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Why Good Government is Impossible

By freak80 following x   2012 Aug 2, 6:42am 11,769 views   55 comments   watch   nsfw   quote     share    


Think about it:

Who is it that gets power? Nice people, or sociopaths?

The people who get power are generally those who are willing to do almost *anything* to get it, no matter how devious.

I really don't understand this humanistic belief that "good government" is just around the corner. I'd say the belief is no more "rational" than religious belief.

The only thing good about Democracy is that we can have a "bloodless revolution" every two years if necessary. As the old saying goes, "politicians are like diapers...they should be changed often, and for the same reason." We can at least replace the current sociopaths with different sociopaths every election cycle.

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16   Raw   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 4, 2:28am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

freak80 says

The only thing good about Democracy is that we can have a "bloodless revolution" every two years if necessary. As the old saying goes, "politicians are like diapers...they should be changed often, and for the same reason." We can at least replace the current sociopaths with different sociopaths every election cycle.

LOL. Loved it.
Maybe we should potty train politicians.
Worked with my dog.

17   justme   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 4, 2:41am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Listen, many of our national politicians, at least on the Democratic side, are thoughtful and intelligent people who are trying unsuccessfully to do the right thing.

It is the structure of our system that prevents them from doing what is right. And voters are not helping by believing that the solution is to throw them out every two years.

Come on, being a good lawmaker requires brains, skill and experience.

Throwing polticians out every two years is EXACTLY what the 1% would want you to do. Don't be stupid.

18   justme   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 4, 2:47am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

By the way, how about replacing corporate boards and management/CEOs with randomly selected employees, every two years? [sarcasm alert]

Does that seem like a good idea to anyone? Why or why not? Discuss!

19   justme   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 4, 4:02am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Another idiotic thread killed, with just a little bit of logic. It's all in day's work.

But could I not at least get a few "likes" for doing the job? Huh?

20   futuresmc   ignore (1)   2012 Aug 4, 4:07am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

justme says

It is the structure of our system that prevents them from doing what is right. And voters are not helping by believing that the solution is to throw them out every two years.

If you read my earlier post I said you shift the players UNTIL a good outcome is reached, not just for the sake of shifting the players. You throw out the ones that sell out and you keep the rare few that stand on principle.

21   Raw   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 4, 4:16am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

justme says

By the way, how about replacing corporate boards and management/CEOs with randomly selected employees, every two years? [sarcasm alert]

Does that seem like a good idea to anyone? Why or why not? Discuss!

Replacing the boards and top management of any corporation is entirely up to the shareholders. It's not the business of anyone else.
If they are doing a bad job, it is only a matter of time before they get replaced.

22   justme   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 4, 6:41am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

futuresmc,

"shift the players UNTIL a good outcome is reached"

has some moral merit (and I did not read your post before), but does it work in practice?

The whole country can be ruined by the crooks that rule in the interim, and then the damage is already done. Refer to to 1980-2008 as an example, and how Obama, who is at least somewhat trying to fix the problems, just cannot do it in 4 years.

You cannot have a clean reset every two years. What the elected reps did in the meanwhile will matter. And you could easily get a totalitarian state along the way.

The only way to fix politics is to fix the structure of the election system (glad you brought that up as well) and forbid corporate money and associated propaganda..

23   justme   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 4, 6:45am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Raw says

justme says

By the way, how about replacing corporate boards and management/CEOs with randomly selected employees, every two years? [sarcasm alert]

Does that seem like a good idea to anyone? Why or why not? Discuss!

Replacing the boards and top management of any corporation is entirely up to the shareholders. It's not the business of anyone else.

If they are doing a bad job, it is only a matter of time before they get replaced.

Yeah, right. The shareholder do not stand a chance as long as the board and management in practice has all the power to nominate for the board. Corporate governance just isn't democratic with respect to the shareholders. It is as if Washington candidates would be chosen by congress instead of in a primary election. Imagine how bad that would be.

24   FortWayne   ignore (4)   2012 Aug 4, 11:25am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Good government is impossible when people who make it up are crooks and thieves. And most people are easily tempted when they can steal millions and get away with the crime.

The only good government is small government that can't spend a penny without direct approval from those paying the bill.

26   thomaswong.1986   ignore (5)   2012 Aug 4, 1:13pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

curious2 says

"I know a dozen people who have more experience with this company and could run it better for half the salary that Ricky Wagoner / Raymond Gilmartin etc. is getting."

Managers run the company day to day. BOD do strategic planning! Not many have any idea what strategic planning involves.

27   thomaswong.1986   ignore (5)   2012 Aug 4, 1:15pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

justme says

The whole country can be ruined by the crooks that rule in the interim, and then the damage is already done. Refer to to 1980-2008 as an example, and how Obama, who is at least somewhat trying to fix the problems, just cannot do it in 4 years.

