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Why School until you are over 20 years old?

richardshagrin

I saw an article in Atlantic, on line, that suggested college is a waste for society as a whole. Please write a story set where most people don't go to high school or beyond but enter the workforce when they are in their early teens, like the Bar Mitzvah for Jewish boys when they become adults at 13. Or in the olden days when an eighth grade education was the most an average person got, and many had far less.

Here is the start of the Atlantic article:
"The World Might Be Better Off Without College for Everyone
Students don't seem to be getting much out of higher education.
I have been in school for more than 40 years. First preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, and high school. Then a bachelor's degree at UC Berkeley, followed by a doctoral program at Princeton. The next step was what you could call my first "real" job—as an economics professor at George Mason University.

FROM OUR JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 ISSUE

Thanks to tenure, I have a dream job for life. Personally, I have no reason to lash out at our system of higher education. Yet a lifetime of experience, plus a quarter century of reading and reflection, has convinced me that it is a big waste of time and money."

Obviously lots of teachers would have to look for other work. Personnel departments would have to use other methods to select employees other than what schools they attended. But workers earnings would start when much younger and what you learn on the job will be much more related to your duties. And retirement savings after 50 or more years of work should be much higher, in part because of compound interest on savings, if you start when you are 15 and save until 65.

Some professions, doctors, ministers, possibly lawyers will need more schooling, although Lincoln didn't go to College, he was a lawyer's apprentice. There is a reason they abbreviate Bachelors Degrees as BS, and masters degrees as MS (more of the same) and PhDs as piled higher and deeper. All this education started out to keep younger workers out of the workforce so they wouldn't compete with older workers. Do we need to handicap our young people with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, so they can hang a diploma on their wall? And learn things they never will use and probably learn enough to regurgitate some "facts" in exam papers and promptly forget.

I hope to read some stories about society with much less formal education and a lot younger workers. If it is SOL, the kids will need to be 14 before you write about them.

Replies:   AmigaClone  REP
AmigaClone

@richardshagrin

If it is SOL, the kids will need to be 14 before you write about them.


I think that only applies to them having sex.

REP
Updated:

@richardshagrin


If it is SOL, the kids will need to be 14 before you write about them.


If you are thinking of a post-high school story, the kids are already over 14.

My first wife was Australian. She briefly explained the Australian education system that was in place in the mid 60's in Perth, but I found her explanation a bit confusing. From what I recall, kids completed their basic education which sounded like the equivalent of grades 1-8 in the US. Their paths split at that point with some kids entering what I think of as Trade Schools or they went to work in low-level jobs where they learned a trade. The other kids went to school to prepare for University, and then to University. I don't recall her ever using the term College.

I suspect the Australian Educational System still uses this structure.

Richard - Is this the type of school-work environment that you had in mind for a story?

I once tried to explain an idea I had for modifying the US higher education system to a coworker. The idea was once students graduated from High School, they had to serve a mandatory 2-year term in some form of National Service (e.g. military, job corp, or a new group that worked to improve the country in some fashion) before they could enter college/university. That 2-year period would help the kids mature. I feel immaturity is one of the problems in college/university. I think my coworker was an idiot for he kept insisting the idea would be unfair to the kids in the National Service group because the rest of their peer group would get to go to college. He just couldn't grasp the idea that ALL kids without exception would go to the National Service program.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

She briefly explained the Australian education system that was in place in the mid 60's in Perth, but I found her explanation a bit confusing. From what I recall, kids completed their basic education which sounded like the equivalent of grades 1-8 in the US.


In NSW, like most of the Australian sates, until the 1960s high school used to end at 4th Form what they now call year 10. At the end of the year you sat for the School Leavers Certificate to say you finished high school. Some students left in 3 rd form (year 9) to take up work for a tradesman as an apprentice under the apprenticeship scheme. Some went to technical colleges, some went to university with scholarships or parental payment, and the rest went to work of some sort.

Then they introduced year 11 and 12, but only a percentage of those passing at the high end of the Leavers Certificate, now called the School Certificate, were allowed to go on to study the extra 2 years. Some went to do apprenticeships, some went to technical colleges, some went to university and the rest went to work.

By the late 1970s the rules changed and just about everyone went on to do the extra 2 years unless they found or went to technical college or an apprenticeship and getting into university at year 10 was almost impossible. While anyone completing year 12 could go to university and run up a student debt as long as they didn't fail the Higher School Certificate too badly at the end of year 12.

In many industries and work fields today the middle managers and upper management are university graduates who have a strong belief you can't do any management work or higher level work unless you have a university degree. That means a lot of good employees are locked out from rising to where they can do their best work, while a lot of people with lesser capabilities get jobs because they have a degree - it often doesn't matter what the degree is, either.

In one case in the early 1990s I saw a high level manager declare candidate A with 25 years experience in the field couldn't possible be as good a candidate as the guy with the uni degree in a totally associated field and only 2 years work experience. To him the uni degree outweighed everything else. To this day I still don't understand how a degree anthropology qualified a person for work as a middle manager in a financial analysis and management unit.

In the late 1980s I saw a upper management person with a uni degree in management select a candidate for a lower management positions as being the best because they were the only person who had a uni degree out of the ten applicant. Never mind 5 of the applicant had spent years working in that unit at the level just below the one the position was for, and totally ignoring the fact the unit's work was based around the use of some specialised software, and the only applicant from outside of the unit was one of the two people who wrote the damn software and knew it better than anyone else. The fact the position involved working out ways to better use the software and having one of it's creators was nothing compared to a uni degree.

I know of a fellow who applied for a job at a technical college to teach a specialised class, he only had a teacher's certificate, so he wasn't even considered for an interview, they only interviewed those with teaching degrees from a uni, the sad thing is the class used a specialist text book, and they refused to even interview the guy who wrote it because he only had a certificate and not a degree.

..........

The long term result of that mind set is you can't even get a job as a street sweeper without uni degree now, well it seems that way due to the job ads.

-----------------

I first got paid work doing part-time after school just before I was 13, first full-time casual work during holidays at 15. Today the can't employ you until 17 or have a court approval, outside of an approved apprenticeship program.

Replies:   REP  Not_a_ID
REP

@Ernest Bywater

it often doesn't matter what the degree is, either.


I agree. There is no logic involved when ownership of a piece of paper that says you should be good a doing something trumps a person's knowledge and experience of the position being filled and no piece of paper.

My wife in Australia was a Secretary for the Labor Party. When we got back to the US she applied for several positions. During on interview, she was asked if she had a degree. She asked why they wanted a degree. The interviewer told her the only reason was she would be supporting degreed people and the firm felt her having a degree would enable her to better communicate with those she supported.

richardshagrin

I suspect the various teachers have influence on why more and more education is required to enter the job force. Also it greatly simplifies who gets hired if you require college or advanced degrees before consideration. I strongly doubt you get the best results for society by required kids (people less than college leaving age) to have bachelors degrees to get any good jobs (or union approved training programs that take a long time and keep younger people from competing for union workers jobs until they are "old enough". Often to get into training you have to be related to a current union worker. Have you noticed that further education is now often required now that so many have mere bachelor degrees. Teachers in elementary and high schools need to get masters degrees (they get 5 years teaching experience with just a bachelors degree but need continuing education to keep their employment. An often management jobs require an MBA. And PhDs sometimes need post doctoral training. Its a scam, and people who fall in it get much less working time to get good pay once their "training" is done. Medical Doctors get to be interns and then there is a period called Resident when they work 90 hours a week and are paid much less than most Medical Professionals. They start their real professional career in their 30s.

