Tuesday, January 05, 2010

My Three Wishes

If a genie granted me three wishes tomorrow, they would be:

1) Return the United States to a federal republic. All governmental actions and responsibilities would be moved to the closest point of contact with individual Americans. For instance, the Dept. of Education would be eliminated, and education would become the responsibility of city and county government. In fact all the cabinet positions created after the Washington administration would be eliminated and their responsibilities shifted to the states, counties and cities. I would abolish the income tax and the IRS, because the national government would no longer require absurd amounts of money if it returned to only true constitutional duties.

2) Withholding of any taxes or governmental payments to any level of government would be unconstitutional. Any and all payments to the government by American citizens and corporations would be due on the first Monday after the first of November every year. Furthermore, these payments would require an affirmative action by the individual. (writing a check, making an electronic payment, paying in cash, etc) This way, when they voted the next day every other year they would have a clear reminder of what they were voting on.

3) Anyone receiving any governmental money except payments for goods received would no longer be eligible to vote in elections for the level of government they received the payments from. This includes employees (except active duty members of the armed services). Federal employees would be prevented from voting in federal elections, state employees would be prevented from voting in state elections. Welfare recipients, food stamp recipients, social security recipients, farm subsidy recipients, members of the boards of directors for corporations receiving subsidies, etc..all would be prohibited from voting at the level they received governmental payments.

You may call me a dreamer, but I'm not the only one......


Joe Loy said...

"3) Anyone receiving any governmental money except payments for goods received would no longer be eligible to vote in elections for the level of government they received the payments from. This includes employees (except active duty members of the armed services)..." [Emphases added]

Gahrie, setting aside the absurdity (not to mention, the Preposterosity :) of the premise: why the 2nd exception?

I.e., if payment for Services Rendered (as distinguished from Goods Received) is to be Disfranchising as described, re elections for both houses of Congress and the Presidency, for civilian employee of the federal Legislative and Executive branches respectively -- and even for military Reserve workers in the latter -- then why should compensation for such Services Rendered by the uniformed Active-duty employees of the executive-branch DOD not have a similarly disfranchising effect?

Especially considering that per your Wish as stated, salaried agents of the CIA, FBI, DEA, TSA, NCIS [my favorite btw :], Border Patrol, U.S. Marshals office, Secret Service & So forth, would lose their right to vote for President.

And for that matter, since you would also ban State workers from voting for State offices, how come you don't (just for consistency's sake :) exempt all the heroic active-duty uniformed State Police [Highway Patrol, Texas Rangers, etc] from the voting prohibition? They put their Lives on the Line for us every day too, y'know. Whaddaya, some kinda Cop-hater or sumpin'? ;>

Oh, and one little Technical point too: since Federal and State elective offices -- and some County & Municipal ones too (though the humble laborers-in-the-vineyards of Those lowly governmental levels are mysteriously omitted from your No-Vote List) -- are usually listed together on the same election ballots, would you care to come to Connecticut and help my former state elections-administration colleagues set up the Precincts in such a way as to effectively Implement your hideously unAmerican "You-can-Vote-for-This-but-not-for-That-depending-on-what-your-Job-is" scheme?

IOW: come on, Gahrie. In your miltonfriedmaniac wishlist fantasies you can Slash the role of Government (except for the best-and-the-bravest Military-government part of it, of course :) as much as your adamsmithian little heart desires. But once your massive Cutbacks are all done, whatever little may remain of the Public Sector will still be run by: a bunch of People. The Government is not Machinery, Gahrie. There IS no "machinery of government". No robots. Just a collection -- a subset -- of Americans. And Americans (a) get paid for services rendered, and (b) get to Vote.

Gahrie said...

Well..I did end the post saying I was a dreamer Joe....

First of all..I am a government worker. I am a teacher, worse, a teacher in California. I have seen first hand the enormous damage that can be done to a state's finances by state workers.

I used to say that I was against government employees being allowed to form unions. However, I was laid off last year due to budget cuts, and saw first hand why the unions ARE needed. (The supreme irony is, while I was a member of the union, indeed a union offical, I was against the union's existence. Now that I am no longer a member - because of the lay off- I have changed my mind)

Upon further reflection, my problem is not with the existence of the union, but with the influence the union and teachers (and by extension all government workers and their unions) have had on politics within the state.

Since it is clearly unconstitutional to limit political speech, I cannot ban their influence on politics. However, it is clearly possible to limit the franchise. Many limitations have been placed on it in the past, and indeed there are currently limitations placed on it, depending on an individual's status. (whether or not you have been convicted of a felony, length of residence etc)

This being said, after reading your comment, and upon further reflection I will sadly remove my second exception and extend the prohibition to members of the armed services while they were on active duty.

(and by the way, the prohibition would be extended to county and city workers also...I just thought that was understood)

In California they already print numerous ballots for each election. Depending on your primary language, party affiliation, and political precinct, the ballot you recieve can be very different from others voting in the same election.

you can Slash the role of Government (except for the best-and-the-bravest Military-government part of it, of course

Let me point out that national defense is one of the few legitemate functions of the national government. However i do not seek just to eliminate government functions (although I would eliminate some) but rather move them back to a more immediate presence in people's lives by moving them to the lowest level of government possible. I beleive in decentralizing and federalizing the government.

While I have a beef with governmental workers and their influence, I have a much BIGGER beef with those who receive government funds and are not government workers. We are fast achieving a position (if we have not already done so) in which half the population pays no taxes, but has the ability to vote themselves governmental payouts. Indeed we are going to soon be in a position in which a minority of Americans pay all taxes so that a majority of Americans can recieve payments. Here be monsters.

I freely cop to being a fan of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman. I believe it is irrefutable that their ideas (among others such as Locke, Hobbes, and our Founding Fathers) have produced the most wealth and the highest standard of living, spread among the largest number of people, in human existence.

Gahrie said...

Here is an interesting read featured by Instapundit this morning:


Anonymous said...


I have a question for the webmaster/admin here at www.blogger.com.

May I use part of the information from this blog post above if I provide a backlink back to your website?


Anonymous said...


Thanks for sharing the link - but unfortunately it seems to be down? Does anybody here at gahrie.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?