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Lady GaGa

Telephone lyrics

Hello, hello baby you called?


I can't hear a thing
I have got no service
In the club, you see, see
Wha-Wha-What did you say,
Oh, you're breaking up on me
Sorry, I cannot hear you
I'm kinda busy.

K-kinda busy
K-kinda busy
Sorry, I cannot hear you, I'm kinda busy.

Just a second,
It's my favorite song they're gonna play
And I cannot text you with
A drink in my hand, eh
You should've made some plans with me,
You knew that I was free.
And now you won't stop calling me;
I'm kinda busy.

Stop callin', stop callin',


I don't wanna think anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.
Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna talk anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.

Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh


Stop telephonin' me!
Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh
I'm busy!
Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh
Stop telephonin' me!
Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh

You can call all you want,


But there's no one home,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!
Cuz I'm out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

Call when you want,


But there's no one home,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!
Cuz I'm out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

Beyonce:

Boy, the way you blowin' up my phone


Won't make me leave no faster.
Put my coat no faster,
Leave my girls no faster.
I shoulda left my phone at home,
'Cause this is a disaster!
Callin' like a collector -
Sorry, I cannot answer!

Not that I don't like you,


I'm just at a party.
And I am sick and tired
Of my phone r-ringing.

Beyonce:

Sometimes I feel like


I live in Grand Central Station.
Tonight I'm not takin' no calls,
'Cause I'll be dancin'.

'Cause I'll be dancin'


'Cause I'll be dancin'
Tonight I'm not takin' no calls, 'cause I'll be dancin'!

Stop callin', stop callin',


I don't wanna think anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.
Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna talk anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.

Stop callin', stop callin',


I don't wanna think anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.
Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna talk anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.

Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh


Stop telephonin' me!
Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh
I'm busy!
Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh
Stop telephonin' me!
Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh

Can call all you want,


But there's no one home,
You're not gonna reach my telephone!
'Cause I'm out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

Call when you want,


But there's no one home,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!
'Cause I'm out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

My telephone!
M-m-my telephone!
'Cause I'm out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

My telephone!
M-m-my telephone!
'Cause I'm out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!
The Political Theories Pages
The Redistribution Of Wealth - "Reverse Robin Hood" scams.

Tax Loopholes - An upward redistribution of wealth?

Corporate Welfare - Redistribution From Poor To Rich - Billions of dollars taken from those who make less and
handed to those who are wealthy.

Political Change Without Voting - A look at better way than the perpetual voting for the lesser-of-evils.

A New Constitution - Do we need one? If so, what should it include, and why? Here are some ideas that may not
be so popular.

Why I Hate Hate Crime Laws - Outlaw "hate crimes?" It seems like a good idea at first glance.... But is
legislation really the solution to people believing and saying things we don't like? I don't think so.

Public Lies : As a society, do we sanction lies? A llok at the political consequences of the lie: "If it saves one life
it's worth it."

The Damage That Social Programs Do : Including a personal story, and some suggestions for change.

The Tao Of Politics : Many people don't realize that Lao Tzu had quite a few important things to say about
politics and government in his Tao Te Ching. Of course, not many people read the book. My own favorite
quotes are on this page, and as you will see, Lao Tzu was very liberal and libertarian in his political theories.

Lying Politicians : My explanation of why politicians are often just telling us the lies that we want to hear.
Honesty in Washington will have to begin with self-honesty in the citizens. As long as we want to believe in
nonsense, there will be a politician to serve it up. The Politics Of Taxation : Politicians and governments must
strive for a system that appears fair to the most people. Political necessity precludes actual fairness or reasoned
thought in the science of funding government. In fact, it mostly just precludes any science or logic. The idea
that you can generate more revenue with higher tax rates is a perfect example.

A Policy Of Truth : What would the political landscape look like if we adopted the policy of truth? You might not
like it. Politicians would be debating acceptable rates of death prior to enacting regulations. President would be
saying, "We are going to kill these people because it suits our policy aims." Are you ready for the truth?

Stay tuned for more political theories.

The Redistribution Of Wealth To The Wealthy


The following is about the redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthy. There are at
least a hundred ways this is accomplished, but just a dozen or so of the more important ways will be covered
here. What lead me to do this research was the controversy of the 2008 presidential campaign after Obama
made the political mistake of advocating "spreading the wealth around."

Of course, saying that seemed shocking to some, but what false outrage! Virtually all Republicans
and Democrats alike believe in certain social programs that "spread the wealth." I didn't hear any of them
advocating the dismantling of welfare, Medicaid or public education. These certainly help poorer people at the
expense of the wealthier who pay most of our taxes.

It was called "socialism" when Obama advocated the same thing most Republicans believe in. Why? Because he
advocated a bit more wealth be redistributed? That's not a principled argument. By the way, in 2000,
complaining about the Bush tax cuts, McCain said "When you reach a certain level of comfort, there's nothing
wrong with paying a little more."