"An internship is a period of work experience offered by an organisation for a limited period of time. Once confined to medical graduates, the term now captures a wide range of placements within businesses, non-profit organisations and government agencies. They are typically undertaken by students and graduates looking to gain relevant skills and experience in a particular field. Employers benefit from these placements because they often recruit employees from their best interns, who have known capabilities, thus saving time and money in the long run. Internships are usually arranged by third party organisations which recruit interns on behalf of industry groups. Rules vary from country to country about when interns should be regarded at employees. The system can be open to exploitation by unscrupulous employers." (from Wikipedia)

They system is set up so young workers don't compete with existing workers until long after they would be able to earn money and contribute to society. Who benefits? Somebody must because it doesn't make sense for society or the individuals stuck in class after class just so they get "qualified."

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille

@richardshagrin

They system is set up so young workers don't compete with existing workers until long after they would be able to earn money and contribute to society. Who benefits? Somebody must because it doesn't make sense for society or the individuals stuck in class after class just so they get "qualified."


It's all set up by socialist people. Teachers are mostly socialist. Union people are mostly socialists. Social workers are all socialists.

They all benefit from people needing them the longest time possible. It's to the benefit of teachers to have as many students as possible to guarantee their own jobs for as long as possible. Colleges and universities are either government supported (in countries where education is free like in France) or private enterprises, both types benefit greatly when more and more education is required.

Unionized workers benefit when there is no competition from new blood.

Social workers benefit when people need their help.

So all of these groups and others too, push for increased education requirements and higher and higher minimum wages in order to benefit themselves and keep as much competition at bay.

The best way to hire people for jobs is to give them IQ tests. It's a simple, extremely low cost method of finding those who will benefit your business the most. Universities and their teachers absolutely hate IQ tests and they do their best to downplay them and give them a bad image outright. IQ tests eliminate the need for a Certificate issued by higher education people as a signal that a person is suitable for hiring. In most businesses it would be much better to hire the smartest person you can as you'll have to give anybody job training to have them fit your enterprise.

In most jobs, a university education is not needed. Go back 70 years and see what was being taught in colleges and universities and you'll find something like engineers, doctors, lawyers etc... Anything other than that is a waste of time and energy.

Can you tell that I don't like socialists or socialism?

Replies:   robberhands  awnlee jawking  REP  REP
robberhands

@John Demille

Can you tell that I don't like socialists or socialism?

I was a bit suspicious at first but then I dropped the thought. You didn't froth at the mouth; by which I mean its literary equivalent, of course. That's what I became used to when reading statements from people who dislike socialists or socialism.

awnlee jawking

@John Demille

The best way to hire people for jobs is to give them IQ tests.


That would identify the people with the best memories, able to make the best corporate drones. But if you're looking for innovators, people who can think outside the box, IQ tests are a poor method. Innovators often do poorly on IQ tests because they think of meanings and solutions that the setters didn't.

AJ

Replies:   John Demille  sunkuwan
John Demille

@awnlee jawking

That would identify the people with the best memories, able to make the best corporate drones.


I disagree. People with high 'G' or general intelligence are capable of learning quickly and able to solve problems quickly too.

High intelligence people come in all types, from the very creative to Aspies. My wife has an IQ of 126 and she is the most creative person that I know.

So far in my business IQ tests never led me astray. The first thing that job applicants do after they fill their job applications is do an IQ test. Those who refuse (many do) are automatically eliminated. Those who do poorly, don't get the job.

My business isn't a charitable organization set up to help the needy regardless of their qualifications. I have clients that requires the best services that their money can buy and to send somebody who is incapable of doing quick thinking is a disservice to everybody.

I don't require geniuses, and different jobs in the company requires different minimum IQ scores. I don't hire anybody who scores below 95 for any job. Anybody under 100 gets the janitor jobs. Certain positions in the company require people with above 115 IQ. I have only two employees with IQs above 130 and they get paid handsomely for their talents. I do my best to retain those two as they're the most crucial for the whole business.

Have you taken an IQ test?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
REP

@John Demille


The best way to hire people for jobs is to give them IQ tests


An IQ test is designed to measure a person's ability to learn. It is a very poor tool to measure whether a person is capable of performing a specific job.

If you were looking to hire someone to do brain surgery on you, would you really hire a person with no medical knowledge just because they have a high IQ?

sunkuwan

@awnlee jawking

Sure, make IQ tests for every job *rolleyes*

Did you even work in any capacity? Workers in a field have massive discrepancies in IQ and education. A Steel worker with an IQ of 110 and one with an IQ of 80 are not different in their work if they passed the standard set by the industry ministry.

I worked 9 years in a Callcenter. It didn't matter if the worker was previously a fisher, a steel worker, an office drone, had a University degree etc.
I had colleagues who had university degrees who were excelent at the work and ones with the same degree who were bad. same with lower education. Doing a good job has NOTHING to do with IQ or education.

And for higher jobs you just need the degree. The IQ (which is a non-entity in Germany) has nothing to do with it.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
REP

@John Demille

Can you tell that I don't like socialists or socialism?


The ideal of Socialism is very different than what is practiced by Socialists. In the same way, the ideal of Democracy is very different than what is practiced in countries that claim they practice Democracy.

Replies:   John Demille  Not_a_ID
John Demille

@REP

If you were looking to hire someone to do brain surgery on you, would you really hire a person with no medical knowledge just because they have a high IQ?


Come on, give me logical arguments. You don't hire brain surgeons directly, and I sure hope that whoever hired the brain surgeon at the hospital knows what they're doing. There are very good reasons to have certification boards that are separate from the education institutions. These days schools and universities give a lot of useless people useless degrees. Around here in our public schooling system, rare are the students who don't get their high-school diplomas. Doesn't mean they all deserved them.

I can only apply my rules to the things under my control. I can control who I hire for my business. The IQ tests that we administer are customized for our business, so they contain questions that are not strictly general IQ test questions, plus there are interviews for those who pass. We don't blindly hire the smartest applicant for jobs requiring certain existing skills. But in general, for any job, you should hire the best applicants, and minimal IQ requirements alleviate a lot of the doubt.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@John Demille

A year ago I was searching through old documents and found the only IQ test I ever absolved, as far as I can remember. I was ten at the time and on the back of the sheet of the test I scribbled pictures of sailing boats. Now I wonder if I chose the wrong profession. Maybe I should have become a painter ... or a sailor.

Replies:   richardshagrin
awnlee jawking

@sunkuwan

Doing a good job has NOTHING to do with IQ or education.


I think you replied to the wrong person.

The two most effective IT professionals I worked with left school without going to university. The irony is that the companies which employed them now insist on graduates only. And it shows :(

AJ

John Demille

@REP

The ideal of Socialism is very different than what is practiced by Socialists.


The ideal of socialism is a totally useless idea. Socialism goes against every human instinct and is a terrible ideology to live by. The idea that everybody is the same is counter to human nature. The reason that every damn social experiment resulted in enormous loss of life (over 100 millions in the 20th century) should a warning to anybody who ever thinks about implementing socialism.

