What is Your Challenge and Solution?

End the privatization of public officials; buy back OUR politicans with publicly financed campaigns.

Lobbyists and corporations having legislation-on-retainer powers via their privatizing our own public officials and leaders is criminal. Make the smartest investment we can make; publicly finance public offices. Stopping the buying-out, selling-out corruption is Job One.

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      • DAN 1 commented  · 

        Let's make Representative Office Holding a volunteer responsibility. Do this in Our Constitution.
        While We are at it lets outlaw "Bribing Lobbying". Policing this with dedicated Citizens who are with Our Representatives 24/7. Keeping the "Eyes Of The People" on them.

      • Anonymous commented  · 

        Need constl.ammen. to provide public financing of elections --no private $$.

      • Kirk Paulson commented  · 

        Yes the root of the problem is money, and congress is bought and will not fix it. So the answer to the fix does not involve congress.
        A Peoples Anti-Lobby Lobby website may work if people get mad enough and smart enough. We could each have $1.00 or $100.00 each month taken off our credit cards to build the fund. Any politician would have to obligate themselves not to take any other lobby money in excess of say $100. It would need an attorney to set up properly and someone with a voice to promote it. Some may not want to provide money to a party they do not like. Fine, that is even better, let them fund just one party in the lobby and create a little competition.
        We continue to hear from the pundits that their answers to our political problems always involve congressional action. These answers are more appropriate for a question asking how to make sure nothing will change.

      • Frank commented  · 

        not only a great Idea but would someone please tell me how any other legislation can be passed until this is implomented.

      • Bob commented  · 

        .Flat 10% tax, income under $250K/year
        2.Electric and Natural Gas cars are tax free and tax deductable over 5 years.Same for solar and wind energy.
        3.Term limits of 12 years for senators/reps.
        4. Publically traded companies belong to the shareholders. $1M Max salary
        5. Build secure double fence on south border.More guards/cameras.
        6. Medicare, Medicaid, V.A. merge into one healthcare system open to all.
        7. The Small Business Admin. actually gives out loans/grants for seed cap.
        8. One year time limit on fighting wars.
        9. Congressman must Balance the budget or lose half of salary.
        10. Get rid of electorial college for direct vote. Max campaig donation $10k.

      • Lisa in Califonia commented  · 

        I agree. We should publicly finance campains. With entire revolutions being started on facebook & twitter, why can't we use these same sites or create government sites to run a campain?

      • Akka commented  · 

        Ok fine fine. But ten ban the unions. No resano you should use public oney to pay people to vote for the democratic party.

      • George commented  · 

        The answer is stop just complaining and doing nothing.

        Help us at www buyingfreeze.org do something about it.
        With COORDINATED, TARGETED BUYING BOYCOTTS and IMPORT TARIFFS. (1) it takes away the benefits they derive from exporting jobs. (2) The government will collect billions in import tariffs, resulting in paying down the debt and (3) lower income taxes for all.

        Corporations can buy all the lobbyist, politicians and write all the laws they want, even brainwash half the population through Fox news, it doesn’t matter. A company must have us as their customers or they are out of business, period. It is just that easy and simple. Without us progressives as customers any company’s sales are cut in half. We simply isolate one company at a time in each industry and stop buying their products until they meet the specified demands. If a large enough group of consumers pledge to do this, in six months the targeted company will be on the verge of bankruptcy. They have no defense for this. If they want to do us like this, let them feel the pain with us. Rather than our government operating to protect the public’s interests, as it is designed to do, it operates to protect corporate interests instead. No one has to quit their job or march in the street, simply don’t buy a Ford until Ford publicly joins us in calling for import tariffs, on all products brought back into the U.S. Then we lift the buying freeze on Ford and impose it on GM unless or until they do the same thing. If they want to sell cars in America, they should either make them here and use American labor or pay the tariff equal to what they are saving by exploiting overseas cheap labor and avoiding taxes. They do this so they can re import them back in and charge Americans higher prices than they can if they sold them in the country where they were made, which they currently do, at one fifth of the price.