A Capitalist Perspective

I don't much care for labels, but my economic beliefs are closer to a capitalist philosophy than any other. I
would prefer less redistribution of wealth (at least through government force), but I also understand why the
public thinks there is something wrong with capitalism and free markets. What we have is neither, but if we are
to call it capitalism, then I am against capitalism as well.

The way things are currently arranged, those who are very wealthy are provided with many legal ways to take
from the poor and middle class to enrich themselves further. That isn't fair, to say the least. It is also ultimately
destabilizing for a society. If people ever fully understand the many "reverse Robin Hood" scams out there, the
wealthy here will eventually all have to live behind guarded walls like they do in much of the rest of the world.

Here are some of the ways the rich get richer unfairly. You can click through the links to read more on each of
these.

Corporate Welfare - Redistribution From Poor To Rich - At least 100 billion dollars is taken from all of us
taxpayers and handed over to corporations in this country every year. Much of that is then handed out in
bonuses to wealthy managers of these companies.

How The Rich Get Richer - This post on the New Ideas Blog is about a scam that Warren Buffet pointed out at
least seven years ago (and nothing has been done about it). It's a legal way for corporations to raid the pension
funds of employees and put the money in the pockets of their wealthiest mangers.

Spread The Wealth? - While calling Obama a "redistributionist," John McCain suddenly announces during a
debate that he wants to spend $300 billion to buy bad mortgages and reduce the principle. Those of us who
responsibly bought homes we can afford (ours was $65,000) get to have our money redistributed to those with
$300,000 homes?

A Bailout For The Rich - The "bailout" begins. $10 billion to Morgan Stanley - they hand out $6.44 billion in
bonuses. Goldman Sachs gets $10 billion and pays out $6.85 billion in bonuses. I'm not making this up. That
$700 billion constitutes a huge transfer of taxpayer money to some of the wealthiest Americans.

Tax Loopholes For The Rich - There was a time when I argued that loopholes only allowed the wealthy to keep
more of what is their's to begin with. But what if they paid nothing (or too little) while benefiting from
government services paid for by others? Isn't that an upward redistribution?

Millionaire Welfare Farmers - Why should minimum wage workers have their money taken to give more money
to millionaire farmers? They shouldn't, but that's what is going on. The poor that get hurt the worst don't live in
this country though.

Some Corporate Welfare Examples - I hate to focus on the negative, but it's difficult to understand the
magnitude of the transfer of wealth from poor and middle class to the wealthy if we don't look at a few
examples of it. You'll find five more examples here.

Corporate Welfare - A Definition - My definition and a few examples of indirect subsidies.

The Working Poor Do Pay Taxes - Contrary to the claims of some conservatives that 40% of Americans pay no
taxes, most pay far more than is realized. A guy flipping burgers may even be paying a higher percentage of
income in taxes than Warren Buffet, as you will see.

Social Security Rip Off - Recent studies showed that some retirees need social security to avoid poverty - 12%
of them. The other 88% simply get to improve their lifestyle at the expense of working folk who support this
Ponzei scheme. In fact, about $100 billion annually goes to retirees who make more than the average
household income - a huge transfer of wealth from young to old and sometimes from the poor to the wealthy.
The Poor Side Of Town - Living in a mobile home for years, I watched as the process unfolded. The poor are
regulated out of town - another way the poor are taken advantage to make people wealthier.

Preying On Poor Countries - Imagine a scheme to make rich bankers richer while making some of the poorest
people of the world poorer, and all at U.S. taxpayer expense. You don't have to imagine it - it has been around
for a while.

Property Tax Rates Are Higher For The Poor - Unknown to the average person, it is renters who actually pay the
property taxes on the homes they rent. And these properties are taxed much more heavily than others.

Federal Reserve Fraud - How do you take billions from the people without them knowing? Print money to loan to
their government at interest. This is one of the biggest rip-offs you'll ever read about.

Get Rid Of Corporate Taxes - See who really pays these taxes, and what should be done instead.

The Rich Get Richer With Government Help - This page tallies up the damage done - far more goes to the rich
than the total of all welfare aimed at the poor.

Now to clarify some things:

1. The primary way the rich get richer is by providing things that benefit society. In other words, they create
value. We are not forced to buy Bill Gates products, but we do so because of the great value they have to us.
The wealthy do not primarily look for a bigger piece of the pie - they make more pies.

2. There's nothing wrong with being wealthy, but how you get there matters. In a fair and free society getting
rich does not cause anyone's impoverishment. Historically, we have all benefited from an economy that rewards
those who create the most value.

