These people never went to Russia.
Edit: The downvotes are a sign that I've stepped on your sore toe. Go ahead, I have karma to spare, but remember my words next time you vote in an imaginary election.
Maybe instead of making the decisions one beer away from a blackout we should do what the Persians did.
“If an important decision is to be made, they [the Persians] discuss the question when they are drunk, and the following day the master of the house where the discussion was held submits their decision for reconsideration when they are sober. If they still approve it, it is adopted; if not, it is abandoned. Conversely, any decision they make when they are sober, is reconsidered afterwards when they are drunk.”
It's a more "proper choice" than pretty much all of the alternatives.
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Few predicted either of those. I know of nobody who claims to have predicted both.
To note: the entire Switzerland's population is 8.5M, about the size of 5 boroughs of New York City. They have twenty six cantons, all with severely different policies, and 2222 municipalities. Of course most voting occurs at municipal level, then cantonal level.
To my mind, nowhere in the world any larger state managed to get to the "level of democracy" which is possible and has been demonstrably achieved at smaller scales.
What additionally exacerbates the situation in the US is the two-party system that effectively polarizes people instead of nudging them to look for compromises.
The electoral college made sense in 1770s, with a much smaller population, and very slow communication. By now, it results in interesting side effects that probably could be avoided using different mechanisms. Still I think that no large nation has deployed any such mechanisms to successfully achieve "real democracy" and not some form of oligarchy. Mass media is a major factor in that; national scale being hard to comprehend and relate to for a voter is another.
Our system of governance hasn't scaled as effectively in distributing democratic decision making as many may wish, and the interconnectivity we're developing is making it more pronounced.
I bet most people's token solution to this will be to expand the size of the administrative state with new the levels "oversight", or new laws, new agencies, etc... which will proceed to be shaped and molded by these very same forces and only solidify these "elites" & special interest group's market positions and political influence over the regular person.
No one ever wants to reduce these group's power to influence their own position in the economy and policy by limiting government. Nor does anyone ever correlate the explosion in size of the administrative state in every western country since WW2 with the growth in power of the top end of the market and in general inequality (in both wealth/power). If this growth in scale has done little to help the average "little guy", who is it helping?
>No one ever wants to [...] limit government...
but, um, won't limiting government "only solidify these 'elites' & special interest group's market positions"?
Right now they have to negotiate with the government to determine what they can take. Under your proposal, they would negotiate with no one to determine what they can take.
There is no outcome where the élites don't win. Only a spectrum along which we have varying degrees of control over them. Under the current regime, we have relatively little control over them. Under your proposal, we have even less.
One road leads to disease and despair, but the other leads to death and destruction.
I'm not talking about taxation. I'm talking about the size of the administrative state, ie. the amount of intervention the government engages in in the economy and socially.
(Although I don't like including Norway in such comparisons, as it's tiny population and huge oil wealth makes it a big outlier.)
That wasn't an assertion tied to an agenda. It was an assumption about the typical US citizen, as a preamble.
>Americans Want To Regulate AI
>AT&T says it’ll stop selling your location data, amid calls for a federal investigation
Both right and left, in the USA, want regulation. Each one challenge that the other's regulation is unnecessary. That doesn't change the agenda over time.
> it's clear Americans seem to favor less government
And the sky is plaid? Some Americans pay lip service (it's easy to trust when you've never been a victim), but the media entertains with court room drama and mockery precisely because citizens, when harmed, expect regulation to prevail.
The history shows the exact opposite and the legal field is orchestrated to be layered (compare the housing code in any city from the 1800s to now, not to mention how land rights are judged). The federal government has dwarfed the local governments. It legally (and in practice) overrides it every day.
Is it an assumption based in any way in reality, or based on the author's constructed strawman perception?
The staring solutions are (1) get some of the money out of politics by ending SuperPACs and imposing real campaign finance reform with transparency down to the local level and possibly additional public funding for campaigns, (2) curtail the revolving door between industry and government and provide competitive salaries for civil service careers, (3) end partisan gerrymandering and ensure that voting rights are respected in every state and consider even more dramatic changes such as multi-member districts with proportional representation and STV voting, (4) increase taxes on capital gains and inheritances, add additional income tax brackets with higher top marginal rates, and consider wealth taxes or more dramatic tax changes like local land-value taxes instead of property taxes, work to eliminate tax loopholes such as the use of political campaigns or charities for tax evasion, (5) put more personal financial/criminal liability on corporate officers (e.g. at financial services firms) when their companies are involved in frauds, (6) provide the IRS and federal law enforcement agencies sufficient resources for more widespread enforcement of existing laws against fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, bribery, ...
I'm not the parent poster, but I would wager his view is that governments should exist to enforce free competition. That is the source of disruption to the elites.
The current regime does not ensure free competition. It's crony capitalism, and the entrenched "elite" (NB: this is a ridiculously outdated term) has the government at their disposal to ensure that they remain in power. Exhibit A: Ajit Pai.
Reducing government is a reasonable proposal because it reduces the "attack surface" for corruption and crony capitalism. Surely that's got to be an analogy that resonates well with this audience...
EDIT: and let's leave the discussion over whether Healthcare and Education should be universal and free (as in fully subsidized), otherwise we'll never get anywhere. I'm personally in favor of both, but you need not agree / disagree on that to discuss the broader point.
*to be more precise, it is ignoring one's office. The office is not the position, it is the authority AND duties and responsibilities that come with a position. This brings into question if authority is legitimate in the event that it is granted with responsibilities which are ignored, but that's a separate question than whether or not the office itself exists to ignore it's own duties or whether the duties themselves are designed to favor the few.
