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Steve_A's avatar

If you could give me one idea, proposal , change or the like what would it be? Why would it be that? How would we do it?

Asked by Steve_A (5120points) April 17th, 2010

There is a meeting called and you have been invited , you show up and are asked for help. Our country has many issues and pressing matters.

What do you have in mind sir/ma’am?

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19 Answers

HungryGuy's avatar

People are unemployed because there are more people than jobs. The recent recession only exacerbated this growing problem that started years ago. My solution is to shorten the work-week. What with unemployment benefids and medicare/medicaid, we’re paying about 10% of the population to not work. We could employ everybody at close to 100% with shorter hours, yet everybody could still earn pretty close to their current incomes.

marinelife's avatar

I would implement must service of one year. It could be mitigated by military service, but everyone would have to do something for our country for one year.

I think it would foster a sense of volunteerism. i think it could help rebuild infrastructure.

HungryGuy's avatar

@marinelife – Nah! Slavery isn’t the answer.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Pass a Constitutional ammendment that requires the federal budget be balanced every year, that the national debt be reduced every year, and that congresspersons, presidents and senators be required to live under the same laws and regulations that all of the rest of us must live under.

HungryGuy's avatar

@CaptainHarley – Despite cries by Republicans that Democrats are the “spendthrift party,” it is the Democrats who have always managed to balance the budget and build a surplus, while the Republcians tend to go into debt to fund their wars and corporate welfare. So I’m expecting that, once the recession ends later this year, Obama will reverse the spending and start building a surplus over the next 6 years (that the next Republican administration will piss away in the 8 years after that in some new war). Otherwise, I like your answer that the ruling class must be required to live under the same laws as the masses!

CaptainHarley's avatar

@HungryGuy

I will bet $100 to your $10 that Obama will be a one-term president. And yes, both parties are guilty of overspending. That’s precisely why I think we need to toss ALL of them out on their ears and start over.

HungryGuy's avatar

@CaptainHarley – I don’t disagree with you. I’m certainly no expert on the American’s wacky political system. Of course, if Obama only lasts one term, the world will be treated to another Bush-like government, and subsequent social disasters like the near-worldwide financial collapse…

janbb's avatar

Well, that went well.

HungryGuy's avatar

@janbb – Well… While we’re all sitting at the executive conference table at the headquarters of the Trilateral Commission, deciding on how to change the world, what’s your idea?

Your_Majesty's avatar

Depends on the issue. I can’t tell more than I know if it’s not my speciality/field. For all of those issues let us discuss it one by one with people with appropriate expertise. Each problem required different solutions.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Put everyone in the world on a carbon ration and reproduction ration. Those who use less carbon or choose not to reproduce are free to sell their unused entitlement. This would cause an automatic wealth flow from richer to poorer. There might have to be a minimum price set so as to avoid people underbidding each other in a “race to the bottom”.This would address issues of energy waste, flimsy “throw away” products and overpopulation.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land

Not bad! Not bad! But how would you enforce it?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Alas! The devil is in the details. The same problem that the cap-and-trade carbon scheme has. How do you deal with people or nations that ignore it?
The reproduction end would be easiest. Sterilization in exchange for a certificate that could be sold to the highest bidder. Carbon? As most of the worlds population is becoming urbanized, all products have to be brought into cities and could be assessed carbon points. The problem of rural people burning wood, distilling alcohol fuel, etc would be minimal and the effort and ingenuity that would go into it would minimize the carbon release. The bigger burning, such as peasant farmers burning off forests, would have to be policed. . At the industrial level, it would be easiest to enforce. People would tend to buy the more durable products to conserve their carbon allowance. There would naturally be more emphasis on repairing things than throwing away and buying new. A car, a bicycle or a pair of shoes would be more desirable if designed to last the owners lifetime..

It is already being done by people who want to do it. I drive a 49 year old car that gets over 35 mpg. I have boots that I’ve worn over 30 years, resoling as needed. I live in a 3500 square foot house that only requires 2 cords of firewood to heat (plus solar input). My farm machinery runs on biodiesel which I produce myself. I’ve made a concious choice to not be a parent. It’s just a matter of setting up the incentives to make other people want to live in this way.

Maybe give a larger carbon allowance to people who don’t live in cities? Or not count any fuels that you produce personally?

I don’t claim to have all the answers. Just running this up the flagpole and see who salutes it.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land

Fascinating. However, one problem I see is that the willingness to not have children almost guarantees that only those who do not feel as you do will have them, and the entire process then becomes self-defeating.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Not a problem, anyone who wants more than their basic reproductive entitlement would have to pay for the privilege, the poor would be economically better off by not reproducing. Since the highest birthrates are among the poorest populations, this could have a major effect on overpopulation. Also, all tax incentives for having children must be removed.

janbb's avatar

Here’s a Modest Proposal. Maybe we could buy, cook and eat the children of the poor, increasing their wealth and decreasing their liabilities and that of society. Mighty tasty too!

augustlan's avatar

@janbb You’re very swift. ;-)

janbb's avatar

well, some people around here seem to be quite gulliver.

HungryGuy's avatar

@janbb – That’s the best idea so far :-p

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