DRAFT: Let's Put all the Democrats in Jail

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Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States, has been regarded as the architect of the welfare state in America. His New Deal has been criticized by the politically right as a one-way ticket to socialism. Welfare, in their minds, has taken the drive out of the American people. Why was this supposed madman allowed to hold office to effect this change in the USA? 


The Great Depression set the stage for the 1932 election. Republican Hoover campaigned on allowing market forces to rectify this economic disaster. Democrat Roosevelt campaigned on government intervention. Both sides had their opportunity to make their case to the American public. Roosevelt bested Hoover in the popular vote by 22m to 15m voters. Roosevelt trounced Hoover in the electoral college by 472 to 59. If there ever was an American president who received a mandate to govern, it was Roosevelt.


And govern he did. He used all of his deal-making skills, media skills, and authority given to his office within the American Constitution to push forward on the New Deal. In essence, he delivered on his promises to his base supporters. 


If the man behind the New Deal was such a flawed character and the New Deal was such a flawed social agenda, then we should conclude that the 1932 election was a flawed process. The margin of victory was so wide that we cannot even claim the election was rigged. So it must be the democratic process itself that failed the American people. 


If the welfare state is indeed so bad, the Republicans have had ample opportunity to reverse the direction of the New Deal. Two effective Republican presidents--Eisenhower and Reagan--had the mandate, popularity, and skills to reverse the social agenda of the New Deal. They did not effect this change. And there were a few less effective Republican presidents who wouldn't or couldn't reverse it as well. In other words, there hasn't been the political will to undo Roosevelt's work.


So if the New Deal and its evolution into the welfare state is so flawed and the Republicans have been stymied to reverse it, what is the problem? The answer is clearly that the American people are still electing too many Democrats into Congress who depend on welfare votes to put them into Congress.


Pay attention to that last sentence! Effective solutions are better found when the problem has been properly identified. This last sentence identifies the problem. So a logical solution would be to dismantle the Democratic Party. Here are some ideas on how to do that:


  1. Put a thousand or so high ranking Democrats in jail. This will make their leadership impotent and their members scared.
  2. Forbid any Democrat candidate to be printed on a ballot.
  3. Shut down any media outlet with a liberal/progressive bias. This can be justified in that they are spreading lies and false ideologies. 
  4. Make a list. Scour the internet discussion groups to identify all citizens with a left-wing bias and put them on this list.
  5. Make sure anyone on this list cannot attain a public or private sector job that pays more than $100,000 a year. Make it clear that being on this list means a life with fewer career opportunities.
  6. Fire all high school teachers who are on this list. They should not be in a position to influence young people. Same for university professors.
  7. If someone on this list starts a business, use all the regulations to make it difficult for this person to continue doing business.


Let's take our solution a step further:


  1. The founding fathers allowed only rich, white men the right to vote. Let's go back to that principle. For sure, there will be far fewer votes for any kind of welfare state with this demographic.
  2. To minimize careerists from entering the Republican Party and later influencing it in the wrong way, let's raise the standards to get into the Party. Applicants would now have to study and pass a Republican civics test. Topics would include the evils of socialism, liberalism, and progressivism. Of course, anyone already on the list would not be allowed to apply.


If dismantling the welfare state is a high priority to creating a better society, a one-party state (with the one party being of a sound ideology) is preferable the two-party state where one of the parties can bribe voters with a welfare state. 




These suggestions are very typical of a communist party. Would America, the champion of modern democracy, ever evolve to his state? It seems many right-wing thinkers would prefer an oligarchy to their political leaning than today's democracy. 


And to be fair, many many left-wing thinkers are so appalled that someone like Mr. Trump could become president that they too must be thinking it is time to for them to take power completely away from those who think differently. The left's version of the world would have the right's political leaders working at at the recycling plant sorting plastics. 


In both such left-wing and right-wing oligarchies, the career path in politics is through the parties, but never being accountable to the general public because the public is just too foolish to make a good choice--just like in a communist society.


A one-party USA should be preferable to the current two-party America. Currently, not many Americans are satisfied with the direction their country is going. With a one-party USA, a significantly minority will be reasonably satisfied.


In my previous article on WB "Robert's Rules of Order", General Robert based his rules for non-legislative bodies on three basic principles of democracy: 


  1. Efficiency in reaching a decision.
  2. Letting the minority voice having a fair say.
  3. Abiding by the will of the majority.


Looking at these principles and seeing how they are applied to many volunteer organizations, we see how General Robert allowed us to speak our minds at these meetings, make a decision and move on. If we found ourselves in the minority; i.e. ,we didn't get our way at the meeting; we at least stepped out of the way to let the majority carry out its work. Sometimes we might have even helped the majority strive to attain its objective. But because we had the chance to speak, we were somewhat content that we had the opportunity to change other minds. 


But for our national politics, we really don't want the majority to have its way when its way conflicts with our way. We have lost principle #3. And if we hold on to strong opinions, we do our best to shout louder and longer than our opponents, lest our opponents play this game better than we. It really doesn't matter anymore whether we won or lost with the due democratic process. Just shout anyways! So we have lost Principle #2. Even if there is free speech, is it still a societal virtue when there is no free listening?


