T Nation

Choosing Our Leaders


Its pretty obvious that our current method of choosing our leaders is doomed. These guys have to pander to so many special interests, then make the soccer moms and 'blue whales' happy, that we're bound to just spiral downward into chaos.

So, let's hear some alternative methods for deciding who, say, the President is.

My idea would be to have 3 guys from the Seals, 3 guys from the Rangers, and 3 guys from the Marines (all with sufficient skills and age) all meet in an arena, each having a Roman short sword and small shield. Whoever is the last man alive is the new president. He'd be brave, cunning, able to think on his feet, and have faced death. What more could we want?




How about only using electronic voting machines with no physical records with tamper-proof-proof abilities, purchased and owned by close relatives of those in power, in every state.


It's called DEMOCRACY. Get used to it.


Yeah, things would be so much better if our leaders didn't try to appeal to the people we disagree with..


PA just dumped at least 14 legislators in the primaries. More will be tossed out come November. Democracy works.


Thought we lived in a REPUBLIC. Guess I didn't get the memo...

C'mon Doc, we're trying to think outside the box here. Try to come up with something new. You and I both know that pandering to the mindless mob eventually destroys that society. The mob eventually figures out how to use the government to milk the system, by voting for people who'll milk for 'em. You then see one group after another use the government as a club to clobber their rivals. They even create economists (does Keynes ring a bell here?) who come up with theories of economic closure to justify their dissolution of humanity. (The idiots actually think a safety net is for their 'own good'. LMAO! Its a net alright.)



How about the person who gets the most votes becomes president?


If we had a constitutional amendment that forbade any interference in the economy by the federal government, that would be fine. The original setup was to prevent the current monstrosity from ever developing --- but people got the idea of nanny-government and safety-net slavery as being good things.

You do realize that it is liberalism that created this big government we have, which you despise?



please read something other than Ayn Rand. This "slavery" you speak of...you mean the thing that pays for old folks' food, right?

And thank god the conservatives in office currently have done their darnedest to shrink the government and be fiscally responsible.

You have no leg to stand on with this one.


Damn the argument started early on this one.

We should have a reality show called American President. We put 20 wanna be presidents in a house and make them do all kinds of physical challenges, keep cameras on them 24 hours a day, record all their activities and words spoken. This way we would see down to the deepest nature of the candiate. Make them vote each other off until there were only four left. Then America can vote.


That might get us another Richard Hatch:

'Survivor' Winner Sentenced to 51 Months in Jail

Survivor winner Richard Hatch, who won $1 million in the debut season of the show, was sentenced to 51 months in jail Tuesday, for failing to pay taxes. The 45-year-old was convicted in January of not paying income tax on his reality TV prize, as well as other earnings. The charges carried a maximum of 13 years in prison and when Hatch was convicted in January, US District Judge Ernest Torres said he expected to sentence him to between 33 and 41 months. Torres said he issued a harsher sentence because Hatch had committed perjury repeatedly throughout his trial. He said, "It seems unfortunately very clear to me that Mr. Hatch lied." Hatch made a statement before his sentence was read saying, "I believe I've been completely truthful and completely forthcoming throughout the entire process." He claimed he thought the show's producers would pay his taxes and pleaded ignorance about money matters, saying he forgot to tell his accountants about some income


No, I mean that the purpose of my life is not to feed old people (in your example). You, and people who think like you, created a system that bleeds off from the productive, to feed the non-productive. I have no problem with helping others, I don't like being forced to do so. If you outvote me, and give yourselves the 'right' to rob me to help your pet causes, then maybe I'll work a little less harder next year, less harder the next, and so on. If a lot of others do that, where will you and all the other 'needy' people get the free lunch?

The system that your ideas created is in place now. Why do you shrink in horror from the monster you created? You wanted it, you created it, you voted for it. But what is it your forgetting? You think you 'have a lock'. But what is it that your missing?



So, what you're saying is that a lot of people, like you, are vengeful and have no conscience (i.e., would punish society -- by working less -- in retribution for the increased tax, even though that would hurt themselves more than everybody else), and hence we should do what you want, i.e., reduce taxes?

What are you going to propose next? That we negotiate with terrorists, 'cause they might get pissed off if we don't cave to their demands?

I can somehow respect that you do not like paying taxes. I would even respect if you said that if taxes increased and you felt robbed, you'd move to another country. It's your prerogative. But resorting to threats and blackmail -- that's just over the line.


Um, I agree with him...

You know, socialized medicine...


Free universities, well almost free...

Well, why not...

But they never stop...

I swear to God they don?t!

