Politics and Sci Fi

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  1. profile image49
    CORBETTLEEposted 15 years ago

    Robert Heinlein promoted in his novel, "Starship Troopers", that an individual could only be elected to public office if that person had completed some other form of public service, and that those voting also had to have done the same.
    This is an excellent idea, for it promotes patriotism.
    Let us take it a step further and limit the pay to that of the mean average income of their constituents.
    Heinlein also in "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" indicated that governments should be more about what they can't or shouldn't do than what they can and should.
    Special elections should be held for those in public office whose approval ratings fall below a certain number. If a person in that office cant keep the majority of their constituents happy that person shouldn't be in that office. Finally I'm tired that our Senators and Congressman think that nothing is better than something. Everyone agrees that we need health care but since we cant get a strong enough of a majority to pass any of the proposed bills presented we get nothing instead. A simple majority was sufficient to put these people in office why does it take more than a simple majority to pass such an important peace of legislation.
    Am i the only one that can see that it is pass time for change it is time for radical change like maybe from a democratic republic to well just a democratic democracy.

    1. michael brannigan profile image60
      michael branniganposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      The idea of promoting patriotism is the first fault in your argument. Patriotism is the last bastion of a coward. Need an example? Try George dubya Bush. Dodges the Vietnam war cause Daddy is loaded and then talks of protecting America from the threat of Saddam Hussain, or should that be Sadman insane? Anyone who opposed this criminal act of war against a soveriegn state, was villified with the notion of not being partiotic. Strange thing Patriotism, it seems always to be the poorest of society, those with very little to protect themselves from, or very little benefit from the country that they are fighting for who are the true patriots, cause they sure are the ones coming home in pieces or in body bags. Killing one bunch of poor patriots in one country, to another bunch of poor patriots dying, seems like very poor ideology to me.

  2. ledefensetech profile image69
    ledefensetechposted 15 years ago

    That is such a bad idea on so many levels.  There have been societies in which the military has had control of the government.  Argentina and Chile both were run by military dictatorships, ask them how much they liked it.  What would happen is that military service would become hereditary.  This would keep power in the hands of the military and they'd be able to pass it along to their children.  Since the citizenship angle would be locked out, people would have no recourse to change bad leadership.  Starship Troopers is out.

    Forcing elections when popularity drops is also a bad idea.  This will encourage massive corruption and wealth redistribution as politicians will promise the stars in order to stay in office.  In effect this is the problem we're having now in the States.  Politicians get elected on the basis of promises they may or may not keep.  They try to stay in power long enough to fleece enough off the top so they are taken care of after they are either booted out of office or cannot legally continue to run for office.  Moon is a Harsh Mistress is out.

    Sure we need health care, but where we disagree is the best place to get that health care.  Government run healthcare is the pits.  Corporate run health care (fascism) is the pits.  Allowing the free market to function will drop the costs of going to the doctor and drugs and testing, etc. etc.  That's the one option you'll never hear from politicians or the mass media, because they're concerned about control.  If they have control, they can take care of themselves.  Of course it's at the expense of everyone else, but if you've got the rubes believing you're doing it in their best interests, well P.T Barnum said there's a sucker born every minute.

    1. michael brannigan profile image60
      michael branniganposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      I must disagree with you on the idea of government run health care being the pits. I live in the UK and our health care is bloody good and unlike your great US of A approach we don't have a third of our population receiving no health care at all. And lastly our population aren't dying of diseases that are cureable even in Africa, sadly yours are.

      1. ledefensetech profile image69
        ledefensetechposted 15 years agoin reply to this

        So explain the National Institute for Clinical Health and Excellence to me please.  Is that not the regulatory body that determines if you will or will not receive treatment if it is not considered "cost effective"?  Who are they to determine that?  So I have a few questions on how "bloody good" your health care really is.  I'd much rather be responsible for my own health and make those decisions for myself than burden others with that cost.  It's unethical to force others to pay for something you should be responsible for.  Oh and how much do you pay in taxes for your "bloody good" health care again?

  3. profile image0
    Leta Sposted 15 years ago


    I agree and was going to post a reply very similar to yours (with a slightly different slant, of course, wink).

    Can you develop your point about letting the health care industry to the 'free market?'  I'm afraid I don't follow you - that's a bit lean on verbiage...

  4. ledefensetech profile image69
    ledefensetechposted 15 years ago

    When you talk about free markets you are talking about letting supply and demand reach equilibrium without any outside interference.  If you allow market forces to work in healthcare, the first thing that would happen is that you'd see a flood of doctors.  Right now, through licensing, we restrict the number of doctors who can practice.  That has the effect of limiting the supply of doctors and is one reason health care costs are high.

    Now one of the arguments for licensing doctors through the state is to ensure quality.  I rather think the exploding costs of medical malpractice insurance puts paid to that hypothesis.  So the next thing you'd notice is the formation of accreditation organizations to rate doctors.  Think Consumer Reports or Underwriter's Laboratory.  Since the reputation of these organizations would be at risk, they'd have an incentive to be honest.

