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Federal Communism for America

Principles:
1. All states deserve an equal share in the common wealth, according to their population.
2. All states deserve an equal share of House vote, and a share of Senate power on the scale 2/3 of power to 1/2 of states
3. Congress shall not bind future Congresses. A simple majority to repeal most legislation, plus "super" legislation passed by 2/3 which requires the same to repeal.
4. Executive shall be a triumvirate, House and Senate leaders, and a 20%+ elected (chosen at random)
5. Any two of the three branches can over-ride the other, by majority and weak super (60%) majority
6. The Judiciary shall be elected by/from among the judiciary, with appointments only at the entry level
7. Prosecutors and defenders shall be drawn from the same pool. Private defenders will be banned.
8. Education shall be federally funded, and any education but federal banned for children up to 16
9. Ensuring a fair intake of all kinds of students, shall be held above the right to choose a place to live
10. Parents satisfactorily fulfilling their duties shall be considered Employed Full Time
11. Every person 16+ is entitled to food, shelter, communications and medical care
12. Union membership will be compulsory, and unions (plural per workplace) federally funded.
13. Wherever a sub-optimal monopoly exists, government shall establish a competitor.
14. Federal govt will know all there is to know about any business, starting with using their tax returns for gain.
15. Culture, unbelievable amounts of culture. People get bored doing nothing!

1. Equalization of state wealth. This has a lot to do with businesses in that state, so businesses already doing badly should be watched carefully to see they are not shifting assets out of the state (or overseas). Persons migrating to a state simply to take advantage of low cost of living (early retirees or conventional retirees) can simply be relocated against their will. Persons contributing to one state then taking their earnings to be unproductive human cattle in another state, should not be permitted.

2. The House remains essentially as it is. The Wyoming Rule hardly inproves equity of representation, though there might be good reasons to increase the House size anyway.
The smallest states currently have 3 times the voting power per citizen. A much milder bias would have the smallest states about double, but more benefit to medium-sized states. The largest states (say Cali and Texas) still get a bit screwed.

3. "Congress shall not bind future Congresses" is supposedly the rule now, however the filibuster screws that up.

4. Yeah, Triumvirate, aka Troika. House and Senate are unlikely to have opposite parties AND one of them have the weak supermajority. The Presidential component would be a much more open race, eg Dem 30%, Rep 32%, Goldwater 28%, Free Bread 20%, Greens 7% and four parties qualify to go in the hat. "Congress shall not bind ..." comes into its own here. If the people really don't like what they got, they can disempower it after 2 years, and replace it after 4. Perhaps have an option to "vote OUT with extreme prejudice" so that party can't run for Troika immediately again.

5. House majority, Senate 60+ could over-rule the Troika. Senate majority, Troika 67% could over-rule the House. What we've got is NOT a balance of powers, it's a three way Mexican Standoff. Three vetos is worse than two, and two ain't great (see most parliamentary systems around the world: mono-cameral is clearly better than bicameral, and the same goes for camels.)

6. The highest level (Supreme Court) shall be elected by Federal Judges, from among their number, using Preference Voting. However, to avoid partisan choices there shall be 3 at once: the most popular, the second most popular, and the third most popular. SC will be larger, about 17 Justices, and to avoid deadlocks when 1 justice down and waiting for elections, the most junior Justice will recuse themselves ... until there are 2 down. Lower appeals courts can follow a similar system, but only from among justices of their region.

7. Prosecutors and Defenders will not be able to specialize, but this is a feature not a bug. Particularly good prosecutors or defenders actually detract from the due process. Simply picking a name at random, for prosecutor, then picking a defender with similar history of win/lose, should make all trials fairer. Ironically, the old idea of "entitlement to own choice of defence" has to go. I would however allow 1 or even 2 "re-rolls" if the defendant thinks the chosen defender is biased against them. Prosecution does not get re-rolls. Say it's a tricky case with a lot of public interest (Zimmerman or Chauvin) and the public are bothered that the Prosecutor isn't that good? Tough. "Better ten guilty men go free, than one innocent man be convicted". Of course privately-retained defenders must be banned: it is impossible by the numbers for the public to provide that same defense to all, and even if it was possible it would be insanely expensive.

8. Local funding of schools is producing awful results, and Federal top-ups don't help much. It's because a poor district managing to raise sufficient for a good school, has to compromise on police, cultural events, drinking water, and low rates. Making it State funding is some improvement, if the state is relatively prosperous. But if it's not, it's the same problem on a larger scale: the community outside the school gates, where kids spend more time than inside, is paupered to pay for education. Federalize it all, and federalize new school building too (it's prone to go over-budget) but there's no reason the school board and Principal can't make major spending decisions. School boards btw, should not give any attention to child-less people. Staff and parents only should vote.