Thats how dictators are made! change for the good of all citizens !

29   thomaswong.1986   ignore (5)   2012 Aug 4, 1:35pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

curious2 says

You mean "not many directors," right? Employees whose careers, pensions, prospects, and salaries all depend on the company might have a clearer understanding of strategic planning than, for example, the directors of financial companies that failed and needed TARP rescue

I suggest you look up strategic planning.. what is it ? ..tools, methods used? etc etc..
your way off the mark! no i mean not many employees! clueless!

31   thomaswong.1986   ignore (5)   2012 Aug 4, 1:44pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

curious2 says

Here's a possibility: Ingratiate ourselves to politicians by means of "donations," favorable loan terms, and revolving door jobs to staff, so that when our "business" front blows up they'll bail us out and we can all retire. They excelled brilliantly at that!

Politics! that is all you can offer as a director of an enterprise...
you would lose employees and your business would fail talking like this.

32   justme   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 4, 1:52pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

curious2 says

Actually, that idea has potential too. Suppose 1/3 of the board were replaced with randomly selected employees.

In some countries in Europe it is the law that employees must have representation on the BOD. It appears to work pretty well. However, the representatives are not randomly chosen, they are elected by the other employees.

34   thomaswong.1986   ignore (5)   2012 Aug 4, 2:26pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

justme says

In some countries in Europe it is the law that employees must have representation on the BOD. It appears to work pretty well. However, the representatives are not randomly chose, they are elected by the other employees.

And how can a BOD claim to be independent from the company? which today is mandatory ! The same is true in Europe... especially those who trade on the NYSE.

http://corporate.findlaw.com/finance/sec-approves-nyse-and-nasdaq-proposals-relating-to-director.html

BOARD COMPOSITION

NYSE

Majority of independent board members. The NYSE requires that a majority of the board of directors of a listed company be "independent," unless the company is a "controlled company," a limited partnership, is in bankruptcy proceedings or lists only preferred or debt securities. A controlled company is a company in which more than 50 percent of the voting power is held by an individual, group or another company. Although controlled companies, limited partnerships, companies in bankruptcy proceedings and companies listing only preferred or debt securities are not required to have a majority of independent directors, such companies remain subject to the independent audit committee requirements discussed below. Under the NYSE listing standards, foreign private issuers are not required to have a majority of independent directors on their boards of directors. Foreign private issuers are required, however, to disclose any significant ways in which their home-country practices differ from those followed by a domestic company.

35   thomaswong.1986   ignore (5)   2012 Aug 4, 2:26pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

curious2 says

The TARP companies did fail,

what does TARP have anything to do with this, corporate governance!

37   The Original Bankster   ignore (2)   2012 Aug 4, 3:49pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

eventually, perhaps soon, the whole thing will fall apart.

It's simply a matter of time before the financial viability of a nation is completely eroded by it's population. When a nation is financially viable, all sorts of parasites that don't have long term intentions arrive, become citizens, don't participate in the military, and simply collect. We have people like that in the millions today in America. The Left protects them as if they were victims. Eventually, the system falls apart- descends into civil war, foreign campaigns for profit, etc.

this is where America is today. You liberals who think you're about freedom aren't the solution, you're the problem.

38   moonmac   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 4, 11:24pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

From the local level to the federal level all politicians are immoral crooks! They only care about increasing the size of their own bank accounts and will do anything necessary to make it happen. The trillions in bail outs was all about self preservation and throwing working class Americans to the wolves! It's really sick when all my friends that make over 6 figures say our economy is doing great. They text me every time there is over an hour wait at a fine dining restaurant to prove it. Meanwhile people on Main Street are giving the option of bologna or 99 cent hot dogs to feed their families! We need a REVOLUTION against the crooks that bailed out the rich at our expense. Not letting the Crooks fail was Satan announcing that he's now completely taken over our country!

39   moonmac   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 4, 11:30pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Able bodied scum on welfare, section 8 and food stamps have a better standard of living then people working 80 hrs per week! I say let's burn all the leeches until they are dead or have been ripped out of their blood sucking roles!

40   Auntiegrav   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 5, 12:17am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Dan8267 says

Good government is possible, but not with humans running the show. Fully automated government ran by software is the way to go.

We've already got that. It's called "Excel". The corporations use it to decide how to proceed in their profit-making psychopathy, and government uses it to decide how to respond to the corporations' interests. Churches use it to decide whether to save souls or to save the Building Fund. Consumers use it to decide whether to rent or to buy.

41   Auntiegrav   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 5, 12:45am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

moonmac says

From the local level to the federal level all politicians are immoral crooks!