Because we have lost #3 and #2, we have also lost Principle #1. Today's legislators are less effective in creating new legislation (or amending or rescinding old legislation) than in FDR's time. Even FDR, with all his skills and talents and connections and intuition, would be hard pressed to move America in any direction in today's political climate. 


Is the USA drifting to a one-party state? 











Pardero Added Apr 19, 2018 - 2:19pm
Dave Volek,
The one-party would be the Neocon party, not the red-blue team paradigm. Neocons are fairly pleased to spend on social programs, as long as they get their war budget. 
Many are content to grumble about wedge issues as the neocon platform is realized. Some neocons advance the welfare state, some oppose it. Some neocons believe the Constitution is a living document that is able to be modified to present conditions, others believe that it must be strictly interpreted. The neocon party has a big tent, if one can live with perpetual war and absolute hegemony.
George N Romey Added Apr 19, 2018 - 2:45pm
FDR has probably spent the past 30 years spinning in his grave at how the Democratic Party has become nothing more than shrills for the over educated, self serving, arrogant elite.  FDR was very far from perfect but he at his core cared very deeply about this country and it’s people-not just the 1%.
Dave Volek Added Apr 19, 2018 - 2:48pm
I decided to take a wikipedia adventure on "neocon" and got a good education. I really like this quote of one neocon Jeanne Kirkpatrick:
Kirkpatrick concluded that while the United States should encourage liberalization and democracy in autocratic countries, it should not do so when the government risks violent overthrow and should expect gradual change rather than immediate transformation.[52] She wrote: "No idea holds greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime and anywhere, under any circumstances... Decades, if not centuries, are normally required for people to acquire the necessary disciplines and habits. In Britain, the road [to democratic government] took seven centuries to traverse. [...] The speed with which armies collapse, bureaucracies abdicate, and social structures dissolve once the autocrat is removed frequently surprises American policymakers".[53]
Now there is a wise person! Too bad she wrote this 2007! The USA could have saved itself a lot of grief if this advice had been taken after 9-11.
Riley Brown Added Apr 19, 2018 - 3:03pm
Dave, I kind of like the idea of making votes count proportional to the amount of tax money you pay.  Forget about party, if you pay a little your vote is only worth a little, if you pay a lot it's worth a lot more. 
Of course if you didn't at least break even with he social benefits you consumed for the year, you'd not have a vote, but that's the point.  Voters decide how we spend our tax money and people who don't contribute should be voting themselves other people's money.
Oh I know you may say its not fair for Mr. Gates vote to be worth millions more than your's, but fact is he's largely deciding what to do with his money.  Who are you to tell him how to spend HIS money.
Pardero Added Apr 19, 2018 - 3:16pm
Dave Volek,
Thank you for that important quote from Jeanne Kirkpatrick!!
Even A Broken Clock Added Apr 19, 2018 - 3:17pm
Dave, after much sober consideration, I have concluded that the only sensible choice in parties is to choose the Silly Party . Only by acknowledging our inner incompetencies will we be able to address the serious issues facing us.
Pardero Added Apr 19, 2018 - 3:22pm
Riley Brown,
As always, you make a well-stated and logical point.
In a way, because of all the money in politics, your proportional system is already in practice.
Consultants can predict with great accuracy, how much advertising it takes to move the electorate a percentage point, or how much to flip an election. Obviously, there are other factors, some quite new, but reliable old fashioned cash is the bread and butter of winning elections.
Pardero Added Apr 19, 2018 - 3:27pm
Even A Broken Clock,
That is hilarious! LOL
Dave Volek Added Apr 19, 2018 - 3:45pm
Tying voting rights to the amount of tax paid just might entice people to pay their taxes!
Next time, put in a "Monty Python" into the link. More clicks are likely. And yes, this sketch is still very appropriate today. I liked the part "My predictions were spot on except the other side won". That's good talking head logic.
Dave Volek Added Apr 19, 2018 - 3:48pm
Cash will be more necessary than usual as candidates work FB and other social media. This will require high level expertise, which requires money. The role of the political party volunteer is becoming less important to winning elections.
Dino Manalis Added Apr 19, 2018 - 4:21pm
I don't just blame Democrats, Republicans haven't been meeting my expectations either, I support a two-party system, but it's not working anymore!
Dave Volek Added Apr 19, 2018 - 4:43pm
The institution of the political party will have to go.
Larry Kauf Added Apr 19, 2018 - 5:38pm
I'm gonna take a stab at this but know it will fall upon deaf ears.  Ya have 2 guys that were foreign Agents of other Governments but failed to remember that, when filling out paperwork to get jobs in the White House.
You have had a MAJORITY in congress for the last 3 years of Republicans (and not by a little either) that have failed miserably to enact any substantial Legislation until recently with the Tax bill.  
You have documented cases of Russian interference in our elections (thru Facebook and right wing blogs masquerading as US authors) and nothing is being done about it.
You have a President that has had liaisons with a Porn Star, Models and Playmates and Bill Clinton gets impeached for a BJ.  And on, and on, and on.