9. Super-bussing. Whole families get told where to live (by a lottery system) in order to homogenize the socio-economic and ethnic composition of each school. Couples having their first child won't get screwed too badly: government will just pay off any mortgage they've managed to accumulate, and compensate them if their former house has increased in price. I expect that within each school catchment, there will still be poorer and richer areas (as long as non-parents are allowed to live where they like) but this is not necessarily a problem.

10. Employed Full Time will be a middle class income. Employed Part Time will be a getting-by working class income. Not Working will be bare survival: nutritious but repetitive food, bunkhouse accommodation (or tents for those who really can't stand sharing)

11. Understanding that some people won't work for money if they don't have to, the Not Working income will be enough to survive but very dull. People do however find a way to do what they enjoy AND get paid for it (art, crafts, minor repairs, gardening) and this would be encouraged with no taxes up to about $100 earned per week, then a very gentle onset of taxes. If people do work Full Time but at minimum wage they still won't be taxed much. Taxes will be for high earners and all financial transactions. There will also be some Looting: occasionally a company will be deemed to have traded in such bad faith that it will be nationalized for zero and stripped.

12. Passing the point of being Full Time Employed, people will be obliged to pick a union to represent them. It doesn't cost them money, but they do get a secret vote in union proceedings. Note that more than one union is optimal per "workplace" or distributed work type. Rather than simply voting for "No strike, I'm happy with my wages" and being over-ruled, the person could vote in the other wing union instead. And since unions typically cover more than one workplace, this would divide employers into Nasty and Nice. The essential principle here is that unions can discriminate between employers in a way that workers are not able.

13. Some products do have essentially monopoly control. Telcos and other utilities come to mind. Some consumer products like the Kindle or the iWhatever, have a reputation that scares consumers away from trying "non compatible" equipment. This can also happen with "churn fatigue" in an actually competitive market. Users just get sick of another introductory offer and stick with some company at random. Government is a helluva brand, they're not going broke any time soon, and if deliberate competition from the Government brand drives the deadwood monopolist right out of business, then start another one. Done right, government brands can also bring in revenue.

14. The 'corporate veil' got us the Auto bailout and the banking collapse. At the very least, information gathered by an IRS audit should be available to government as a whole. But I'd like even more hostile examination: any corporation over about a billion market cap, could be raided without warning, or with a warrant, hacked into by government. How often this would be necessary, with fines pushing them to the edge of bankruptcy and individuals tried in a common court, I'm not sure. But the more the better, because this too is a source of revenue. See 7: they don't get to pick their own legal team.

15. Culture. The Renaissance and Industrial Revolution together created an idle class who for shame spawned Science, not to mention being patrons of all kinds of art. Cathedrals were not built for profit.
 

Spirit of The Millennium

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Some more on point 4, Triumvir elections.

To compromise with the current Electoral College, ALL small states get bonus representation, and even quite large states do. All at the expense of the biggest states.

Wyomingites get 2 votes each. Vermonters slightly less per voter. All the way up to Californians who just get 1 each.

Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, DC, Vermont, Wyoming: 2
Idaho, West Virginia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Montana: 4
New Mexico, Nebraska: 5
Kansas, Mississippi, Arkansas: 7
...
Texas: 32
California: 43

I don't quite have it yet (doesn't add to 438) but the idea is that 3/4 of middling states would benefit and thus back through an amendment.
 

Nomad4Ever

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Is this a totally serious suggestion?
 

Spirit of The Millennium

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Is this a totally serious suggestion?

Yes. Note that most personal freedoms remain, despite the enforcement of where a person wants to live while raising children.

The fundamental is equal opportunity from birth, but in adulthood people can live wherever they want (providing they don't have children), and though taxed heavily can still get seriously rich. Bear in mind that above about 10 million people don't enjoy a significantly better lifestyle. The sheer status of being rich, is still there ... the goalposts are just a bit closer.

The only feature I claim is outright communist is the Guaranteed Minimum Income (or UBI). State Communist approximations never got to that point, of common prosperity, where each and every citizen could "sit under the Bodhi tree" if they so wished. Oddly they never held that out as a future aim. On the contrary, workers won medals for harvesting a certain quantity of wheat or improving the productivity of their factory. Old Communism, it's stupid, I'm talking Post Scarcity Communism and I never intend to impose it on anyone. It would be achieved only by democratic steps.
 

