Author Topic: Episode #693  (Read 4316 times)

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2018, 09:56:31 AM »
... having politicians live on minimum wage for a while to try to make them realize what's going on in the society they're running (not cutting their wage short, but having them live as if they had minimum wage).

I have long advocated a Constitutional amendment that all elected officials would be paid minimum wage, and receive no other compensation. Then legislators would set the minimum wage to a level that people could actually live on. It is unconscionable that congressmen pay themselves $174,000 per year plus bribes and benefits while telling people who actually work for a living that they can support a family on $15,000.
Daniel
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Online 2397

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2018, 11:21:14 AM »
The problem with that is corruption and legal bribes, or independently wealthy individuals having an easier time being in office.

Which something needs to be done about in any case. They get to meddle in parts of society that they directly benefit from. Including using public funds to buy services and products from spouses and close family members, if not themselves like Trump is doing. But I think if you get to the point where it's feasible for the highest elected officials to have minimum wage, you would already have had to fix a lot of problems and it might not make so much of a difference anymore.

Online Swagomatic

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2018, 11:42:53 AM »
Seems almost silly to say that every human being should go to college. There are plenty of people who don't thrive in a classroom environment, some of which can't even be bothered to finish high school.

My biggest issue was that Steve was arguing that there are experiences that only being at a university can teach you. But he failed to justify why those experiences were necessary. He just assumed that they were.

and not every career choice requires university. Tradespeople do most of their training on the job while they are getting paid (usually a pittance on an apprenticeship).
Most jobs in the mining industry (my profession) don't require any degree at all.

Not everyone wants to go to uni, can afford it or are smart enough to go. The school of hard knocks can be just as rewarding for some people.

When I became an apprentice carpenter, in 1978, I was making excellent money at the time - $7.25 per hour plus retirement and insurance through the union.  I did end up graduating from college, but ultimately, construction became my career.  I am a big believer in the apprenticeship system.
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Offline Skepmic

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2018, 04:58:30 PM »
The section about free education revealed some pretty offensive classist sentiments. This show was one of the last places where I would've expected to find that.

Online The Latinist

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2018, 05:16:35 PM »
How do you mean, swag? I’ve just relistened to it, and I don’t see anything classist in it.
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Online The Latinist

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2018, 06:27:38 PM »
How so, Swag?  I just relistened to it and didn’t find anything particularly classist in it.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Online brilligtove

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2018, 08:00:54 PM »
The section about free education revealed some pretty offensive classist sentiments. This show was one of the last places where I would've expected to find that.

How so, Swag?  I just relistened to it and didn’t find anything particularly classist in it.

(It was Skepmic, not Swagomatic)

I have the same question. I'm recalling them talking about free post-secondary education. Did they have a narrower university focus that i reinterpreted while listening?
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Offline JohnM

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2018, 07:11:18 AM »
... having politicians live on minimum wage for a while to try to make them realize what's going on in the society they're running (not cutting their wage short, but having them live as if they had minimum wage).

I have long advocated a Constitutional amendment that all elected officials would be paid minimum wage, and receive no other compensation. Then legislators would set the minimum wage to a level that people could actually live on. It is unconscionable that congressmen pay themselves $174,000 per year plus bribes and benefits while telling people who actually work for a living that they can support a family on $15,000.

Great idea if you never want to see working class people in politics.

With so much wealth inherited these days and it being stupidly expensive to run campaigns this would not work. Maybe in Plato's day it would be ok but we're too far down for that to fly.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #38 on: October 29, 2018, 09:25:19 AM »
... having politicians live on minimum wage for a while to try to make them realize what's going on in the society they're running (not cutting their wage short, but having them live as if they had minimum wage).

I have long advocated a Constitutional amendment that all elected officials would be paid minimum wage, and receive no other compensation. Then legislators would set the minimum wage to a level that people could actually live on. It is unconscionable that congressmen pay themselves $174,000 per year plus bribes and benefits while telling people who actually work for a living that they can support a family on $15,000.

Great idea if you never want to see working class people in politics.

With so much wealth inherited these days and it being stupidly expensive to run campaigns this would not work. Maybe in Plato's day it would be ok but we're too far down for that to fly.

Hello! The people in elected office now are either stinking rich or are supported by people who are stinking rich. Working class people cannot afford to get into politics today.

And your logic is wrong: The whole point of my idea is that if Congresscritters were limited to minimum wage, they'd set minimum wage to a level people could live on, and a working class person who did manage to get into office would have the same income as now.

But my other idea is that instead of elections, elected offices should be filled by a random draw from every eligible citizen. Then we'd have proportional representation from every class, all genders, and all political ideologies of any significant size. Service would be mandatory if your name is drawn, but once selected you are no longer in the draw. Nobody would serve more than once.
Daniel
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Online 2397

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2018, 10:31:20 AM »
But my other idea is that instead of elections, elected offices should be filled by a random draw from every eligible citizen. Then we'd have proportional representation from every class, all genders, and all political ideologies of any significant size. Service would be mandatory if your name is drawn, but once selected you are no longer in the draw. Nobody would serve more than once.

Yeah, I'd rather have that sort of system than the current one where private money dominates every step. It would eliminate voter fraud (including gerrymandering and stripping voter registries), and at least prevent buying politicians upfront. You'd still need to stop bribes and promises of lucrative jobs after they serve office, but no one could invest in a politician in the long term.

It would also eliminate the need for representatives to campaign, freeing up what should be their working hours for working on legislation. They can all live in publicly owned houses for their term, and ideally they should be able to bring their families. That's where it would be reasonable to pay them generously so that it's not a financial loss to serve. Potentially it would be an issue if two persons from the same household are appointed in the same term.

