Posts tagged Legislation
Oh man, I bet you were thinking today “I want to read about regulation and how to do it effectively!” I heard your calls, I thought about it while building card decks and I’ve come to the following conclusion: Well…you’ll see as we move along!
So I’ve been reading a lot, not necessarily recently but just in general. One of the things I’ve noticed over and over is that regulations are originally (at least stated to be) put in place to protect the little guys, the average people, from the evils of the wild west of capitalism. At its core capitalism is a deceptively evil thing, living life with no concern but the market and profits. But there are some simple ways you can make it work, and I think that Libertarians would enjoy some of the things I’m going to say.
The first thing to note is that regulation for regulations sake is always abused. It always mutates into something that hinders start-ups, hinders progress, and overall chokes out any sort of forward momentum. However if you just get rid of regulations you will be left with a very very bad world, if you can’t expect the leadership to properly regulate themselves, you can’t expect anyone to. That’s not necessarily because people are bad, but picking and choosing who can be trusted is not something one should do.
So what I propose is not regulations in the strictest sense but instead requiring that all businesses be open to the public. The records, the processes, the factories, require that people be able to see every step that lead to their I-pod, their home, their burger, or their pants. This provides the missing piece to the idea that the “Market will regulate itself”, because as it stands the thing that stops businesses from regulating themselves is sweet secrecy. No need to fix how you take care of your cattle, nobody sees your workers beating them with nail bats.
No need to have your pants made in the US, nobody sees those people being oppressed to save you the 20% off the top. How about the nets put around Foxxconn to catch people who try to end their lives? A work environment so terrible that death is better.
These things are largely hidden behind a veil, easily, and it is usually done because of supposed “security”. Security against what? Terrorists? If they want to bomb a large chicken factory they can do so without seeing what is inside. In fact, if you force people to take into consideration that “someone just might do them harm” you incentivize them to diversify.
No longer is it safe to have a single super massive chicken farm, so instead of one centralized (and very susceptible to harm) factory you spread them across the country and have them closer to the target of their product. Pants, I-Pods, Etc, these companies suddenly have their skeletons dropped on the doorsteps of the consumer.
Are you willing to let people kill themselves just to get an I-phone for 399 instead of 478.9? This becomes the question and I bet more often than not you will not find support for their shady practices to shave a buck off the top.
Now look at the upstart companies, perhaps a family farm? If these folks want to raise their cattle, chickens, etc, as it was done ages past. They can do so. You can see exactly how they do everything and decide for yourself if you like that over the ammonia meat in the local meat factory. I’m not saying either is better than the other (though if I was forced to I’d take the former), but that’s not the point, the point is that the only way the consumer can choose properly is if they are presented the whole package up front.
Everyone needs to show their hand and let the market decide. There are some exceptions, occasionally a business gets too large and monopoly laws are very important. At a certain point a business can get so big that it will utterly obliterate any competition the moment they show up. If there are literally no options you cannot exactly make a choice.
Cake or death is not a fair dichotomy.
Obviously not saying this is perfect. But I think for the back of my head while building decks it isn’t bad. We force all businesses to be as open and up front as they want their customers to be. Origin fishing your PC for data? You should be given all theirs in kind.
There is something called the “Argument from Ignorance” and that’s not what I’m talking about today. No today we are going to (kind of) talk about SOPA. But, you say, we just did! Well no I’m not here to rant on about SOPA again but more what people should do about it now. Specifically you should find out if your local congressmen supported it at >any< time and never vote for them again. Find everyone you know and tell them not to vote for these people. I’m going to give you two very strong reasons why.
The first reason Politicians might pass laws like this is they are self indulgent narcissists, people who only went into politics to play the power game and control the lives of thousands or millions. This is the cynics approach, perhaps the accurate one, that all these people are in politics because politics attracts just these kind of people. Now I realize the failure of this point since the “regular people” had to vote in the same monsters over and over, so its largely on the shoulders of the average person for not being educated about politics (only enough to complain about it I suppose) but the fact remains that some people are like this. This is the first of only two reasons a lawmaker would vote for this (only two? dude getting ballsy). They have special interests, bribes (also known as lobbying dollars), or some other personal gain involved in doing this sort of thing. For some, in the case of SOPA, just by censoring the free exchange of information they secure their jobs indefinitely. From a survival standpoint I applaud their cold hearted drive to maintain a position that many don’t even have to stay in a home (as most are millionaires).
I’ll start getting back into linking many of my points soon, so feel free to assume I’m making things up as I go. Just figured I’d get this out there.
The second reason a Politician might pass a law like this is because they are ignorant of its dangers. You’ll hear this from the politicians that have now flip-flopped on their position for SOPA once they saw the huge backlash. These people are either liars or extremely dangerous. They’ve admitted that they were ignorant of the bills potential but still were voting for it? Imagine if your surgeon had no idea how to properly perform surgery but said “Fuck it. Lets do this.”