This is why the problem is elections, not government. An election is just a popularity contest. In the case of our media-based entertainment, we have very few people to choose from.
Open up the whole thing to a lottery. Choose ALL government appointees at random. Replace all income taxes with one sales tax and a prebate (see FairTax.org but double the rate and the prebate until the water and air are clean).
The problem isn't that we HAVE government, or the government itself, per se, but that we CONSUME government, like we can buy a good one from Monsanto or Goldman Sachs. We can no more buy good government than we can buy a good marriage or a good farm. These things have to be built by hand with a lot of hard work and no immediate reward.
Government is also like any complex machine: it requires feedback mechanisms to keep it in line and to put energy into it. Most of the time, such a machine goes wrong not because the machinery is bad, but because a key part is overlooked or neglected. In the case of our Constitution, it is trying to do something that it was not equipped to handle: manage a consumerist society. They should have seen it coming (re: Spain and it's free gold), but ignored it, thinking that popular vote or an intelligent Senate would prevent such mass stupidity. The consumer society happened because of the Industrial Revolution, and the devaluing of manual labor (everyone wanted an easier life, so it was no big deal to replace their hard tasks with machines...except the Luddites tried to get the point across that doing so destroyed lives as surely as weapons do) was a "no-brainer" of "efficiency" and "standards of living". The problem with consumerism is that it makes the assumption of people being useless except when they are purchasing something, rather than useful when they are making or doing something. Buying things stimulates those things to be made merely because people have money, and through inflationary practices, money was free; just as though we were taking it from 'ignorant savages' in a New World: except the savages are ourselves and our resources in the future when the free money comes through debts.
The proper feedback against consumerism is a consumption tax: a sales tax. It must be applied at the point of decision (the checkout) or it merely gets buried (like corporate taxes are buried in the price of products or the lack of wages).
Humans are smart: not intelligently intentional. By this, I mean they solve problems, but don't personally make the best choices for their own interest. That's why we invented religion and government (yes, they ARE the same thing, regardless of the delusion of separateness): to 'trick' ourselves to not do things we know we wouldn't otherwise be able to control ("If you get me through this night, I promise I will never take another drink."). God and government were both invented by drunks in a moment of semiconscious wisdom. They are exploited by tea-totalers and whiskey runners. Somewhere in between are the people who want to just go about a useful life without causing harm or being harmed. It's time to wake them up to the harm of the polarizing fanatics or it will kill us all in a Civil War the likes of which Joss Whedon can't imagine.

42   Auntiegrav   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 5, 12:55am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

curious2 says

thomaswong.1986 says

you would lose employees and your business would fail talking like this.

The TARP companies did fail, which is how they got more money and power than ever before, via TARP. It was, from their POV, a huge success. Strange that one of the biggest news stories of the last fifty years seems to have escaped your attention. Your theory seems to be that boards, as currently constructed, are perfect. But theories must yield to facts.

Terry Pratchett makes a good humorous example of this in "Going Postal": where the board members all serve on each other's companies and pretend they are separate companies.
Perhaps what we need is a good Tyrant (who may or may not also be a vampire), immune to the desires of any particular interest in comparison to his or her desire to improve the domain. It is the petty leaders who try to gain power over little slices that screw up the whole Domain relationship (being the focus of power makes you the locus of responsibility...nobless oblige).

43   Auntiegrav   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 5, 1:17am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

In order to have "good government", you first have to have a concept of what is "good" and what is "bad" as determined by the best interests of some kind of future. How does nature make some things succeed for millions of years and others die off after a flash in the pan?
Too many confuse "government" with "country" and "freedom" with "no government", rather than understanding that it isn't the government who decides what will work or not. Fate does that. Government is a tool we are supposed to use to help us deal with Fate, hopefully in ways that aren't self-destructive.
Government is a System to help us manage our actions, but it is ultimately our collective actions that Fate sees. Fate doesn't care what we believe: only what we actually DO. The constitution deals with many things that government and citizens can and can't do. Laws are written in detail also expanding on these choices.
Too many laws, and the truths get buried. Top-heavy or not, the system must be made to work or replaced with another system. Sometimes the change is done through choices (elections, revolutions), and sometimes just by Fate (famine, environmental changes, expanding wars into neutral countries).
Government is us. We are it. To separate "government" from humanity is folly. We always have some kind of government because we are communicative social animals. If we keep failing at government, it is because we keep doing the same things and don't evolve. No species evolves if it is in a stable environment. Humans created a stagnant environment that is artificial. It consumes resources in massive amounts to maintain a false niche of air conditioned comforts. We will not change as long as we are comfortable with this false idea of stability, until the resources to maintain it run out. Knowing this is coming is little help, as we have several feedback mechanisms to maintain the state of things as they are. Government won't give up its authority, consumers won't give up their comforts, and corporations make profits feeding the desires of both, regardless of the logical result of perpetual growth on a finite world.

44   canino   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 5, 7:15am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Dan8267 says

Good government is possible, but not with humans running the show. Fully automated government ran by software is the way to go.

