on reconstitution

nobody asked, but i wanted to suggest a few ideas on how to reform the u.s. gov’nment

1 - lead with criminal justice reform

until now, society has trended towards defining a “normal” then removing from society anyone who does not fit that norm. but in an integrated biosphere, a diversity of attitudes and goals will forevermore be part of the fabric of life

the most central question to answer is: how do we treat those who don’t fit the mold we want them to? locking us inside a house and forever pretending we don’t exist is just not working

if the government can not find a sane, sensible, way to fold law-breakers back into the whole of society, then that government is failing

2 - then do some social rallying

“be best, not first” – this motto is meant to instill a sense of consequences into internal contests of morals

it is also designed to guide away from the idea that just because someone is first to claim (or invent) a resource, that may be no reason that our larger society should let them keep control of it

3 - then comes radical economic reform

“equality” is possible only if one person can not own another person. but an elite few people own companies, those companies use economic hooks to control most of a person’s effective agency, and that’s so close to ownership it smells the same

i propose this:

a new economic model

  1. eliminate private ownership (of everything), replace it with a system of time-limited grants from the public for resources held in the common interest

  2. companies are 100% controlled by the people who are contributing their time

it would be useful to recognize that the days when everyone can meaningfully contribute to society by having a job are long gone. we can continue to invent inefficiencies in the name of giving everyone menial and worthless jobs, but that seems like a losing proposition. menial and worthless jobs aren’t good for anyone’s wellbeing

in other words, universal basic income is a necessary step, and a big one that ensures a reasonable quality of life for everyone. there is money for this, it’s all accumulating at the top. so basically, we need a very big wealth transfer pump that sucks wealth from the top and redistributes it to everyone all over again

historically, trickle-down economics has never worked, yet trickle-up always has. let’s build structures of society with the understanding of this assertion. powerful people will always find ways to accumulate more wealth and power, so the structure of our society must include thick channels that force redistribution of wealth and power back into the hands of the non-wealthy and non-powerful

corporations will continue to exist, but by making them owned by the people involved involved in production, they should better reflect the needs of those people

further, land the corporation occupies, as well as any other public commons resources, would be available only to companies who can justify their value to society through the resource grant system. this is probably a system of democratic decision-making at who gets to control what percent of a resource for how many years

the point of this is to introduce a parallel channel of feedback over the money that corporations get for selling products or services. the resource granting system would be overtly a judgement step on whether a company is doing worthy things for the betterment of everyone or not

4 - here’s how i would amend the constitution

we need some major updates to our legal system. law accumulates forever, which is part of the problem. when programmers contribute to a mature algorithm, a good change usually removes as many lines of computer code as it adds. the legal program of our society needs some similar pruning. instead, the law of our land is like a complex story that just keeps getting longer and more twisted, year by year

let’s start simplifying at the constitution. let’s make a series of amendments that are effectively a rewrite of the whole thing. let’s keep the parts that work, but modernize it. here’s the changes i’d propose:

  • you are automatically a US citizen if you are inside the US borders, or if you are abroad but maintain a home inside US borders

    • seriously, our government needs to be caring for every single person inside the territory said government claims to control; like, why is this even a question?
  • the government has a duty to provide a basic wellbeing for every such citizen

  • institutions of faith and learning should be seen as the same class of legal entity

  • congress should still have two houses, equal in power. the larger house should still be elected from general populous, but the smaller should be elected from a pool of nominees put forward by institutions of faith and learning

  • the office of chief executive should still be elected from the general populous

  • our vote system should be direct election, via “approval voting”; i.e., where you get to vote for any number of candidates, not just one

  • size of congress? less sure of, but here’s some thoughts:

    • definitely territories need representation, but the overall body might be too big
    • larger house maybe gets one representative per million people? with political boundaries all re-balanced after every census to have roughly equal population counts and edges without a lot of squiggles?
    • smaller house maybe stays with the arbitrary number of 100, but per above, these are now all people nominated by (brand sponsored by) various universities and churches

judicial branch, i’m not at all sure what to do about, and that’s part of why i suggest starting any discussions on a modernized government by talking about criminal justice reform

one other fun piece to consider would be the deep legal system cleanse suggested at the start of this section. maybe i’d phrase it in the amendments like this:

  • ‘excepting only this constitution, all laws shall periodically expire every 25 years after becoming valid and must be specifically renewed each time through legislative action if their relevance should be maintained’

probably need to give a 5 year grace period on existing laws or something

anyway, just my thoughts. thanks for reading!

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