Just wait till all the dirt comes out from Cohen and the whole Family scrambles like cockroaches with the lights turned on.
And you want to lock up all Democrats?  That's the best chuckle I have had all day ... thanks.
Neil Lock Added Apr 19, 2018 - 5:51pm
Dave: I think you left out some <sarc> and </sarc> tags.
But seriously. The problem for with those who wanted to reverse the social agenda of the New Deal, was that from their point of view there was no-one worth voting for. The entire political class had taken on the New Deal agenda. Very much like the situation today, when those of us who merely want peace and honesty, not politics, have no options inside the system.
Broken Clock: You took me back a few decades with your link to the Silly Party. But that skit was mainly against the media, not so much the politicians themselves. We do have a sort of successor over here - it's called the Monster Raving Loony Party. Back in 2000, I walked almost 20 miles to visit the pub which was then its headquarters. But "things ain't what they used to be"...
Riley Brown: You're right about tying voting rights to taxes paid. Indeed, I made just that suggestion way back in 2004. These were my words: "What if, instead of one man one vote, we moved to the most modern of the four ways of running a society - the shareholding model? What if your voting power was in proportion to your contribution to society? That is to say, to the excess of the taxes you have paid over the value of what you have received in return?" My re-published version starts here: http://www.honestcommonsense.co.uk/2015/03/why-democracy-failed-part-1.html
Tubularsock Added Apr 19, 2018 - 6:22pm
OH GEE, Tubularsock hates to bring this up but the only welfare state that Tubularsock sees is the Corporate Welfare State.
Poor people in this country get crumbs compared to the General Dynamics, Boeing, Raytheon,United Technologies, Lockheed Martin and on and on sucking the government’s oversized plastic hooter!
And throw in Goldman Sachs Group, JP Morgan Chase, B of A and Wells Fargo and that suck of corruption backed by government pretty much drowns-out almost ANYTHING the so call people welfare state EVER received from the government!
And just the perks of the Democraps and Republican’ts in Congress are enough to have nothing in common with everyday citizens in the least.
But in fairness Congress has to accept the Corporate Cock up their assholes on a regular bases just to keep they jobs of privilege. But what better task for a Congressional Asshole. It is called the “fair use doctrine”. You may have heard about it.
So the crumbs poor people end up with is the least of our worries.
But there is a bright side and this idea Tubularsock believes would END WAR.
And it’s simple.
All profits from the Corporate War Machine is turned over to the poor in America.
Now, just how fast do you think war would end?
Larry Kauf Added Apr 19, 2018 - 6:37pm
Neil and others,
"What if, instead of one man one vote, we moved to the most modern of the four ways of running a society - the shareholding model?
That didn't work out so well in Feudal days and is not a new concept.  
What about the farmers that eek out a living growing food to feed your ass.
What about the teachers that teach your kids lil asses.
What about the cops that protect your ass.
What about the Nurses that take care of your ass.
What about maids that clean up after your ass.
In Texas a RED State, I am an Independent.  I vote for the person with the best ideas.  How's that for a new concept, whether they are a (R) or a (D).
When it was decided that Corporations are People, that was the beginning of the end.  Been going down hill ever since.  That why you got what you deserved as President and the cast of Loony Tune characters, where one is more crooked than the other and its just musical chairs as to who next will be indited.
George N Romey Added Apr 19, 2018 - 6:41pm
How is it that a job that pays $174K a year (no doubt a damn good salary compared to what most Americans get) turns its occupants into millionaires? 
Neil Lock Added Apr 19, 2018 - 6:47pm
Tubularsock: You are far too kind. For me, all those that support aggressive war (including politicians) should be deported to the scene, and made to walk to the war front. Without weapons.
Pardero Added Apr 19, 2018 - 6:47pm
Neil Lock,
Although I am a fan of your prose and poetry, I have trouble with the idea of making our already functional oligarchy into an official one. It is possible that the Founders did not envision either a freeloader underclass or a parasitic overclass. I can't imagine a system where a parasitic rent-seeker, speculator, or finance capitalist had far more power at the ballot box, than a hard working person who actually made something by the sweat of his brow. The former group, is all parasitic, living off the actual productive people. 
A proportional system would be better if based on production or service, not ill-gotten gains. 
Just going by income and taxes, a Nevada prostitute would have far more say than a teacher, florist, or craftsman.
I offer this:
A person getting aid from the state, is a ward of the state, and should not be able to vote until becoming self-sufficient.
James Travil Added Apr 19, 2018 - 7:06pm
I'm of the same mind as Tubularsock on this. And besides, if you seriously tried what you are suggesting groups that support the disabled, veterans, and the elderly would rise up and hang you from the rafters! And rightly so. Because if you achieved these draconian goals the only thing accomplished would be a return to the gilded age of the super rich owning everything and everyone. The once great United States reduced to a banana republic of feudalism. Is that the goal or was this all a joke experiment? 
