American Democracy


I dislike that there are 50 standards (or actually several thousand since cities set different things), but in one town the fences go up to the property line and in another town there must be four feet of clearance because of some tree law thing, and I could care fuck all about making such a comprehensive building code. Maybe they’ve got a really good reason for it, but beyond OSHA stuff, I can’t be asked to fight about that on the national stage.

Do we want a single comprehensive code for what a “historic structure” entails? Skyline rules? I mean, that would be neat, but… is it worth the time?

Edit: More random thoughts.

Another question in my mind comes down to courts. Federal courts vs State courts. I can sue someone in my state court relatively easily. There’s a county courthouse. Moving everything up to a federal level also entails moving all lawsuits and therefor case law into that level. I’m not sure how that shakes things up, but it doesn’t sound friendly in a lot of ways.


And it would be completely fine to enumerate specific areas where states can self-regulate.

But things like sprinkler requirements? Egress rules? Building materials? No state should get to regulate that on its own.

FWIW, when it comes to industrial sites this is verymuch a red state vs blue state thing. Blue states tend to largely conform to basic safety and procedural standards, and red states tend to have no official standards.

I’ve been doing a lot of soft research on this. Check out the USCSB youtube channel.

Half these ridiculous accidents are due to there being no federal standards for basic things, and certain states choosing not to regulate themselves… Meanwhile most of the bluer states conform to similar standards even when there isn’t a federal policy.


It reminds me how, at least, there is a Uniform Commercial Code that, in theory, provides a framework that most states follow when it comes to their business laws (and provides for much entertainment when Sovereign Citizens start mouthing off about it). If there isn’t one already, there should at least be something similar for building codes and whatnot.

Europe, in some ways, got it kinda right with their universal codes across all E.U. member states (and curiously, the EU governing body kind of resembles the US Congress in that there is a population-based Parliament and a one-per-member-state Council).


Regarding federal legislation I’d like to see… that happens to butt up against interpretation of the commerce clause… I’d like to see a standardized list of “ways you can access taxes” or some such and a standardized way to report it. That isn’t to say the fed sets rates for people or anything, I just want it to be written into a single code so we can handle business in all 50 states and what-not and I can build compliant software without having to basically pay a vendor to keep legally apprised of what’s going on in every municipality. It wouldn’t be as big of an improvement as single payer healthcare, but it would clear up a whole lot of work every company has implemented differently. Basically… give me a federal tax api or SDK.


How about we require the IRS to provide direct efiling for all federal and state taxes, and fund it to accomplish this.

If it puts the existing private tax preparation services out of business, that’s tough nuts.


I’m not entirely opposed to that. If your taxes are relatively simple, you shouldn’t need to pay for a low-end prep service to do them for you. You should only need help if you get more complicated, like if you run a home business or something, and at that point you may as well hire a proper CPA to do your taxes.


This is unrelated to whatever you guys are talking about. It’s the first inkling I’m seeing of a progressive/left version of the southern strategy. Perhaps getting the democrats to become the party of some current republicans. By a guy I generally love, Lawrence Lessig.


Lessig is great on ideas, but in listening to his podcast on how to fix everything, as well as his run at the Presidential nomination, I can’t help but think that he wants the equivalent of a Roman Dictator to take control, fix our shit, and then retire to the farm ala Sulla, sans all the murder.

The american people just don’t understand that sort of governance. I feel that he is dreaming that it’ll get fixed that way.


Lessig is a lot like this thread. Lots of great ideas on what to do with power. Only far fetched ideas on how to get power.


Well, I mean, Sulla did it.


Sulla for DictatorPresident 2020!


Now with 80% less corpse desecration!


Well, we get power by joining the Democrat coalition, weighing in heavily in their primaries, and giving them the mandate to play dirty the way the GOP has for the last couple decades.


Already done. How long is this supposed to take? Got any faster options? Also, this doesn’t feel like it is guaranteed to work. Got any options with a higher chance of success?


Hit the electoral lottery by winning the Presidency, House, and Senate and immediately make DC and PR states. Increase the size of the House. Pass comprehensive voter and election reform. Pray the Supreme Court doesn’t invalidate it.

That’s the foundation for a more liberal and progressive America. Once that’s done, start fixing other shit.


How? The scale has already tipped mathematically.


That’s why it’s winning the electoral lottery. Democrats have to just get lucky in a presidential election year. 2020 is a great opportunity, if still unlikely.

Other than that, I can’t see a way to introduce significant reform and change, except through violence.


We only need 51 to stack SCOTUS and force redistricting now. The GOP gave up 60 to steal two seats: the fire is already lit.


How can you even do it through violence?


Realistically, you can’t, but there will always be people advocating for the violent overthrow of government. Burn it all down and start again. You have to burn the village to save it, type of people.

I don’t agree with that philosophy, at least not yet, but that’s an option.