Birding Site Guide

This could easily have been titled ‘If I Ruled the World.’ Except I have no such desire! But when I see the systems of government in operation today all around the world, I find all wanting. Looking just at the West, it is clear that the present government systems are bankrupt, in more than one way. But why should democracies fail? Well, it has a lot to do with them not being democracies at all, and more to do with them being hijacked and run as corporations of the worst possible sort, the sort that believes treating its workforce like virtual slaves to maximise profits is great, the sort of corporation that thinks polluting the environment to save money will not end up having effects on them as well. In short democratic governance has sold out to rampant capitalism, due to corporate greed, government incompetence and corruption and electoral apathy.

The sad thing is that with the type of government we have at the moment, corruption (where the downfall always starts) cannot be eradicated. You only have to look at how many politicians fiddle their expenses to know they are open to more serious corruption. To avoid corruption you have to remove the possibility of personal gain from the politician. This can only be done with a radically different set up. So, if I were setting up a brand new government in the new country of Nonsutche how would I do it?

Transparency The first step is to make politicians income transparent. All income should be declared and open to scrutiny, vested interests (shares in a company say) should be openly stated when a bill affecting such an industry comes up for debate. If a politician’s vested interests seem to be taking control of the way they act, then the politician should be told (by an independent body that monitors political corruption) to lose those interests or support the opposite equally or be prevented from voting on those issues. If these measures are not enough the public should be allowed to vote on whether he should step down. The politician can return to politics later when they meets the above criteria, unless they were actually guilty of wrong doing in which case they may not return.

Two-tier System The second House (USA Senate, in Britain House of Lords) should be replaced with the House of Scientific Advisors. It should be illegal for the House of Commons to disregard the information from the House of Scientific Advisors when debating a bill, if they do vote unwisely the House of Scientific Advisors has the right to veto any bill. Scientists would have to be neutral as to parties.

Voting Now that it is possible and safe, internet voting should be used as often as possible on any issue. Votes of 50% or more would overrule a vote in the Commons. The public would not be able to vote against the House of Scientific Advisors, except on a motion to remove a scientist that has some questions of corruption over their heads. Scientists would be voted to and from the House at any time of the year, elections for the Commons and Prime Minister/President would be held as now every few years. Public votes should be weighted for experts in the field under vote. A medical doctor should have a higher value vote on the health service than a teenager with no qualifications.

The Welfare System Mitt Romney says “50% of the USA believe they have a right to be looked after and paid for by the other 50% and the state” or similar. Well yes, when a society looks after its elderly, sick, disabled and disadvantaged we call that civilisation. It’s one of the main traits that separates us from the naked savage. You will always drag along a percentage of freeloaders- people perfectly capable of working but choosing not to and to exist on free state hand-outs –but these cost are tiny, when compared to virtually any other government expenditure. For instance, let’s take government subsidies to the richest companies that ever existed, oil companies, several billion dollars annually, and let’s not forget these companies also pay no tax in the first place, several more billion dollars. Enough annually to fund all the freeloaders for decades. But we already knew Romney was an idiot, now we know he knows nothing about economics either, would you seriously waste a vote on him? (I wouldn’t vote for Obama either (even if I could; I live in UK) I do not see much difference in either party).

There is a way to look after all those in need without taxing the rich too heavily and for a tiny fraction of the costs involved today, almost for free in fact. It would do away with nearly all the complexity of the tax system and the administration needed for a social security system, as it would be virtually self-governing. Interested? Thought so, but I am only giving an outline here, as with anything implementation would be far more complex than this brief overview would suggest, but it would still be a far more simplified and cheaper system than any at present and it would virtually exclude freeloaders. The secret is in how a system is set up and run, not on its finance, if the former is done correctly the later will manage itself.

We live in a phenomenally wasteful society, if we could put all that waste to use we would be saving a great deal of money and doing Gaia a favour. Most waste is not in fact waste it is items that are not correctly re-allocated for further use once the original owner has no further use for it. Most of these items are still perfectly serviceable, or could become so with little expense, they are still perfectly good for their originally intended purpose. What if we had a super-efficient re-allocation system? There is we know a huge demand for secondhand things, look at any classified adverts (for used cars say), charity shops have never done such good trade and car boots sales (garage sales) are immensely popular. So there is in fact no stigma attached to using secondhand products, at least not in the lower income brackets. So, what if we gave these items to people on benefits? People who refuse these items as second rate cannot be the truly needy, see how we just got rid of most of the freeloaders! Just hold that thought while we move on to another unavoidable need of those on benefits, food.