Tubularsock Added Apr 19, 2018 - 7:33pm
 Oh my, Pardero"A person getting aid from the state, is a ward of the state, and should not be able to vote until becoming self-sufficient."
Tubularsock loves this idea .......... make Tubularsock a ward of the state because there aren't any choices worth considering anyway!
The Band Of Thieves! A new Tubularsock country western band!
Pardero Added Apr 19, 2018 - 8:20pm
You are right. Only well known celebrities really have any chance against the well funded campaign war chests.
Big money is choosing the candidates, not the people.
I didn't mean to sound so cold-hearted, but we must move away from people or corporations (via Reps and Senators) voting themselves public largesse. I am not so far away from your opinion stated above. 
Pardero Added Apr 19, 2018 - 8:24pm
Band of Thieves is a great name for a band.
Thievery Corporation is already taken.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Apr 19, 2018 - 9:29pm
US Fundamentalist Christianity insists the Bible is the Word of God, and you have to do what it says,
In the Bible's Acts of the Apostles, it is written the very first Christians believed and lived this, "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common."
Acts 4:32
Naturally the rich land and slave owners wanted to kill that idea and anyone who spread it. Such people would be terrorists to the rich,
This is consistent with all the other views and teachings of Christ about the rich in the Bible, the Christian TV Evangelists living the lifestyle of the rich and famous never expound upon or extrapolate.
Christian America gives lip service to God and Christ, but in fact and reality, supports the system demanding the love, service and worship of money.
This is the hard core Truth and Reality people just don't want to acknowledge and question. 
Shining One Added Apr 20, 2018 - 6:12am
Wow. I am constantly amazed at how people can, on the one hand, show a sophisticated mental ability, and on the other hand, show a complete disregard for reason.
 Any in depth study of American politics with an objective,unbiased perspective, will show you that both parties ( there are a lot more ) are controlled by the same people. It has been that way for many years. How can you people not see this? Elections can easily be rigged. There is ample evidence that can show this. Simple programming code can be used to show any result you want. They don't even have to do that, as most candidates are selected.  If someone enters that they don't control, they are just ignored by the media!
Doug Plumb Added Apr 20, 2018 - 7:26am
re "OH GEE, Tubularsock hates to bring this up but the only welfare state that Tubularsock sees is the Corporate Welfare State."
People complain about others being on welfare, but never a peep about where their income tax money goes. Some even think it pays for the roads.
re "How is it that a job that pays $174K a year (no doubt a damn good salary compared to what most Americans get) turns its occupants into millionaires?"
You don't get rich by building a better mousetrap, you go into politics. When I said this to a crowd in Toronto, an establishment politician answered "that's the way the system works", himself a very rich man, having been in public service (servicing the public) all his life.
Problem: people keep voting for it. There are so many bugaboos in our system now and we can't seem to stamp them all out. kill one and ten more appear - like cockroaches. Everything is being wrecked. We have to look at by whom.
George N Romey Added Apr 20, 2018 - 8:42am
You can bet that the establishment will never allow an Independent voice to hold the Office of President or Senator again. I still think a Bush/Clinton match might be on for 2020. Two old dogs that know the rule book by heart.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Apr 20, 2018 - 9:04am
Bush did his 2 terms. Are you thinking Bush Sr.?
Dave Volek Added Apr 20, 2018 - 11:13am
Larry Kauf
It seems strange that American elect politicians with so much controversy behind--and this controversy is well known before the nomination process.
In Canada, I really can't recall too many politicians being elected with some well known controversy(s) before the election. Of course, after the election we might find a few things out--or the politician turns sour--or the politician takes a different stand than on the campaign trail. But I think it's safe to safe that our political parties seem to weed out people who have had a little too much of a certain life history.
I'm not sure what we are doing right.
Dave Volek Added Apr 20, 2018 - 11:16am
The political class is not taking on the New Deal society because the political will is just not there to support it. Whether or not the "welfare state" is good or bad for society, it is here to stay.
30 years ago, welfare was a hot political issue in Canada. Now we barely hear about it. I believe that our social programs have evolved to provide subsistence to the truly needy. Most able bodied Canadians try to find a minimum wage job before asking for welfare.
Dave Volek Added Apr 20, 2018 - 11:18am
Right on! I really think you should run for president.
Dave Volek Added Apr 20, 2018 - 11:19am
Larry Kauf
Right on! If it weren't for the working poor and middle class, it would be hard for the rich to create and enjoy their wealth.
David Montaigne Added Apr 20, 2018 - 11:20am
Lots of well meaning comments, and some sarcastic ones.  Personally I think when welfare recipients are allowed to vote for more welfare, a nation has signed its death warrant.  FWIW, power corrupts, and most politicians should be in jail.
Dave Volek Added Apr 20, 2018 - 11:31am
In some ways, we already have a rich-people-get-more influence democratic system. It is mostly indirect, but the recent tax cuts in the USA is their way of working the system to their advantage (at least temporarily).
