you need to know what it is. That's part of the reason we have a slow legislative process, to allow time to read . Secondly, bills easily get inflated by people who attach unrelated stuff onto popular bills when they are in either house in the US. Having long bills is bad because it makes them harder to read in a timely manner. It seems the average law these days is very long. That's why there is such a thing as the Read the Bills Act. One wonders what reps do when something is too long. In my book, asking your advisers or reading summaries shouldn't cut it if you want to be sure others are honest with you.

    You're talking about giving the job of lawmaker to everyone and assuming everyone can read law -- not rhetoric -- for comprehension. I'd like to invoke the law of adverse effects: People don't get what they expect -- they get what they deserve.

    You're also pretending that large groups of people can't hold the same opinions for a very long time. That's how I feel you are addressing my argument, but as you know, politics is close to many people's lives. They may be open minded but, even so, they may spend their lives agreeing with the same ideas. If popular makes correct, then you damn well better make sure there is some form of obstruction,lest the majority leave a significant majority in its wake. In direct democrazy I can think of two ways to obstruct, by breaking a quorum, or by attaching ........ you want to a popular bill with the expectation of getting it passed. You might think that first one pretty safe, but a quorum is usually a large percentage of the voting public. I think its safe to say that even if you do it, the average person will not have the integrity to hold out for long, especially if there are other things to vote on. I'd want more possibilities.

    I also find it scary that hospitals are legally autonomous in your head. Doctors may cast the best votes with respect to all the regulations affecting hospitals, but they're not the only people that would be important. Misinformation is a plague on the masses. At least in representative democracy there is a buffer for that, called committee.

    I hope you don't get too mad at me for disagreeing, but we had enough of this ........ in Athens. I'm pretty set against it.

    All mistakes are intentional.
    Are you from Athens?
    Because I had enough of this ... as well there from anarchists (almost lost a year in school because of their ...). But that is a different story......

    I never said that hospitals are legally autonomous. I just used an example, assuming that the decision in the example is something the doctors would get to decide.

    Reading the bill is important. I don't disagree. So if I read the bill, can I vote for it now? No, I cannot. The bottom line is: Is seeking advise worst than telling your advisor to decide for you? Not it is not. So even if I have a well thought opinion, even if I have the will to get informed or advised I still don't get to vote. How stupid does the system think I am? (Don't you dare answer :P).

    You are skipping the part that people that don't know how to read a law or don't care, don't intend to vote. They don't intend to participate in politics. The reps have to, it is their job. People don't even go to vote on elections, where it is a very simple vote. What makes you think they will go to vote for a 4,000 page bill??

    I said that you could make a short test to see if they know what the bill is about. If someone is more interested watching a soap opera than participating in politics, let them watch it. But let the one that ones to participate be able to.

    Using another phrasing, what can I do to be able to participate? Why do I have to represent someone? If you want a representative good. Authorize him to decide for you. If you want to do it yourself shouldn't you have the option?

    You are contradiction yourself. It is OK for people to vote for a rep that will stay in power for year, but not to vote for any less important bill? Or is judging people you haven't met a task that people are experts on? I think not...

    But enough of talking theoretically! Tell me an example in which you think representative democracy would work. Any example.

  11. #41
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    >> I never said that hospitals are legally autonomous. I just used an example, assuming that
    >> the decision in the example is something the doctors would get to decide.

    Yeah, but laws affecting hospitals and their administration usually affect anyone who relies on them. These people should have a say, agreed? So it is a good example. An example of how pervasive law is.

    >> You are skipping the part that people that don't know how to read a law or don't care, don't
    >> intend to vote. They don't intend to participate in politics.

    Really, I didn't know that not being able to understand legalese excludes me from having an opinion on political problems on which I would otherwise vote. Maybe a lot more people are more confident, but I think reading law is a significant amount of work that I am not equipped to comprehend. I won't advocate a system that makes me responsible for things I can't understand. I'd rather read a digest and express my opinion to my representative, who is equipped to handle legal stuff.