craig

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Principles:
1. All states deserve an equal share in the common wealth, according to their population.
2. All states deserve an equal share of House vote, and a share of Senate power on the scale 2/3 of power to 1/2 of states
3. Congress shall not bind future Congresses. A simple majority to repeal most legislation, plus "super" legislation passed by 2/3 which requires the same to repeal.
4. Executive shall be a triumvirate, House and Senate leaders, and a 20%+ elected (chosen at random)
5. Any two of the three branches can over-ride the other, by majority and weak super (60%) majority
6. The Judiciary shall be elected by/from among the judiciary, with appointments only at the entry level
7. Prosecutors and defenders shall be drawn from the same pool. Private defenders will be banned.
8. Education shall be federally funded, and any education but federal banned for children up to 16
9. Ensuring a fair intake of all kinds of students, shall be held above the right to choose a place to live
10. Parents satisfactorily fulfilling their duties shall be considered Employed Full Time
11. Every person 16+ is entitled to food, shelter, communications and medical care
12. Union membership will be compulsory, and unions (plural per workplace) federally funded.
13. Wherever a sub-optimal monopoly exists, government shall establish a competitor.
14. Federal govt will know all there is to know about any business, starting with using their tax returns for gain.
15. Culture, unbelievable amounts of culture. People get bored doing nothing!

....
What percent of the population are bureaucrats to manage this system?
 

Spirit of The Millennium

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What percent of the population are bureaucrats to manage this system?

Practically none. Allowing human discretion in where people live is just asking for corruption. We'd use an algorithm.

As I mentioned, families with their first baby would get two refusals, of a new place to live. But before that, there's no reason they couldn't pick from a list or negotiate with the algorithm.
 

Spirit of The Millennium

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I feel I'm not really living up to the promise of Communism in the title. After all, worker ownership of the Means of Production is essential, in Communist thought. Non negotiable. But I don't really believe in it.

I admit I was just trying to soften up the audience for my main proposal (super bussing). But the UBI proposal (which is barely related, except by rewarding parenthood) is absolutely inimical to Communism, which idolizes work and barely even considers voluntary work (so bourgeois!). How could Marx and his followers be so intent on perpetuating wage slavery, under a new guise of duty to the Communist people? There IS no "voluntary" when one's status in society depends on work of one or the other kind. It's just work, you do it because you have to.

Well modern Marxists have no excuse, but Marx and Engels were simply unaware of where automation would lead. Productivity (the multiplication of a worker's labor by machinery) was clear to see, so why didn't they foresee the limits to the market when the workers are producing far more than anyone needs, or can afford to buy? This faulty thinking is carried over to many modern economists, as though the magic of exports makes it somehow possible to sell to the global poor. Actually, all the Western nations are selling the farm to maintain economic growth, with the most poignant example being Japan who are selling the government farm TO CITIZENS and getting pitifully little growth in exchange. I hope Marx would agree with me, that we're in Late Stage Capitalism when all we have left to sell is debt.

Marx's understanding of unemployment was part of the "lumpenproletariat". He was correct in deeming them to have no value at any price, to employers, but entirely wrong to surmise that they must get by on crime, or sponging from strangers. Marx had a weird view of families, if he couldn't see that so many people were unemployed (for wages) because they were women. He also underestimated the peasant capacity to save, which endured in the lumpenproletariat even when Stalin tried to wipe it out. People born poor never lose the habit of hiding away money, because even when hungry and with leaking shoes, things could still get worse. Which brings me to my strongest criticism of Marx: he was a ****ing bourgeois. Praxis he said, thinking his very words would change the world. But he wasn't a proletarian, only a sympathizer, and when he overlooked that intellectuals are a class of their own he left the door wide open for the leader idolatory of Lenin then (of course worse) Stalin. And anyway, the modern status of being "between jobs" must have been a thing then too. Sometimes the better job requires moving, but no, Marx just thought they were vagrants.

No other thinker has ever healed this fault, for mine. Democracy, to choose between technocrats, is still a class divide between the workers and the leadership. The One Party State (a kind of democracy, among technocrats) wasn't always faulty, it got us Gorbachev for instance, but there was so much insincere idolatry of the "worker background" of officials who hadn't held a job outside the party since they were teenagers. While it's true, childhood does shape a person more than any other ten years of their life, it really rankles that leadership are 60 or 70 years removed from that childhood, and still claiming it. It's a criticism which applies in Two Party States, also, but at least in those the worst "for the workers" rich knobs can be voted against.

