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Thread: What they taught us about our government

  1. #1
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    Default What they taught us about our government

    I expect we were all taught that we elect people who go to DC, our state Capital, our Mayor's office, etc. and those people represent we, the people.

    Real life teaches us something different; reality. There are some who take office and sincerely try to represent the people. Many represent big donors. Many simply represent themselves in ways that they see keeping them in office.

    If someone wrote a book on how this system actually does work (?) I wonder if any school would provide it as text book.

    I'm not at all sure how we fix this system, which as been made worse by Citizens United. In my book, "Memoirs of a Sleepless Mind" I jokingly suggest we pick our reps as we pick jurors. We provide housing in DC. They are selected by lot and serve 5 years, the first year is spend learning how the system works. The next four the do their job, and getting re-elected is not an issue.

    Of course, I've also suggested eliminating paid lobbyists, which are, IMO, a major part of today's problems. My union members have gone to DC, myself among them, on our own dime, and on our own time.

    The only people who have paid lobbyists working for them are the wealthy. Not only do they get to donate lots of money, but they get the ears of the people in power.
    "alternative facts (lies)" are a cancer eating through a democracy, and will kill it. 1st amendment is not absolute.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What they taught us about our government

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    I expect we were all taught that we elect people who go to DC, our state Capital, our Mayor's office, etc. and those people represent we, the people.

    Real life teaches us something different; reality. There are some who take office and sincerely try to represent the people. Many represent big donors. Many simply represent themselves in ways that they see keeping them in office.

    If someone wrote a book on how this system actually does work (?) I wonder if any school would provide it as text book.

    I'm not at all sure how we fix this system, which as been made worse by Citizens United. In my book, "Memoirs of a Sleepless Mind" I jokingly suggest we pick our reps as we pick jurors. We provide housing in DC. They are selected by lot and serve 5 years, the first year is spend learning how the system works. The next four the do their job, and getting re-elected is not an issue.

    Of course, I've also suggested eliminating paid lobbyists, which are, IMO, a major part of today's problems. My union members have gone to DC, myself among them, on our own dime, and on our own time.

    The only people who have paid lobbyists working for them are the wealthy. Not only do they get to donate lots of money, but they get the ears of the people in power.
    I have thought of government by random selection before. It couldn't be any worse than what we have now, and might well be better.

    But as for the bolded bit, that's not accurate. Often, true grassroots groups and organizations, and non-profits, etc., have paid lobbyists. Unions certainly do, and most union members are not wealthy.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What they taught us about our government

    I learned that the purpose of political parties was to elect their members to office.

    I have also learned that anything that requires a constitutional change will take a long time to come about.

    As I said before: If you want change write the law you want and send it to your representatives.
    Life is complex.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What they taught us about our government

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I have thought of government by random selection before. It couldn't be any worse than what we have now, and might well be better.

    But as for the bolded bit, that's not accurate. Often, true grassroots groups and organizations, and non-profits, etc., have paid lobbyists. Unions certainly do, and most union members are not wealthy.

    Tom
    My union didn't. Our president got a paycheck, and would at times talk to congress members, but he didn't get any extra pay for it. We assembled as a large group via buses, but we used our own time and our own money.

    I think we could do without paid lobbyists.
    "alternative facts (lies)" are a cancer eating through a democracy, and will kill it. 1st amendment is not absolute.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What they taught us about our government

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    I learned that the purpose of political parties was to elect their members to office.

    I have also learned that anything that requires a constitutional change will take a long time to come about.

    As I said before: If you want change write the law you want and send it to your representatives.
    That might work for the CEO of a large company. Won't work for the average Joe.
    "alternative facts (lies)" are a cancer eating through a democracy, and will kill it. 1st amendment is not absolute.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What they taught us about our government

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    My union didn't. Our president got a paycheck, and would at times talk to congress members, but he didn't get any extra pay for it. We assembled as a large group via buses, but we used our own time and our own money.

    I think we could do without paid lobbyists.
    Translation of the bolded bit: Our union president was a paid lobbyist.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What they taught us about our government

    I have advocated quite seriously that we need to choose our representatives by lot. We'd get a few clinkers, most would fall within an acceptable range of competent, and some would be absolute statesmen.

    As for writing the laws you want, there's some merit to it. In the system as it currently stands, our representatives are expected to spend at least half of each day cold-calling donors. This results in very few laws actually being written by our representatives. So guess who ends up writing many of the laws being debated these days.

    Yes, this seems beyond the average joe. But going back to my comment about the quality of reps we'd draw from a lottery, I expect we the people have among us a few joes who could do a very decent job of writing laws -- what is lacking is the education facility where the writing of laws could be taught at our level. Perhaps this might be a law someone might consider writing.
    "...moved as he was solely by the desire for truth, and by the suspicion...that the truth was not what was appearing to him at that moment."

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What they taught us about our government

    Quote Originally Posted by webishop14 View Post
    I have advocated quite seriously that we need to choose our representatives by lot. We'd get a few clinkers, most would fall within an acceptable range of competent, and some would be absolute statesmen.

    As for writing the laws you want, there's some merit to it. In the system as it currently stands, our representatives are expected to spend at least half of each day cold-calling donors. This results in very few laws actually being written by our representatives. So guess who ends up writing many of the laws being debated these days.

    Yes, this seems beyond the average joe. But going back to my comment about the quality of reps we'd draw from a lottery, I expect we the people have among us a few joes who could do a very decent job of writing laws -- what is lacking is the education facility where the writing of laws could be taught at our level. Perhaps this might be a law someone might consider writing.
    That's why my thought was the first year/or some other time amount be training.

    Elections don't work when dark money is seen as speech, and it's seen as okay to lie to voters.
    "alternative facts (lies)" are a cancer eating through a democracy, and will kill it. 1st amendment is not absolute.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What they taught us about our government

    https://www.opensecrets.org/news/202...tuples-q1-rev/

    Ask DJ , well is he remembers what the question was. Or who he is for that matter.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/washing...ss-11605522603



    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politic...despite-pledge



    How many more links would you like?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What they taught us about our government

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Girouard View Post
    How many more links would you like?
    My contributions to this thread:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/23/u...by-huawei.html

    Tony's brother John's been a 'facilitator' in Dem administrations starting with Bill Clinton's.

    https://www.americanprogress.org

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