And who will be the "WatchDog" for those writing the software?

46   Auntiegrav   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 5, 10:24am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

curious2 says

The Ghost of Steve Jobs,

Speaking of Tyrants.....

47   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Aug 5, 10:54am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Auntiegrav says

We've already got that. It's called "Excel".

Yeah, I'm thinking of something a little more sophisticated than Excel.

48   thomaswong.1986   ignore (5)   2012 Aug 5, 6:54pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

curious2 says

The Ghost of Steve Jobs, channeled by Tim Cook. Their new iPhone app, "iGuv," will tell us what to do. Steve will appear in hologram and tell us when to take our daily meds as prescribed, and track our locations, etc. Naturally we will be required to carry iPhones at all times, but don't worry, if you can't afford one, it will be subsidized.

BTW, people who refuse medication on religious grounds may opt for the other new app, "iGod."

Steve Jobs was not Christian, and believed in his eastern holistic method of teas and herbs... it didnt save him. He stilled died! He of all people ignored science. What does that tell you of the man.

49   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Aug 5, 11:16pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

canino says

And who will be the "WatchDog" for those writing the software?

No one. Dan is completely unbiased and has all of our best interests at heart! ;-)

50   HonkpilledMaster   ignore (5)   2012 Aug 6, 12:47am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

justme says

I cannot agree with this. Do you not understand that if we replace the legislature with random sheep then all the sociopath wolves (think lobbyists and donors) will simply surround the sheep and threaten to tear them to pieces unless they do as they are told?

Justme, I gotta disagree. "Jury Duty" Citizens generally didn't want the job to begin with, and they may or may not wish to be re-elected. In addition, they aren't practiced liars and they'll easily get caught if their $39k/year legislative job suddenly allows them the ability to buy a vacation home, a BMW, and a month-long vacation to Monte Carlo.

Elected officials WANT the lobbyists' money.

We won't have an informed public UNTIL the public REALLY suffers, because of the media. The Media practices "Manufactured Consent" in that they only allow a debate to happen in a narrow band of "Acceptable" subject matter. For example, notice that most of our problems can be solved either by "Innovation" or "Tax Cuts/Privatization" - no other ideas can be mentioned, as the people offering them (whether whacky, or reasonable) are not given the microphone nor invited onto the stage.

51   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Aug 6, 12:53am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

freak80 says

canino says

And who will be the "WatchDog" for those writing the software?

No one. Dan is completely unbiased and has all of our best interests at heart! ;-)

Everyone. The software should be transparent and the code publicly available.

Transparency is superior to trust. It cannot be corrupted or broken.

52   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Aug 6, 1:54am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

thunderlips11 says

The Media practices "Manufactured Consent" in that they only allow a debate to happen in a narrow band of "Acceptable" subject matter.

How else could we get from "homosexual behavior is a psyhological disorder" to "those who question homosexual behavior have a psychological disorder" in only 15 years?

People are sheep. And the "powers that be" know it.

53   justme   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 6, 10:49am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

thunderlips11 says

justme says

I cannot agree with this. Do you not understand that if we replace the legislature with random sheep then all the sociopath wolves (think lobbyists and donors) will simply surround the sheep and threaten to tear them to pieces unless they do as they are told?

Justme, I gotta disagree. "Jury Duty" Citizens generally didn't want the job to begin with, and they may or may not wish to be re-elected. In addition, they aren't practiced liars and they'll easily get caught if their $39k/year legislative job suddenly allows them the ability to buy a vacation home, a BMW, and a month-long vacation to Monte Carlo.

Your argument is that random selection of lawmakers should work because random selection of citizens for jury duty generally works pretty well.

BUT people who are on jury duty generally do not get paid by criminals for finding them innocent, nor do they get paid by the proscution to find people guilty.

That is one heck of a big difference. And I think that is why your argument is flawed.

54   justme   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 6, 10:59am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ruki says

So let me get this straight:

You rip into the proposed system of sortition based on what you THINK will happen but then declare that our current system is definitely failing.

And what are the lobbyists going to do to people who don't need campaign contributions, btw? It is clear you haven't even thought this out.

No, you didn't get it straight. Pointing out that the proposal of random legislator selection is even worse than what we currently have is a completely defensible position to have.

By the way, you seem to think money in the form of "campaign contributions" is the only way to corrupt a legislator. A randomly picked legislator can be corrupted in any number of different ways:

For example, they can be promised a fat job by a private corporation if they vote a certain way. Or they can be threatened with loss of their old job unless they obey. The possibilities for coercion and/or payoffs are endless.

55   canino   ignore (0)   2012 Aug 7, 5:32am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

thomaswong.1986 says

What does that tell you of the man.

He was not among the "Sheeple"... He lived and died by his convictions!

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