Now, MY view of communism does include worker ownership, but I don't pretend corporations or workplaces would be a lot different. Leadership will be technocrats, because if they're not your business will get beaten by competitors. You need specialists like accountants, or you're going to take bad loans or get a bad shake from the tax office. See the common thread? Any kind of worker-owned business must compete with regular shareholder-owned and family-owned businesses, because shutting those down is a recipe for languid Cubanism. Nup, not going to make that mistake. So how can government protect those businesses which do choose worker ownership, from voting away their own control for a nice fat bonus? I.E. "privatizing". Unionists can help a bit, they're typically workers AND union officials, so they can explain the long-term losses in wages which would come with privatization ... but still, the bonus to workers just has to be a bit bigger and the bosses get their way, forever. What's needed is a form of incorporation where workers always keep their board and CEO voting rights, their corporate auditing rights (more on this later), and enumerated rights to referendums. This latter would be for instance, any change in rates of pay or overtime, and any merger or loan.

(Continues)
 

Spirit of The Millennium

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(--->>>)

Where worker-controlled corporations would struggle most, is with executive decisions. The CEO having so much power in regular corporations is because to keep a secret, only one person should know it. Competing candidates for CEO having to tell the workers their proposals, lets the cat out of the bag for all competitors. And likely wises up the tax collector too. Some quite profitable strategies like loading the company up with debt, extracting the money through share trading, then sinking it ... would be off the table because doing that on purpose is illegal. So say a conventional competitor does it, and for no particular reason gives every employee a million dollar severance. Our owner-workers are going to say to themselves "shit, I'm working for the wrong company here."

Worker ownership then? Futile. Workers can already buy shares in the company they work for, but their knowledge of the future of that company is likely no better than some tech stock they can find on the exchange. Proposals typically go along the line of paying workers partly in shares and then forbidding workers to trade those shares. Which is absolutely awful, stupid jackboot stuff even without considering what happens if they find a better job and leave. Locking workers into one employer is absolutely Dark Side stuff and it really doesn't matter if that company is a "good" communist company or a "bad" capitalist one. Choice of employer is a fundamental freedom, which we could do various things to protect and extend. A unionist once told me directly that private health insurance promoted unionism, because workers had to join to get it. "But that's not a free choice?" I complained. And he agreed, but was unapologetic. The only part of it which bothered him was that locking workers into a union locked them into the employer too.

I do have some sympathy for Communism in that it seeks to spread the wealth around. Even such poor workers that they're effectively disabled, can be found some janitor-type job and not have to work extra hours to get food and a roof over their head. How far I'm prepared to go, taking from the rich, is really uncertain because I don't know how much the rich really have. There's a magazine, it's got a list, but I think it's really unlikely that every billionaire is volunteering to be shamed by the list. I do NOT think it is really necessary to have fortunes over a billion dollars to provide incentive to "innovators". They put in long hours, in development, but it's their baby and they love it. I really doubt there would be less innovation if they knew beforehand that a Billion would be the hard limit on how rich it could make them. Innovators who won't get out of bed for a billion dollars can just stay in bed, and let another enthusiast with a ton of free time, take the prize instead.

So there you have it. NOBODY SHOULD HAVE TO WORK. Those who do, WILL GET FINANCIAL REWARD in addition to UBI, but taxes will apply more and more heavily if they try to claim much more of their share of the common wealth. People whose hobby is the main thing, and paid work just to get out of the workshop for a break, WILL DO THE INNOVATING. We simply have no idea what new products or services might come into demand, when people have money to invest rather than just pay bills.

My somewhat pretentious title "Spirit of the Millennium" is based on the idea that the current millennium is very young still, and tho it had a traumatic experience in baby-hood, it's the best damn millennium there's ever been! I hope you all live exciting and joyous lives, hundreds of years even, into this Great Millennium! And may you stay Forever Young!
 

TurtleDude

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these suggestions look like a fascist wet dream. banning private schools for example violates freedom of assembly for starters. Then we have this gem

persons migrating to a state simply to take advantage of low cost of living (early retirees or conventional retirees) can simply be relocated against their will.

I'd suggest that if a government tried to impose this, it would justify revolution.
 

it's just me

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What percent of the population are bureaucrats to manage this system?
these suggestions look like a fascist wet dream. banning private schools for example violates freedom of assembly for starters. Then we have this gem

persons migrating to a state simply to take advantage of low cost of living (early retirees or conventional retirees) can simply be relocated against their will.

I'd suggest that if a government tried to impose this, it would justify revolution.

We ought to tell the illegals to stay out of America, we are down.for maintenance.
 

Spirit of The Millennium

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these suggestions look like a fascist wet dream. banning private schools for example violates freedom of assembly for starters.

You're thinking "freedom of association" which is unenumerated. And ... these are kids remember? They don't have either "right."

persons migrating to a state simply to take advantage of low cost of living (early retirees or conventional retirees) can simply be relocated against their will.

I'd suggest that if a government tried to impose this, it would justify revolution.

Meh. You want to go out in the streets and shoot at cops, that's always an option. You do give up the right to bleat about rights though.
 
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