[The links, with the exception of centrist party posts due to recency, are mostly bookmarks for myself (and for the time stamp). I’ve pulled most of the relevant information and put it here.]
The newest (or oldest — have been thinking about it for a long time) is the formation of a centrist party, as I’ve tumblred about here, here, here, and here.
re: my last post on Path101 + DC: legislation to incentivize more directed giving - tax breaks for helping out in sectors that they (corporations) helped wreck - minor tax break for helping out, major tax break for correcting bad behaviour.
Some other ideas I’ve shared via tumblr:
Simple things like putting links into bills on the floor or in committee so citizens can get a better idea of what they are reading.
Undo for-profit prison structure. Make use of the restorative justice model.
Get more women involved in governance. Here and around the world: “If more women were involved in running nation-states, would the machismo of saving face still cost lives, time, and energy?”
Resurrect / redefine civil service. Put the unemployed to work in their neighborhoods, use the infrastructure already in place, Habitat for Humanity, local charitable orgs, build homes, mend fences, plant gardens, beautify, take some lonely seniors out for walks, whatever it takes. There may be no jobs but there are things to do.
Use the data to help people build jobs. Chief Information Officer: This position is not about tech, it’s about data: where to find it, how to mine it. With enough machine-farmed, human-interpreted data, and a smidge of creativity, the .govs might actually be able to perform wonders. I would love to get my hands on the demographic data behind the unemployment stats, start building micro-industries out of the skill sets observed to serve targeted niches, answering need and providing stimulus. People on welfare: polling for skill sets, again, help people find their happy place, and create neighborhoods where that can happen, things like localizing, things like HelloHealth and the return of the neighborhood clinic
Re-define ROI. Money is not just some abstract thing. At the furthest extreme from the wages we hew out of time with our bodies, we are abstracted ourselves; we are faceless stakeholders, shareholders, statistics, a parcel of our time & our tears mingled in one vast pool of funds totalling billions, leveraged to eke more blood & guts out of someone else’s misery or joy or any number of places in between.
Redistribution of wealth: No, don’t run away screaming you fiscal conservatives, it’s an exercise in logic. Let’s start with first principles: the foundation of a well-governed society is a well-educated populace, ergo its children. No pre-k, elementary, junior high, and/or high school should be without. Where does the money come from? Well, who’s got it? Who can afford to ‘give’ it away? Let’s make it a transparent “tax”, give people (people here includes corporations) a chance to offer it up as a sort of “tithe” to the state & civil society. This works almost locally with inner city schools but there are rurals schools facing similar shortages, wealth being concentrated in key geographic areas … The fed gov should provide channels and analysis of the data… i.e. where corps are getting their money from. If so and so made millions because many people in certain locales bought, manufactured, lost jobs to outsourcing, etc., so and so’s state taxes get distributed accordingly. Algorithms should help people on the hill decide where the money goes…
Send police to pre-K / kindergartner training. Everything a person needs to know about handling people peacably, they learn when they learn how to work with a group of young kids. Those who can’t handle it, well, we don’t want people like that walking around with guns.
Find better ways to wage war. Here and in places like Afghanistan, elsewhere in the Middle East, anywhere where people are murdering each other in the name of religion, greed, & the state: less guns, more words; benign but viral infiltration; searching for weak links in the psychology of the fundalmentalist believer / tribal warlord and exploiting them; in-depth psycho-affective analysis of villages & tribes; playing on simple human dynamics. (With this caveat.)
Work to “culturize” military forces on the ground. Though we might say we aren’t there (Afghanistan) to wage war but to wage peace and to put hard questions to an extremist way of life which promulgates the repression of half its population, the language used by some in relation to the mission smacks wholly of imperialism and is, frankly, stomach-turning. In these types of conflicts, language and rhetoric are weapons as effective as any smart-bomb in the arsenal. We misuse it to our misfortune. Wars of culture are never won through force of arms; we see it again and again as expansionistic nation states fall apart and centuries old conflicts re-emerge as micro-cultures struggle for hegemony.
On torture / enemy combatants in war on terror: Create a holding facility in New Mexico, give members of the Muslim-American community an opportunity to speak to these stray sheep. Those that don’t respond to this are the sociopaths. There are specialists to deal with that. There are many ways to the truth.
Africa (& other places): Create an org to provide consultations to resource-rich democracy- & infrastructure-poor nations specifically geared toward the promotion of a better governmental/business model, i.e. promulgating the idea that an educated citizenry is the only way to compete in today’s technological world, it really is better to be loved than feared.
A bit on the fun & silly side:
Presidential candidate simulator tests: Wouldn’t it be great if we could put candidates into a giant simulator which held a number of scenarios, i.e. major natural disasters, serious international incidents like nuclear launch out of the Middle East, severe economic crises, extreme shortages, and of course the Kobayashi Maru, and push various buttons and watch and score their reactions, reaction times, likely outcomes, etc. etc.
Fantasy government: Build a cabinet, randomize the legislature and judicial branches based on current events, solve a set of problems. Gov could use winning scenarios (i.e. good ideas) as basis for change.
note: I realize some of these things are beyond fed gov jurisdiction but perhaps not beyond influence.
note2: Some of these ideas are old, i.e. from 2008 and 2009, hence the link/time stamp.
note3: These are notes, not a platform.