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Government United States

Scott Adams Proposes a Fourth Branch of Government 341

LoLobey writes "Dilbert creator Scott Adams is proposing a fourth branch of government in the WSJ. He describes it as 'smallish and economical, operating independently, with a mission to build and maintain a friendly user interface for citizens to manage their government.' It's a humorous article with some interesting ideas including internet access as a constitutional right and a constitutional ban on all election contributions for any candidate that polls above 10%. He's primarily proposing a method of getting verifiably accurate information on various issues to aid voters in making decisions, but despairs on his own blog about reader's comments on the article."
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Scott Adams Proposes a Fourth Branch of Government

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  • by characterZer0 ( 138196 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @03:41PM (#37988974)

    The Sanity Check Branch.

    Composed of 251 adult citizens with college educations (5 from each state, 1 from DC) selected at random for 1 year terms. Each law after presidential signing or Congressional override must be read aloud and provided in writing to the branch. They vote on it in secret. If it does not get 60% of the votes, it dies.

  • Sounds like a joke. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @03:47PM (#37989058)

    But really the government has got way to complex for us. The ultra rich have resources to work with it thus any new rule and regulation that popular demand puts up they will find a way around. Leaving the middle class to do the heavy lifting and getting screwed.
    I remember I was working at a small business. They were trying to get a grant "Geared to help train employees at small businesses" They filled out the paper work, they got rejected because the training needed to be in state, they did it again, because they deemed the training to be too specialized...

    The Democrats make government services that only the rich have the resources to take advantage of.
    The Republicans try to get rid of services so the rich don't have to pay for them.
    In short we loose with a two party system.

  • Re:Better idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chainsaw1 ( 89967 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @03:48PM (#37989066)

    Assuming "our own" is the United States, there are twenty according to this list:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_index [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Better idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @04:13PM (#37989480)

    There are free speech issues at play here. An individual (not corporation) can still purchase air time on television to endorse that person's preferred candidate. Even if banning non-human entities from political speech, it still gives an unfair advantage to those who have money.

    The only defense against corruption is education. The most corrupt governments are also in nations with a poorly educated populace. And it's not a cause-effect relationship, but worse: a vicious cycle. Poor education leads to government corruption which leads to even worse education.

    Conversely, an informed (and non-apathetic) populace will result in an accountable government. As this is the information age, the populace should be more informed, not less. Yet, because of an inability to separate information from disinformation brought about by poor primary and secondary education, the populace is actually significantly more misinformed than it ever has been before (it's important to not confuse uninformed with misinformed here, because while the former damages the system through a lack of action, the latter causes damage through negative actions, and is much worse).

    Everything else is just skirting the real problem. Sure, it'll help. But only if the primary problem gets resolved.

  • Re:Better idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sentrion ( 964745 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @05:39PM (#37991072)

    I have the opposite idea. No term limits and no re-elections. Every politician stays in office for as long as he or she is doing the right thing. Those who believe he should be removed from office can cast a vote to remove him or her from office, but this vote can be rescinded and re-applied as often as desired, giving the official the chance to comply with the demands of his constituents. Once the number of recall votes exceeds 50% of the number of active registered voters under his jurisdiction then the politician is put on notice that he may be removed from office and replaced by any challenger that accumulates 50% of the number of eligible votes from the registered voters. There would be no planned election days. Every voter could back a candidate at any time and keep his vote behind that candidate for as long as he would choose, and could change his preference at any time. Undecided voters could choose neutrality for any office they had the right to vote for, but then they would have to accept the decision of the active voters who backed actual candidates. Voters would be required to renew their registration annually, but not all on the same date - but more like renewing the inspection sticker on an automobile. This would weed out citizens that were no longer actively engaged in the democratic process. In this sense voters would maintain and continuously update their registration more like maintaining a web based profile rather than casting ballots at the end of a campaign.

    The problem with single terms is that once in office there is no incentive to follow the will of the people. Once in office a single term candidate could push his own radical agenda or the agenda of his future employer. There are already too many bureaucrats that take cushy jobs at the companies they were appointed to regulate after they leave office. The same is even true of judges that take on higher paying jobs as arbitrators working for private arbitration firms. These judges spend their years in office making decisions in favor of the businesses the judges hope to work for as arbitrators. Their decision record is more effective than any job interview alone could ever be.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!