Any social structure that requires rigid control to maintain is counter to human nature. Socialism requires a very rigid power structure to maintain, which is funny because socialism is based on the idea that we are all the same, treated the same as a collective. Because of this need for rigid control to maintain, socialism is very, very attractive to authoritarian minded people. Those who have a very specific idea how everybody should live and what everybody should do. That's why those who manage to reach the top of the hierarchy in a socialist regime are usually the worst people. They're usually ruthless as ruthlessness is required when you want to manage people's lives. All 'great' socialist from Mao to lenin, stalin, che gevara, castro etc... killed a lot of people. Socialists tend to want to eliminate anybody who doesn't agree with them.

Smart people are rarely socialist. In every social system, the first people that are killed are usually the smart ones because they're a threat to the harmony of the masses. And when there are no smart people left, then a country goes to hell.

In the same way, the ideal of Democracy is very different than what is practiced in countries that claim they practice Democracy.


Strict democracy is basically mob rule. It's not good without some limitations as without the limitations the minorities are discriminated against by the voting majorities. The US is not a strict democracy as it guarantees rights for minorities. And remember, most socialist countries call themselves some variation on the 'people democracy'.

What humans need a free world with some limitations to avoid trampling on each other. Everybody should have absolute economic freedom and personal freedom as long as they don't hurt others, with the absolute minimum of forced resource transfer.

The west is now gradually devolving from a system based on freedom to a socialist one. Bit by bit, individual freedoms are being infringed upon and gradually eliminated, usually by well meaning people, and are replaced by social controls.

awnlee jawking

@REP

If you were looking to hire someone to do brain surgery on you, would you really hire a person with no medical knowledge just because they have a high IQ?


The medical profession is a poor example - they are the ultimate in rote learners and score highly in IQ tests.

Conversely, they are lousy at critical thinking and decision making, as exemplified by being the most accident-prone drivers.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@John Demille

Have you taken an IQ test?


I'm not applying for a job as your corporate drone, thank you.

AJ

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille

@awnlee jawking

Have you taken an IQ test?



I'm not applying for a job as your corporate drone, thank you.


So, that's a no. I figured as much when you said that an IQ test finds people with good memories.

There are plenty of free IQ tests on the internet. Take one for the hell of it, so that you would simply know how they work. It's good to know how things work when you want to argue about them; it will give you more ammo for the future.

robberhands

@John Demille

The ideal of socialism is a totally useless idea.

As different as the various social theories are, implemented in reality, they also have one major commonality. It's sunny and warm at the top but cold and clammy at the bottom.

richardshagrin

@robberhands

A year ago I was searching through old documents and found the only IQ test I ever absolved

"Dictionary

absolved
ab·solve
əbˈzälv,əbˈsälv
verb
past tense: absolved; past participle: absolved
set or declare (someone) free from blame, guilt, or responsibility.
"the pardon absolved them of any crimes"
synonyms: exonerate, discharge, acquit, vindicate;
CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY
give absolution for (a sin)."

Go and IQ no more.

robberhands

@richardshagrin

Go and IQ no more.

Sounds like a good idea.

awnlee jawking

@richardshagrin

What better absolution could an IQ Test have than for someone to scribble sailing boats on the back ;)

AJ

richardshagrin

@John Demille

The US is not a strict democracy

Ben Franklin was asked what form of government the Constitutional Convention produced. He is alleged to have said "A Republic, Sir, if you can keep it." We still sort of have a republican form of government, if the Republican Party will let us keep it.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Not_a_ID
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

We still sort of have a republican form of government, if the Republican Party will let us keep it.


They're more likely to let you keep it than the Democrats who want to replace it with a Socialist dictatorship with the Democrat leadership in the top dog position.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Venezuela!

AJ

richardshagrin

"Taxation without representation is Tyranny." As far as I can tell the Republican leadership in Congress doesn't want anyone to be represented in making the decision, and they expect to have party discipline get them just barely enough votes to pass it. If congress is designed to represent campaign contributors, they are doing a great job. The top one percent of all citizens are going to love the new tax plan, what they have let us see, so far. The rest of us, not so much. I am 73, I won't have to pay the debt. I wouldn't be surprised to see the next election remove most of the "representatives" and senators responsible for this secret and hurried legislation.

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP
Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

The top one percent of all citizens are going to love the new tax plan


The top one percent pay 30% of all income taxes collected by the federal government.

Replies:   richardshagrin  REP
richardshagrin

@Dominions Son

The top one percent pay 30% of all income taxes collected by the federal government.

If they get taxed in the future like a corporation they will pay a 20% rate. How much they pay should be based on how much they make. And graduated income taxes are nearly universal these days. How much the graduation rate is would be up to congress and popular opinion. Once upon a time, when I was alive, top rates were about 90%. That has been cut. But I don't see why based on my social security income and about 2% interest which just barely keeps up with inflation on the money I got for sale of my house I should pay a greater percentage than people with hundreds of thousands and millions of income. People with low incomes votes and their votes in aggregate are lots more than the votes of rich people. I don't see why congress doesn't want our votes. They are a lot more interested in money from rich people and corporations to fund their campaigns. Guess where that money comes from. And these days you have to be rich (like President Trump) to run for office and get elected. Maybe this isn't new, Washington was rich, and both Roosevelts. Maybe Harry Truman was the only "man of the people" to make it to the White House, and he got there as a Vice President whose President died.

Replies:   Dominions Son
REP

@John Demille

My statement was an observation, not a statement of preference. Neither 'pure' ideal would work for a large group of people. However, people who claim to be Socialists or followers of Democracy are misrepresenting themselves. What they practice is an extremely modified version of what they profess to be.

You don't hire brain surgeons directly, and I sure hope that whoever hired the brain surgeon at the hospital knows what they're doing.


You are correct that you don't 'hire' a brain surgeon to work directly for you. But you do select them. What you use to find a good surgeon is references, which is what most employers consider in hiring a person. If you rely on a hospital to have hired a 'good' surgeon, you may want to consider the number of legal cases that have proven that the professional medical groups, hospitals, and fellow medical practitioners frequently misrepresent, lie about, and suppress information that proves 'one of their own' is incompetent.

The IQ tests that we administer are customized for our business, so they contain questions that are not strictly general IQ test questions


As soon as you modify an IQ test in the fashion you describe, it is no longer an IQ test. It becomes a means of measuring an applicants knowledge of the job they will be doing if hired. I might add that I was a hiring manager and at the time, my company informed me that it was illegal to use a pre-employment test to determine if an applicant was competent. That may not be true in your state, and the law may have changed.

REP

@richardshagrin

Perhaps we need another Tea Party. We could throw the Congressmen into a bay instead of bales of tea.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

We could throw the Congressmen into a bay instead of bales of tea.


You'd end up with an EPA fine in the millions for the serious pollution of the bay with toxic material. :-)

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

Has anyone explained the concept of a 'balanced' budget to these idiots. Tax cuts reduce the Government's income and they are spending billions on useless budgetary items like Trump's Wall. The National Debt is going to skyrocket.

Oh wait, I forgot. Paul Ryan plans to make up the difference by cutting Social Security benefits. He calls it a Welfare Program, and ignores that most of us who receive benefits paid into the system. What we are supposedly getting is the return on our investment.