3. The danger of great wealth is that it buys great power, which can be used to take advantage of the poor and
middle class. This is what has been happening more and more in recent years. Laws and regulations have been
lobbied for and passed which allow the redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthy.

4. Some will rightly point out that the wealthy pay most of the taxes that support our government
and all of its programs, but this does not make laws written for the rich more just. Also, some of the ways
wealth is moved from poor to rich are not visible in the tax code, nor easily measurable - and all are unfair in
any case.

5. Life takes precedence over other values, so if some redistribution to the poor is needed, it is entirely justified
(who would honestly allow a child to starve next to a rich man's banquet?).

6. Even if some us prefer that the redistribution of wealth be kept to the minimum necessary, it is clear that the
lesser of evils for a society is a transfer from rich to poor rather than the other way around.

Tax Loopholes For The Rich


Whether we call them tax loopholes or just tax policy, there are ways for the wealthy to avoid paying taxes.
Many of these special laws cannot be used by the poor and middle class. Is that fair? To answer that, let's start
with an overview of the income tax.

According to Wikipedia, the federal budget for 2009 totals $3.1 trillion. This probably doesn't include
the more than a trillion in various bailouts, so lets round it off at 4 trillion dollars. Now, what if each of the 138
million taxpayers in the country (there are children and those who have no income who don't pay) paid an equal
share? That would be almost $29,000 each.

Obviously, this would be impossible for most of the taxpayers out there. Many tens of millions don't make
enough to pay that even if they were taxed at 100%, and I'm pretty sure they would not show up for work if
tax rates came anywhere near there. So the "everyone pay the same amount" idea of taxation is not practical.
Nobody has advocated this anyhow.

What is a practical and fair way to share the cost of government then? Most people would prefer a system in
which you pay more as you make more money. This seems fair. Those who make more have more that is
protected by the army, the police and the courts, so why shouldn't they pay more?

Of course, the wealthy do pay more under the system we have. But some may not like the fact that "A heavy
progressive or graduated income tax," is tenet number two of Marx's Communist Manifesto. A "flat tax," on the
other hand, which applies the same rate to all income, would still mean that Warren Buffet would pay a lot more
on his millions than you and I pay on our tens of thousands. I think that most people could accept this as fair.

However, the reality is that even with the current supposedly graduated tax system many of the wealthiest
Americans pay a lower effective tax rate than the poor and middle class. This is due to the many tax laws and
tax loopholes available to help them. These don't allow the rich to take from the poor directly, but doesn't
paying less mean someone will have to pay more? We'll return to that in a moment.

In 2007, at a $4,600-per-seat fund raiser in New York for Senator Hillary Clinton, Warren Buffet stood up and
told the crowd, "The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our
cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you're in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of
humanity to think about the other 99 per cent."

As an example, he noted that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made in 2006, while his
secretary, who made $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent. Apart from the seeming unfairness of this, he
suggested that this tax policy had accentuated a disparity of wealth that hurt the economy by stifling
opportunity and motivation.

Buffet also noted that a Republican proposal to eliminate elements of inheritance tax would widen the gap
between rich and poor. The inheritance tax raises about $30 billion a year from about 12,000 wealthy families.
Buffet believes (reasonably, I think) that taxes would have to be raised on those who are less prosperous in
order to replace the lost revenue.

An inheritance is income, and the fact that it's treated differently than other income is based less on a principled
argument and more on tradition and feelings that giving money to family members is different somehow. In a
country that prides itself on self reliance and "self made" men and women, we could probably honor our
country's founders' wish to keep stagnant wealth from accumulating in family dynasties. In any case, property
rights are philosophically derived from the right to life, and the wealthy are free to do as they wish with the
money while alive.

Now, you may wonder how the wealthy get to pay a lower rate than the rest of us. They get it by using their
wealth to lobby for laws that change the rules to favor them. These tax loopholes for the rich are usually
justified as being for some good purpose (and they often do serve some good purposes despite their
unfairness). Of course, given that many in congress are in the ranks of the rich, their is an element of self
interest at play in the law making too.

For example, capital gains rates are lowered to "encourage investment," and they probably do that. But should
a government be trying to influence how money is used by citizens? In any case, this is the primary reason
Warren Buffet pays a lower total tax rate than his secretary. He gets much of his income in the form of capital
gains.

Then there are the myriad of laws that try to alter behavior in other "good" ways. Deductions for charitable
contributions, for example, allow a wealthy family to deduct from income the value of a painting they give to a
museum. Here's how to play this game, if you're interested: Buy a painting for $10,000, hold it for a year or
two, get a friendly appraiser to say it's worth $60,000, and you deduct that from your reported income. That
saves you more on taxes than the $10,000 you actually paid.