And they think it is perfectly reasonable and justified to milk very last Euro off me they can get.

So, you either work less, or your tax report belongs in the realm of fiction.

People react to incentives, is that so hard to understand?


Please take this the best possible way, but:

I have no idea what you've been smoking, but can you please come back and explain what you're saying when you actually able to make any sense? I have absolutely no idea what you just said. You sound like my ex-colleagues from Berkeley after they had been smoking pot all afternoon.

If that helps, write in German (I can read German)... :wink:



Ich verstehe amerikanische Konservative wenn sie der Meinung sind das zu viele ?ffentliche Zuwendungen den Charakter verderben.

Ich bin absolut der Meinung das ein staatliches Gesundheitssystem Sinn macht, es scheint einfach billiger zu sein.

Ich bin auch der Meinung das nahezu kostenlose Hochschulbildung eine gute Idee ist, vor allem dann wenn die Zukunft eines Landes vom Know-How der Bev?lkerung abh?ngt.

But, then again, I have to make my money on the free market, meaning, I have to find people that actually pay me.

If 50-60 % of my income is taken away from me, because some bureaucrat thinks it ias a good idea I might

A) work less, or

B) lie to the tax authorities.

What you don?t see is, that people that do not take investment risks or work that hard can easily outvote those who do.

That sucks.

I do not accept that.

Therefore not everything I earn is taxed.

According to your post to HH, I do that out of spite.


But enough is enough.

When American conservatives speak of a welfare mentality, they are right. I agree with them.


So, you're saying that while you are for increased universal (guaranteed) state/federal benefits in the US -- namely Free Healthcare and Free College Education -- you empathize with the point that too much hand-holding can "spoil your character".

I agree. 100%. I never asked for more than free healthcare and college education for all.

Why? Even if you are taxed at 50-60% -- which, by the way, I NEVER advocated for the US since that would be insanely high and I'd personally move back to Europe if that ever happened -- you still get a higher net income if you work more. The correlation is still there. It's not like you don't get a more money if you work more -- you still do.

... which clearly a lot of people do (like the Survivor winner, who "forgot" to declare his prize, or the several CEOs that are on trial for tax evasion)

It's called Democracy... I'm sorry you're having problems accepting it. :wink:

Having lived in The Netherlands, and knowing Austria's politics relatively well (one of my best friends is actually originally from Austria) I understand perfectly where you are coming from. But please realize that the US is still VERY far from the level of welfare of most of Europe. VERY far away. And I never, ever said that I'm for European levels of taxation. That would be insane.

There is a middle ground. We don't need to fall on the extremes -- and HH is the one advocating the extreme, not me (I'm a middle-ground kind of guy).


I actually think that we should keep the method of electing officials to office, but place term limits on everyone.

My ideas:

(1) House of Representatives: Instead of 2 year terms and getting elected forever and making a career out of it, we would change the term to a 4 year term and limit them to 2 terms. That way, nobody would serve more than 8 years in the House.

(2) Senate: Keep the 6 year term, but limit it to 2 terms. That way, nobody would serve in the Senate for more than 12 years.

Without having to raise millions of dollars and worry about their "job security," perhaps our elected officials will then do what is best for the people, instead of what is best for themselves.

Just an idea.............


That is something that you would not accept dealing with other issues. There is a difference between a Democracy and a tyranny of the majority.

Of course the weak, the stupid and the lazy will allways agree that it is "only fair" to tax the "rich", meaning milking the middle class and preventing them from ever becoming rich. The real rich pay a lot less than the middle class does.

In real life it does not work anyway. I do not know about statistics in other countries, but in Austria the shadow economy is not only growing, it is booming .

As a sidenote for those American conservatives that think Europe is doomed because of our economic system, you are only looking at the official numbers and our tax system distorts them.


3 Phds, one in Econ, and you don't understand why someone doesn't want to be a beast of burden? C'mon, Doc, you're just playing us! Fess up.

I wish I could make you understand how sacred your life and your work are. I can only imagine how you must have worked and slaved to get 3 Phds! Now, after all that, someone comes and takes the results of that work. They give your money to someone who didn't want to be bothered. At gunpoint and with the threat of jail, they take your life's work and give it to others. That doesn't strike you as evil?

Some of the others DO need help. Little kids, old people, the sick. I'm happy to help them. But not at gunpoint. How about putting a box on my paycheck where I could donate to the causes that I (and not someone else) choose? Maybe that's not done because they want to use my money for something I DON'T agree with?

Its worth repeating: "If you ain't no punk, holler 'We want freedom!'...yeah!" --- Konye