Rather than votes based on taxes paid, I would prefer the "Starship Troopers" model where only people who served in the military get the right to vote or serve in public office. Now who would that eliminate?
Dave Volek Added Apr 20, 2018 - 11:33am
I see your logic of self-sufficiency as a means of attaining the right to vote. But what about the workers and managers of defense industries whose much higher salaries than welfare recipients are also very dependent on the government teat?
Dave Volek Added Apr 20, 2018 - 11:36am
It's been a decade or three since I read Acts, and I remember it being a fascinating book. I believe the early Christians tried out some version of communal living, but that didn't work out too well. The idea is worthy, but I think it takes a special kind of people to make it work. We are there yet!
Dave Volek Added Apr 20, 2018 - 11:40am
Shining One
I would say that with all the voting machines in America, it is possible for some nefarious force to take control of the software. The only saving grace is that there are many different versions of these machines, so the nefarious force would have to do a lot of groundwork to be effective.
In Canada, the voter is given a piece of paper with several names. He puts an X beside his preference, then puts the paper in a big box. Nefarious Force cannot overcome this lo-tech approach.
Dave Volek Added Apr 20, 2018 - 11:44am
I don't think there is a conspiracy of the establishment to bar Independents from running for or winning political office. It is just the instinctual nature of political parties, whose members are after influence and power. It is much easier to attain this goal with a political party than be an independent.
Until we cast aside the political parties, we should not expect any rise of Independents.
Dave Volek Added Apr 20, 2018 - 11:49am
Being in a political party is a good way to make business connections. I got to hang around with some people who were just not in my social circle. While there may be some opportunities to get some government contracts or jobs, I would say there are more opportunities to benefit from the network itself--without any political implications. 
A person who has spent a decade in public office has made a lot of connections. And he or she has gained a lot of experience in how the system works. It should not be too surprising that they can turn that into some kind of wealth-creating opportunity after they retire.
George N Romey Added Apr 20, 2018 - 11:49am
Oh Dave based upon what happened to Bernie Sanders I see the coordinated effort. Mr. Sanders was not playing by the Democrat rule book and worse yet was gaining popularity. Trump was an anomaly that slipped by because for too long he wasn’t taken as a serious and viable candidate. That mistake won’t happen again.
Dave Volek Added Apr 20, 2018 - 11:57am
Are deals being done in the back rooms to affect the result? Certainly.
But such deals are only effective when the race is close. Had Mr. Sanders been the substantial favorite of the D Party, the deal to give Ms. Clinton the edge would not have worked.
I believe there were no deals to oust Mr. Trump at the early stages because he seemed so foolish. When it became apparent he might win the primary, any deals were too late to reverse the tide.
These "mistakes" will continue to happen if we insist on being governed by political parties.
Shining One Added Apr 20, 2018 - 12:53pm
Dave, "Nefarious Force cannot overcome this lo-tech approach" of course they can. It all depends on who counts the votes.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Apr 20, 2018 - 1:27pm
In principle I'm open to only allow recent income tax-payers (previous year, small amount enough) to vote. That will never happen. So far we can bless our lucky star if the entire West does not fall down into a socialist dictatorship
The German government plans a crack down on TV tax evaders. TV tax!
Dave Volek Added Apr 20, 2018 - 1:51pm
Shining One
In Canada, there are various ways to prevent nefarious forces. There are two poll workers per poll, so inappropriate counting has to be done with both workers agreeing to the scam. Add in that an average  ballot box might contain only 400 votes, it's extremely unlikely that nefarious forces can organize enough poll workers to cheat on enough ballot boxes to throw the election. 
Then add in the rule that the political parties are allowed to send one representative to each box and observe the process--which includes the counting. If the party does not have enough volunteers to scrutinize the counting, then does it really have the right to complain when it has no evidence?
But get into the software of a few thousand electronic voting machines, it is possible to throw the result.
Doug Plumb Added Apr 20, 2018 - 2:38pm
Dave re "A person who has spent a decade in public office has made a lot of connections. And he or she has gained a lot of experience in how the system works. It should not be too surprising that they can turn that into some kind of wealth-creating opportunity after they retire."
It used to be (and used to be's don't count anymore) that a young man would chose a career in the private or public domain and stay there. This was part of the Christian doctrine of separation of powers. It was known, like farting in the elevator, and people didn't do it and they would be highly suspicious of those who had.
We do know how to fix things, learn our laws and live by them and insist that our leaders live by them or be voted out. But if a politician has nice hair, his life accomplishments and suitability for the job become irrelevant.
In reality, the Hair Club For Men could take over the world.