If I buy a fresh loaf of bread from the bakers and only use part of it on the day of purchase, I do not then automatically throw the rest in the bin the next day, do you? I may keep it for 2 or 3 days, longer if kept right, even after that it can still be toasted and the difference in quality from day one is negligible and I certainly have no fear of food poisoning. Yet what do all commercial bakeries do at the end of every day, they throw all unsold bread in the bin. A few sell it the next day half price and a few give it away. O.k. if I am paying full price I expect the freshest bread, but would I complain if I were to get day old bread free. Again let me say, people who refuse these items as second rate cannot be the truly needy, see how we just got rid of most of the freeloaders!

Since potential freeloaders do not receive any money (it would be run by state credit card, see below) they cannot make financial gain. Even if they somehow took more than their allotted share of goods, they would have difficulty selling them, when everyone knows you can get them free on benefits. This system does have some similarities to government card systems elsewhere, such as the USA, the major difference being that there is virtually no initial cost to the government/tax payer for the goods (because companies are saving on disposal and land fill costs, they would be encouraged by the government to keep prices to people on benefit at almost cost price), and since products are not new and freely available, there is really little incentive for someone on benefits to take more than their fair share. Since the system is so cheap to run, benefits allowances could be increased too. How the system would be run is as varied as the products that would be offered. But a main theme is that people would have state benefit credit cards allowing them to buy a range of certain products from a state run outlet or participating outlets, and this would exclude all new items and products such as alcohol and cigarettes. All participating outlets would have any items that have been removed from their shelves for any reason, placed on an isle (or labelled) for benefit card users to purchase. Any secondhand shop would simply register with the government as a legitimate outlet for benefit supported people to use their cards at. The administration costs to government would be tiny and limited to running the card system and setting the monthly allowance. So government costs are minimal, but they can be practically brought to zero by another scheme.

The Tax System The tax system is a mess. I have already saved the government billions however with the above, but this is just the beginning. You see how in the above benefits system that by removing cash, you can get rid of much of the corruption and freeloading, well this can be done with great swathes of the tax system too. Anyone in work and also THOSE ON THE ABOVE BENEFIT SYSTEM can contribute to government by giving their skills to government for free for 30 days a year (let’s say) instead of paying tax. If you are self-employed or cannot leave your job there would of course be a payment option instead. Everyone else however would use their skill or get free government training in new skills to work running the civil service. This automatically removes entrenched corrupt systems, makes systems more dynamic and opens up new ways of running things. It also means people learn new skills without any expense. Of course it would not be a free for all, it would have a body to oversee that the systems and rules follow procedure. Though there would already be a huge incentive to be diligent and efficient too since the better the system is run the less time everyone has to give.

Of course there is a huge mass of unskilled people or people on benefits who could not be trained or allowed to run government, and even when all the less skilled government jobs have been allocated for every month of the year, there would still be a vast army of unskilled workers left. The lowest paid of these, would, though not be allocated much or any work from the government, corresponding to a lower tax bracket. Many would still need some work to be found. These people would be allocated local government or council posts for a month, maybe recycling, any remaining would be given options to work for a charity for the same period.

Working for charities, either on humanitarian or environmental work could be greatly expanded in another way to. National Service. At one time our young people were sent into our military to learn discipline, purpose and respect, but many people unsurprisingly want nothing to do with the government war machine. So why not instead send our school leavers off for a year doing the opposite and working for a charity of their choice at government expense? This would act as a gap year before higher education, it would instil the same desirable qualities, but also others such as how to focus, promote respect, caring and understanding and reduce racism, hatred, waste and environmental abuse. The young would see a part of the world they wanted to see and be hopefully less selfish and materialistic when they returned.

I know this article will get me labelled in some minds as a liberal, socialist (or possibly communist?) but think, if the system could be run better for those concerned and for far less money, what actually would you be objecting to? The reason I see that these ideas will not be adopted is because the ruling elite treat us as idiots (and set the ‘education’ system and media up to produce us so) and like to have their governments so that they can be easily exploited for personal gain, without hopefully the nosy public knowing or meddling in their corrupt affairs. Basically governments are unfortunately currently set up by industry as no more than scamming machines against the masses.

Author: BSG