Constitution v2.0

John K Clark (
Thu, 7 Aug 1997 21:02:42 -0700 (PDT)


Welcome back Eliezer! You were gone too long.

>Inefficiency enters when an unnecessary abstraction makes it possible
>to short-circuit a desired link.

Very true, so dump government, the middleman.

>Switch the legislative branch to an at-large system. This amounts
>to setting up a 121 (1-to-1 correspondence) between voter and

Everybody can't vote for 500 people so somebody would have to decide what
citizen gets to vote for what congress critter, and this is a huge area for
potential monkey business.

>Only constituents whose 121-elected representatives voted for an
>item of spending are taxed to pay for it.

The strongest argument nationalists have, and it's not very strong, is that
government can deliver a public good, your proposal would eliminate even that.

If a dam is built my constituents will get a lot of benefit out of it, but if
I don't vote for it then they get it for free and in gratitude reelect me in
the next election. The constituents of the moron who did vote for it have to
pay for the damn thing and this makes them very unhappy so they vote the
idiot out as soon as they can.

>I should also note that having members-at-large may also fix the
>problem where the congress beings spend all their time trying to get

Why would that change anything? If a politician doesn't devote full time to
winning the next election there will certainly be somebody else who will and
toss him out of office as a result.

>Do we really need State-level governments?

We need it just as much as Federal-level government and that's just as much
as a fish needs a bicycle.

>How's this for a First Amendment (Amendment 2.1:)
>"Excepting copyrights, government secrets, and {anything else crucial
>I've forgotten}, no law shall be made which mentions or refers to
>speech; press; pictures; electronically stored information; any
>information which can be expressed as text, speech or pictures; any
>communication of the aforementioned items; or any other form of
>communication or information. Nor shall the law mention or refer to
>patterns within this information."

A big step backwards, at least the current first amendment says nothing about
exceptions. With loopholes this big government thugs could stop anybody they
didn't like from saying anything. I think that if you want to keep a secret
from me then it's your responsibility to do so, not mine. If you fail I see
no reason why I should be punished for your error.

>Amendment 2.2:
>The total sum of words within all government regulations, including
>this constitution and all government forms, but excepting regulations
>which apply solely to government employees, shall not sum to more
>than 100,000 words or 500,000 letters, whichever is less.

Federal regulation 89723 says " Government shall see to the efficient
operation of the economy" and nothing else. Those truckloads of papers over
there are not regulations, just guidelines.

>Nonlinear number-of-votes to representational-power curves, for
>congressbeings, to prevent dictator/messiah problems.

Elections are dumb, an idiotic way of communicating your wishes, there are
much better ways. Every day I send hundreds of exquisitely precise messages
to the Free Market telling it what I want it to do. I also get to compare
brands, I can't do that In a democracy because I'm not voting for goods or
services or even policies, I just get to choose between two grab bags of
promises every 4 years, and democracy is the best form of government,
the best of a bad lot.

When I vote in the economy by making a purchase I am sure to get it, I always
win. When I vote for the grab bag I may or may not get it. At any rate, the
chances that my vote will influence things is so small that it's not worth
my time to study the issues very deeply, the result is that the politician
with the better hairdo gets to make the decisions.

>How many levels of government do we a priori need?


>cities should be free to belong to the "state" of their choice,
>or none at all.

Take the next step, give that right to individuals also.

>there are numerous psychological forces acting to screw our designs.
>The Constitution succeeded because - through a fluke of luck or
>otherwise - these forces were barred from acting.

The Constitution lasted a long time not because of its perfection but because
an infrastructure was already in place for it to thrive. Without a lot of
people willing to obey it and enforce it and interpret it, the Constitution
is just a bunch of words on a piece of paper.

>the Constitution continues to operate perfectly against tyrants


>other menaces such as bureaucracy and paperwork are threatening to
>choke the country, and might very well do just that, if continued


>Something* needs to be slapped into place, and I have no faith in
>stopgap measures to do it - like putting a band-aid on an axe wound.

Yes, but you're proposal to fix government is just a band-aid. Limited
government has been tried many times but is does not stay limited for long.
It seems to be in the fundamental nature of a state to increase it's power.
A state has power an individual or corporation does not have or it would not
be a state, it's inevitable that it will use that power, however small it
starts out to be, to gain even more power, the process increases
exponentially until people can take it no more.

>Capitalism still requires far more computing power, however. I
>believe that the near future, now that we have the computing power,
>will be an extremely streamlinked place.

I'm not sure what you mean by this but if you're talking about designing an
efficient economy forget it, that will never happen. Yes, computing power is
increasing rapidly, but for the very same reason the thing you're trying to
model is increasing too.

>Money will be replaced by complex barter

Some truth in that, and government will no longer have a monopoly on money,
you could use any currency you like best. And more, with strong encryption
anonymous re-mailers, DC nets and untraceable digital cash, I will soon be
able to make complex financial agreements with you even if you're on the
other side of the world, and NOBODY including government regulators or taxmen,
could know anything about it. That's one reason I think the nation state will
soon go the way of the city state.

John K Clark

Version: 2.6.i