Dave Volek Added Apr 20, 2018 - 3:22pm
 I think the Depression had a great deal to do with "keeping a job for life" mentality. If one had a job, the next job was not so easy to find. So one accepted his current job, especially if it was a somewhat comfortable job and was unlikely to disappear in the intermediate future. I see nothing in the Christian writing that says one has to stay at their current job or employer forever.
The loyalty between an employee and employer in a past generation is a bit mythologized. There were still lots of people in the gig economy back then. And even today, there are still lots of places where one can expect a long term employment. But I would say there is less loyalty than before--from both employees and employers. 
Whether that is a good thing or not is a subject for another discussion.
Bill Kamps Added Apr 20, 2018 - 5:32pm
Ben Franklin warned us that when people realize they can vote themselves money, the Republic is in trouble.
Giving people a vote proportional to their net tax, would solve this problem.
Bill Kamps Added Apr 20, 2018 - 5:33pm
Of course tallying up the benefits we receive will be difficult.  If Exxon gets government tax benefits, and i own Exxon stock, do those benefits count against my tally ?
Larry Kauf Added Apr 20, 2018 - 8:45pm
Years ago there was a Movie called Network (1976).  You may remember Howard Beal encouraging everyone to yell out the window,  "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore."
Its worth watching again because this is what our Society is turning into.  Spoon fed programming for the masses, propped up by big Corporations and News has turned into a side show.
Dave Volek Added Apr 20, 2018 - 8:55pm
I think you just stepped on a land mine with the "pay-tax-for-votes" idea. THere are so many grey areas, which will then require more rules to make things "fair," which will then require more civil servants, etc. etc.
Even my military suggestion has problems. A combat soldier is on a different scale than an army mechanic! 
Every time I go on this tangent, I keep coming back to universal suffrage as the best way to elect our representatives. My TDG is universal suffrage, but voters can't be bribed.
Your movie suggestion sounds great. Just need to find time to watch it.
Morgoth Added Apr 20, 2018 - 9:58pm
Network is a great movie, an all time classic.
Dave, great article.  
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Apr 20, 2018 - 10:25pm
Here's clips from the Network movie in an article from my Blog.
Doug Plumb Added Apr 21, 2018 - 6:44am
The existing system is ideal, we just have to learn how to use it. Create another, put the power into the hands of the people and the same thing will happen if the people aren't taught how to use it. There is no antidote for stupidity.
Shining One Added Apr 21, 2018 - 8:17am
Dave Volek, I understand that it is comforting to believe in altruistic ideas and mechanisms in our society. But I'm afraid you are being to naive. Your choice of words you used to describe those "forces", nefarious, are far to weak. Insidious would be more apt. (((They))) are a lot cleverer than you give them credit for. We constantly underestimate other people, due to the fact of our limited understanding.
 Imagine a chess grand master. Some of whom, can foresee ten moves ahead. Picture a savant, with intellectual capabilities far beyond what we perceive as normal or extreme. If I had unlimited power and finances, and had evil intentions, those are the types of people I would have working for me. Those "nefarious" people have been working on 10, 50, 100 year plans.
 The point I'm trying to make is, the power these people have, is based on the fact that we think it is impossible for them to exist. As to our previous scenario, they don't need to make fake votes at a local level. All those tallies have to be sent to a centralised department.
Dave Volek Added Apr 21, 2018 - 9:32am
Shining One
If there is no group of ultra-elite chessmasters orchestrating all these events, there are not doing a great job.
It's kind of hard to imagine that the 2008 recession was a deliberate economic dislocation just to make the rich people more richer. Rather I tend to believe that certain senior economics went on a drunken spree and convinced people who should have known better that their ponzi scheme would work forever. 
Likewise in Syria, the players in the field are so difficult to predict, it's hard to make predictions--even for the ultra-elites. 
It's sort of like putting 22 men on a football field and someone knows exactly what is going to happen on the next play--every time. 
Shining One Added Apr 21, 2018 - 10:06am
Dave Volek, Lets not get absurd here. These people do not manipulate every situation that occurs in the world. They steer the ship, they don't care what happens in the mess.
 Speaking of Syria, nothing has convinced me more that Putin is also, just playing a part.
Dave Volek Added Apr 21, 2018 - 10:55am
So if Trump and Putin are just tools of this elite, how is then that they are able to pull Trump's strings---and then keep Putin in the same dance step?
Trump is ultra unpredictable. I can't see why the eltra-elite would have ever wanted this fellow in office in the first place and should have used their immense powers to get the other person elected.
I can't see it, unless the ultra-elite were putting their money on the best chance of destabilizing the world. If they were so smart, they should realize that such a destabalized world is not a good way to make money. 
I don't think anyone is steering the ship. 
George N Romey Added Apr 21, 2018 - 12:09pm
I don’t think Putin is a tool of the global elites, possibly a few Russian oligarchs. He like Trump was never invited into the Davos crowd. The elites really are clueless. If they actually had the intelligence they thought they had they would have realized having a strong middle class would have been their license to steal.
Katharine Otto Added Apr 21, 2018 - 1:19pm
The system itself is corrupt and will not be repaired by electing Democrats, Republicans or anyone else.  FDR succeeded because he was so good at working the system. 
The Constitution was drafted in secret in a convention that was billed as an effort to amend the Articles of Confederation.  Attendees were locked in a room for three months, sworn to secrecy, and not allowed to adjourn until they had agreed on a document that would allow the federal government the taxing powers it lacked.  By that time (1787) the states (mostly Northern states) were still in arrears on debts--primarily to foreign investors, as well as Washington's soldiers--and the Continental dollar had become virtually worthless.  Ratification of the Constitution was through specially convened groups that by-passed state legislatures.