        Our hope is to have the labor unions jointly take this public project over. Union members alone would number in the millions. Please contact them for us all.

      • Sam commented  · 

        Wikipedia doesn't recognize it as a form of government, but It is a form of vetting candidates.

      • Sam commented  · 

        Sorry Venetian republic is not operating today. Internet is an example of current meritocracy, especially certain mmorpg video games, wikipedia and open source.

      • Sam commented  · 

        Yes it is a real and widely recognized type of government, it'd just not usually the thing political scientists talk about:


        Now this doesn't make a distinction between dictatorial or Representative meritocracy. I would be for a a representative meritocrat y with enumerated powers like the current constitutional republic we have now, it's just that representatives would not be, or not only be, vetted through elections. A dictatorial meritocracy can also have enumerated powers, in other words it is not elected, but it's still a constitutional republic, that could also be valid since any haywire system could be kept in check. However I'm not for dictatorial with no checks and balances meritocracy, because that could be dangerous. This is what the progressives advocate for but it has no rule of law, just manipulation at the top through social engineering and propaganda, and usually the people at the top are just an aristocracy, neither intelligent nor moral, in their point of view. They achieve this through a virtual democracy, where things appear democratic through propaganda and social engineering, but in fact only a select few have power. Even this system might be viable but due to it's lack of transparency, there is no way to accurately vet whether the people at the top really should be in power. There is no way to know what they are doing or if they are doing things with good intentions or whether they are qualified for the job. Hence, this system would easily degenrate into a political aristocracy that would be just as parasitic as the corporate aristocracy that supposedly exists under the current system (that's how i guess they would refer to the top 1 percent, I agree that speucal interests manipulate the system, but i would stop short of calling it an aristoc racy). Especially in this era of transparency duento the internet, not only is it impractical, due to the realities of a corrupt aristocracy rather than a meritocracy, but its untenable. Leaks would destroy such a system before it ever got off the ground. Its the 21st century, not early 20th. So i think, not only is a representative meritocracy morally superior and better functioning, it is better than all the other systems that are more closed yet claim to be meritocratic.

      • Sam commented  · 

        Current dictatorial meritocracies across the planet:

        Singapore, Venetian republic.

        Of old:

        Various Chinese dynasties (people took exams to get to power)

        Democratic meritocracies:

        Austria (meritocrats talk to the representative constituencies for a vote, sort of)
        Hong kong (functional body)
        Republic of korea (administrative divisions)

        One party meritocracies:

        To some extent china, there is only a one party system, so you rise due to political connections, aristocracy, or intelligence, skill and ability, by virtue of competition....

      • Sam commented  · 

        It doesn't take sides, doesn't use trickery to advance it's cause. If we are to think intelligence is more aligned with truth or better legislation if uncorruptablr, perhaps we should do a study of iq and accomplishments vs ideololgy. It would be very....very interesting.

      • Sam commented  · 


      • Sam commented  · 

        The main point is this: you don't need an electoral process for a government to be representative, in fact ironically, often the opposite is the case; governments with pure electoral processes for everything are the least representative. Representation comes with checks and balances. If you accept these premises, then you can have a representati e government that appoints leaders not directly through an electoral process, or it does but the individuals are vetted by merit, and also has the best possible people in power. Hence, enhancing decision making processes, yet having a strong immunity toward corruption.

      • Sam commented  · 

        (continued) to vote on the meritocratic legislation. You could also have another chamber representing the economic blocs of the economy to vote on it, to make it even more representative. I think ive beaten the point into the ground: you don't need democracy for a system to be representative, besides, measures could clearly be taken to take down the meritocrats and reinstate a republic if there iwas sufficient popular discontent simply by a constitutional ammendment, not to mention the american people would rise up and hold their government to account, especially the military, if that were to happen. But I am inclined to think that thisnform of government would be less corruptible, and more immune to lobbying than the current system or democracy, and hence, I beleive it to be MORE representative.