    >> I said that you could make a short test to see if they know what the bill is about.

    Sorry I ignored your comment, Jim Crow. Literacy tests only disenfranchise otherwise eligible voters.

    >> What makes you think they will go to vote for a 4,000 page bill?? If you want to do it
    >> yourself shouldn't you have the option?

    What makes you think they wouldn't if that's all they could do to be heard? At least I am a part of a system that can be administered pragmatically, and watched by everyone and anyone. America is a representative democracy.

    You are the one advocating the system which has people posing as representatives when they have no intention of doing so, and possibly can't, because they aren't lawyers. Voting isn't even the most important thing about law making, but you don't seem to realize what you're saying, so I will outline it for you. Even if you think that the best possible voter is yourself, you'll be representing everyone who didn't vote, for whatever reason, including ineptitude. Are you really improving the system, and have you simply never contacted your reps before? That is an honest question.
    Last edited by whiteflags; 05-28-2010 at 09:43 PM.

  12. #42
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteflags
    You are the one advocating the system which has people posing as representatives when they have no intention of doing so, and possibly can't, because they aren't lawyers. Voting isn't even the most important thing about law making, but you don't seem to realize what you're saying, so I will outline it for you. Even if you think that the best possible voter is yourself, you'll be representing everyone who didn't vote, for whatever reason, including ineptitude. Are you really improving the system, and have you simply never contacted your reps before? That is an honest question.
    You don't have to be a lawyer to vote for a law. Laws existed before lawyers, isn't that true? You are thinking of the law as something extremely complicated, which is not true.
    I am not sure I get your point by saying I will be representing all the people that didn't vote. What if I am? Is that bad you mean? They chose not to vote.
    I haven't voted in the US, since I just came here. I have voted in Greece. You had two main choices. Both resulted in bankrupting the country. So I would go on searching a representative that won't have power. OK, I did. I gave him a little bit of hope. That is my political power. Giving a bit hope (yoohoo).

    You see there is a huge problem. If there are 10 good representatives and one bad, the one that wins is the one that has the majority vote. So if the one bad is 2-3 times more popular he would win, because chances are that the votes would be divided among the others "equally popular" ones. Reality check: probably they are 10 bad ones and one good.
    So it is mostly a popularity contest and you know it.
    But you assume that people vote for good reps, which is not true. Who is being naive?? You also assume that people check all the reps and see who is best. And that all the reps are advertised the same. Are we sure about this?
    Let me give you my point. The most effective system is the one with a good monarch. The question is how do you decide who is good? Too risky to have 1 leader, lets have 300. Ok, I understand the safety measure. It improves the situation, but if the majority of the 300 are bad, then the whole system will go bad. You disagree? The question is, do you really think that good politicians are voted?? Can't I say that the majority are corrupted and the good ones tend to have less power? If the answer is yes, then a direct democracy is an improvement.

    ---------
    Example1: there is a law A. A huge one. You read its summary, you get an idea. It took you 30m, 1h because you are slow. Every weekend, for a month, you spent 2 hours hearing political discussion on the media. Another 1-2 discussing it. In any case, with about 30m per day you can get informed about a law (crying out loud) [You are not completely alone in the universe with a 4,000 page of law to read and comprehend]. Yes, you are not 100% sure of what you voted, but that doesn't mean that you have no idea about law A.
    Who did most of the work?? The politicians that read it all, the journalists etc etc. The people just decide.
    It is like being on a trial. The jury won't go and search for evidence, nor do the lawyers job. But they decide what the verdict is.

    EDIT: And of course not all laws are 4,000 pages. We are going in the worst case scenario here. I can tell you a law that is one phrase. "Every 6 hours employees are allowed a 15m break". Do I need 4,000 pages to say what the phrase said? No. So why can't the people vote on such a law?
    Last edited by C_ntua; 05-28-2010 at 11:20 PM.

