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Competency License

Extend driver's license idea to other areas of life
  [vote for,

Any law which now excludes everyone from doing something dispite the fact that a sizeable fraction of the population could testably demonstrate the ability to do that proscribed activity without harm should be licensable. Just as we require aspiring drivers to demonstrate their competence behind the wheel before allowing them to drive, we should use a smartcard that stores other areas of testable compentence. That way, if you can demonstrate that you are able to consume heroin in small quantities without becoming addicted, then you could purchase a recreational supply at the corner store by presenting your competence license at the cash register. Likewise, if you can pass an advanced stunt-driving exam, you would be permitted to drive 20 mph faster and to weave in and out of traffic. The possibilities are endless.
gregor-e, Nov 06 2002

License people to use the internet? http://www.wired.co...,1848,60416,00.html
Sep 28 2003 [krelnik, Oct 04 2004]

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       For some surreal and unexplained reason I like this idea quite a lot.
kaz, Nov 06 2002

       And if I can extract large sums of money from the bank without harming anyone...?
DrCurry, Nov 06 2002

       Who's going to pay to have all this analysis of people taking heroin and stunt driving done?
snarfyguy, Nov 06 2002

       Um, the heroin thing would basically turn it into the most abused prescription drug ever.   

       The stunt-driving exam is another bad idea, because even a competent driver puts other drivers at risk when he/she speeds and weaves in traffic. (It's not the guy with the stunt license I'm worried about; it's the driver who slams on the brakes in response who gets in the accident.)   

       There are situations where licensing could be a superior alternative to prohibition, but as snarfyguy points out there are transaction costs to be overcome.
bookworm, Nov 06 2002

       I'm personally very much in favour of the "license the person, not the thing" approach. Instead of having "horzontal" laws for the control of drugs, weapons, vehicles, etc., why not have a "vertical" approach, where included in the process of educating a young person is also included the exploration and licensing of their core competencies ? There is, of course, the cost aspect......
8th of 7, Nov 07 2002

       Excellent [8th of 7] I love the analogy of horizontal to vertical structuring. //Tying these mature privileges in with the education of a young person...// What incentive! Everyone benefits from increasing self reliant individuals exiting high school under this structure.   

       What cost aspect were you referring to 8th? In the long run we have theoretically better citizens costing government less, correct? I've wondered for some time why we haven't already implemented this ideology.
hollajam, Nov 07 2002

       // What cost aspect were you referring to 8th //   

       Well, essentially, every young person needs a "go" at just about everything - aviation, use of weapons, vehicles, medicine/first aid - the list goes on and on. Organising these activities so that all students can partake (even if some of them are elective and not all students take up all the options) would be a huge cost even if the per capita expense is brought down by economies of scale. You'd need a very large pool of trained and certifed instructors.   

       The up side is that a high proportion of people would have a chance to start their careers doing something that they had tried out, knew they liked, and were good at. And if they wanted to change later, they would have a priori knowledge of their areas of skill.
8th of 7, Nov 07 2002

       If it is money that is not your own, you cannot extract it from a bank without harm, at least to the legal and social construction of personhood. The bank has no way to say whose money you have "extracted", but are certain to assert harm has been done to them as a business.
amosj, Sep 28 2003

       Exaggeration of difference is good . Good for people to get use to . Keeps sheep mentallity at bay . Allows different cultures to link . Allows wider range of experiences . Greater diversity alround . We would still have to learn how where to ask for help in a weak license .
wjt, Sep 28 2003


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