RANGER AGAINST WAR: A Spoonful of Sugar <

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Spoonful of Sugar

The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship
is that in a democracy you vote first

and take orders later;

in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting

--Charles Bukowski

Most new jobs won't come from our biggest employers.
They will come from our smallest.
We've got to do everything we can
to make entrepreneurial dreams a reality

--Ross Perot

Economic history is a long record of

government policies that failed

because they were designed with a bold disregard

for the laws of economics

--Ludwig Von Mises

Government is not the solution to our problem.

Government is the problem
--Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural address (1981)

Ranger Quote of the Day (RQOD):

If we say we are capitalists,

then let the capitalists run the thing


Reader Avedis recently offered a challenge, and Ranger will pick up the gauntlet: How to remove the bloat from government?

The plan is nothing short of revolutionary (much as anything qualifies for the term, today), its goals, twofold: Make the State the primary governmental entity and eliminate city and state legislative bodies
and rendering all civil servants state employees. The goal is elimination of redundancy and uniformity of services and codes.

While one man's fat is another's meat -- and this plan would eviscerate redundant positions -- the country cannot afford such redundancy either in terms of monetary outlay or manpower lost to The System. Those workers brought up to the light of day from the bowels of the local and county Systems would have to be re-processed into meaningful work, and this is where the new state Creative Class will have to innovate.

Ranger's revolutionary idea is to
nix the superannuated concept of direct democracy. Removing the pretense of fair representation would allow for the the reduction of layers of bureaucracy, eliminating redundant management.

Once we can relinquish our grip on this quaint chimera, government could be restructured to represent the better interests of all. This may all sound a bit Benthamitic, but what's so wrong with that?

The key is recognizing that true representative democracy is gone; we have grown too large. Therefore, the key to an efficient government is a limned-down version guided by realistic economic principles. State and Federal Government remains, but municipal governance would be largely dissolved, replaced by State administration, assisted by a county manager.
This would eliminate county and city taxation issues, concentrating taxes at the state level.

voting has become a chaotic, narcissist's catwalk, all local politicking would be abolished and all local civil servants would be directly under the State's aegis.

In its place would be a State decision-making body something like Solon's Council of 400 and the boule. Each state would identify it's top 100 citizens, selected from among banking, corporations, academia and the professions. George Will said Capitalism is a government program, so let us select successful management, competence, compassion and innovation as the criteria for selection, and applicants would be selected by portfolio.

These 100 citizens would function as a House of Representatives, and they would elect the governor. They would also select the State Senators and Representatives, either from among their lot or from any sector of the state's population.

This would eliminate the facades we choose from today, in which posturing masquerades as policy.
In this new plan, the State would be the primary functionary, chosen by appointment. City and County elected positions would be eliminated. All housekeeping and public safety functions would be performed by state employees. This would remove unnecessary petty politicking on the city level. It would largely do away with lobbyists, as there would be no local pork projects.

Each county would have a county manager functioning like the ancient Greek
archons, and overseeing something like a boule, who would coordinate state-administered operational funds to the cities. This would eliminate county and city taxation issues, concentrating taxes at the state level.

The State 100 could be selected by a simple majority from among ballots cast by county managers. (The selection process for the county manager is undecided by Ranger. Possibly, he would be chosen by county plebiscite.)

The states could be divided into quarters for ease of selection of the State 100, with each county archon choosing the top 25 candidates from their region. Ultimately, the region's 25 representatives would be determined by a collated tally of the regional archon's ballots and a simple majority.

To enable the removal of a representative due to either incompetence or venality, every member is subject to impeachment by a vote among his peers, similar to the Greek's ostracism, a heavy smite to a businessman upon whose reputation rests his fortune.

The State would be standardized pay rates, taxes and services, the latter commensurate with the populations being served. It would then become possible to unionize the state worker in an efficient and realistic manner. All licensing would be at the state level.

All law enforcement and public safety functions would be consolidated. The Highway Patrol and Sheriff Departments are quaint holdovers from the past. A State Police Department would eliminate the redundancy. County courthouses would become State Courthouses, with judges elected by the state's legislature.

The National Guard's Federal function would be eliminated, making them a non-deployable state resource for emergencies. All combat functions would revert to the Federal Army.

The purpose of the plan is streamlining government. We have been limping along with a semblance of representative democracy for a long time -- this would trade in the appearance in return for superior management and integration of and equitable distribution of resources.

It would allow for the possibility of a truly creative class in government, something sorely needed in our 21st century of diminishing resources and dissociated governmental bodies

[Tackling national government is for another day.]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ummmm, kinda sounds like the U.S.S.R. model too me,,,

,,,But what the hell do I know,,,???


Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 1:58:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Realistic Libertarian said...


I don't know about removing combat roles from the NG. Our level of readiness is on par with that of active duty and we are way cheaper(.25 to .5 to cost).

Not to mention the military establishment starting to take hold in the country has been making me a bit uneasy, I don't know about you.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 5:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm rendered speachless.

One of the many thoughts in response ricocheting around in my head is simply that it would never work. But why not?

I have to give the reasoning more time.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 9:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, got a handle on it now........it's all about "squeezing the balloon"..........and I am talking economics here; not digressing into our favorite fallback topic.

If you squeeze a balloon, while it does get smaller where you are applying pressure, it merely bulges out proportionally elsewhere. The total amount of air inside it doesn't decrease.

In NY state where we have perpetual state budgetary problems and a heavy tax burden, eliminating layers of local gov't is often bandied about as a solution. It turns out that even if, at the end of the day, the number of gov't employees was smaller, service delivery more efficient, etc that there would be no savings. One reason is that the local gov't is one of the largest employers and all those jobless local civil servants would be out of work and on the welfare dole.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 7:04:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Yes, all of the paper pusher would be out of a job, so the creative class would be entrusted with discovering actual productive work for them -- something to feed the coffers and get the nation producing again.