Replies:   Dominions Son
REP

@Ernest Bywater

You'd end up with an EPA fine


We will wear masks like the original Tea Party members did. It worked for them. :)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

It worked for them. :)


but the EPA weren't around to fine them then. :-)

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater


but the EPA weren't around


King George was. :)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

King George was. :)


No he wasn't! That was the problme! He was too far away to know what was happening. :-)

Replies:   REP
Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

If they get taxed in the future like a corporation they will pay a 20% rate.


But I don't see why based on my social security income and about 2% interest which just barely keeps up with inflation on the money I got for sale of my house I should pay a greater percentage than people with hundreds of thousands and millions of income.


I wasn't saying that the tax rate for the top 1% was 30%. If you take the total aggregate of all the income tax revenue collected by the IRS, 30% of that money comes from the top 1%. That says nothing about anyone's real or marginal tax rates.

P.S. Social Security isn't funded from income taxes, it's funded entirely from payroll taxes paid by both employers and employees. And your benefits aren't funded by the payroll taxes you paid long ago, your benefits are paid by the payroll taxes of current workers.

Dominions Son

@REP

Has anyone explained the concept of a 'balanced' budget to these idiots.


Yes, but they didn't listen.

Tax cuts reduce the Government's income and they are spending billions on useless budgetary items like Trump's Wall.


True, I'm no fan of the GOP tax plan.

However, I've seen historical charts of actual income tax revenue over time as a percentage of GNP. No matter what Congress has done with income tax rates, and the top marginal rates have been as high as 90%, actual income tax revenue has stayed in a narrow band of around 16.5% to 19% of GNP.

The National Debt is going to skyrocket.


Yep, but the national Debt is ultimately a spending problem, not a tax revenue problem. No tax increase will ever make a dent in the national debt until Congress gets spending under control, and both parties are equally responsible for the spending mess.

He calls it a Welfare Program, and ignores that most of us who receive benefits paid into the system.


You can quibble about the term "welfare", but it is very much an entitlement program that is outside of the annual budget appropriations process just like the actual welfare program.

Yes, you paid into the system, but the money you paid into the system paid for your parent's benefits, it wasn't invested to pay yours.

What we are supposedly getting is the return on our investment.


Yes, that's how Social Security was sold to the public, but it was a lie from the very beginning when Social Security was created under the FDR administration in the 1930s. Go read the original Social Security Act, it will be a real eye opener.

Social Security has never worked and was never intended to work the way the public was led to believe it works.

Replies:   REP  AmigaClone
REP

@Ernest Bywater

He was just across the pond, and we even went to the trouble of sending him a Declaration to let him know we were unhappy with him and his rule. :)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

@Dominions Son

Social Security has never worked and was never intended to work the way the public was led to believe it works.


A lie is about all I expect from a politician.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

He was just across the pond,


Across the pond and many weeks travel away, that's not right there.

Replies:   REP
AmigaClone

@Dominions Son


Social Security has never worked and was never intended to work the way the public was led to believe it works.


Social Security was designed based on the same principles as either the Ponzi or the pyramid schemes.

Replies:   John Demille
richardshagrin

throw the Congressmen in the bay.

I thought the plan was to drain the swamp, not make it bigger.

I went to a fish restaurant for dinner and had Pollock. (pronounced Pol luck) Pol is an abbreviation for politician. We need to have more pol luck.

If the Republicans mess with social security there will be a lot more Democratic voters the next and subsequent elections.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  REP
John Demille
Updated:

@AmigaClone


Social Security was designed based on the same principles as either the Ponzi or the pyramid schemes.


Social security was designed at a time of high birth rate and low life expectancy. Its architects never imagined as low birth rates as we have now in the west and seem to have never thought that life expectancy would increase so much.

These plans were developed with the idea that there will be always more people to pay ever more money in taxes, yes like a pyramid with the base always growing to accommodate a bigger pyramid and that the pyramid wouldn't grow so big because people at the time weren't supposed to live into their nineties often.

At a birth rate of 1.3%, the U.S. is one of the lowest between developed countries. A population replacement rate is 2.1% birth rate. So the US population is shrinking. The solution in the mind of politicians overseeing the country for the coming collapse of the population is to import people, hence the high rate of immigration. The U.S. population is growing thanks to immigration.

However, at the growth rate of spending that the government seems to be heading, no amount of immigration would ever be enough to fix the fundamental problem with the system, which is the seemingly uncontrollable growth in spending necessitated by the social programs promised at a time that things were simpler. As Richard lamented, he was promised something and he wants to collect on the promise regardless of whether the promise was a wise promise.

That's the thing about socialism (and all social programs are based in socialism) is that eventually you run out of other people's money to spend. For now, they simply borrow more and more money.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

If the Republicans mess with social security there will be a lot more Democratic voters the next and subsequent elections.


Ayep, you can't mess with their free bread, free beer, and free circuses without paying the political price, until the whole system collapses and everyone pays the price as people die of starvation due to the inability to shift the food around.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

that's not right there.


and the soldiers, who were his mailed fist, were there to support his regime.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

@richardshagrin

I thought the plan was to drain the swamp, not make it bigger.


Yep that is the plan. Unfortunately, some people want to wait until the problem gets bigger before acting. :)

REP
Updated:

@John Demille


and all social programs are based in socialism


Not an accurate statement.

Socialism is based on everyone contributing to the group and the total contribution being divided equally amongst the members of the group.

ETA: In the US, social programs are based on giving a portion of the total contribution to people who have not contributed to the total contribution.

Replies:   John Demille
Ernest Bywater

@REP


and the soldiers, who were his mailed fist, were there to support his regime.


In general the Generals were a law unto them selves (pun intended) who did what they felt they wanted to do, as did many of the other officers.

John Demille

@REP

Socialism is based on everyone contributing to the group and the total contribution being divided equally amongst the members of the group.


No, my statement is accurate. Marx said in 'Critique of the Gotha Program':

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

That statement acknowledges that not everybody can contribute the same and each contributes as much as they can (according to his ability) and some like disabled people, the elderly and children can't contribute much or at all. Yet, socialism is supposed to satisfy everybody's needs.

So realistically, socialism is a system for resource transfer from members with the highest level of productivity to members with lower/non-existent levels of productivity.

And this is exactly socialism's problem.

Evolution conditioned every organism including humans to minimize energy expenditures in order to survive. Humans don't exert much effort if it's not absolutely needed (there are exceptions, but they are exactly that, exceptions). Most people won't work if they can get away with it, or work the absolute minimum they have to. So productivity plummets under socialism (hence the need for government propaganda to try to convince people to work hard and punishment for those caught not working.)

When growing up, in high school, I had a very pro-capitalism/anti-socialism teacher. He gave us a very clear and convincing lesson in socialism. The first third of the semester everything was normal. We worked normally and got our marks. After he handed us our test results for the first month he announced, that he's changing the system. Told us that from that point on, we're going to adopt a socialist system in class. That at the end of the second month we'll pool everybody's results and divide them among everybody equally. And during that month he kept pushing us and reminding us that if we didn't work, the group's results won't be good and that our comrades are counting on us like we're counting on them. I know that personally, I wasn't working as hard as I did before, but hoped that I would get a top mark because there were some really smart people around me.

Lo and behold, at the end of the month, after the test he handed us our results: WE ALL FAILED! None of us worked hard enough to earn enough points on our tests and homework.

