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Creating Utopia?

  1. Apr 22, 2003 #1
    Ok, boys and girls...


    Say you had it to do over. How would you build a 'perfect' society, ignoring modern foreign affairs, but including modernn technology? How would you see life being? What would your solution be to modern problems? Be detailed, because I think we could have some fun with this. :smile:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2003 #2
    I dont think you'd have to start over from scratch. There are afew things to do with the system of government that exists now.
    1) Get rid of the electoral college. Why? Because it is a barrier to democracy. The US is still a representative republic, and will be until the EC falls.

    2) Exile corporate CEOs who evade tax by placing their headquarters off shore. Fine those corporations into compliance with the law.

    3) Do I need to say it? A nationally elected supreme court.

    4) Cut taxes for people making less than 50,000 per year. Make up the difference by taxing people who make greater than 300,000 per year.

    5) Basic family medical care is already provided to the poor by charitable clinics. Relieve the burden on these clinics with tax breaks and grants.

    Most of the country under the (R)'s has become a Clintonian 'Economic Rehabilitation Zone.' Fix the economy by eliminating the national debt -- I'd propose a Constitutional amendment for a balanced budget, just like the states have to have. Let's not let a few idiots who have grabbed power ruin the lives of all our children.
     
  4. Apr 22, 2003 #3
    Nice ideas...but please, try to leave out the partisan complaints.


    I would also suggest that any ideal society would do its best to encourage a basic, and basically high standard of living. That means that education and healthcare (for children especially) is a must. I would jack your $300,000 limit up to $5-10 million, and I still think it would work. Closing the loopholes on the richest 5% would also help. Frankly, you can enjoy the fruits of your 'labors' on $90 million just as easily as you can on $100 million.

    I would say that any corporation that bases itself outside teh U.S. to avoid taxes should face tarriffs, like any other foreign corporation.

    Further, I would suggest that we not be given a choice in what we drive. Unsafe and fuel-inefficient vehicles are out. Under certain situations, you currently get a rather large tax break on SUVs...you should get an equal or greater tax break to buy a hybrid car(right now, the IRS is considering a $2,000 break...the SUV tax break is as high as $25,000).
     
  5. Apr 22, 2003 #4
    The idea of utopia can be, and has been, dangerous. It places one person's vision over another's, usually the party's over the individual's. It is probably one of the reason's behind socialism's repeated mistakes, the idea that a perfect society can be created by a party or committee.

    But if the utopia-building process is collective, allowing many to have their say, it can be useful. We do need to talk about the kind of society that we wish to build.

    An odd thing about America is that the economic system is taken as natural law, that it arises out of the spontaneous interaction of individuals in which no individual can adversely affect the system. Criticism of the economic system and the way of life it creates, is considered unAmerican.

    If you suggest that the system can be changed, say by government intervention or by raising taxes and redistributing wealth or by proposing stronger labor unions, you are accused of robbery and treason. There is strongly entrenched conservatism in America which makes it difficult to change the fundamentals of the economy. And of course, the American economy has been so successful at creating wealth that one might be mad to wish to tamper with it.

    But I suggest that there is a lot of poverty, racism, deprevation, inequality and injustice in America which is created by the economic system and not by the poor individuals who are made to suffer fom it.

    So my suggestion would be to apply gentle and convincing pressure to make richer folks sympathize with the idea of taxes being used to redistribute wealth to the poor so that the entire nation benefits. I would also want the state or municipalities to do the social work done presently by the church so that poor and homeless folks do not feel like beggars at the mercy of do-gooding, affluent christians.

    I believe in a national health care system avalable to all at low cost. I think, too, we should work for the notion of a living wage: if you work 40-50 hours a week in one job, you should be able to live on that wage. It is ridiculous and demeaning that a person needs to work three or four jobs in order to survive.
     
  6. Apr 22, 2003 #5
    Something that seems to work is programs which help people long-term, rather than quick fixes. Rehab help with drug addiction and drug-related crime much more than prison. Education is the best way out of poverty. An overall higher standard of living saves more money than is spent to create it.



    Michael Moore, in his book Stupid White Men outlines the increased potential for profits if employers would treat their workers better, and pay them more, etc.
     
  7. Apr 22, 2003 #6
    Oh, and hey: what sort of cultural changes would you like to see? I would eliminate zero-sum games as much as possible. I think we should go with sports and competition that emphasizes personal acheivement, versus simply beating other people.
     