Of course all these tax loopholes and deductions are available to all citizens in theory. But then who would they
help the most? Which poor families have the money or connections to play the "revalued charitable contribution
game?" In any case, the largest federal tax most poor pay is social security and Medicare taxes, for which
(surprise) there are no deductions allowed.

Can this be fairly called a transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthy? In a way, yes.
Imagine if the rich paid nothing (in reality they still pay most of the taxes). That would make it clear that they
are receiving a net benefit from the taxes paid by others - a transfer of wealth from poor and middle class to
the rich. To the extent that they are paying less than a fair share, this is still true.

There's nothing wrong with wealth, but how one obtains and maintains it matters. If we don't put a stop to the
hundred ways that the wealthy take from the poor and middle class (including all the entirely unnecessary tax
loopholes designed primarily for the rich), people will more and more think that it is wrong to be rich. That will
make us all poorer.

Corporate Welfare
Redistribution From Poor To Rich
Corporate welfare is yet another example of wealth redistribution from the poor and middle class to some of the
wealthiest few.

According to some people, "corporate welfare" includes tax breaks, while others say a tax deduction
just allows a company to keep more of it's own money, therefore it isn't a handout. Both views have some
truth. It isn't quite welfare to allow a company to pay less in taxes, but if others are forced to pay more in
taxes, it does constitute using government power to give some corporations an unfair advantage.

The Cato Institute, a free market think tank, does not include tax breaks in its definition:

Corporate welfare should be carefully defined as any government spending program that provides unique
benefits or advantages to specific companies or industries. That includes programs that provide direct grants to
businesses, programs that provide research and other services for industries, and programs that provide
subsidized loans or insurance to companies.

Even with its more limited definition it found that the U.S. federal government spent $92 billion on corporate
welfare during fiscal year 2006. Among the many recipients were General Electric, Boeing, Xerox, IBM,
Motorola, and Dow Chemical. This is clearly a redistribution of wealth from taxpayers in general to the
corporations. One could argue that this can benefit any who own shares in those corporations, but that naturally
does not include the poor as often as the rich. Also, the increases profits that result are used to hand out ever
larger bonuses to corporate managers, who are some of the wealthiest Americans. This then becomes a transfer
of money from the pockets of any who work into those of the wealthy.

According to the Cato Institute there are more than 100 corporate subsidy programs in the federal budget. Here
are a few examples:

Agriculture Department's Market Access Program ($100 million a year). Created under Reagan, this one gives
taxpayer dollars to food and agricultural products exporters to offset the costs of their overseas advertising
campaigns. Yes, we pay for their advertising.

The Export-Import Bank ($700 million a year). Through this one our money is used to subsidize financing to
foreign purchasers of U.S. goods. This includes direct loans to buyers at below-market interest rates,
guaranteeing private loans to those buyers, and providing export credit insurance to exporters and private
lenders.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation ($70 million a year). This program make direct loans, guaranteed
loans, and political risk insurance to U.S. firms that invest in developing countries. Yes, we have our paychecks
nicked so companies can more easily set up shop overseas.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ($1.9 billion a year). Mapping, charting, and weather
forecasting saves specific private industries a lot of money for services that are already being provided by the
private sector. We pay for redundant services just so shipping companies and others can get them free or
cheaper.

The list could go on and on. But in addition to the items that The Cato Institute calls corporate
welfare, I would include other handouts. For example, The 1872 Mining Act allows companies to get land and
resources almost for free. In 1994, American Barrick Corporation, a Canadian company, patented nearly 2,000
acres of public land in Nevada that contained over $10 billion in recoverable gold reserves. Taxpayers received
less than $10,000. These lands are supposed to be held in trust for all of us, and one would think that any
rational management would lease them or sell them at market rates.

Then there is all the corporate welfare that goes on at the state and local level. For example, New York City,
under mayor Rudolph Giuliani, gave subsidy packages to the New York Stock Exchange, the American
Exchange, the Mercantile Exchange, the Coffee Sugar and Cocoa Exchange, ABC, NBC, Ziff-Davis,
McGraw-Hill, Reuters, Conde Nast, Time Warner, News America, CBS, Smith Barney and Bear, and
Stearns.

At the moment conservatives are screaming about the "share the wealth" philosophy of some liberals who
propose taxing the rich more heavily to help the poor and middle class. I don't favor that approach either, but
the complainers would have more credibility if they were also attacking the many ways the wealthiest
Americans dip into your pockets as well. Corporate welfare is just one of them, and just as many conservatives
as liberals vote for this kind of redistribution of wealth.

For more examples, see the page:


More Examples Of Corporate Welfare

Political Change Without Voting


It is perhaps pleasant to think that we accomplish true political change with our votes. And we all want some
kind of change. Some of us might want a return to fiscal responsibility, or a government that respects the rights
of all humans. Yet many of us feel like there is no hope with the candidates we get each time there are national
elections. We see the same institutionalized corruption, and if there is change it seems that it is for the worse.