  13. #43
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I could care less why.
    You could care less why what?

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Maybe you want to set up your own community economic system, dispersing the wealth you have reaped from the world, like Christopher Coke or Robin Hood. Great for you dude, I would totally encourage that and that is why I am suggesting an opt-in/opt-out strategy to government spending.
    Why on earth would you think I would want to "disperse wealth"? I grew up in a poor city in the North of England in which a frightening proportion of the population exist on government handouts their entire lives. I know exactly what effect the welfare state has had on the lives and the mentality of those who come to depend on it. Dispersing wealth is a horrible, sick idea, akin to paying the poor to stay poor and miserable. I've since spend a large proportion of my life living in New York City, where I've seen up close what the welfare state and the politics of the socialist left have done to the people of the ghetto, especially to the black population. Your "opt in/opt out" strategy seemed to me to be less a serious idea than a platform on which to showcase your perception of those who do not wish to contribute toward social wealth redistribution as mean, evil brutes who enslave their workers and devote their lives to polluting the environment. How about people simply pay for the government services they use and nothing more?

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    We could make it so the only thing the government guarantees to everyone is the right to own and hold property, which is what you are asking for.
    Despite me politely asking you to stop misrepresenting my views with such outright lies, you continue to do it. I guess things are looking pretty desperate for you in this thread so I can't really blame you.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    That's fine -- but the only way I would go for that is if people retained the option to continue to be part of the existing public social structure. If you do not like it, you do not have to participate, and you do not have to pay taxes or obey the law (eg, with regard to wages, the environment, whatever. Do whatever the hell you want. Impress everyone: You are welcome to ignore or exceed the standards set by the law and still opt-out of taxation! Hooray! You can band together and build schools and hospitals for each in complete independence! Or not! Opt out!* You can racially discriminate on your property to your heart's content! Or you could set an example in openness and love! Be free to choose. But once again, the government will ensure the right to one's personal safety and property. For everyone. There is no opt-out of that, so your stuff will be safe.
    How about everyone pay toward the only legitimate function of government, which is to maintain the conditions in which individuals are free to act on the responsibility they have to provide their own livelihoods without the threat of the physical coercion of others. This means a system of national defense to protect from outside invaders, a system of law enforcement to protect the individual from physical violence and from fraud, and a court system in order to hand down the sentences by which violent people are kept out of society and to enforce the contracts and property rights which are essential for a civilized society to function. Nobody is forced at the point of a gun to pay for anyone else's welfare - if an individual decides that his paycheck should support his family and nobody else's then that is his inalienable right to do so. Everybody is free to form whatever voluntary partnerships they so choose, everyone is free to donate as much of their wealth to charity as they like, everyone is free to go ahead and volunteer their time to help out the less fortunate in society. When tax rates are lowered, charitable donations rise in accordance. People are naturally charitable whether they are rich or poor, however it has been shown that those of a leftist persuasion are far less charitable than those of a right wing, conservative or libertarian persuasion. This is likely because leftists would rather pass the buck for the responsibility of the welfare of the less fortunate to the state machine instead of having to get their hands dirty themselves. Some of the biggest philanthropists in America have always been and continue to be rich industrialists. The left's characterization of rich capitalists as evil, greedy and mean is nothing more than an outdated and childish stereotype, a figment of Marxist propaganda. The so called greedy rich, in their quest to become wealthy, have done more to improve the lives of the poor of every single anticapitalist crusader, union leader and bleeding heart liberal combined. Property rights have done more to improve living standards than every single dollar of welfare benefits paid for by the taxpayer. It's time to stop the braying and the sneering and just accept that the things that you denounce as evil have actually done more to help the poor than anything else in history. To be anticapitalist is to be anti-human.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I do not think America needs another civil war ) However, people who do want to contribute to society through taxation and enjoy the benefits of such can, if they wish. Otherwise you are just imposing your own kind of restrictions on everybody's freedom, and telling them they have to live according to your philosophy and your laws. That is not freedom.
    What I am saying is that in a libertarian society, everybody is free to donate as little or as much of their wealth and their time to society via private charity. There is no need whatsoever to bring government bureaucracy and state corruption into it. There is nothing that I have said or proposed that could possibly be twisted to mean that I think people's freedom should be restricted in the way you say. It's just crazy that you're even attempting to make these arguments.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Beyond that, I don't really care to discuss anything with you, unless you find something to say I and everybody else have not heard ten thousand times already. You have not produced one original thought in this entire thread. It's boring. You have nothing interesting to say and there is zero possibility of participating in any kind of dialogue if you are just determined to regurgitate garbage. I don't care. Honestly. Go paste your leaflets somewhere else.
    In other words, like a thousand before you, the discussion has proven too much for your intellect and so you're now pretending that it bores you, like some child who's way out of his depth but old enough for the need to save face. I understand. You're also projecting, because it is you, not I, who has composed his posts from a dog eared pamphlet of shopworn slogans. You can either give up now, or keep this thread going and continue to be set straight every time you open your mouth. I think you're right to give up.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    * I would encourage the Tea Party to pursue this strategy. I think they would have a good chance of people allowing them to do this. Opt out.
    I think the message of the Tea Party is fine as it is.

