Running Government

How would switching from a Representative Democracy to a Direct Democracy work?  We might keep Representatives, Senators,  and other elected officials  in office, but grant them almost no power, insofar as they would only play the roles of bill sponsors, debaters, advisors, administrators and diplomats.  Each representative would be bound to votes on each bill…

End the Federal Reserve

In 1913, the U.S. Treasury gave our country’s sovereign right to create currency to the Federal Reserve Bank (which is essentially a private commercial entity with little to no oversight from the government). Prior to 1913, the Federal government had created money itself. These were called Greenbacks. The value of a Greenback fell dramatically during…

What, exactly, is “Socialism”?

Dictionary definitions of “Socialism” don’t seem to fit the way it’s often used. For example Merriam Webster tells us Socialism is “collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods,” which sounds a lot like Communism.  The term “Socialism” is most often used to describe government support for and…

Protection for Minorities

In a Direct Democracy the majority vote might be opposed to the minority vote, and the majority is not always right.  The majority might vote for racist policies or wars of aggression or legislation that goes against the moral view of a minority.  How does a Direct Democracy protect the minority? A Direct Democracy which…

Ranked voting

Most developed nations have multiple political parties, not just two. Protecting voters against the “wasted third-party vote” syndrome could be accomplished with ranked voting or alternative voting. With ranked choice voting, if your first choice doesn’t win, your vote goes to your second choice; if your second choice doesn’t win, your vote goes to your…

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Some are against Direct Democracy because they fear that poor people, who outnumber the rich, will vote for more government welfare services for themselves and higher taxes for the rich. Taxes Funding for government activities does not have to be provided by an income tax and was not provided by income tax before 1913. Directly…

Tax on Wall Street

According to Prospect.org, instituting a Financial Speculation Tax could rein in some of the worst excesses of financial markets that too often operate like casinos. By increasing the costs of placing trades, the tax would moderate trading activity generally, but it would most strongly deter short-term trades rather than longer-term investments. Importantly, for example, an…

Examples of Direct Democracy

In Iceland, the Pirate Party’s core policies include direct democracy, transparency, civil rights, the right to self-determination, public access to information and responsible decision making. The core policy text forms the basis for all policymaking. The online voting system is the primary method through which Pirates settle disputes and reach consensus on policies. In the United States,…

Reduce the Number of Bills

In 2015, Congress voted on about 600 bills.  Perhaps not all these bills deserve public attention, if even the attention of Congress. For example, Congress voted on whether or not to rename a post office in Staten Island, New York.  Could decisions like this be made by the Post Office?  or by the people in…

Income Tax on Wages

In 1913,  the 16th Amendment was passed, giving the government the right to collect income tax in order to begin paying service fees to the Federal Reserve, which had just taken control of creating U.S. currency from the U.S. Treasury.  According to some, the 16th Amendment was directed only at capital gains income and was…

Higher Education

The purpose of a higher education had, at one time, been viewed as a public good, to provide a well-rounded general education to citizens that included many humanities courses and as well as science or math. According to this view, state funded college and university research would benefit the public at large in terms of…