Towards Better Government, Part 2

It is likely to be better if a country’s government represents all viewpoints, not just those held by the majority of people. This is a problem with the US style of government in that minority viewpoints get little if any recognition. We do have one “socialist” in Congress, Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent, but he is the only one. We also have Representative Justin Amash (Republican) from Michigan who also calls himself a libertarian. As does Senator Rand Paul (Republican) who seems to have some claim to the title. As did his father, former Representative Ron Paul (Republican) who also claimed with more justification the title of libertarian. It is however noteworthy that none of them seems to be anything more than just “tending” libertarian. Ron Paul did have a fixation on the Federal Reserve. However this was a rather esoteric issue that interested very few. One that interested few Americans and made him look foolish.

If we had a parliamentary system no doubt we could have proportional representation. However the number of those who might qualify to represent additional political parties is likely too small to have much effect upon the activities of the national government. So while a parliamentary system would be better than what we now have, it isn’t really enough to likely change things very much. We simply have far too many “far right” (Republicans) whose thinking more reflects that of the 19th Century than the 21st. However a bigger problem is the design of the federal government along with that of our state governments. It is extremely difficult to change the direction we are going even if it would be much better for the country if we did. The power of “special interest” groups is far greater here in the US than in the rest of the developed world.

It is this power of the “special interests” which creates most of our problems. We are effectively bankrupting the country with the increasing cost of health care which now exceeds “THREE TRILLION DOLLARS A YEAR!” On a per capita basis measured in GDP we spent twice what Germany spends. 223% of what the UK spends. Even our neighbor to the north, Canada spends only two thirds of what we do and covers everyone too! No matter what anyone thinks, we can’t continue down this road much longer. There simply isn’t enough wealth in the country to afford this along with everything else we need to do. Certainly not if we want to continue being the world’s “policeman”… We also need to seriously reduce the bloated size of our federal government and it wouldn’t hurt either if we did the same with state and local governments too.

The solution to this requires that we start looking seriously as to what our future is. We could copy what the rest of the developed world has done, but this is but one of the two possible choices we have available to us. Big government costs a lot of money, regardless of how you do things. And such systems tend to generate problems of their own. The UK encountered this problem when too little money was given to the NHS. The result was that those people who needed a higher level of care had a hard time getting it. There is of course always those in government who want to spend “less”. And raising taxes is never popular. We’re experiencing the same problem here with the VA. And the cause of the problem is the same as what the UK did. And with the same results. The problem is that governments have a lot of inertia and resolving such problems takes time. Sometimes too much time for those caught in the “pinch”!

What we really need is a better system of representation than we can achieve even with a parliamentary system. And elections encourage corruption as the history of all electoral systems has shown. Plus the people who do get elected are by no means representative of the people who elected them in the first place. And candidates who accept donations tend to favor those who provided them with the money. Good for the “special interests”. Not so good for the rest of us who can’t donate large sums…

The “solution” is the very same one I’ve written about before. The selection of representatives by means of a lottery. This way you get a good cross section of the public. Various groups within society are represented by their percentage of the population. Minority groups are represented by their percentage. 51 percent of the representatives will be women. As for education, graduation from high school should be adequate. Of all the education I’ve had, I’ve never really needed anything that I hadn’t learned by the time I graduated from the 8th grade. This includes running my own business which I did for a number of years before I retired. My own opinion is that if you want to learn something, the public library is probably your best source for it.

One great advantage of selecting representatives by means of a lottery is that it eliminates political parties. Which in my own opinion is a good thing. We have far too many “representatives” today that parrot the party line whatever it is. These men and women may have good educations, but many times I’ve rather wondered about it! As a rule libertarians seem to be more knowledgeable, probably because the basic idea of libertarianism is something that requires more “thought” than what those who support the major political parties. There is also a wider variety of viewpoints than what is found among Democrats and Republicans. More thought as to how things should be…

 

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About muskegonlibertarian

77 year old retired owner of a security guard agency. Member of the Libertarian Party.
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