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jca's avatar

If you were made King or Queen of a land, how would you run your little kingdom or queendom?

Asked by jca (36043points) June 5th, 2012

I was watching the Queens Jubilee today and thought of this question. Queen Elizabeth is celebrating her 60th year as Queen.

If you were king or queen, how would you run things?

Would you put in more social programs?

Would you make things illegal that are legal now, or make things legal that are currently illegal?

you give free health care?

Would you allow in anybody that wanted to live in your kingdom? What would be the requirement for them if you did?

Would you dress very finely, paid for by government?

Would you be like Marie Antoinette, obliviously living it up, eating the best foods, wearing the best clothes while the citizenry starved?

The sky’s the limit! How would you run your land?

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39 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

The most important thing I would enact would be to mandate that every company is owned and run democratically by its employees.

CWOTUS's avatar

I would abolish the monarchy.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Unless you are totally incapacitated, everyone receiving a check from the government must perform a service. Everyone. Even if yo are collecting Social Security!
Tutor a kid. Help in the schools. Pick up trash. Plant gardens. Walk and police your neighborhood. Something!
You must also pee in a cup randomly once a year as part of the renewal, to prove no drug use. If you are able to spend money on drugs, you don’t need the check.
Disabled? Can you watch TV? Can you type.? Then you can edit.
You are free to just sit back and relax or take drugs if you wish – but the checks will stop.

Top dogs may not run over the bottom dogs. Can’t live on $5 million a year.? Well you’ve got a problem pal. Cut the 7 girlfriends down to 2. Quit stuffing it up your nose. Maybe that house is too big. Help some people.

I would not be a popular king with the lowest and uppermost classes.

wundayatta's avatar

I would grant special concessions to companies that wanted to be “the King’s own.” These companies would be granted huge tax concessions but they would have to invest in educating the hardest to educate. The more people they were able to make employable, the larger the tax concession they would get. If they were ever caught engaged in fraud, however, the company would suffer the death penalty.

The companies granted tax concessions would give the crown a certain portion of their shares. That would be the source of the crown’s wealth. If a company suffered the death penalty, the crown would not benefit from the breakup of the company. Oh dear. I’m trying to deal with moral hazard here and having a hard time. I don’t want the crown to artificially keep alive an immoral company, but I don’t want the crown to have an incentive to kill a good company, either. Maybe the crown should have no individual interest in any company.

Sigh. This governing shit is hard to do!

tups's avatar

I would make things that are illegal now legal. I would try to spread more understanding of each other and do the best I can to help those who are less blessed. I would create the same rights for everyone regardless of culture, gender, sexuality, color. I would make the punishment for economic criminality smaller and the punishment for things like rape harder. I’m only talking about jail, no death penalty. I just think it’s weird how some people who are economic criminals gets more years in jail than those who have actually really hurt other people.
I would also take in people from other countries and refugees. I know this is probably naive, but I wish the world could be like that. I would allow all religions. If somebody wants to build a church, they can do it. If they want to build a mosque, they can do it.
I would also like to make school a different way. I feel like education today is all about things that seems so unimportant. Homework that does no good. And there’s so much left out of school.
I would also hire a lot of advisors, ‘cause I suck at making decisions. I would probably be a lousy queen.

blueberry_kid's avatar

Well, for the people of my land, I would first make everybody wear denim and vermilion shorts and shirt at exactly 4:52 p.m. and do a rain dance for 20 minutes. Then I would allow gay marriage throughout the entire land. And finally, I would ban people being mean to little kids.

As for my courtship, I would have a very large team of advisers, for I will be drinking Oolong tea and eating blueberry squares, in which all of my assistants will enjoy. I will require every disabled child to have a puppy, and I would make sure that everyone is happy.

ucme's avatar

Execute the right royal fuckers forthwith.

wundayatta's avatar

@ucme Including yourself?

ucme's avatar

@wundayatta Well clearly i’m not a fan, so that puts me in the clear, kind of a gimme really.

wundayatta's avatar

Not so fast. The rules of the question are that you are now royalty. You may not be a fan, but royalty you are! Now what?

ucme's avatar

You may stick those rules up that tattooed arse, peasant….....better?

woodcutter's avatar

Now comes the method of enforcement of all these nice humanitarian gestures. We need to have this talk.

flutherother's avatar

1 Ban petrol engines
2 Abolish food packaging
3 Make everyone a citizen, not a subject
4 Build a palace
5 Open up diamond and emerald mines so everyone will be rich
6 Only nice people are allowed in.

mrlaconic's avatar

There would be no money. You could live there for free as long as you contributed in some way. Ideally I would like to have a land filled of scientists where they were free to invent things without fear of being whacked because you discover something great.