Any powers the Constitution did not claim for the federal government, first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton claimed as "implied powers," and set about forming a central bank, instituting a whiskey tax, setting tariffs, and using the fledgling NYSE to sell "Hamilton bonds" and bank stocks to finance US expansion and a professional military.  He also supported private industry, including subsidies, government contracts, and protective tariffs to further Northern industry.  Both Hamilton and Washington believed in a strong central government, a legacy that has grown into a monster today.
Now, people see the federal government as the grantor of all blessings, and everything is perceived in monetary terms.  People believe this is the natural order, but it was intentionally contrived by the promoters, like Washington and Hamilton, of an aristocratic tradition that associates social rank with unearned income and that looks to slave or marginally paid labor to support the "idle."
Shining One Added Apr 21, 2018 - 1:55pm
Dave Volek, "So if Trump and Putin are just tools of this elite, how is then that they are able to pull Trump's strings---and then keep Putin in the same dance step?" by telephone? This question bemuses me. (((They))) put them in the positions they are in, why would they not follow orders?
 "Trump is ultra unpredictable. I can't see why the eltra-elite would have ever wanted this fellow in office in the first place and should have used their immense powers to get the other person elected." It was obvious to most Americans that Obama was a complete liar. Trump was just another way of fooling the population. He only appears to be unpredictable. He only appears to be anti establishment. Apart from a few cosmetic differences, America is still going the way of world wide aggressor.
 "I can't see it, unless the ultra-elite were putting their money on the best chance of destabilizing the world. If they were so smart, they should realize that such a destabalized world is not a good way to make money." The ultimate goal of the "ultra-elite" is control of the entire planet. The problem they have is, convincing the population of the planet to accept this fact. A destabilized world is extremely profitable to them in the short term. It also helps them to gain control. Like I said, they work on long term plans, money is not the goal, power and control is.
Dave Volek Added Apr 21, 2018 - 2:21pm
You have a take on the American Constitution that I haven't heard before. I think you need to put into its own WB article to see how the fans of the constitution react. We have a few of these on WB. 
In case you are wondering, I too do not consider the American Constitution as something ordained by God Himself. But I have sightly different reasons. 
Shining One
I totally believe you that there may be some people who desire world domination and may have a high enough position to believe they can attain. 
But if these people do exist, they don't know what they are doing to attain their goals. And I doubt they are unified enough to make it work. I'm not worried. 
Someone might be trying to steer the ship, but I doubt it. Propping up the likes a Trump, Putin, etc. shows they don't know what they are doing.
George N Romey Added Apr 21, 2018 - 3:09pm
Remember our country was founded by and for the elites. It wasn’t until the post WW2 era that Americans saw a Democracy for all.
The elites by nature are myopic as hell. They can’t see beyond the end of their $25 cigar. If they were smart they would kept a Middle Class Americans fat, happy and most content to take the trimmings thrown their way. Happy people don’t ask many questions and demand very little.
Dave Volek Added Apr 22, 2018 - 9:17am
I think your perspective is more accurate that that of Shining One. The elites just aren't smart enough to realize that a society that allows the creation and enjoyment of wealth requires a lot of content citizens. The ultra-elites aren't smart enough to engineer such society. We are just drifting in that direction.
Doug Plumb Added Apr 22, 2018 - 11:04am
If everyone could read Kant's Metaphysics of Morals they would understand the errors made in the constitution and see the sources of the decline in the USA. Freedom of Association is a garden planted for conspiracy.
A. Jones Added Apr 22, 2018 - 7:02pm
Republican Hoover campaigned on allowing market forces to rectify this economic disaster.
No he didn't. Hoover was a very "pro-labor-union" and "pro-import-tariff" president. FDR merely extended the federal government's interventions into the free market begun by his predecessor.
Do your homework on this.
A. Jones Added Apr 22, 2018 - 8:24pm
Lee E. Ohanian
UCLA, Department of Economics
Los Angeles, CA 90095
 "Hal Cole and Lee Ohanian develop a theory of labor market failure for the post-1933 depression, based on President Roosevelt's New Deal labor-industrial policies. These policies raised real wages substantially above market-clearing levels which in turn kept employment and output low. But there is no theory of labor market failure prior to the New Deal. This paper develops such a theory, and quantities its contribution to the earlier stages of the Great Depression.
The theory is based on President Hoover's industrial labor program, in conjunction with the growing power of unions. In November 1929, Hoover met with the leaders of the major industrial firms and presented his plan to deal with a possible recession. He told them that at a minimum, they should not cut wages, and preferably would raise wages.
He also advised them to share work among employees.
In return for maintaining or raising wages and for work-sharing, Hoover told industry that he would keep union demands at bay. Following his conference with industry, Hoover secured organized labor's agreement to withdraw demands for higher wages and not to strike. The largest manufacturers very publicly advertised their compliance with Hoover's wage program by either raising nominal wages or keeping nominal wages fixed at their 1929 levels, and by significantly spreading work among employees. There was very little new union organization or strikes during this period . . . By September 1931, manufacturing hours worked had declined more than 40 percent, and the average workweek in manufacturing had declined by about 20 percent.
I find that Hoover's program substantially depressed the economy, reducing aggregate output and hours worked by about 20 percent. But why would firms be willing to follow the Hoover program? Because in return for paying high wages, Hoover offered protection from unions at a time when firms deeply feared unionization and when court decisions and unionization policy - including policies advanced by, and signed into law by Hoover – substantially increased the likelihood of organization and raised union bargaining power."
* * *