  14. #44
    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Sharke, are you really so naive to think that if taxes dropped one or a few percents, people would instantly start donating massive amounts of money? Do you know how BIG amount amount of money a few tax percents mean? There are people who donate and there are people who don't. Most people don't. Changes in taxes are not going to change that. Do a little research to see if in countries that have low taxes people donate more. I am fairly confident that you won't find a pattern. Most people wouldn't even notice the few percent change and even if they do, they'll probably spend that money on something tasty.
    "The Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it." - John Gilmore

  15. #45
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxorator View Post
    Sharke, are you really so naive to think that if taxes dropped one or a few percents, people would instantly start donating massive amounts of money. Do you know how BIG amount amount of money a few tax percents mean?
    First of all, please direct me to where I used the word "massive" to describe the amount of money that would be donated to charity if taxes dropped. You might have noticed from my exchanges with MK27 that I take somewhat of a dim view of people misrepresenting my views. I did however state that charitable donations tend to rise when people are allowed to retain more of their income and this is exactly what happens. During the 80's - often dubbed the "decade of greed and excess," charitable donations rose considerably in every measure, both by individuals and corporations. The growth in private giving during the 80's was 58%. This growth exceeded the growth in expenditures of most luxury items with the exception of automobiles, which it virtually matched. The "greedy" 80's were a decade of unmatched kindness and generosity.

    Quote Originally Posted by maxorator View Post
    There are people who donate and there are people who don't. Most people don't.
    If you're going to make a statement like that then please feel free to back it up with facts and figures, to counter what I'm about to tell you: three quarters of American families donate to charity. And furthermore, conservatives donate considerably more than liberals. To clarify: those who are more likely to believe in smaller government and increased self responsibility are much more charitable than those who are more likely to believe in larger government and welfare handouts.

    Quote Originally Posted by maxorator View Post
    Changes in taxes are not going to change that. Do a little research to see if in countries that have low taxes people donate more. I am fairly confident that you won't find a pattern. Most people wouldn't even notice the few percent change and even if they do, they'll probably spend that money on something tasty.
    Two points here. First of all, empirical evidence shows that when people are more prosperous, they are far more charitable. Secondly, your claim that most people don't notice a few percent change in taxes is just hopelessly wrong. People are very sensitive to changes in their income (and hence their weekly and annual budgets). The reduction in tax rates which would result from a major scaling down of government (i.e. more freedom) would be such that people would see a huge increase in their income. Have you ever done your own taxes? I file mine quarterly and am intensely aware of what proportion of my earnings are sucked up by a government which then proceeds to waste them in scandalous ways. Sooner or later it's going to have to stop.

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