After handing us the results, he told us that this is what socialism does. Man did that experiment drive the point home for me.

Socialism is totally wrong and very destructive because it removes any real incentive from humans to want to get better. What's the point in creating something as marvellous as an iPhone or even a colour TV if you can't personally benefit from your hard work? And no matter how hard you worked, you only get to keep your need and the rest gets distributed among those who couldn't contribute as much as you. You get no recognition and no benefits for your hard work. I'm not going to even touch on how most people end up propping up an elite few that get all the benefits.

Do you think any of the modern advancements would have been possible under a communist regime? How do you imagine the world would be if the west had been conquered by socialism too? Well we better wake up as we're now heading that way if things go unchecked in universities. The current generation will soon be in control of the countries and they're being raised with socialism as a good thing.

Replies:   Geek of Ages
Geek of Ages

@John Demille

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

awnlee jawking

@Geek of Ages

Recent snow and ice means my elderly neighbours haven't been able to get out. I've been round to check on them and ask whether there's anything they need, even though it's very unlikely they'll invent the next iPhone. I guess that makes me a socialist ;)

AJ

John Demille

@Geek of Ages

Which word? And please explain to me what you mean.

I must be dense to need the clarification.

Replies:   Geek of Ages
Geek of Ages

@John Demille

It's a quote from The Princess Bride.

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille

@Geek of Ages

I know the quote. I wasn't sure what you meant or how it applied to my post. Anyway, humour on the net isn't as easy to convey.

Not_a_ID

@Ernest Bywater

The long term result of that mind set is you can't even get a job as a street sweeper without uni degree now, well it seems that way due to the job ads.


Well, unless you're trying to work for Google and some other tech sector employers now. They've discovered the piece of paper is often worthless, so for them experience and results matter more than any extra letters a person can add to their name.

Ultimately, I think basic/early education is going to be largely self-directed under guidance by limited(or full) AI in order to "tailor" to the student, and let them self-pace. A human will be around to supervise and assist but that's about it. Of course, that approach leads to all kinds of screaming about civil rights, privacy concerns and other such things, as the data those systems would gather and record could be used for very nefarious purposes as well.

Not_a_ID

@REP

The ideal of Socialism is very different than what is practiced by Socialists. In the same way, the ideal of Democracy is very different than what is practiced in countries that claim they practice Democracy.


And then there is the United States that can't seem to make up its mind on what it is. At least the paperwork still backs the idea of it being a representative republic, but people keep screaming about it being a democracy instead.

Then again, I guess that can be boiled down to idiotic citizens. They've confused a Republican form of governance using Democratic mechanisms with an outright Democracy.

Of course, then there are all those wonderful "People's Democratic Republics of ___________" out there, which are anything but Republics, or Democracies even if they maintain the pretense of it being so.

Replies:   PotomacBob
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@richardshagrin


We still sort of have a republican form of government, if the Republican Party will let us keep it.


The "Religous Right" is the only part of the Republican Party that worries me, as it pertains to Government threats to my rights. And last I checked, the "Religious Right" is, and has been, a paper tiger for some time now, and it's a soggy mess.

The Democratic Party on the other hand? The threats they pose to individual rights from the governmental side are legion.

That isn't to say there aren't corporate threats out there as well at this point. Google is quickly becoming one of the single biggest threats to individual rights and liberties the world has ever seen. If only because they're becoming a "single point of failure" and what they have fingers in, as well as how much. They're proverbially two mis-steps away from becoming Sauron and unleashing Mordor upon the world. And that isn't a Republican vs Democrat problem. Google being full of "Social Justice" types doesn't help give warm fuzzies either.

Thing is, Google isn't the only one, they're just the biggest. There are several others not far behind.

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille

@Not_a_ID

Google being full of "Social Justice" types doesn't help give warm fuzzies either.


This is scarier than you imagine:

https://qz.com/1145669/googles-true-origin-partly-lies-in-cia-and-nsa-research-grants-for-mass-surveillance/

How do you think the agencies involved benefitted from those grants?

PotomacBob

@Not_a_ID

I would appreciate it if you would enlighten us about the distinction between a democracy and a republic. I looked up the two words in a dictionary of political words. Under democracy it said "a democracy is a republic" and under republic it said "a republic is a democracy." I've heard the U.S. described as "a democratic republic." If you can set the facts straight about what the difference is, it would help me understand your criticism.

richardshagrin

@PotomacBob

the distinction between a democracy and a republic.

It has been (not that I am a has been) a long time since I had to study and take tests about this kind of thing. However, democracy was a Greek form of government for some of its cities some of the time when each city was a separate political entity. I nearly said state, but that concept has been changed by "The United States" being a single country (see the American Civil War, aka the War Between The States or in the South, the War of Northern Agression.) 1861 to 1865 in North America. (Not Canada or Mexico.)

All the citizens (who were males of a certain age who resided in the territory of the city and not slaves) met in large areas and after speaches by leaders voted (mostly by who yelled the loudest although sometimes there were ballots cast and counted.) Typically power changed when certain leaders were voted into exile. As far as I recall there were no rights to life, liberty or property. If you lost a vote the majority ruled and what they decided happened to you, unless you had forces to wage civil war. Since there were lots of votes sometimes it was difficult to get a majority in favor of a course of action. Rome kinda started out like that and sometimes they suspended their government and appointed Dictators to deal with a crisis. One of the Greek forms of government was a Tyrany. One or a few leaders got the right to do anything they wanted, and votes weren't counted.

Republics, particularly when they got too big to have all the citizens meet in one location and vote for things, had representatives elected to meet and make decisions. Rome had tribes to which each citizen was assigned (not the patricians who were nobles and had the Senate to represent their interests). Each tribe had a vote even though some tribes were much larger than others. Since the representative got together and voted it was a representative democracy. Cracy is like "who rules" and Demo is a prefix that means the people. (Don't count on these defitions, its Greek to me.) Another name for that system was Republic. SPQR. The senate and the people of Rome or the Roman Republic, before Julius Caesar brought about Emperors and the Roman Empire. That may be why sports officials are named Umpires, they are Emperors who decide if a pitch is a ball or a strike.

In summary, Democracies in the Greek City-state format didn't have representatives who made laws. The people voted to accept or reject them. The rich and powerful still had most of the levers of power, but had to pursude a majority to vote as they wanted. We have a House of Representative and a Senate that are now elected by the people, but once upon a time the Senate was selected by state government, often by legislatures, who were other representative of citizens (male, not slaves, over a certain age) of a single state. Typically the state goverment and any municpal or county (parish in Lousiana) were far more important to most people most of the time than the part timers who went to the United States of America Capital (mostly Washington, District of Columbia, but not always in the early days) and passed laws and set tarriffs, and maybe declared war. Since about 1865 (remember the Civil War?) the central (Federal) government has become more and more powerful, and the States and other governments (cities, counties, other governmental entities like Public Utility Districts and School Boards) less important. There are still conflicts between and among them but usually they are settled in court, or the President sends the 82nd Airborne Division in to tell Governors what to do. (Integration in Alabama comes to mind.)

So we are not living in a Democracy. Your vote is for various political leaders who mostly get together and along with other such representatives decide what is going to happen, or at least what the laws and budgets are going to be. "A Republic, Sir, if you can keep it." (Benjamin Franklin)

Dominions Son

@PotomacBob

I would appreciate it if you would enlighten us about the distinction between a democracy and a republic.