    Another effect would be the reduction in pay for doctors.  Since they restrict the supply of doctors now, they can charge higher prices than they would had there been more doctors.  If there are more doctors, they prices they could charge would decrease.  That's good for people, bad for doctors.  Another benefit to people would be that doctors would be forced to reduce costs in order to increase their income.  This would then force laboratories, drug companies, testing companies, hospitals, etc. to find ways to charge less for their services.  This would also mean that they would have to cut costs.  New opportunities would arise for people who could help lower the costs of running a hospital, lab, drug maker, etc.

    Rockefeller is castigated by some people today for his monopoly, but what few realize is that he lowered the price of oil to the point that people began using it for everything.  The only reason he was able to lower the price was because he could control the costs along the entire spectrum from drilling to selling.  Contrary to popular belief, had he tried to jump his prices after establishing his monopoly, some other competitor would have taken advantage of this and taken some or most of his market share.  Overall free markets tend to lower costs.

    1. puppascott profile image69
      puppascottposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Amen, brother!

  5. lxxy profile image60
    lxxyposted 15 years ago

    Great stuff.

    Ultimately, for your species to co-exist in harmony, you will have to abandon many precepts foisted upon you for generations since birth:

    -Economic Systems
    -Laws (for they only serve those that create them)
    -Consumerism, as well as most other ISMs.

    When all humans agree to help all other humans out, you'll be free to do as you wish without guilt.

  6. puppascott profile image69
    puppascottposted 15 years ago

    Irresponsibility. The new declaration of freedom.

  7. lxxy profile image60
    lxxyposted 15 years ago


    That's called politics, my friend. smile

    You beg to believe "responsible" actions are commited by those power hungry wolves that smile at you and ask for you to vote for them?


    I'm not saying all politicians are without a heart of gold, but politics in it's self--the very idea---that people are more important, more "qualified" to direct the flow of civilization is in it's self an act of irresponsibility.

    Now run along, cry to your government for health care, to cure the economic instability they themselves caused, etc., etc.

    I apologize, I don't mean to be so attacking. But I hope you get my point.

    1. puppascott profile image69
      puppascottposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Attack as you must.

      But I think you missed my point. Without laws, accountablility, and responsibility (individual and official) societies fail.

      Our government is working to remove all individual responsibility and replace it with a collective, mandated  version of responsiblity, because they think we cannot handle our own, and they are doing it under the name of regulation. Whether we want it or not, my friend.

      1. lxxy profile image60
        lxxyposted 15 years agoin reply to this

        You my friend, hit the nail on the head.

        And yes, I did miss your point.

        Thank you for clarifying, you and I completely agree.

  8. ledefensetech profile image69
    ledefensetechposted 15 years ago

    Not necessarily, customs can, and often do, take the place of laws.  Chances are you don't commit murder because you think it is wrong, not because you fear going to jail.  That's custom vs law.

    1. puppascott profile image69
      puppascottposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed. Please excuse my oversight.

  9. ledefensetech profile image69
    ledefensetechposted 15 years ago

    No problem, you do have a point about the collective.  Unfortunately unless things change soon, I rather get the impression I'll end my days being "shot trying to escape" whatever reeducation camps they get around to setting up.

    1. puppascott profile image69
      puppascottposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      The camps already exist, but they are voluntary; provided you can afford the tuition.

      (Don't let this get out, I might offend someone.)

  10. ledefensetech profile image69
    ledefensetechposted 15 years ago

    Oh no, I'm talking about our version of the Night of Long Knives or something similar.  At the moment we still have private universities, which educate people, not indoctrinate them with communist nonsense like public universities.

    It would be nice if people could remember that reason can overturn the law, but the law must never overturn reason.

  11. Hawkston profile image59
    Hawkstonposted 14 years ago

    I agree that 'Starship Troopers' is out, but on the grounds that cizitenship based upon completion of military service does not engender patriotism, but instead creates an elitist society that gains advantages over the unrepresented majority through nothing more than an extended period of mental and physical reconditioning.  Patriotism may have been the nice label on the government's campaign, but Mr. Heinlein definetly showed that the motivation for each of the important characters was for personal reasons and mostly to gain the advantages, though regret and vengenance were also reasons.

    As to the health care issue, what's being proposed in the Legislature is not about health care, it's about health insurance.  There's a difference and more insurance is not really what we need.

  12. profile image0
    pgrundyposted 14 years ago

    That's an interesting idea about not limiting the number of doctors.

    The problem with a health insurance system combined with a for-profit health care system is that it naturally pushes treatments and tests that create the most profit, not treatments and tests that create health or cure disease. There has to be some overlap between profitability and effectiveness of course, but in the end there's no real incentive for creating health.

    When a for-profit system is set up to focus on disease, it perpetuates disease or creates it.  It just happens, because disease drives profit and profit drives the system. We see this in the U.S. all the time--tests that aren't ever read, results not delivered, diagnostic machinery that is obsolete a few years after it is purchased but still used in-patient because it has to pay for itself or the test is profitable, profitable drugs prescribed for conditions they were never developed to treat. In fact, some critics believe drug companies invent diseases just so they can sell expensive drugs to treat them. (Restless Leg Syndrome anyone?)

    Everybody keeps trying to reinvent the wheel here. It's kind of overwhelming and unhelpful. So many solutions start by erasing the whole board and starting over. Fine, but erase the whole board how? See, that doesn't help. Utopian solutions don't even work in sci fi novels. Usually something weird goes all wrong and it all turns dystopian. smile


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