  8. Apr 22, 2003 #7
    omg schwarzchildradius, if you run for prez with that platform you have my vote.


    as for the topic, the best way to get as close as possable to utopia is just to get it though everyone's thick head that we all have our own ideas of utopia so no one can have it just their way but we can make the environment more hospitable to people doing things their own way.
     
  9. Apr 22, 2003 #8

    FZ+

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    Me too. But other stuff to add...

    1. Cut defence budget. Why? Because I am a bleeding heart liberal? Really, a large conventional army is increasingly a liability in the modern world of remote "smart" weapons and terrorist threats. A more flexible option should be aimed for.

    2. Increase science funding. Even from a purely practical point of view, science funding brings great returns with time. And good education is a prerequisite for a successful democracy. Just imagine what we can do if we move say 50% of our current defence budget to hospitals and schools...

    3. More cooperation in UN. Stress on word "cooperation".

    4. More restrictions on campaign expenses for the larger parties, and laws requiring openness in disclosing sponsors, past engagements etc, if they do not already exist.

    5. Move for public, rational discussion (ok, maybe that's an oxymoron) on various controversial issues. eg. death penalty, abortion, gun control etc etc....

    6. Cross partisan economical advisory board to debate on financial issues.

    Zero: in reference to the non-zero sum games thing, I wonder how long before someone cries "Communism!" :wink:
     
  10. Apr 22, 2003 #9

    Hurkyl

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    I think people in general need to have less say in actual lawmaking. People know what they want (more or less), but very few will be able to have any intelligent input as to how to achieve it.

    With the advances in networking capability and data processing, it should be fairly easy for the voting public to set goals, which the lawmakers would then attempt to implement. Some sort of performance based system would be required for lawmakers where only the people who do a good job of picking out good laws are allowed to make future laws... if someone votes for too many bad laws or against too many good laws, they'd get kicked out.

    Hurkyl
     
  11. Apr 22, 2003 #10
    Hmmmm....


    LESS LAWS!!!

    That one is simple, isn't it? If the laws are so complex that you need an army of preists to make heads or tails of it, what is the use?
     
  12. Apr 22, 2003 #11
    No one has ever adequately explained why Communism is evil...it cannot work as a pure system, because it doesn't take human nautre into account, but neither does capitalism.
     
  13. Apr 22, 2003 #12
    oh come on Zero, we all know that only pinko *language unbecoming a proper lady* support such crap; what more evidence do you need?!?




    just kidding, i just really like the term "pinko" so i take every opportunity i get to use it. also, sense i handed seeen Alias around today, i figured i would speak for him.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2003
  14. Apr 23, 2003 #13
    Hurkyl you are a genius at physics but your politiks is fantasy. Those technological improvements will be corrupted very easily. What we need to do is to re-examine the First Principles of democracy and redesign parts of the government to reflect those principles. As a Republic, we are great, but only in might- not right.
     
  15. Apr 23, 2003 #14
    under my last post, that should read "Last edited by Zero on 04-22-2003 at 07:21 PM becuase he is a pinko commie *word for something that is of irregular, inferior, or dubious origin that has for some odd reason been put on a mysterious black list here*. you got a rule book i can see Zero, or are you just makeing it up as you go alonglike some goddless heathen?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2003
  16. Apr 23, 2003 #15
    Let's get this back on topic, please.
     
  17. Apr 25, 2003 #16
    It's easy. A society is perfect if and only if its inhabitants see it as being perfect. So how do we go about that? Simple... Force people to think that they are living in a Utopia. Censor all media and all publications. By controling the press you control what people think, and as long as people think they are happy and satisfied with their life, they will be happy and satisfied with their life. Perception is reality.
     
  18. Apr 25, 2003 #17

    LOL, I meant a REAL one, not the one that is currently being built.
     
  19. Apr 27, 2003 #18
    The idea and blueprint of a Utopian society is laid out in H.G. Wells' book, "MEN LIKE GODS".

    Basically Democracy is on the road to creating Utopia. It proposes a level playing field for all participants. It promotes multi-culturalism.

    When you can synthesis what works best for Utopia from such a vast array of societies around the world. All of their technologies and medicines and their structures etc....... you are going to see the resulting compilation resemble Utopia.

    The knowledge encoded in their musics, literatures, architectures, arts, cuisines, etc... etc... are the stuff that will support this utopian model. The model must reflect the efficency of the universe otherwise it will fail... the recycling... the supporting the integrations and the interpretations... and the selections seen in many of the universes processes. Thank you.
     
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