These kind of people do not take their position seriously and should not be allowed to keep their job. They are absolutely deadly and, even if honest, are not fit for office. I would argue they aren’t fit for any leadership position. If you don’t know something you always ask. If nobody knows then you research it. But you never, ever, pass a law without being 100% aware of the consequences.
This has been going on for a long time in the US but it gets worse with each generation. The power individuals have to destroy the environment, to kill people, to disenfranchise people, these are now on the level of states, countries, or entire continents. There needs to be an extremely serious approach to this.
You cannot have a dim wit smiling as he talks about invading Iraq, you cannot have people who are either malicious or ignorant passing laws in congress, and you cannot expect anything good in the future for as long as these things are not fixed.
Do not vote for anyone who supported SOPA. No matter the reason these people are dangerous, the same should be said for any bill that is nearly passed that has dire consequences. The people are either evil or stupid and neither is an acceptable political status.
So I’m writing this from upstairs which means I’ll be warmer which I hope means I won’t have the “cold hands / short post” problem. The only downside to writing up here is I have to magnify the screen by 2x to see anything that I’m writing. However beggars can’t be choosers and I’ll take the steadily rising 63 degrees of our bedroom over the 57 degrees downstairs.
So lets see, why is SOPA bad? Well there aren’t all that many reasons really. There are probably tons of smaller reasons, different pieces of it you could pick apart that make it truly diabolical but it is the macro level that I am concerned with and it’s a failure of politics in general. The first thing is the name, you can generally tell what a bill won’t do or won’t be by the name. The Patriot Act was not Patriotic, Quite a few Clean Air bills actually made regulations lighter, and in this particular case this would not (in any way) stop or even hinder Piracy.
Crime is an interesting thing, it exists solely to answer a niche that is not properly addressed by the legal world. If you want to see what happens when something mundane is made illegal look at Prohibition. It didn’t stop anything and ended up being the foundation for modern organized crime. The next time you hear about a kid getting shot by a gang keep in mind that that stems from conservative laws passed in the early 1900’s (hope I’m getting my history correct, forgive me I can’t double check easily on this PC at this time). In the modern world we have the war on drugs which has single handedly cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people (speaking conservatively) and incarcerated thousands of Americans for little more than carrying and using drugs. You might think this is fair but imagine if Alcohol or Tobacco was a federal offense starting tomorrow.
How would you feel about that? I know personally I wouldn’t care but for TONS of (unknowing) hypocrites this would be an extreme inconvenience and likely a one way ticket to jail or criminal activity. So we’ll keep that in mind. Piracy itself exists because a market is not being met, Valve came along with steam and has made millions by (to a point) answering this market. Others are digging deeper graves and only worsening it.
Here is the second problem: Regulation of illegal activities doesn’t really work, regulation works best when it is dealing with something obvious and easily quantifiable. Clean Air, Clean Water, Factory Conditions, all these things that you could easily and safely examine are regulatory concerns. But when you are stuck with something that is shady and dangerous you will find no success in regulating it. What you must do is find the root cause and eliminate that (and I always suggest by satisfying it in a positive and legal way).
Then there is the biggest problem and the thing that so many people overlook. This law is not by itself ultimately evil it is what this law will open the doors to. Think legally speaking of precedence. This is where judges look at previous rulings and use that to help them decide on modern cases. This is used a LOT in politics. Politicians create a small law, then enhance it a little bit each year or even in under a year. Have you been to an airport lately? That whole charade went from profiling, to x-rays of all your stuff (including shoes), to full body pat downs or full body x-rays. It’s these progressive increases in restrictions that are so nefarious and often overlooked. But they must not be. This is extremely important, you must not ever let a law be judged on its own merits. You must always look at a law for what doors it opens towards the future.
I don’t care what country you are in this is incredibly important. Tell a friend, I know this is some small website on the edge of the internet universe but this is something that should never be understated. This is why SOPA is extremely dangerous. IT would start with some minor oppression of information and as soon as it is politically safe to expand upon it they would. Before you know it there would without a doubt be steps taken to make lawmakers immune from reference on the internet.
This might sound silly but consider what the internet represents. This is the first and possibly last free information trade global network. This represents the absolute only chance that humanity has to potentially better itself and escape the archaic systems of its past. Much like postal mail is dying to the Email, the internet will someday make many old world systems obsolete.
In the US look at what this has done for presidential and congressional voting races? Information on the shady dealings of these people are exposed in weeks or days, not months or years. The façade they put forth is quickly crushed beneath the incredible combined researching power of the citizenry.