People shouldn't labor in meaningless make-work programs, which so much of government is. It is well-known here in the state capital among people searching for mates that it would be wise to avoid the pool of state workers, for they are the most discontent and emotionally misshapen.

Now, the question becomes: Did petty, meaningless work and backstabbing office politics cause it, or are such people drawn to such an insular system? We'll never know 'til we throw them another bone.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 9:47:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I'm talking about letting capitalists run the capitalist society.
After we tally the votes that's what we always get anyway, so why not cut out the non sensical elections.
Lately elections in America are like those in AFGH anf IRQ. There are people elected , but they sure don't govern very well.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 2:36:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Since we have a largely professional military , then my proposal would be to let them fight the wars and let reserve forces be a backup. The NG would be for disaster relief etc.
Remember - the Gd and reserve are not the same.
Remember that my proposal is based on changing the system.
It's utopian and won't happen, but i wrote what i'd do.
I believe that if the federal govt wants to fight wars , then they should have the forces to do so without riding the reserve forces like worn out dogs. It's all very cynical the way we're dogging these citizen soldiers
Have you noticed that few of our erstwhile leaders have offspring or grandchilluns in the Gd or reserve?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 2:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

It will work, if you really keep an open mind.
My proposals would not cut out local work forces , but merely reorganize under state control. If you think about it , the present structure is mideval, and obe with computer/ modern commo.
You must admit that voting has not helped us out any time recently- it's not the cream that rises to the top.
One must wonder if Clinton/Bush/Obama is the best that we can come up with. If so, then what does it matter?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 2:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I'm not squeezing the balloon, but close.
Surely local govt employs layers of workers that are useless, i'm in favor of streamlining.
Here's my basic thought- WHY DO WE NEED 3 layers of govt??
This is not mandated by the Constitution, to the best of my understanding, so why not evolve with the technology of the day and modernise and bring ourselves out of the dark ages.
Isn't that what we're trying to impose on the IRQs and AFGHs?
Let's nation build in the US, by doing a whole new system.
In this line of thinking- why do we even need States?
Just think about that!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 2:56:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Now, the question becomes: Did petty, meaningless work and backstabbing office politics cause it, or are such people drawn to such an insular system? "

Lisa, I've pondered that myself. I have concluded that the problem is modern medicine and modern culture/technology have pretty much stopped the natural selection processes. There are now too many of us and, of those, too many foolish weaklings. The insular system is a handy place for those types to pass their sojourn on this here people farm.

Jim, I'm basically with you on this, philosophically, and, what the heck, it would be worth a try.

I am just more cynical when it comes to bosses and their political machines. I think the corruption would regroup and continue its inexorible march to squeeze every possible penny out of hard working decent folks.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 4:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I suggest too you that the 'capitalists' ARE running it.

Every election seems too boil down too who can raise the most money, unless it is some 'micro' election somewhere.

Thus the 'machine' is very much a capitalist enterprise from which they bring forth their 'talking head'.

Here's a simpler fix for the problem, we need a third button. If the question is do you want 'this candidate' or 'that candidate' where is the third button for 'neither candidate'.

I'm not sure it will ever be in the 'machine's interest' to offer you a 'third button'; the button most needed.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 9:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

IMO both parties are flip sides of the same coin, and the t baggers are more of the same.
Yes a parliamentary form maybe , could, should or hopefully work. I don't know, but isn't that what we imposed on IRQ and AFGH?
A third party is ok with me, but if 3 , then why not 4 etc...?
Whatever, but the present system is not representative democracy- it's a sham.
Welcome aboard.

Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 12:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I couldn't even conceptualize any political system without gamers playing the system, ie corruption.
Look at China- even when they shoot corrupt players , there's more popping up the next day.
So , if this is true ,( the gaming that is) then it must follow that the basis of democracy is false, and this is that man is perfectible. This is the foundation of our nation and it's less than provable thru anything that i've seen or experienced. It's a friggin fairy tale.

As for local govt- i'll take you to a Quincy Fl town or county meeting and it'll curl your toes at the ignorance of the elected leaders. And they actually think that they are controlling events, when in fact they are barely holding on.
The US Congress is not much better.
Well that's my cheerful attitude to bless your day.

Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 12:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, sure, but here's what happens when capitalism and local gov't collide:



Friday, October 22, 2010 at 11:03:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Thanks, this confirms my thesis- let's eliminate local gov't and make all of this a state function
Yep, i know what your gonna reply.
BTW- i wonder if Dubai gives DAV's free parking?

Friday, October 22, 2010 at 11:11:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Re. : "modern medicine and modern culture/technology have pretty much stopped the natural selection processes. There are now too many of us and, of those, too many foolish weaklings."

I agree. And lest anyone convict me of being a heartless Spencerian eugenicist, I am not (purely). I have more thoughts on the matter, but basically cultivating mediocrity on this human farm is not working out well for the benefit of our planet.

Friday, October 22, 2010 at 2:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the articles of confederation were an encroachment. your utopia is my dystopia. we are suppose to be a republican constitutuinal gov't. Our system of gov't, with it's check's & balances, DOES NOT presuppose the "perfectiblity" of man. quite the` opposite.

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 1:53:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but ranger, you're right, to vote is a sham. a fraud.

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 2:04:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rest of yall, thank the private/productive sector for "serving".

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 2:07:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Humanism and liberalism presuppose the perfectibility of man.
Liberalism arose from the Enlightenment , which left the Dark ages behind.
The thinking of the enlightened philosophers lead to the founding of the USA.
In a nutshell.I'm talking about man and not politics.

Monday, October 25, 2010 at 9:50:00 AM GMT-5  

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