It would eliminate career politics, ensuring representatives with experiences from throughout society, and since they couldn't be reelected they would have more incentive to try to make sure that the life they return to improves.

One critical issue is making sure that the selection process is truly random, and that it's not possible for someone to manipulate the system.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 10:35:45 AM by 2397 »

Online brilligtove

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #40 on: October 29, 2018, 10:38:38 AM »
I heard an interview about random selection. Their version of the lottery would include a right to refuse office. It also included a much higher than average wage and legal job protection for after your term. The money needs to be enough for the majority of the population to see it as an economic opportunity, not a terrible imposition.

...Writing this, it occurs to me that minimum wage and random selection are incompatable.

In the Brilligtove Electoral SysTem (BEST), I would add an option to remain in office for up to ten years - if you can get reelected every 2 years while running against "New Randomly Selected Citizen". This would provide a degree of continuity in government as a check on the bureaucracy itself. (In Canada we've had governments and the bureaucracy go to war. It doesn't end well for anyone.) Unelected bureaucrats absolutely need to have significant power and authority - but their oversight and direction shouldn't be exclusively random people with no experience in government. The n00bs are too eary to manipulate.
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Online 2397

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2018, 11:06:15 AM »
The House could be fresh each election (and maybe increase the term to 4 years for the sake of stability), the Senate could have a different system. Either way I'd like to see the Senate become more proportional, rather than have a fixed two Senators per state.

Online brilligtove

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2018, 11:13:39 AM »
In the US system the Senate is explicitly meant to be proportional at a state by state level, and explicitly not at a population level. This was intended as a check on the power of the more populous states. That seems reasonable to me. I'd like it if the Canadian system adopted a similar model for our Senate, really, with maybe 3 Senators per Province or Territory and the current Premiere with a non-voting seat. (Our Senators are appointed for life and really don't do anything useful.) Adding Senators to represent our First Nations - even if it were only 3 for everyone across the whole country regardless of tribe and heritage - would be an interesting step, too.
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Online 2397

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #43 on: October 29, 2018, 11:34:16 AM »
It doesn't work as a check on power when the Senators function as a single unit by party. So maybe that could be solved by implementing random selection. As it is, it gives disproportional power to the party that is more popular in the smaller states.

I could see having some kind of factor to prevent the smallest states from becoming meaningless. But with the current setup, states representing less than 20% of the population can have majority power in the Senate, and can overrule and stop all decisions made in the House (or stop them from having real consequences, such as with impeachment).
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 11:41:42 AM by 2397 »

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #693
« Reply #44 on: October 29, 2018, 01:40:12 PM »
But my other idea is that instead of elections, elected offices should be filled by a random draw from every eligible citizen. Then we'd have proportional representation from every class, all genders, and all political ideologies of any significant size. Service would be mandatory if your name is drawn, but once selected you are no longer in the draw. Nobody would serve more than once.

Yeah, I'd rather have that sort of system than the current one where private money dominates every step. It would eliminate voter fraud (including gerrymandering and stripping voter registries), and at least prevent buying politicians upfront. You'd still need to stop bribes and promises of lucrative jobs after they serve office, but no one could invest in a politician in the long term.

It would also eliminate the need for representatives to campaign, freeing up what should be their working hours for working on legislation. They can all live in publicly owned houses for their term, and ideally they should be able to bring their families. That's where it would be reasonable to pay them generously so that it's not a financial loss to serve. Potentially it would be an issue if two persons from the same household are appointed in the same term.

It would eliminate career politics, ensuring representatives with experiences from throughout society, and since they couldn't be reelected they would have more incentive to try to make sure that the life they return to improves.

One critical issue is making sure that the selection process is truly random, and that it's not possible for someone to manipulate the system.

My system, though I didn't mention it above, includes that legislators would be guaranteed a bed at a homeless shelter within a hour's bus ride of their office. And though I had not thought of this before, I will add that it would be illegal to fire someone for taking the 2 or 4 or 6 years off to serve.

We do not need to "pay them generously" because they can set their own wage, simply by setting the minimum wage to a decent level. They are, after all, the lawmakers.

I heard an interview about random selection. Their version of the lottery would include a right to refuse office. It also included a much higher than average wage and legal job protection for after your term. The money needs to be enough for the majority of the population to see it as an economic opportunity, not a terrible imposition.

...Writing this, it occurs to me that minimum wage and random selection are incompatable.

In the Brilligtove Electoral SysTem (BEST), I would add an option to remain in office for up to ten years - if you can get reelected every 2 years while running against "New Randomly Selected Citizen". This would provide a degree of continuity in government as a check on the bureaucracy itself. (In Canada we've had governments and the bureaucracy go to war. It doesn't end well for anyone.) Unelected bureaucrats absolutely need to have significant power and authority - but their oversight and direction shouldn't be exclusively random people with no experience in government. The n00bs are too eary to manipulate.

I'll disagree with your system on two counts: One, no right to refuse office. Elected office is so shitty that nobody who wants an elected office should ever be allowed to have it (expanding on what the HGttG says about presidents) and allowing people to refuse would guarantee that only people who want office would hold it, and those are the people we LEAST want.

Two, the whole point is to eliminate elections. If you allow office-holders to run for re-election, you've eliminated the foundation of my plan.

Your plan and mine are nearly exact opposites.

One aspect of my plan is that anybody who refuses to serve would be put in prison, in solitary confinement, for the duration of their term, with no radio or tv and nothing to read but the collected speeches of Enver Hoxha translated into English, or their own native language if other than English. This is the most dreadful punishment I can think of. With this on the books, nobody would refuse to serve.
Daniel
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