Wars will never be the same, politics will never be the same, and truly no other facet of dominance will be. Acts like SOPA are important to people who enjoy the privileges of a closed information market. These acts will continue to be proposed for as long as is needed and they will continue pushing to get them through in sneakier and sneakier ways (perhaps hiding it in the NDAA the next time that comes around).
If the internet is not censored, quickly, there will be a considerable problem for bad people. This is something other countries (Iran, China, etc) have realized. This is something people outside of those countries should never laugh at. It’s a serious possibility and one very important reason to always fight these kind of bills. The moment one gets through it will be abused.
I’m hopeful however, unlike the airports the internet is something that the vast majority of Americans use to some degree. Some once it starts getting broken people will likely stand up. As a final note, ANYTIME a bill says it exists to “save American jobs” it will most certainly kill them. It’s not about saving them in the grand scheme, but saving the specific ones that paid for the bill.
So I’ve discussed this many times across the internet but I’ve never posted about it here. So I feel now is a good time. There are four issues people have with illegal immigration that I would like to address. These are all of course Myths . The first is that Illegal Immigration costs the nation financially. The second is that Illegal Immigration leads to higher crime rates. The third is that illegal immigration steals jobs from American Citizens. The Fourth is that Illegal Immigrants have no rights.
Arizona has argued that Illegal Immigration and Hispanics in particular have been the sole (if not at least the largest) cause of their financial plight. This is an easy target as technically if any of them march on you they can be deported. Regardless even Fox news has attacked this. In an article entitled “Despite Rhetoric, Illegal Immigration Provides Benefits to States.” they note that as of 2006 Arizona made 424.7 Million dollars off of illegal immigrants and that between 50 to 75 percent of them pay federal, state, and local income tax.
If you were curious all states with illegal immigrants have similar findings. Likewise the alienation of the illegal immigrant population is likely to cause the bankruptcy of Arizona. Perhaps the most fitting way for the state to collapse economically, beneath an irony that creates its own point singularity.
The next one is that illegal immigration leads to higher crime rates. The truth behind this can be found in studies at every level of government (and some independent ones). Just quickly I’ll note “Immigration: No Correlation With Crime” as a good starting point. There is no higher chance that an illegal immigrant will commit a crime over a legal one. The only real correlation is that economic stability leads to lower crime rates. Whenever a person or group of persons is left with an economic gap they will take avenues to fill that gap. Generally that means committing crimes. Any nation that provides its people with a stable life will in turn have a model citizenship. Mental instability not included (always a variable). In fact if we stopped hunting illegals and allowed them to report crimes safely they’d be more likely to do so and far less likely to be targeted by criminals (as they wouldn’t be a free hit). The same goes for prostitutes, our moralizing leaves them in a dangerous situation that would not exist if it were legal (Example: Any legal ranch in Nevada).
Thirdly we have that illegal immigrants are stealing the jobs from American’s. This is another one with bountiful sources of information but they all require the bane of many American’s lives…reading. To those that have made it this far I trust that you are apt to reading and thusly lay this upon you “Shipping Jobs Overseas: How Real is the Problem?” as a jumping off point for research. The Jobs that American’s want and the jobs that Americans actually fill are lost because of overseas movement of jobs. Free Trade and demand for cheap goods has lead to companies moving all their “One Job for a Household” jobs to other nations like China and India. Hispanics and Illegal Immigrants in General take jobs that are always open, jobs that nearly no American wants. The likelihood of you wanting a job and a Hispanic “taking it” are very very slim. Unless Illegals have started moving into management positions all over the south.
Finally we have the idea that Illegal Immigrants have no rights. This particular train of thought has boggled my mind so hard I feared I might be stricken stupid. All people have, by belief of the United States very foundation, Inalienable or “Natural” Rights. These rights stem from the very fact that we are human and can never be negated. For those wanting a fantastic jumping off point for this research “Natural and Legal Rights”. There are certain legal rights as a citizen that Illegal Immigrants do not have. This is an unfortunate situation that stems more from us wishing to not dictate too many freedoms to enemy soldiers than it does from pro-American immigrants.
Which is where my problem with this whole situation arises. These are not anti-American extremists, these are people who largely love the United States. Who can tell you more about United States History and Culture than anyone legal you live near. They know more about United States Presidents than college graduates and, given the same social and economic blessings that regular citizens hope to have, they are just as wonderful as any other person. Because at heart, these are just ordinary people, who are being treated as if they were brought over on a boat from Africa. As if they are somehow less than human, worthy of being treated as cattle. Just as the slaves of times past in the US should have never been treated as they were, we stand now at a time when Hispanics and people from all nations who wish to come here and support us should be treated with the respect they earned the moment the desire to live here spawned.
We are a nation of immigrants, a nation of people who originally forced their way into an already habited nation and took over. To think that we would judge now people coming in peacefully and attempting as hard as they can to assimilate is not only hypocrisy but it is also an example of our character that the entire nation looks upon with shame.