CWOTUS's avatar

Ah, @ucme, that’s a treasure trove I never knew existed.

blueberry_kid's avatar

Oh, and no packaged food allowed. And I’m banning pink slime, and food with preservatives.

Trillian's avatar

Being aware that kingship is more complex than I am trained to cope with, I would immediately find someone more qualified than myself to rule.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Oh, let me count the ways!~

Uniform of generic pants and shirts for school kids.
Govt. paid twice yearly health checkups for kids, set up on the school site.
No junk foods sold on school premises.
Basic nutrition and home economics taught as standard classes, not electives.
CPR taught on school site.
Basic Latin taught as a pre-foreign language class.
Mandatory phys-ed, not so much learning organized team sports but basic daily exercising.
Death penalty for convicted child molesters, rapists and tortuous murderers/abusers.
Mandatory spaying/neutering for pet ownership.
The equivalent of Israeli kibbutz communities volunteering available for anyone high school graduated and single.
Govt. paid birth control.
Rights to Die.

lots of stuff

basstrom188's avatar

I would abdicate and allow the people to elect who they want as head of state

tedibear's avatar

I don’t want to be in charge, I just want to live in @LuckyGuy‘s kingdom. :D

King_Pariah's avatar

Why the hell would I want to waste my life stressing over people who hold no importance to me or in boring, satisfactory, happy-go-lucky decadence? They can have a free for all for the throne, I’m outta there.

Ron_C's avatar

If I was king:
1. Most hospitals would be community owned
2. Universal single payer health care
3. I’d limit capital gains tax to the first $100K
4. Churches would pay taxes on all non-charity income and expenses.
5. Marijuana would be legal
6. Anyone starting a war on anything will be shot on sight.

blueberry_kid's avatar

One more thing, marijuana for everyone.

tups's avatar

@blueberry_kid What I thought too.

Patton's avatar

I would transition to a constitutional monarchy that left me with only symbolic and ceremonial powers as quickly as possible while leaving the actual power in the hands of a parliamentary system. A symbolic ruler can be very useful for national unity. Keeping that person from holding real power, however, separates the symbolism from the business of politics and makes it easier for people to follow the old adage that politicians, like diapers, should be changed often and for the same reason.

phaedryx's avatar

Reminds me of when we all did this: http://www.fluther.com/38151/have-you-created-a-nation-on-nationstates/

Looks like they’ve fallen into inactivity, but it would be fun to do again.

phaedryx's avatar

I would conduct an experiment. I would split the kingdom into 4 roughly-similar regions with walls so that there would be no movement between regions allowed. Region 1 laws/policies would be socially liberal and economically liberal. Region 2 would be socially liberal and economically conservative. Region 3 would be socially conservative and economically liberal. Region 4 would be socially conservative and economically conservative. Basically, if I enacted a policy in a region, I’d be enacting a counter-policy in another region.

I’d let the experiment run for about 20 years or so, then I’d open up the borders between regions and see where my subjects wanted to be. I’d analyze all of the data and recreate my kingdom based on their preferences and whatever laws proved to work best.

Patton's avatar

@phaedryx Or, if you wanted a slightly less fascist experiment, divide the kingdom into four parts and allow everyone to immigrate at will. It would be interesting to see if they all end up in the same place, or just change places. I think a lot of political arguments come down to a difference in preferences. All four regions would probably still be occupied by the end of the experiment, even if movement was left unrestricted.

phaedryx's avatar

Note: I’m letting them move around at will after the longitudinal study.

Patton's avatar

@phaedryx I know, but I think you’d get better results seeing where people move naturally. After 20 years with no choice and no input, everyone will want to leave their section just out of a desire to flee what for them was tyranny. Letting people move freely allows them to evaluate what they thought was best and compare it to other options in real time.

phaedryx's avatar

I disagree. I’m a theoretical dictator. I am not about finding out what is popular, I’m finding out what works. For example, how would you test something like whether or not legalizing abortion reduces crime unless you run a longitudinal study?

Ron_C's avatar

@phaedryx although I disagree with experimenting with people I agree with @Patton that you should allow people to gravitate toward their desired type of government policy without locking them in. The very fact that they are locked into their particular system invalidates the test because there will be a significant proportion that will feel oppressed and willing to revolt. Why add a revolution to your experiment?

phaedryx's avatar

@Ron_C what do “feelings of oppression” have to do with learning how effective a law/policy is? For example, suppose half the population gets immunized and the other half doesn’t. Do the half that get immunizations show an increase in autism? Are the half that get immunizations healthier after 20 years?