Vote for the best of the choices offered, we are told. Voting for the "lesser of evils" is what this
means if we truly dislike the options. Whichever candidate that is, it still means we vote for what we don't want
and for policies that go against our values. Is there an alternative to this charade?

Withholding Votes For Political Change

I say just don't vote. There is no obligation to vote, and no need nor use, especially when it means nothing
more than giving your assent to a government you don't want in the first place. The argument that starts,
"What if nobody voted..." is just silliness and a distraction. There will always be millions of voters for every
lesser-of-evils election, so we won't run out of "democracy."

So what does not voting accomplish? It doesn't do much by itself, although a non-vote is at least a vote of no
confidence for the existing system, a statement of sorts. On the other hand, if you also take a few other key
actions, it sets up the conditions for real change: A changing political culture.

People will vote anyhow remember, and the candidate who is closest to the views of the populace will often win
the race. So rather than cast one little vote for a non-choice, why not change the minds of those who do
participate. With enough new and better ideas out there, you may someday get a candidate that actually
represents your interests and values.

Of course changing the political climate sounds tough, but it doesn't have to be. None of us has an
obligation to spend our time and money convincing others of better ideas. But if we want to do something we
can start with little steps, like buying the books of those authors who represent your convictions, and so
encouraging and enabling them to write more. Good books in the bookstores can go a long way towards
changing people's minds over the years.

You can also contribute to those causes that you believe in, whether that's the communist party or a green
party or the Libertarian party. It makes a difference, even though we know there is no chance of a third party
getting a candidate elected as president right now. What they do is bring up issues that the Democrats and
Republicans then feel obligated to address. This is better than voting for candidates with bad ideas, and so
encouraging bad policies. Support good ideas and you at least help drag those bad candidates in a good
direction, even if it is just so they get more votes.

The complete recipe for meaningful political change: Spread good ideas, support good ideas, consciously
withhold support for "lesser" choices, and vote only when there is a truly good candidate. Get enough people to
follow this plan and we might have more candidates worth voting for.

A New Constitution
Do we need a new constitution in the United States? The existing one, in designating how representatives were
to be apportioned according to population, excluded untaxed Indians from the count, and counted black slaves
as only three fifths of a person each. Fortunately, that was modified by the 14th amendment. It does show that
it could have been better, and that any constitution probably needs to be changed as we learn more and
progress as a people.

Perhaps it would be dangerous to entirely replace the existing one, given the politics that would go
into making the new one. But in any case, if we were to do so, what should it look like? Here are some possible
articles to include, and the reasons for them.

Preamble To The New Constitution

This government has only the powers specified in this constitution. The sole justification of these powers is the
protection of the rights of the individuals within the borders of the country, both citizens and all others.
Furthermore, thought there is no duty to protect the rights of others, when the government acts outside the
borders of the country, it must also act in accordance with this constitution, and refrain from violating the rights
of individuals anywhere.

This is meant to state the purpose of government, so there will be a clear basis for future interpretation of the
constitution. It is also meant to make it clear that it is based on the idea that rights are inherent in individuals,
not "citizens." There is no conferring of rights, no requirements, and no excuse for violating those rights.

Implementation

With the establishment of this constitution, all existing laws will be voided in 2 years. Existing laws are also
immediately subject to the provisions and limitations laid out here.

The idea here is to rid the country of all unnecessary laws, and those that might conflict with the new
constitution, within a reasonable time. Two years should be enough time to establish any necessary new laws
that are needed and fair.

The Legislature

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a
Senate and House of Representatives. Bills for new laws will be presented by any member of the Senate or
House of Representatives. Each law proposed shall be on a single issue, and must designate which clause in the
constitution authorizes it. Passage requires a yes vote from 2/3 of both the House and the Senate, and then the
signature of the president.
The president may not add anything to a bill, but can remove anything included by putting a line through it. The
bill becomes law when the president puts his signature on it. The President has no authority to create any laws,
except those that are then voted on by the congress, as described above.

The "single issue" clause will make "pork" and "earmarks" less likely, and provide a constitutional basis to
challenge legislation. The two thirds part is meant to make it tough to create new laws, assuring us that there is
broad agreement and support for any new legislation. The "line item veto" will further reduce the possibility of
garbage in new legislation. Designating the part of the constitution that authorizes a law reminds all involved
that their powers are limited to those outlined in this document. Finally, this part makes it explicit that the
president is merely an executive, not a primary law maker.

Elections

In recognition of the individual rights of all people, this document clearly states here that the governing
principle of the United States shall not be democracy. No rights of individuals are to be violated in the name of
the people nor their votes. Voting is simply to be used as a means to elect those who the people wish to govern
according to this constitution.

