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Subject area Legislatures

Instead of everyone voting for legislatures, college professors should vote for subject area legislatures.
  (+2, -5)
(+2, -5)
  [vote for,
against]

For instance, a state's professors of economics would vote for an economics legislature, who would pass laws associated with economics.

Reasons to agree

1. It is more likely that good economic policy will result when people making economic decisions have degrees in economics.

Reasons to disagree:

a. They say that if 5 economists were in a room you would get 5 different strategies. Also they can only see the world from their own perspective.

Reasons to disagree

i) It is stupid to stereotype people based on their profession. Your bringing up a problem with people IN GENERAL, and will not be solved until the computers or cockroaches take over. And who doesn't "see the world from their own perspective".

b. Read Michael Ormrod - The Death of Economics. Track record of economists is on par with astrologers. Friedman gave us Economic rationalism, an oxymoron that has been an unmitigated disaster.

Reasons to disagree

i) I have not read the book, and so I'll have to take your word on it. But I can argue with your comparison of economist to astrologers. What do you think an economist would say to this? Is their nothing that the field of economics can give us that is of value? Why do we still take economics classes then? If you were right, we would have no need for it, and all of these classes would be abolished.

2. Its better to have experts make decisions, than non experts.

3. Our world is getting more and more complicated. No legislature can make good decisions regarding every issue.

4. We all say that we respect teachers, but we give them very little power in our society. If someone devotes themselves to a subject, and they think of nothing else, all day long, they will probably make better decisions on that subject, than someone who has to make a living outside of the world of that subject.

5. People would respect professors more, if they ran the world.

6. More people would get higher education, if they new that they had to have a PHD to be in a position of power.

7. Plato suggested Philosopher Kings.

Reasons to disagree

1. Our system has worked pretty well

2. This power elite would soon be resented and hated. It would lead to fascism and produce a divided world between the so called educated and the rest. University education ignores some of the most important things in life and is over rated.

Reasons to disagree:

a) Re: "This power elite would soon be resented and hated". Soon other countries would be jealous because our system would work so well, and they would implement similar systems. Who is this power elite you speak of? If you wanted to be in power, all you would have to do is get a PHD. Is that worse than the current system where you have to get millions of dollars?

b) Re: "It would lead to fascism." Fascism is defined as, "A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism." I will no longer argue with you until you give evidence that my proposed system would lead to any of the aspects of fascism.

Alternative proposals

Rather than professors, I prefer juries of experts assessing by review proposals. The propose has the opportunity to make their case well, and the jury the chance to oppose it. The review process requires that each point is analaysed and debated in a structured way. Models can be developed to predict effects, and small scale experiments used to learn more, before larger policy submissions. The objective is that their is always the one that leads to the highest 'wealth' - which is determined ultimately most be the welfare and mental health of the whole society, wighted towards the bottom end. The 'legitimate' authority is always that which has the best track record of: 1) predicting trends 2} producing succesful policy interventions, 3) modelled effects which establish on a quantified way the net benefit. A constitution is needed which provides the 'rules' for the process.

Of course there would have to be someone in charge of making this whole thing work. Perhaps the speaker of the house (if this was tried in a state’s senate) would assign different sub committees or groups of area legislatures to different issues.

I guess this is sort of done already. We have subcommittees in the US congress. There are judicial and foreign relations committees. So maybe I'll I'm suggesting is that the US people get to vote who goes strait into these committees. That way we don't have to vote for a senator that is all things to all people. We just vote them in and say, this is the best economist, or businessperson from our state, and they would only have power on that committee.

myclob, Mar 11 2005

Alternative view: The case for regular old Democracy vs. the rule of experts http://www.ornery.o...h/2005-02-06-1.html
I don't know if my idea is right, or if this idea is right. You choose. [myclob, Mar 11 2005]

[link]






       Are we allowed to introduce our own reasons to agree or disagree, or is this multiple-choice?
If the former: are you assuming that only those with formal qualifications in, say, economics have a valid opinion on economics-related matters?
angel, Mar 11 2005
  

       Nice idea, but another reason to disagree might be that many decisions are difficult to ringfence within a single subject matter area.   

       For example, at some point, the UK must decide whether to adopt the Euro. While primarily an economic style decision, it also steps into the realms of society, culture, national security and identity, not to mention various diplomatic consequences.   

       Another example might be America's adoption of the Kyoto treaty. Economists and ecologists would be the obvious first choice of experts, but there could be more.   

       Another reason to disagree is that academics are often seen as being out of touch with the real world. While they may understand their subject matter intimately, it could be at the expense of more valid, meaningfull insights into the real world.   