        There may be flaws in this system but so are there in democracy. A system not need be democratic to be representative, that is the main main point here. The thing that keeps governments representative are checks and balances, so, by that logic, why not have a government run by the best of the best yet still be representative? You could have a democratic meritocracy with enumerated powers such as the constitutional republic we have now. Anyway, i wanted to share this with you because I believe this is the way to actually weed out corruption, not going after the manipulators and spanking them. Manipulators are only as good as the systems they abuse. A meritocratic system like wikipedia, where everyone can contribute but only those knowledgeable and intelligent on the subject get to by virtue of a million eyes, is the sort of organic democratic meritocratic system that is desired. I also think as people become more educated and privy to the excesses of then current political process, societies will go toward meritocracy, because they will realize that democracies are horrible at passing good legislation that benefits a nation. So as the underdeveloped countries move to more democratic systems that are a little less corrupt than the strong man elite corrupt classes they moved away from through social media, I believe more and more democratic and wealthy societies, seeing the excesses and inefficiencies of government in their own systems, will start expecting more of their officials and pension systems, holding them to the same standards as corporations to avoid debt and ponzie schemes, for the benefit of all society.

        I believe people would accept such a system. They would just need to see how it is both representative (they can have a voice) and yields better results. I think people prefer the mayo clinic for example, than just some random hospital operated by arrogant dumb dumb quakes, becsuse itnyiekds results. Americans love winners. It just takes a cultural shift and it can start by people like you just explaining through examples what I underlined above. This solution may be extensive and complicated, but it may be the fic to the problem. Anyway, I wish you all the best in your endeavors and good luck in your fight.



        Written in letter format because I was originally going to email ratigan

      • Sam commented  · 

        All the meritocrats must have an iq higher than 140, must be over 60 in age and extremely wealthy. They get to staff the budget comittees which could all be staffed with geniuses from the highest esteemed ivy league institutions. Each sector of the economy is overseen by one meritocrat which then staffs the comitttees, and who is a veteran in that particular industry. Some may not have to abide by the strict iq requirement, although they will naturally be fairly intelligent. Case in point, Steve jobs, Warren buffet, bill gates, bloom berg. All of them are intelligent, old and wealthy, and reasonably, they may be more concerned with the fututre of their country and legacy, than with money or perks. Not only are they experts in their field, they bring a social network of powerful friends to implement their plans. Furthermore, many of those amongst the meritocrats that are not old, could be given 30_50 million dollarsmafter their 6 year term, or if found to be corrupt put in jail for life. That check and balance Dylan, I guarantee you, will be a strong incentive. Itnwould pay for itself, no pork barrel spending A new political class would spring up so there would be even less incentive to be corrupt, meritocrats would mingle amongst themselves. You could have each special sector of the economy overseen by one of these meritocrats who knows it extremely well, and who staffs comitttees that write legislation. Additionally you have the budget comitttees run by those privy to the particular sectors under their jurisdiction. To top it all off, to make sure it even more bullet proof, you could have an educated electorate that would vote on the legislation being passed, and they would act as a virtual congress ofnrepresentatives. Let's make them all have an iq of 180 and above to reduce the number of people so it's easier to track. Let's say these people are all over the country and numerous enough to statistically eliminate Any corruption or ideological bias, and whose vote is clearly recorded and finances tracked. They vote via text, it is read on cspan per number to make it anonymous, an error is made, the person Corrects it if necessary before the final vote. It seems to me that people in the general population with that iq will be numerous enough to eliminate special interest lobbying, therenwould simply be too many people. Hence, they could 'hold accountable' the meritocrats in power. Even if you are somehow attached to the electoral process we could instead of electing people, just take censuses of ideological inclinations; conservative, progressive, libertarian and so forth. These parties would in turn staff people in congress, based on the ideological makeup of the country