[Placating unions by getting employers to raise nominal wages during a recession, and then placating employers by getting unions to agree not to strike is hardly a "free market" approach to reversing an economic downturn signaled by the 1929 stock market collapse. It looks more like pure interventionism, with large dollops of political cronyism.]
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Apr 22, 2018 - 8:37pm
I think the Treaty of Versailles encoded the Depression. What you are describing A. Jones, are after the Fact consequences and details on the Timeline.
A. Jones Added Apr 22, 2018 - 9:02pm
I think the Treaty of Versailles encoded the Depression.
The Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919.
America's "Great Depression" didn't begin until the stock market collapse of 1929, ten years after the Treaty of Versailles. Even so, the economy was starting to turn around by 1931, at which time Hoover intervened in the economy even more than he had previously, thus reversing the upturn and setting the stage for FDR to waltz in under the accusation that Hoover was a "do nothing" president — FDR, whose policies ground the economy to a halt for the next 15 years. The Great Depression wasn't really over until after WWII, around 1946.
Stone-Eater Added Apr 23, 2018 - 5:39am
"Network" was years ahead of its time.....
Katharine Otto Added Apr 23, 2018 - 12:53pm
Thanks for the suggestion, and I am working on a blog or series of blogs about the Constitution and circumstances surrounding it.  I've noted other blogs on the subject so want to be careful to research thoroughly, precisely because my take is so different.
Like you, I believe the federal government was designed for the elite, but that's not what regular people believed at the time.  The ideological split between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, for instance, reflected a basic difference in attitude about people's capacity for self-determination.  George Washington's soldiers fought the war believing in democracy, or at least freedom from tyranny, but Washington and the Federalists stabbed them in the back by deferring salaries, then imposing the whiskey tax on them, so many went bankrupt.  Meanwhile, Hamilton's agents and friends were buying up Revolutionary War debt for pennies on the dollar, before anyone knew the new Congress would make good on all debt.  It's a complicated story, full of intrigue, but suffice to say that many investors were foreign, primarily British elitists and financiers, who profited from both sides.
Dave Volek Added Apr 23, 2018 - 3:23pm
I have never regarded the founding fathers as wise, virtuous men, somehow ordained by God to further this new nation. But what you are saying really puts a different light of those times. If this angle is indeed true, it needs to be more "out there."
Mike Haluska Added Apr 24, 2018 - 10:48am
Whatever you think of the personalities or motives of America's Founding Fathers, the Constitution is simply the most brilliant document on human governance ever written.  The results of following the Constitution have resulted in the highest degree of freedom, standard of living and overall prosperity in human history - it's not even a close contest!
The problems we have been experiencing since FDR are the direct result of our NOT following the Constitution.  Government has expanded exponentially into every facet of our lives and today's politicians treat the Constitution as if it just some old piece of paper that isn't relevant today.  Self-reliance and personal freedom with absolute minimum governmental interference produced the American miracle - NOT a bloated Federal Government!!!  
Dave Volek Added Apr 24, 2018 - 11:34am
I was wondering when you were going to come into this article!
Your last post is a paradox. If we say that the American constitution produced the most freedom and liberty the world has ever seen and FDR's New Deal changed that, then how is it that most Americans today have more prosperity than their grandparents? Just a thought.
One thing the American constitution did provide was protection of property. In both Britain and continental Europe, property could be confiscated at any time, usually without compensation. An aristocrat had to be politically astute to keep his holdings. The Americans were the first nation to legally protect property------unless one was an aboriginal or a Loyalist. Those people had no property rights.
A. Jones Added Apr 24, 2018 - 8:43pm
how is it that most Americans today have more prosperity than their grandparents?
They have greater prosperity in spite of the detours around the Constitution, not because of them.
And the highest rate of growth in the U.S. economy occurred in the latter part of the 19th century, decades before FDR and the New Deal.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 25, 2018 - 12:32pm
Dave -
A. Jones said it all!  Remember Obama saying that in the "new world order" we shouldn't expect economic growth and higher standard of living?  He said that because he was convinced that the march towards socialism in the USA was entrenched.  Obama never thought Donald Trump would become President.
Dave Volek Added Apr 25, 2018 - 12:46pm
I don't read anything by A Jones. He is much too smart for me and many other WB contributors. I see that name, my eyes go elsewhere. Kind of like how I treat pornography.
A lot of people didn't think Trump could become President, including me. But when the Republican primary got down to four contenders and he was on top, I began to see the possible outcome. In that sense, I was much smarter than your average DNC executive.
The POTUS is becoming an impotent position. I don't think America will produce another Lincoln, FDR, Eisenhower, or Reagan again.
Ray Joseph Cormier Added Apr 25, 2018 - 12:51pm
how is it that most Americans today have more prosperity than their grandparents?
Most studies these Days point to this generation of Americans not doing as well as their Parents, never mind Grandparents.
Are millennials really the first generation to do worse than their parents?
Dave Volek Added Apr 25, 2018 - 1:15pm
Nice article. The statistics may indeed be right. I am wondering if the Millennials are going to shift our priorities.
Spartacus Added Apr 26, 2018 - 1:59am
Dave, I think you pretty accurately described the modern left and their "intellectual" bias.
He is much too smart for me and many other WB contributors. I see that name, my eyes go elsewhere. Kind of like how I treat pornography.
Dave Volek Added Apr 26, 2018 - 12:17pm
Then don't read my stuff. No one is forcing you.
A. Jones is a waste of my time. Mike Haluska and I have had some interesting discussions in the past; sometimes we agree, sometimes not.
Jeff Michka Added May 21, 2018 - 5:11pm
Hmmm...this discussion isn't in "The Book."  Have you managed to talk someone into trying TDG (or whatever its called) that is willing to do all the work, then if things don't work, potentially get tabbed with "It didn't work out 'cause it's YOUR fault!"