Political Science 1101-03
I’ve Got My Wish
Gee, thank you genie, that sounds great but this is going to take some thought. Hmm, I think I’ll stick it to the Legislative branch. They seem to have a big hand in a lot of things. They are the only ones who can declare war but they haven’t done that since World War ll. I hate war but it looks like the war mongers found a way to get around congress because it seems like we’re always in a bunch of wars; one way or another. I believe they do this by simply calling it a conflict, instead of war or an intervention. Another way is to use an amorphous entity, such as drugs or terrorism to wage a war on. That way it’s not a real war. Either way, we sure spend a lot of money on these things but we don’t seem to get much in return, in the way of tangible results. In other words, we don’t ever seem to win. That is,we the people, in the name of war (conflict), seem to be losing. The “Patriot Act” is one example of how our privacy is increasingly being infringed upon, in the name of terrorism. But that is nothing compared to the number of actual lives that we’re losing in these interventions. Who’s responsible for that?
At any rate, I digress; back to congress. These guys/gals are supposed to be working for us, right? Sure we elect them but they’re making the laws. When they vote to give themselves raises are they taking into consideration our best interests? I don’t think so. That being the case, surely there are other things which the general populace would not approve of. Therefore, in regards to my wish, I’m going to aim at the personnel in congress.
All of these wonderful people working for congress are about to become even more wonderful; by a long shot. I’m going to install a meter, if you will, in their minds. All of their decisions, in regards to official capacities as congress people, will have to pass the test of the meter. You could call it an interest or honesty meter because it will measure what is in the best interest of the majority of people. At rest (off duty) the meter starts at 0 = nobody’s best interest; at its capacity (maximum) it indicates everybody’s best interest. The gauge will need to reach past 50%, in order to include the majority of people’s best interest when making any decisions for the people, while at work as a congress person. Sounds simple enough, right? After all, it’s nothing more than what the job description is supposed to entail in the first place. A congress person will not be able to act upon anything which falls short of the criteria. Another concession to the limits of this device is that it will react to whatever the congress person truly believes is in the best interest of any specified number of people. From the outset, this device will stimulate a need for better laws; ones which do not positively effect only a minority of people. Nowhere in democracy does oligarchy play a role.
Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times that a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office shows that the bottom 80% of American households are receiving less than half of total budget income. The honesty meter will go a long way towards turning these figures around.
We’ll still have one representative in the house for every 550,000 people and two senators for each state. The majority will still pick the Speaker of the House and the senate will still make their own rules. However, we may see less chance of a filibuster by a member of the senate. As usual, all of the spending bills will still start at the House of Representatives but there may be a change in the number of bills getting passed. Instead of only 3% making the cut, there may be a dramatic increase due to an overall consensus of voters. Two thirds in favor from both the house and senate will still be required to overturn a veto by the President. The number of members getting re-elected may fluctuate, somewhat, as well but senators will still have a six year term and representative will still be elected every two years.
As for other changes, I can hear cheering in the streets when a new National holiday emerges as approval for social programs sky-rocket. All the selfish bum holes will be up in arms. On the other hand, the results may be so catastrophic that the change produces mayhem. I’m stuck wondering just how much policy is produced by the wealthiest few. Those who support their own agendas wouldn’t know where to turn. Perhaps government as we know it would completely cease to function, as though a terrible curse had been unleashed upon it. Of course a lot of our tax dollars do, currently, go to worthy causes but those pieces of the pie are still slivers compared to what is being spent on military endeavors. Nevertheless, I feel that this new device wish may inadvertently be like opening Pandora’s Box. I’m afraid that the carpet might be slipped out from beneath everyone. The change may be so dramatic that nobody would know what to do. Would the onslaught of altruism be survivable? Or would the utter lack of experience leave us grappling with tools, the names of which, we don’t even know how to pronounce? Would the good citizens choke and die on their overwhelming share of the pie, as they wallow into self-degradation through drug abuse and other vices, in order to avoid the tremendous sense of responsibility? Certainly some of these fears are shared by some of the, perhaps, miss-educated but nonetheless more educated folks who have a less than positive view of the lower educated masses; who feel a need to guard against even the election of the President by using the electoral vote to take it out of their hands. And, perhaps, they are correct. We shall see; what’s done is done.