The “Pubs Pledge, Ryan’s Plan, etc.

I like the objectives but I suspect they are impossible to accomplish as long as self-government is defined as 50M+1 voters deciding for 50M-1. Not that we shouldn’t make every attempt, but I think a much more fundamental change would yield the desired result – for socialists, conservatives, and others.. but not those in love with power. Which is where we conservatives and libertarians fail – we really don’t trust the power it takes to dictate to 50M-1. Even this blowout election was closer to 50M+1 than 2/3rs or 3/4s.

I’d much rather have all these domestic issues determined by community governments of no more than, say, half the average congressional district (about 300,000 citizens). Which is roughly one gigawatt (electric and gas plants), a water and sewer plant, a (small) airport, a few courts, jails, (perhaps a lethal injection gurney), hospitals, about 5,000 classrooms, etc. It’s also larger than most States in the early 1800s, and as much economic power as all but the largest companies in the Fortune 50.

Then I wouldn’t have to care if today’s 50M-1 (or tomorrow’s 50M+1) want progressive policies. I’ll be able to vote not only at the ballot box but with my (and my enterprise’s) feet to a nearby environment that is competing for my favor. And since the current entitlements are nothing but a political promise (without assets), those can devolve to these same self-governing units. Cast the law as an "opt-in" by the states for their communities, those that don’t opt-in keep the current system and federal tax regime, those that do are free of all federal regulation, administration, and tax, save a 10% tithe of all local taxes collected payable to a new institution created to manage the common defense including: customs, national borders, department of war, etc.. and given the war department has all the same ability as the state department, for those communities that opt-in, these state department activities will be subsumed into the existing military attaché system.

(continuing): My hope is that given a choice between possibly poor-er yet free-er (with the promise of faster growth than today’s less-free status) most conservative states will opt-in, and their ability to draw the citizen and their enterprise out of the socialist states will drive them into also opt-ing in. Shrinking the size of the governed (not just Federal government) will closely connect action and consequence, and we’ll see what governing style yields the best results for the citizens across these 1,000 independent communities. With larger issues dealt with by voluntary associations of the affected communities. Maybe San Francisco can make communitarianism work. And some communities of Manhattan can escape rent controls and bloom. But we won’t have SFO dictating to the Central Valley and v.v. Granted it will make those in love with power crazy. And make special interests into general interests if they are to succeed.

Where we should design for competition in all things – including law and regulation, some communities could just take adopt the gigabyte disk of existing federal law and regulation, other could choose to adopt the (west) German legal code that we wrote for them post WW2 – where there are no torts, just reading of the law with no reference to precedents – don’t like the law, use the vote to encourage the local council change it. And no dicta beyond the Federal constitution for these new self-governing units. Amusingly, as each community will be arguably more independent and powerful than a small European State they could claim a seat in the U.N. General Assembly. Would grow from 200 to 1200, and those that didn’t like it could be challenged to set up equally sized independent, self-governing communities (perhaps an easier path to Mr. Bush’ goal of freedom for the world’s people).

Well, I can (and do) dream.

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