All residents (those who have lived in the country for more than a year) and are at least eighteen years old are
eligible to vote in all national elections.

President: The president shall serve a term of four years. To be put on the ballot for election, a person must
be a United States resident, and have signatures supporting the candidacy from 1/20 of 1% (.0005) of the
population of the United States, as determined from the most recent United States census. Signatures must be
from registered voters. Voters are allowed to vote for two candidates. The candidate with the most votes
becomes president. Party affiliations are not to be mentioned on ballots.

Senate: Each state shall elect two senators, for a term of eight years each, their terms staggered to end four
years apart. To be put on the ballot for election, a person must be a resident of the state, and have signatures
supporting the candidacy from 1/20 of 1% (.0005) of the population of the state. Signatures must be from
registered voters. Population is to be determined from the most recent United States census. The candidate
who gets the most votes is elected. Party affiliations are not to be mentioned on ballots.

House Of Representatives: There are to be 200 members of the House of Representatives, who will serve
terms of 4 years. To be put on the ballot for election, a person must be a United States resident, and have
signatures supporting the candidacy from 1/100 of 1% (.0001) of the population of the country. Signatures
must be from registered voters. Population is to be determined from the most recent United States census.
Voters are allowed to vote for four candidates of their choice. The 200 candidates who receive the most votes
become members of the House of Representatives. Party affiliations are not to be mentioned on ballots.

Perhaps the most radical departure from the existing constitution, this part does away with the two party
system. It allows for any number of political parties, but excludes mention of them on ballots, to encourage
citizens to think about positions on issues rather than party affiliations. The qualification clause allows small
parties and lesser known candidates a chance to compete. For example, given the current population of the
United States (about 300 million), any and all who could gather the signatures of 150,000 voters (1/20 of 1%)
would be on the ballot for the general election. This would likely be more than a dozen candidates, giving
citizens more options than they currently have.

The "two vote" clause is specifically meant to allow for political change. Under the current system, there is
stagnation because voters who may really want one candidate vote for a more popular one, so as not to "throw
away" their vote. This new system allows "outsiders" a chance to visibly grow their support from one election to
the next, improving the odds of truly changing the political choices available. The "residents" clause recognizes
that a person who lives in a place should have some say in its laws.

Under this system, to be on the ballot for the senate in a state like Michigan, which has a population of about
eight million, a person would need the signatures of 4,000 voters. This would likely result in at least a dozen
candidates in an election. The senate would be the only part of the congress that has a geographical basis.
The House Of Representatives in this new system is smaller, and has no geographical basis. This is an important
change, because it allows representation for those who hold unpopular political beliefs. Under the current
system, for example, libertarian or socialist citizens will never be represented in the congress, because they
make up too small a part of the voting population of any particular district. On the other and, there may be
several million libertarian voters (and several hundred thousand socialists), enough to elect several libertarian
representatives, and perhaps even one or two socialists. This would be the first time that those outside of the
major parties had real political representation in this country.

Let's look at how this would work. At the moment, 1/100 of 1% of the population is about 30,000. That's how
many voter's signatures a candidate would need to get on the ballot. Though the resulting thousand or so
candidates may seem to make the election process unwieldy, modern tools (computers) will make it possible.
The top 200 vote getters would likely include those with as few as 50,000 votes, making representation a real
possibility for those groups which share common political convictions but make up only a small percentage of
the population.

The general idea here is that geography is not the only important criteria for representation,
especially in a country that is so mobile. We are better off having some representation based purely on political
beliefs without regard to where we live or where the candidate lives. This also reduces the tendency of
representatives to "bring home the pork," since there is no district to bring it home to.

This system allows a more true representation. For example, suppose there are 150,000 people whose most
important political goal is to dismantle the standing military, in favor of a reserve system. They would be a
fringe group in the current political climate, and could never get a representative elected. Under this new
system, however, the same group might easily elect one or two people to represent them. Granted, those two
congress people might not get much done, but at least the people's voices would be heard.

There are certainly many other good ideas for a new constitution. In general, I would favor those that create a
true limit to the power of government, and a clear vision of its purpose. That purpose should be to protect the
the rights of individuals within it's jurisdiction.

Why I Hate Hate Crime Laws


Outlaw "hate crimes?" It seems like a good idea at first glance. After all, who is in favor of people hating each
other and committing crimes because of that hatred? But is legislation really the solution to people believing
and saying things we don't like? I don't think so.

Some advocates might point out that hate crime legislation just adds additional penalties to actions
which are already crimes. This has been true so far in the United States. It may not always be true, but more
on that in a moment. The question here, is if it is right to legislate additional punishment because of a person's
belief. In other words, theft has a penalty under the law, but should the thief get extra punishment because he
felt some animosity towards the group the victim belonged to?