A republic is government where the laws are created by a legislature whose members are representatives of the people. Having those representatives elected is not an essential component of a Republic.

Originally US Senators were selected by the state legislatures, they were not elected.

A pure, also called direct, democracy is one where the "legislature" is the entirety of the population of eligible voters. All laws, in fact all actions taken by the government are to use modern terms, decided by referendum. There are a few US municipalities, generally relatively small towns, that are run as direct democracies. Direct democracy doesn't scale well.

Since in Modern times, there are no functional direct democracies at a national level, and no republics left that aren't at least democratic on paper if not in practice, much of the nuance between these two terms tends to get ignored.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Dominions Son


A republic is government where the laws are created by a legislature whose members are representatives of the people. Having those representatives elected is not an essential component of a Republic.

Originally US Senators were selected by the state legislatures, they were not elected.


And in most recent times, that whole "We're a (Representative) Republic, not a (direct) Democracy" came into play with regards to the Electoral College outcome vs the popular vote.

The people elected representatives to the Electoral College. Who in turn voted as a majority in favor of Trump.

Thus "The Republic" rendered a result which differed from the Democracy's stated desire. And that is working as intended by design. Which made complaints about "How undemocratic" that process was rather funny.

PotomacBob

@Dominions Son

What is your source for this description of the two?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

And in most recent times, that whole "We're a (Representative) Republic, not a (direct) Democracy" came into play with regards to the Electoral College outcome vs the popular vote.


No, it mostly comes up for efforts from large progressive states like California to either eliminate the Senate or Change how Senators are distributed among the states.

How the nominal national executive is chosen has little to nothing to do with republic vs democracy vs democratic republic.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
PotomacBob

@Not_a_ID

Who laid out the rules that say election is not essential to a republic? I see you are now adding modifiers - "direct democracy" and "representative democracy." If I understood the answer, are those words needed? And, if the representatives are elected, does that mean it is no longer a republic?

Replies:   Not_a_ID
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

The Swiss make referendums relatively easy for the public to initiate, so they're probably the closest to a pure democracy.

The UK is a 'parliamentary democracy' which, like the US, isn't very democratic - the Brexit referendum excepted (and even then various elected representatives are trying to defy the electorate and stymie the process).

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@PotomacBob

History. Senators from the Roman Republic were appointed, not elected. Rome was not the only non-democratic Republic in History.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Republic

England/Great Brittan/UK started as an absolute Monarchy, Became effectively if not in name, a non-democratic Republic with the creation of the House of Lords by the Magna Carta in the 13th century.

It became a partially, but not fully democratic republic with the creation of the House of commons in the 14th century.

To this day, the UK is not a fully democratic republic as the members of the House of Lords is split between seats that remain hereditary and seats who's occupants are appointed.

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

The Swiss make referendums relatively easy for the public to initiate, so they're probably the closest to a pure democracy.


To be a pure democracy, everything, not just a few things has to be decided by referendum.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Dominions Son

No, it mostly comes up for efforts from large progressive states like California to either eliminate the Senate or Change how Senators are distributed among the states.

How the nominal national executive is chosen has little to nothing to do with republic vs democracy vs democratic republic.


It more stems from the matter that when the system was setup, it was a Federalized Union of States. But by design, when all else failed, it was to default things back to the states, so that those states retained some nominal control.

The House was setup as it was so that Virginia could take advantage of its large population(even with the compromise over the enumeration of slaves).

The Senate was setup how it was so Rhode Island could more effectively backstop Virginia from anything they got up to in the House.

The electoral college was an amalgamation of both issues. Plus the matter of slavery, as slaves couldn't vote for obvious reasons.

So while I disagree that the Electoral College was suggested by Madison to "grant power to the south and protect slavery." (Knowing that Madison opposed slavery, even while owning slaves himself) I do have to acknowledge that direct election of the President would have presented "problems" to say the least when it came to each state feeling "adequately represented" and the South in particular would have been hit the hardest by that.

BUT it also happens that the Electoral College being setup as it was also gave states like Rhode Island(and now, Wyoming) a disproportionate(but not reliably decisive) amount of influence over the election of the President, because every state gets 2 votes c/o the Senate. So a low population state thus enjoys disproportionate power on that basis alone. As well as the matter that initially most states(actually, I think it was all but one at the start), and not just the southern ones, had their electoral college vote decided on by their state legislature, not the general (voting) public.

As to how the selection of the president relates, the Electoral College is a Representative process, rather than a strictly democratic one. The Presidential election process has never been, strictly speaking, "a democratic process" it just happens to be one that follows democratic forms in the process of doing so.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

BUT it also happens that the Electoral College being setup as it was also gave states like Rhode Island(and now, Wyoming) a disproportionate(but not reliably decisive) amount of influence over the election of the President


True, but again, an executive administrator (regardless of title), whether elected or not does not make a polity a republic. What makes a republic is a legislature (regardless of name). What makes a republic democratic is electing the legislators.

The office of the President and how the president is selected is irrelevant to the issue of whether the US is a democracy, a republic, or a democratic republic.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@PotomacBob

Who laid out the rules that say election is not essential to a republic?


As previously mentioned, history dictates that Republics need not necessarily be particularly "Democratic" Ancient Rome is one example, the "Merchant Republics" of Europe also demonstrate this. They were "democratic" only in respect to the matter that titled nobility and merchants wealthy enough to buy a vote(/title) were able to vote in their "Republican Process."

I see you are now adding modifiers - "direct democracy" and "representative democracy." If I understood the answer, are those words needed? And, if the representatives are elected, does that mean it is no longer a republic?


A direct democracy is just that, direct. The people decide everything. There is no middle man making decisions.

The difference between a Representative Democracy vs a Representative Republic is a bit more tricky and that goes into a lot of shades of grey. The two can look a lot alike, and can even be functionally identical in many respects. In which cases there is no real meaningful difference.

But in that respect, we could also ask for a quantified distinction between "What is a socialist?" and "What is a Communist?" There are differences, but when you start getting into form and function, they start to look a hell of a lot alike.

Basically at it's core, the biggest difference between a "Representative Republic" and a "Representative Democracy" is perhaps the matter that a Representative Republic is able to (At least for a time) ignore "a democratic outcome" and thus cause "undemocratic results" to occur. Such as Trump and Bush(43) winning the EC while losing the popular vote.

The other example at the federal level of this would be the composition of the Senate, where they serve a 6 year term, and only 1/3rd of the Senate is up for election every two years, while the House serves for 2 years, and is up for election every time. Ignoring the matter that up until the start of the 20th Century, virtually all Senate seats were decided upon by their respective state legislatures(which could add in an additional time-lag), that alone prevent "a populist movement" (before the term was even in use, no less) from being able to take control of the entirety of two(out of three) branches of the Federal Government in a single election.

Where once more those pesky Senators are, by design, "the biggest road block to Democratic will" in the Federal Government's structure.

Of course, there also is the Judicial Branch with those lifetime appointment judges, who are capable of causing some degree of chaos as well. But they also need to be mindful that if they piss off both Congress and President badly enough(as happened with FDR) they're playing with fire.