      • Sam commented  · 

        (continued)Corruption, food shortages, rampant crime and unemployment. All thanks to a ingnoramoys demogugue who first got to power.What actually works in developed nations and what is really admired, are the Checks and balances along with the rule of law that does not allow special interestsnto corrupt a system. The American system may be imperfect, but it runs. And these checks and balances are exactly what is being eroded right now in the American system. But again, it is not democracy that is so special about the united states, but the insitutions and system of incentives and disincentives that more or less keeps the government representative, not democracy. If the government were truly democratic, we would very likely have a dictator right ow. it's precisely because of the constitutional separation of powers and the republic system of governance that this has more or less been avoided; when you have one area of government with supreme power it is more easily hijacked by special interests. So let me propose to you an alternative, instead of democracy, let us have meritocracy. Meritocracy is the system of government by which political power is attained through merit, not through an electoral process. Now what is merit, how do you define it, who defines iy? Well, I think a government run by those endowed with high levels of intelligence and accomplishments in various disciplines they regulate, in essence, an "educated electorate," would be better for the USA, but especially for the world, where people are more uneducated and more easily swayed, than democracy. Now you may posit thatnsuch a system may be just as corruptable if not more so than democracy, but I would ask you, why? Electoral process does not guarantee in any way representation, it's the checks and balances that guarantee representation. Let me give you an example of a system, a type of meritocracy, that may be MORE representative than democracy

      • Sam commented  · 

        (continued)And that's where my suggestion comes in. Democracy is extremely ironic in this regard, because although it is supposed to be the most representative, as it's power by popular elections, it in fact is the
        very system that allows the most manipulation by special interests, and hence, can lead to the least representation of any system. It is the height of irony, that in a representative system where power is supposedly attained through popular elections, politicians must prostitute themselves in order to get
        Elcted, and are beholden to those interests to more of an extent than the people they are supposedly representing.

        I know the general common wisdom is Winston churchill's line "democracy is the worst system of government, except for all those other systems. But I disagree, what makes the us and western "democracies" work is not democracy but checks and balances. Pure democracy always turns to mob rule, and then to a dictatorship. Case in point are the demo races in south America. Due to a largely uneducated electorate,they are easily swayed by demagogues, and subsequently abused. Hugo Chavez uis a prime example, he came in with a clean slate, unburdened by anyone. This guy could have completely reformed the country but he was ignorant and the people of his country were uneducated and were easily swayed. What happened? He came in with enormous popularity (80%) and the first thing he did was change the constitution to give himself limitless power while staffing the 'congress' of that country with all his friends. Sure, he has elections, but they are all rigged because he ends up paying people to vote and controls the airways through tacit intimidation. The result is a dictatorship which is democratic in name only. Nowadays due the ignoramuses in power there, with no actual knowledge ifnthe industries they are regulating, there is massive

      • Sam commented  · 

        How to actually fix that problem, without helping special interests in the process:

        Dear ratigan,

        I've decided to share with you an idea on governance. You seem to be the only person on television that 'gets it' Glenn beck makes some good points and has said things the way they are, but recent ly he has gone off the deep end, so Ive decided to share with you.

        I think you would agree that our democratic republic, as much as it might be in name, is not very representative. You accurately point out implicitly on your program that although we may have elected representatives, that in no way means our representatives are not representing the various special interests that allowed them to get elected. Now, you seem to tackle the problem by going against those who manipulate the system, aka special interests, and that's reasonable and fair in its own right. How can you have a good system unless you hold those manipulating the system accountable? However, I go about it a little differently, I don't blame the manipulators see, but the system that is currently set up that ENCOURAGES, in fact REWARDS that sort of behavior. From my perspective going after the manipulators is like Indiana jones trying to get the crucifix, a historical artifact, from a bunch of thieves in order to give It justly to the sheriff, only to get accused if theft himself and the crucifix given back to the theives due to the fact that the robber baron has the sheriff in his back pocket (last crusade movie, first part). You are not going to fix the problem, unless you engineer the checks and balances necessary to discourage a certain predatory behavior

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