Remember that we already have a law that makes his crime punishable. To go further because of his beliefs -
isn't that trying to make thought a crime of it's own? Do we really want to get into the policing of people's
thoughts and beliefs? It certainly seems contrary to our "freedom of speech" tradition.

Now, if part of the process of our justice system is going to base sentences on the likelihood of the criminal re-
offending, the judge can take racist remarks and beliefs into account. I don't see a problem with that. If a
criminal says, "I hate (insert group here), so I want to kill them all," why wouldn't we consider this at the time
of sentencing.

On the other hand, if a violent criminal repeatedly assaults woman, why should he get less punishment under
the law than a criminal who happens to hate the race or religion of the person he assaults? Both may be very
likely to re-offend, but let a judge take that into account. A hate crime law is simply too indiscriminate, and too
intolerant.

Intolerant? Yes! The idea behind the law is that we (society - the majority) don't like your beliefs, so as soon as
you commit a crime, we will use it as an excuse to punish you for your thinking. We can't say prior to the crime
whether it is worse than any other similar crime, or that the criminal is any more dangerous (let the judge
determine that at sentencing), so the point is to punish beliefs.

Hate Literature Laws


You might think that hate crime laws are only affecting real criminals, and so they do no real harm. But it isn't
unrealistic to think that the idea of controlling thought and belief will spread once established. Paranoid? Not at
all. Already it has become the law in Canada that "every one who, by communicating statements, other than in
a private conversation, willfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty" of a felony and liable to
imprisonment for two years. An "identifiable group" is defined as "any section of the public distinguished by
color, race, religion or ethnic origin."

We know that these definitions typically expand too. More groups have already been added to the
protection of this existing law. At least one judge found that passages in the bible are hate literature under this
law (his decision was overturned before the Bible was banned). I agree with him. Parts are very hateful against
certain groups. I just happen to think that we are better letting the marketplace of ideas take care of these
issues, rather than having "thought czars."

These ideas area a classic "slippery slope." Years ago the company I worked for brought in a "harassment
specialist" to train us all to be "sensitive." Before long, we were hearing that it was offensive for one of the old
ladies who worked there to call people "honey" - and she could be fired for it (no exaggeration). Why? Because
offensive is in the eye of the offended, and so such rules tend to devolve down to the level of the most easily
offended, who then make the standards for the rest of us.

The same can happen with laws addressing offensive beliefs. Will it someday be against the law to say I think
most Republicans or Democrats are hypocrital? Punish people for actions - their real crimes, not for their
thoughts and beliefs. We don't need hate crime laws, and we stand to lose one of our primary freedoms if the
trend continues.

Public Lies
Sometimes it feels easier to believe in lies than to take an honest look at things the way they are. When that is
the case, it is as though, as a society, we publicly sanction a lie. The following is an example of one such lie.

If It Saves One Life It's Worth It

The lie that some new regulation or action is worth it if it saves one life is just a pleasant thought, usually with
no relation to reality. It may or may not be worth it, depending on the cost. You can rightfully put unlimited
value on your own life. However, all actions to save others lives have to take into account the real cost.

For example, as a nation we could save 45,000 lives by strictly limiting highway speeds to 20 miles per hour
(lets be honest - dying from an accident at that speed is rare). Permanently revoking the driver's license of
anyone violating the limit would probably keep most people obeying it. Of course that would be too inconvenient
for us. It is too high a price for us - even though it would likely save 45,000 lives.

The real question then, is this: How much is it actually worth to us to save a life? For example, if a new safety
feature required by law in cars saves 200 lives per year, is it worth it to us to each pay $50 more? If 20 million
cars are sold each year, this would be one billion dollars extra cost, or about 5 million dollars per life saved. Of
course, we could decide that as a society we will pay just 3 million, or as much as 10 million.

When looked at in this honest way, more lives will be saved, because regulations will be aimed at maximum
efficiency in achieving results. If there is a way to save 1,000 lives for a cost of just 100 million dollars, we
would rationally choose that instead, because we could save more lives at a lower cost ($100,000 per life
saved).

According to the lie, saving a life should have unlimited value to society. When people believe this,
it is difficult to argue against inefficient regulations if they happen to save a life or two. All such regulations
have a real cost, and if we impose a cost for less efficient safety regulations, we have the ability to save fewer
lives. There is a limit to what we can do, after all. The lie ignores this at our peril.

Let's look at this another way. Suppose we were to decide that as a society we are willing to impose a cost of
just x dollars (say 30 billion) per year on the economy or taxpayers in order to save lives. In this case it is
natural to look for the ways that save the most lives with the money or economic strength available. This is
much more rational, and will actually result in a safer society.

Unfortunately, the lie that "if it saves just one life it is worth it," is just one example of the many lies we tell
ourselves as a society.