PotomacBob

@Not_a_ID

Thanks to all for the discussion on democracy vs republic. In a nutshell, it sounds to me as if a democracy is a form of government in which citizens make decisions for themselves, and a republic is a form of government in which representatives make decisions for the citizens. Is that close?

Replies:   Not_a_ID  PotomacBob
Not_a_ID

@PotomacBob

Well, there are the Representative Democracies as well, but as they are entirely beholden to "Democratic Outcomes" they tend to not be.... Particularly stable. As the one expression goes, "Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner."

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


It more stems from the matter that when the system was setup, it was a Federalized Union of States.


Very true. The House of Representatives was set up to represent the people on an equal basis, while the Senate was to represent the states on an equal basis to protect the smaller states from the more populous states. However, changing the Senate to being elected and not state appointed did away with a lot of the protection for the states.

The Electoral College was more of protecting the smaller states while giving some weight to the bigger states as well during the Presidential elections.

edit to split into 2 paragraphs to minimise misunderstandings.

Replies:   Dominions Son
PotomacBob

@PotomacBob

That prompts another question about the way representatives are chosen in UK. In the United States, representatives are chosen by district. That can result (and frequently has) that the party with the most votes nationwide does not end up with a majority of the representatives. That's because the candidate with a plurality in each district wins that seat. Thus (in an extreme case), lets say 218 members of the Mugwump Party each win their district by one vote, and 217 members of the Do-Nothing Party each win their district by 100,000 votes, then the Mugwump Party controls the House though getting a few million votes fewer nationwide. Can the same thing happen in UK?

Replies:   sejintenej
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

However, changing the Senate to being elected and not state appointed did away with a lot of the protection for the states. The Electoral College was more of protecting the smaller states while giving some weight to the bigger states as well during the Presidential elections.


The Electoral College is laid out in the original (unamended) constitution. It is not a product of switching from appointment to election of Senators.

It should also be noted, the the electors were not originally elected. The constitution leaves it entirely to the states to decide the manner of selecting electors, and for at least the first few presidential cycles, the electors were selected by the state legislatures rather than having the electors elected by the voters.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

The Electoral College is laid out in the original (unamended) constitution. It is not a product of switching from appointment to election of Senators.


Maybe I should have split them to be two paragraphs. I spoke on one issue then moved to the next. I''ll edit the post.

sejintenej
Updated:

@Dominions Son

Awnlee wrote


The Swiss make referendums relatively easy for the public to initiate, so they're probably the closest to a pure democracy.

DS replied
To be a pure democracy, everything, not just a few things has to be decided by referendum.


As I recall, every decision involving five million francs or more used to have to go to a referendum (with inflation that would now logically be more but a small figure in any case). In consequence each Sunday there could be several referenda and voting was compulsory.

sejintenej

@PotomacBob

Thus (in an extreme case), lets say 218 members of the Mugwump Party each win their district by one vote, and 217 members of the Do-Nothing Party each win their district by 100,000 votes, then the Mugwump Party controls the House though getting a few million votes fewer nationwide. Can the same thing happen in UK?


Yes. Notoriously our Liberal Democrats used to get close to 20% of the total country wide votes but actually got up to say ten (out of 650) members of Parliament.
(Crazily, by convention there is one MP's position who is never opposed in elections (or is opposed by someone who has no chance of winning)

Replies:   awnlee_jawking
sejintenej

Replying to the original subject, when I started work and in my industry a degree was not necessary but I (as one) was contracturaly required to study for and pass the industry association diploma.
It came in three levels - you had to pass each level before starting the next - the first level included a 90 minute exam in English, law, accountancy and I forget the rest. Level two was more detailed.

As for level three, the legal side was limited in scope (no family law) but was far more advanced than the lawyers exams. After 40 years in the trade I still did at least the 40 hours per annum lectures covering changes in UK laws plus some in other legal systems. Accountants argued that our accountancy exam was harder than their s (but we didn't do taxation)

I used to get university graduates foisted on me - normally a pain in the neck, incompetent and in some cases causing a high degree of corporate risk

helmut_meukel

@Dominions Son

awnlee jawking wrote:
The Swiss make referendums relatively easy for the public to initiate, so they're probably the closest to a pure democracy.

Dominions Son anwered:
To be a pure democracy, everything, not just a few things has to be decided by referendum.


Hmmm, you don't really believe your own statement, do you?

In a 'pure' democracy the people are the sole sovereign.

As with all political or business entities, the sovereign physically can't decide everything, he has men (and women) to do the daily stuff, however he can rescind any decision made by those men. OTOH, some things has to be brought to him to decide.

This exactly is the situation in Switzerland. The people vote in the elections for politicians to represent the people and to make decisions for them.
But if a minority isn't content with how government and parliament deal with something, they can – and will – demand a referendum. The decision of the people is binding for the actual and all future governments and parliaments.
It would need another referendum to change the decision.

HM.

Replies:   REP
REP

@helmut_meukel

In a 'pure' democracy the people are the sole sovereign.


You need to clarify your post.

In the above, you are addressing a 'pure' democracy saying the 'sole sovereign' is all of the people (i.e. multiple people). In the next paragraph, you are addressing the 'sole sovereign' as a single person making decisions with the assistance of a group of people.

In his post, Awnlee said that the Swiss Government was probably the closest current government to being a 'Pure Democracy' (i.e., they aren't a 'pure' democracy). DS reminded him that the Swiss Government is not in a 'Pure Democracy' for in such a democracy all of the decisions are made by a referendum of all of the country's people.

I see no conflict between either statement. You seem to take exception to DS's statement, but your post supports what they both said.

So, what exactly did you mean by your post?

Replies:   helmut_meukel
awnlee_jawking

@sejintenej

Yes. Notoriously our Liberal Democrats used to get close to 20% of the total country wide votes but actually got up to say ten (out of 650) members of Parliament.


UKIP have obtained similar popularity in the polls but have they ever won a seat, rather than gaining it through MPs changing allegiances?

(Crazily, by convention there is one MP's position who is never opposed in elections (or is opposed by someone who has no chance of winning)


What about the deputy speaker? Can they be opposed?

AJ

Replies:   sejintenej
Ernest Bywater

On the subject of 100% democracy where everyone got together to vote on everything of major importance the only time I can think of where that happened in modern times was with some of the Israeli Farms where the day to day decisions were made by the elected farm leader, and major issues that affected the whole community were decided in a community wide meeting. Once you get something like that happening with a group bigger then about 100 people it becomes way to unwieldy for it to work, so you have to move to some sort of representational process. Then you have arguments on how you decide the representation.

sejintenej
Updated:

@awnlee_jawking


(Crazily, by convention there is one MP's position who is never opposed in elections (or is opposed by someone who has no chance of winning)

What about the deputy speaker? Can they be opposed?


I don't know. It is simply convention that no worthwhile competition is offered up against the Speaker. He/she can be opposed at elections like any sitting MP. As for the three Deputy Speakers they are also elected MPs and elected to the role by the House of Commons.

I can't get over that Mr Speaker did not have proper opposition in the last election - he seems to have made himself highly unpopular. I wonder about his "expenses" after the major scandal!

