Saturday, April 25, 2015

Democracy...Closed for Repairs?

How is it that democratic processes can get so thoroughly bungled up? A recent interchange between Alex Tabarrok and Joseph Heath, still has me thinking about the "U.S. as Rome burning" implications they touched on. Of course as most readers know, I remain stubborn and resistant regarding any inevitability of decline. Specifically, here's Tabarrok about the decline of reason: doesn't pay to be informed about politics nor to think about politics in objective and rational terms.
Think for a moment why this has actually become the case. Governments assume that taxation is capable of providing a services base for all citizens. In time aggregate terms, many political arguments revolve around who has the right to benefit from specialty time use on the taxpayer dollar. But why should it be necessary for knowledge use and economic participation to remain on those terms? Few individuals can expect to claim what is inevitably in short supply. How does one vote for - or otherwise choose something - which is not even there to begin with?

Difficult realities for knowledge based time coordination, are beginning to set in. National governments cannot be all things to all people, and knowledge use needs a chance to thrive in decentralized settings. No one could have known, prior to the developments of the 20th century, the extent to which U.S. citizens would come to rely on government provided services. National governments need to return to simpler and more basic structures, so that real democracy has a chance to thrive where it can do the most good - at local levels.

In particular, services need to become part of the economy, instead of a burden on the economy. But in order for this to happen, services of all kinds would need to be built into local work and educational structures. These organizational patterns would eventually generate broad knowledge use complexity, in the places where it is needed most. Knowledge use systems would act as a form of direct democracy, through which citizens vote for the services they desire with the application of their own skills potential.

Without a true marketplace for time use potential, one's vote is a drop in the bucket of hoped for service offerings, which elected officials have little control over. Even though today's service offerings are limited by design, they still represent real burdens to both taxpayers and the businesses which are expected to support them.

Knowledge use systems would be able to increase labor force participation, through the process of local services creation. Services can be generated in ways that need not impose a burden on anyone. Not only can time use be coordinated equally, local investment can be structured so that even those with low income levels can remain responsible citizens. Democracy may seem as though presently "closed for repairs". That's okay. The important thing is to not let it slip away completely.

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