       This is one way that an idea such as this would lead to "A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism."
The process? A team of academics are handed power over a nation. They realise that the uneducated pleborate are incapable of rational thought and at some point may throw them out of office (the History Professor might be able to explain some particularly nasty examples of this happening in the past). In order to preserve their position, they, all being experts now in the art of legislature (and having provided one another with the degrees to prove it) institute a bill denying the dangerous masses various freedoms - like the ability to study for degrees, except for a very exclusive handpicked few who turn out in most cases to be the sons and daughters of those in power (voted on by Professors of Genetics, Legislature and Education). Of course, with no democratic vote, the bill sails through and is implemented immediately. Before you know it, stringent socioeconomic controls are being applied left-right-and-centre, and dissenters are quietly removed from their houses in the middle of the night by the newly formed 'Professors of Homeland Security' (a crack regiment of hardened academics who have studied for 6 years the various ways to effectively supress the masses through a regimen of torture, midnight raids and daylight abduction) And it isn't long before a group of enlightened 'Professors of Border Epansion' decide to invade Poland.
  

       If you take steps to limit the electorate in any way, those in power will have a greater opportunity to maintain their positions of power.   

       Books that support this point of View:
Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  

       I'd prefer to see an electorate educated enough about the various issues to understand them, and how they might effect their own and other people's lives.
zen_tom, Mar 11 2005
  

       Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.
brodie, Mar 11 2005
  

       All of these are good reasons to disagree. I don't have enough time right now to incorporate them into may main idea, and it gets kind of unweildy. Even with all of your reasons to disagree, I think people should experiement with this. Maybe just a small college town, and see how it goes. Or you could create a shadow government, that has no power, but just offers alternative platforms, or comes to different conclusions. They would just be "playing government" but it would be fun.
myclob, Mar 11 2005
  

       zen tom: "academics .... may understand their subject matter intimately, it could be at the expense of more valid, meaningfull insights into the real world"   

       How about "at the expense of equally valid, meaningful insights..." please?
Basepair, Mar 11 2005
  

       Basepair, you are of course right - I was presenting a biased counter argument and as such, it suffered from, erm...bias. But yes, I happily accept your alternative wording.
zen_tom, Mar 12 2005
  

       [myclob] again, yes, I'd be happy to see this implemented on a local government level - there is obviously a case for technocratic descision making - as long as it's tempered somehow against the most extreme consequences. I do have to lodge an objection to the rather elitist idea that academia has all the answers, having passed through that world myself and into the 'business environment', I have found that most people are equally fallable, irrespective of education, intelligence or hard graft. At the end of the day, everyone makes mistakes, and holds questionable opinions, at least in a democracy, the failures of the individual are mutually cancelled out by mass concensus.
zen_tom, Mar 12 2005
  

       [myclob], are you related to [Vernon]?   

       Since when do the issues of government limit themselves to one subject? How many issues can you think of that don't at least overlap others - that are say questions of economics, but not other things like ethics or law or medicine ad nausem, as well? Are there any! I think your idea would be like painting a target on a society and saying "law of unintended consequences? Bring it on!"   

       As far as Plato's suggesting philosophers as kings, well fine. But I think what he meant by philosophers and what you mean may be very different. Today the word philosopher means something akin to "thinker of deep thoughts" whereas in his day it would have meant "lover of learning". Not one subject, but *learning* what ever the world has to teach.   

       I'd rather have someone who sought answers from a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, got answers to questions from the experts in them and then used his/her own discernment to figure out what would be best to do. They should probably ask some people who don’t know a thing about it, too. I don't want to know what the decision maker knows as much as I want to know something about her/his character, so that I can be sure as possible that the person is making decisions out of a level headedness and trustworthiness that transcends what they know.
Ichthus, Mar 12 2005
  

       I often see on this website the arguments that says, in essence, if It's not black, it must be white. Or if it does fit perfectly, then it doesn't fit. What I'm trying to say, is represented well by the difference between scientist and engineers. Scientist look for laws that work all the time. Engineers look make things work.   

       True there is no issue that is 100% an economic issue. But there are issues that are mostly economic issues.   

       You bring up a good point, though. As they say the devil is in the details, and I did not explain all of the details in my idea. Look for the following text to show up in the main text of my idea.   

       Of course there would have to be someone in charge of making this whole thing work. Perhaps the speaker of the house (if this was tried in a state’s senate) would assign different sub committees or groups of area legislatures to different issues.   

       I guess this is sort of done already. We have subcommittees in the US congress. There are judicial and foreign relations committees. So maybe I'll I'm suggesting is that the US people get to vote who goes strait into these committees. That way we don't have to vote for a senator that is all things to all people. We just vote them in and say, this is the best economist, or businessperson from our state, and they would only have power on that committee.
myclob, Mar 13 2005
  

       Everyone is out of time, economists wouldn't find enough of it either to vote on economic issues. They'd be shooting from the hip.   

       Democracy is a laissez faire way of protecting us from future shock. Especially for those with lamprey vision.
mensmaximus, Mar 13 2005
  

       When there were only 13 colonies, your vote was for 7% of representative power. Currently, the system is a joke, nay, an inflated and egoistically centrist joke.
reensure, Mar 13 2005
  
      
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