Comment: if anyone looks up the deputy speakers they will see that one is a Dame. Although this can denote something very considerable she in fact has a CBE - one of the lower ranks of acknowledgement.

helmut_meukel

@REP

DS reminded him that the Swiss Government is not in a 'Pure Democracy' for in such a democracy all of the decisions are made by a referendum of all of the country's people


If a country is ruled by a dictator not all the decisions are made by this ruler, he has underlings to do the daily stuff. If he doesn't like any of those decisions he can rescind the decision he dislikes.

He hasn't to make all decisions to be a 'true' dictator.

DS says:

To be a pure democracy, everything, not just a few things has to be decided by referendum


The Swiss can decide everything by referendum. Even if such a decision is a violation of an existing treaty, the Swiss government would be bound by the referendum!
The Swiss have the last word on everything. For the most stuff they have their parliament and their all-party government. But these are their underlings.

IMO in a 'Pure Democracy' the people have the last word on everything. It's however not necessary to actually decide everything by referendum.

HM.

Replies:   richardshagrin  sejintenej  REP
richardshagrin

@helmut_meukel

Pure Democracy

Sounds like most governments that exist or ever existed are Impure Democracies. At best.

sejintenej

@helmut_meukel

IMO in a 'Pure Democracy' the people have the last word on everything. It's however not necessary to actually decide everything by referendum

A stupid question, I know. IF, to have a pure democracy it is not necessary to actually decide everything by referendum then who can decide what and not refer it to the populace?

Replies:   helmut_meukel
helmut_meukel

@sejintenej

IF, to have a pure democracy it is not necessary to actually decide everything by referendum then who can decide what and not refer it to the populace?


It's called popular initiative. Any citizen can start it. On the federal level he has 18 months to collect 100,000 signatures. Then a votation will be organized. If the government doesn't like your proposal, it can only make a counter proposal and let the citizens decide.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_initiative_(Switzerland)#Federal_popular_initiative

HM.

REP

@helmut_meukel

If a country is ruled by a dictator not all the decisions are made by this ruler .....

IMO in a 'Pure Democracy' the people have the last word on everything. It's however not necessary to actually decide everything by referendum.


You need to get real, helmut. Regardless of the fact that there are a number of similarities between a dictatorship and a republic does not refute the fact that a 'pure' democracy has a specific definition.

While you may not agree with that definition, Your Opinion does not change the fact that the Swiss Government is not a 'pure' democracy. As DS said, it is just the closest government that he is aware of to being a 'pure' democracy.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
helmut_meukel

@REP

the fact that a 'pure' democracy has a specific definition


Whose definition? Go ask a dozend university professors – political scientists – and you'll come back with at least 12 varying definitions!
(more than 12 because one or two can't make up their mind which definition they prefer this week.)

HM.

Replies:   REP
REP

@helmut_meukel

Whose definition?


Pure Democracy:

democracy in which the power is exercised directly by the people rather than through representatives
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pure%20democracy

a form of democracy in which the laws and policies are made directly by the citizens rather than by representatives.
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/pure-democracy

Direct democracy or pure democracy is a form of democracy in which people decide on policy initiatives directly. This differs from the majority of most currently established democracies, which are representative democracies.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_democracy

If you need a few more definitions from reliable sources let me know.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
helmut_meukel

@REP

The Swiss democracy consists – at the federal level - of two layers. A direct layer and a representative layer. Any decision made at the direct layer supersedes the represetative layer.

The most frequent themes tackled by initiatives are: healthcare, taxes, welfare, drug policy, public transport, immigration, asylum, education...


Any federal law, certain other federal resolutions, and international treaties that are ongoing in nature, or any change to Swiss law may be subject to referendum if at least 50,000 people or eight cantons have petitioned to do so within 100 days.


If the citizens are content with the decisions made by their representatives, no action is carried out at the higher direct layer. However:

The possibility of facultative referendums forces the parliament to search for a compromise between the major interest groups. In many cases, the mere threat of a facultative referendum or of an initiative is enough to make the parliament adjust a law.


So who decides finally? In Switzerland it's the citizens.

REP, did you actually read all the articles in Wikipedia about the Swiss system?

You and DS argue like this:

[quote from Wikipedia] Switzerland's voting system is unique among modern democratic nations in that Switzerland practices direct democracy in parallel with representative democracy, which is why the Swiss system is known as a semi-direct democracy.


This is IMO misleading, because it's not really parallel when any decision made on the representative side can be overruled by direct democratic votation.
Again, who has the last word?

HM.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@helmut_meukel


You and DS argue like this:

[quote from Wikipedia] Switzerland's voting system is unique among modern democratic nations in that Switzerland practices direct democracy in parallel with representative democracy, which is why the Swiss system is known as a semi-direct democracy.


Which part of 'ALL' or 'NOTHING' are you having a problem understanding HM. In a Pure Democracy, ALL DECISIONS are made by a referendum of the people. If ANY DECISION is made by the peoples' representatives, the government IS NOT a Pure Democracy.

That is the line that separates a 'Pure Democracy' from a 'Democratic Republic'. For some inconceivable reason, you keep stating that the Swiss Government incorporates elements of a Republic and then you become upset when I say the Swiss Government is not a Pure Democracy and attempt to refute that statement by explaining how the Swiss Government functions.

I have no problem with the way the Swiss Government functions. I have no problem with the fact that it integrates the aspects of a Pure Democracy with the aspects of a Republic.

So why do you have a problem with acknowledging that the Swiss Government is NOT a Pure Democracy? Keep in mind that the moment you describe a government that combines the aspects of a Pure Democracy with the aspects of a Republic, you are describing a one of the many forms of Democratic Republics.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
helmut_meukel

@REP

In a Pure Democracy, ALL DECISIONS are made by a referendum of the people. If ANY DECISION is made by the peoples' representatives, the government IS NOT a Pure Democracy.

That is the line that separates a 'Pure Democracy' from a 'Democratic Republic'.


And here we see it differently.
If any decision can't be made directly by the people then it's no 'Pure Democracy'.
If the people can make all decisions by referendums but usually let most decisions made by representatives, then to me it's still a 'Pure Democracy', a lazy one, but still 'pure'.

Using your definition "all decisions must be made by referendum" a 'Pure Democracy' for any entity larger than a town is impossible. Even the old Greek city-states – like Athens – didn't have one.

Your definition is usually used by people who fear direct democracy to argue it's not doable.

HM.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@helmut_meukel


Using your definition "all decisions must be made by referendum"


The definitions I provided you are NOT my definitions. They are the definitions developed by authoritative sources, such as dictionaries, which research and publish how a word or phrase is used by people in general. University professors and social scientists are well-known for promoting personal opinions that differ from what is commonly accepted by their peers and the general populace, so I would not call them valid sources.


If the people can make all decisions by referendums but usually let most decisions made by representatives, then to me it's still a 'Pure Democracy', a lazy one, but still 'pure'.


That is where you go awry in your definition. It is not about what people can do but choose to allow their representatives to do. It is about them having representatives that make decisions for them. In a Pure Democracy, there are no representatives to make decisions for the people.

I agree with you whole hearted that a Pure Democracy is not feasible for a large group of people. That belief has absolutely nothing to do with "people who fear direct democracy to argue it's not doable". It is about the inability of a large group of people to come to a consensus for the common good. The bigger the group the more difficult it is to reach a decision.

Of course, I expect you to once again refuse to accept what the majority of the world's population uses as the definition of a 'Pure Democracy'. It is also apparent that there is nothing that anyone can say to you to change your mind.

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