Will feeling oppressed somehow affect autism levels or invalidate the test? I doubt it.

Suppose I legalize marijuana for half the population and not for the other half. Does it affect crime? Does it affect health? Maybe the people feel too oppressed to buy legalized marijuana?

Also, since this is all theoretical, I’ll suppress the my imaginary people’s revolution with my imaginary mind control beams from my imaginary satellites :)

(or maybe they’d rather wait 20 years than risk their lives in a revolution?)

Ron_C's avatar

@phaedryx ”(or maybe they’d rather wait 20 years than risk their lives in a revolution?)” That will depend on how strict you maintain the separation and the punishment involved. The harsher the punishment the sooner the revolution.

Patton's avatar

@phaedryx My first reaction is to say that you draw a false distinction when you separate what is popular and what works when it comes to politics. No system can be counted as working if everyone hates it no matter what the results are according to some metric they don’t care about. Now, I’m not saying that popular, but as yet untested ideas are bound to work. We know that’s not true. What I am saying is that an idea that is tried and is unpopular after it is tried has failed.

This is another reason in favor of my version of the experiment. By letting people move back and forth and seeing how they like one system versus another, you discover what really works by discovering where people want to be when they are freely able to compare their options. In the tyrannical version, you can’t get this data because people will want out of a system they might otherwise like just because it was tainted in their minds by the tyranny.

Because despite what your examples pretend, politics isn’t the same kind of science as neurobiology. Of course feelings of oppression won’t change the autism rate, but that’s a nonsensical comparison. Political sentiments and social opportunity are not mechanisms of the neurobiological changes that bring about autism. They are among the mechanisms affecting drug use, though. We can therefore expect for marijuana legalization to have different effects in a tyrannical society and a free society.

Patton's avatar

@phaedryx Thank you. Like most people with eight years of university level education and three degrees (including one PhD), I’ve never learned what a longitudinal study is or how to look things up on Wikipedia. Very helpful.

Now, I see that you are uninterested in responding to any of what I said, but I’ll still respond to your link. All you’d get with your study design is a longitudinal study of what happens in a dictatorship. Very few of the results would be generalizable to a free society. Maybe you’re a fascist and not interested in a free society. In that case, you have much deeper problems. Assuming that you want to apply your results to a free society, though, your proposal is extremely limited.

phaedryx's avatar

@Patton That is the premise of the question. If the question were “if you were the elected leader of a free society” I would answer differently. I assume the question is about what I would do as a monarch where “the sky is the limit”. It doesn’t particularly matter if the results are “generalizable to a free society” because it isn’t a free society. It is a society where I make the decisions.

I was just trying to make sure we were on the same page; no need for personal attacks.

—————————————————————-
Here is my reasoning.

I assume that my obligation as leader is to do what is best for my people, as a whole, in the long run. I’m going to make some further assumptions:

1. People don’t make decisions based on what best for society in the long run. If they did, we wouldn’t need government.
2. I am biased by my race, religion, upbringing, environment, etc. so my decisions may not be what is best for everyone.
3. Laws/policies have unintended and unforeseen consequences; sometimes the consequences aren’t immediate
4. There are reasonable, but different solutions to problems of government. How do you know which solution is best? Why not try them all and see how they play out? In US politics right now we see Democrats pointing fingers at Republicans and vice versa: “if they weren’t blocking us this would work” or “they didn’t give it enough time to see the effect”. Rather than theorizing what is correct (e.g. Aristotle claiming that heavy objects fall faster), actually do the experiment (e.g. Galileo dropping dropping objects from a tower).

How do you set up the experiment?

If you want to know long term effects, why not make the experiment long term? If you want to compare results, why not divide the kingdom and implement competing laws/policies accordingly?

Now do you allow movement between the divisions? A hypothetical scenario:

Suppose there is one quadrant (I) that is a libertarian dream. There is minimal government with the assumption that with liberty there is personal responsibility and full consequences for decisions. The tax rate is low, which the citizens like. The neighboring quadrant (II) has high taxes, but it also has nice services like free health care. Now suppose that the people in quadrant (I) have been living it up and as a consequence have destroyed their health. They also haven’t saved any money to pay for their own health care because they can just hop over to quadrant (II) and get all of the free health care they want. This overwhelms the health care system in quadrant (II), which starts running a deficit. So where is the failure? Is it in quadrant (I)? Perhaps the people in that quadrant would have made better decisions for themselves if they new they’d have to save up and pay for their own health care. Maybe it would work if they actually had consequences. Was it a failure in quadrant (II)? Maybe it would have worked if they didn’t have to support the people coming in.

You can’t say definitively.

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