Tag Archives: government

Movement for a 28th Amendment to the US Constitution

I received an email today which asked me to forward it to still another 20 people.  I thought this might be more useful.

It’s time for another Amendment to the US Constitution.  I do believe this.  And I like everything in the proposal below.  See what you think and you are more than welcome to copy and forward it to your friends and Congresscritters.  It will take a huge amount of effort to get this passed because it is not in the best economic interests of the members of Congress.  But it’s worth raising the possibility.

 

“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.”  —Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” —Theodore Roosevelt

 

The rest of this post is the content of that email:

“The 26th Amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months and 8 days to be ratified.  Why?  Simple!  The people demanded it.  That was in 1971… before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc.

“Of the 27 Amendments to the US Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land… all because of public pressure.

“I’m asking you to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on your address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

“In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message.  This is one idea that really should be passed around.

 

 

Congressional Reform Act of 2011


1. Term Limits.

An elected Congressperson may serve a maximum of 12 years only, defined as one of the possible options below:

A. Two 6-year Senate terms

B. Six 2-year House terms

C. One 6-year Senate term and three 2-Year House terms

2.  No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressperson collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

3.  Congress (past, present, and future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately.  All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.

Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

8. All contracts with past and present Congresspersons are void effective 1/1/11.

“The American people did not make the current contract with members of Congress.  Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

“Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

“If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive this message.

“MUCH OF WHAT WE FACE IN TERMS OF PRIVILEGE AND SELFISHNESS IN THIS COUNTRY MIGHT BEST BE CHANGED STARTING FROM THE TOP DOWN.”

Me again.  I poked around on the web and found the organization which is working to make this happen.  Amendment to Reform Congress is on Facebook.  And their website is here. In my humble opinion it’s time we got together and agreed on some, most, or all of these changes to our representative government.  The current approach creates a divide between the governed and the government which is hurting our country.  With this Amendment can can continue to be a government OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people.

It’s time to align the self-interest of Congress with that of the American people and not with that of lobbyists.

Thoughts on how Economics is like Biology

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and rereading of economics books as I follow the course of  the current US recession.   Like everyone else,  I’m thinking about how we got here and how the rest of the world got where they are today.   The more I learn,  the less sure I feel about anything.   Having said that,  the one branch of science that gives me comfort is psychology… what we know about how the human mind works,  alone and in groups.

Rather than continuing to work out that train of thought any further at the moment,  a timely article appeared in last Sunday’s Boston Globe: http://tinyurl.com/qsmke9

Interesting article titled “Why Capitalism Fails” and interesting comments.    I’ve been reading the John C. Bogle (founder of Vanguard) 2009 book ENOUGH this weekend.    (Highly recommended)    Bogle also mentions Hyman Minsky,  so this was a very timely article for me.   Communism,  socialism,  and capitalism are all interesting ideas,  each founded on flawed views of human nature as I see it.    For the most part people are good and well-meaning.    But there’s always going to be a Madoff,  a Ponzi,  a management team like Enron or AIG,  profiteers like Merrill Lynch or Putnam Funds,  and so on.

Government is not an economic system,  it is a cooperative means of achieving safety and stability for people who have banded together in a common geography.    As such, ours in the US hasn’t been working all that well lately.    It would appear that some sort of capitalistic system is,  overall,  better suited to achieve human advances,  given human nature.    (For example:  Humans are competitive.  Humans enjoy advancing their own interests and those of their friends and family. )  But that capitalistic system needs a lot of regulation and oversight.    There is an unholy alliance between capitalism and democracy revolving around money and elections.    The US founding fathers recognized that more than we do today,  because they actually discussed and understood the economy and politics of their day.   Our current citizens clearly do not.  Life is very complex today and that complexity is not taught in schools nor is it “covered” in the media.  The media are complicit in the problem.

Economics is a lot like biology in that everywhere you look, an economic niche is filled.    At any given snapshot in time,  the economic system is what it is.    When the system is threatened,  those who are doing well will fight like crazy to keep it as is.    Without enough enforced regulation some people will crowd out more than their share of the economy.   That is what has happened.

As a country we need to rethink the nature of our economy, our industry, our commerce, and our financial system.    If a system costs more than it contributes in benefits to the society it needs serious modification or at least regulation.    Part of me fears there’s a fat chance that’ll happen with the “right wing” having captured the market on fear and mistrust to keep a stranglehold on the USA.    Part of me hopes that our government can develop a bipartisan regulation of our financial system.  I want my country back.

If you read this, please share your thoughts.  Thanks.

(New title in response to Lin Dolin!)