Reagan/Thatcher reduced the government. How did that turn out?
Since WWII, western countries have seen an incredible growth of wealth. This growth of wealth translated to a huge improvement of leaving condition for the masses, which means that said wealth was reasonably well distributed and government knowingly or unknowingly made this happen.
By contrast, the XIXth century, despite growth, the average life conditions worsened significantly for worker leading, This lead to ideologies like Anarchism and Communism.
Why did this wealth was somewhat correctly distributed? Basically the two World Wars and the Great Depression, In Europe, the cost of the 2 wars and the inflation after them basically destroyed a huge chunk of the wealthier classes living of their accumulated money (rentier). In the US, the Great Depression and WWII lead to decisions like a tax rate of more than 90% for the wealthier, which lead to keep in check inequalities during the 40ies, 50ies and 60ies.
All this happen because of strong government basically stating: the interest of the whole is not the sum of individual interests.
It also happened because at the same time, an incredible amount of "new wealth" was being created in such a short span, this kind of growth rate was unprecedented in human history, it was easy and even somewhat natural to distribute more in this situation. These two factors combined to reduce inequality and improve living condition significantly.
The issue is that inequalities in revenue were still occurring. Slowly capital was becoming concentrated again. Which lead to the slow reconstitution of a strong wealthy class concentrating capital. This strengthening happened progressively by buying media channels, donating to politicians or even becoming one and lobbying strongly for favorable laws. This lead to policies/laws in the interest of this smaller group reinforcing this concentration. Basically, it's stating the obvious: there is a correlation between wealth and political power.
Also, since the 70ies, there was a strong slowdown in radical technical improvements and deployments, leading to less "new" wealth being available.
Now we are basically returning to a repartition of wealth as seen the XIXth century (albeit with far more wealth available).
It's a slow process, almost organic, the wealthier classes are not an homogeneous core, they have different and conflicting interests, but as a whole it's able to push in a given direction. The general population is far bigger, and also have conflicting interests, is even less homogeneous and doesn't have wealth, so it's not able to push as efficiently for the common interest.
It has nothing to do directly with governments. Strong governments actually helped a lot in reducing inequalities. But there is a limit to their action.
Maybe, now, what we need is a more radical way to redistribute wealth by for example an exceptional and significant tax on capital, and do it from time to time to re-balance our societies. Otherwise, long term, it will happen in this form or another: Revolution (a common occurrence in revolutions is the burning of debt files and archives), but I'm not convinced it's the good way forward given all the Chaos it will entail.
The reason I support PR is that political parties are living entities that don't exist in a vacuum. It's basically impossible for small parties to grow on a national scale in the current environment. Previously when new parties formed and grew, they did so regionally, because US politics was much more local. But after the 17th Amendment and Medicaid, the states have much less power, and state politics is no longer an avenue to power on a national scale. It's like local stores competing with Wal-mart at this point: HQ will allocate extra resources to crush competition and then pull back afterwards. PR breaks that dynamic by giving small parties a voice in the national legislature. It forces the big guys to compete.
The way I think about it is: political parties exist in a jungle, and we just need to make sure some light reaches the forest floor.
However this illusion worked well up until now when oligarchies started to rise by simply putting a mirror on the front of that so called democracy.
These new regimes have an easy job since the old system bleeds from all parts.
I’m a big fan of democracy and oligarchies are the way back, not the way forward.
However I’m skeptic if humanity is capable to invent a forward looking new system in the next years.
EDIT: Fixed link per comment
To be fair, Bush I also served the country as Vice President, UN Ambassador, Director of the CIA, US Representative, and Navy Lieutenant.
Or to put that in technical terms. "Democracy" (as understood in the common vernacular) is a honeypot that the People got caught in, at which time they got sandboxed.
I'd say it's been hacked pretty well - but only for cerrtain specific interests.
It is completely non-sensical to expect such a nation to have a single document where the constitution is written. It's fucking easy to just write a constitution on a single piece of paper when it's done upon forming the country. It is extremely hard when you have laws going back to the 13th century and you ran a global empire up until the 1950s. It absolutely does have a constitution, and it's a constitutional monarchy, but it simply doesn't have it written on a single piece of paper.
What I'm far more interested in criticising about your idiotic comment is instead that it's just logically flawed. The critique itself originates from Princeton University, which is not a British institution, and the BBC is simply writing an opinion piece on it. Furthermore, what exactly does the BBC have to do with the politics and history of why the UK doesn't have a single piece of paper outlining its constitution? Your comment is practically just an ad-hominem.
I suppose if you wanted to make one new legally binding document making up the constitution, the UK could cancel all those laws, recreate the bits of them that make up the constitution in one single place, and then make new laws to fill in all the gaps from all the cancelled bits that weren't part of the constitution. Some of the UK constitution is procedure and books of commentary and theory, so those are going to be awkward to rewrite and put on a single piece of paper, but it could be done.
Quote from the article:
> Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.
The study that the article talks about was published by Princeton University (in NJ). But even if it were published by Tsinghua University it would be no less valid. [Economic] science is science.
This is an interesting aside, but tell me, what's the relevance of your question to the subject at hand? It feels like veiled "whataboutism", but that would be a mean-spirited assumption to make.
As for the success of socialist principles of economic management (i.e. common ownership of property/means of production), it varies (there's Norway, and there's Venezuela), much like the success of capitalist economies varies.