The Damage That Social Programs Do


My personal experience with social programs consists of collecting unemployment almost 20 years ago for a few
months. In this short time, I became very aware of some of the problems that are inherent in programs which
are supposed to help people. More specifically, the unemployment sysytem encouraged me not to work.

Unemployment benefits at that time ( in Michigan) were paid weekly. A claimant was allowed to
make up to half of his or her benefit rate without a reducition in the benefit. Since I was collecting $140 per
week, I could make up to $70 in income without a reduction in my unemployment check. I was working one day
per week, making about $65, so I was getting the whole benefit amount.

Then I had a job offer, and I could work for another day per week and make about $50. However, if I took the
job, my income would pass that 50% mark in relation to my unemployment benefit. As a result, the benefit
would be reduced by half. If I made $50 more, I would lose $70, so in effect I would actually have to pay $20 to
work that day. I wasn't too thrilled, and so I turned the job down.

Decisions like these are common for recipients of various tax-supported benefits. I have known several people
who stayed on unemployment for months more than necessary because it was easier than working, even
thought there were jobs available. I also know some mothers who have admitted to having more children for
the purpose of getting more welfare benefits.

Character Corruption

It's difficult to convince yourself to work when you don't have to. It's tough for a woman on welfare to consider
marriage when staying unmarried means her live in boyfriend's income won't affect her welfare check. Many
people regularly decide to limit their income in order not to lose their rent subsidies. All of these are example
not only of the waste of the system, but of the increasing dependency created in the individuals who get
"trapped" in these systems.

And these problems are not myths perpetuated by anti-welfare groups. People like myself, who have spent
some part of our lives at low income and know many who are poor, see the evidence all around. These are real
and regular effects of social programs.

Reward people for non-productive behavior and lifestyles, and these become more common. Punish people for
being productive and self-supporting, and these things become less common. These certainly are not surprising
conclusions - and they do not point to people as the problem. The problems lie in the social programs that hand
out rewards and punishments.

The way in which the programs work, then, is what has to be changed. What kinds of changes? In
general we need ways to help those who truly need help, without also training them to be more dependent. We
need ways to reward independence and the behaviors that lead to it, and punish or at least take away any profit
for dependency and behaviors that perpetuate it.

The specific measures needed is a large subject of its own. They could include training people in money
management and job hunting skills. Food and clothing for children - instead of money or food stamps - might
take away the profit incentive a single mother has for having more children. A cash reward for quickly finding a
new job might encourage those on unemployment to try harder to find employment.
Many changes would probably cost more money per recipient to administer. But if they are more effective
programs, the overall costs of the program should go down dramatically in time, because encouraging more
individual responsibility and independence would mean less need for the help. Another result is likely to be
happier people who are no longer suffering the personal psychological and character damage that being in a
social program can cause.

The Tao Of Politics


The Tao of politics? Here is the short version: Be tolerant, leave the people alone, and let things take care of
themselves. Below are some of my favorite quotes on politics and government from the Tao Te Ching, by Lao
Tzu.

# 57
To be a great leader
you must learn to follow the Tao.
Stop trying to control.
Drop fixed plans and ideas
And the world will govern itself.
The more laws you have
The less virtuous people will be.
The more weapons
The less secure.
The more subsidies
The less self-reliant.
#60
Governing a large country
Is like cooking a small fish.
It is spoiled with too much poking.
#75
If taxes are too high
The people go hungry.
If government is too intrusive
The people lose their spirit.
Govern for the people's benefit.
Trust them and leave them alone.
#61
A great country is like a great man:
If he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
Realizing it, he admits it.
Admitting it, he corrects it.
He sees those who find his flaws
As his teachers.
He sees his enemy
As his shadow.
A nation centered in the Tao,
Nourishing its people,
And not meddling in the affairs of others,
Is a light to all nations of the world.

For more on the Tao of Politics, why not read the Tao Te Ching? My own favorite translation is that of Stephen
Mitchell. He worries less about the literal translation, and more about the meaning.

Lying Politicians
Are lying politicians trying to fool us, or are they just telling us the same lies we tell ourselves? It is the latter in
most cases, and it is necessary for their political survival. Here is my explanation of how the process works.

One side says that "guns don't kill people, people kill people." The other side says the gun control
can save lives. On each side, the politicians play to their constituents. What do none of them say? None of them
can say that maybe there would be lives saved if there was more gun control, but that we have a right to have
guns, so we will accept the violence that comes with them.

People want to believe that they can have everything, don't they? Politicians who tell them otherwise are party-
poopers who will be un-elected. If you believe in gun control, it is difficult for you to see that there might be
some issue of rights that is important. If you believe in the right to bear arms, you want to also pretend that
just as many people would die in drive-by punchings. Lying politicians allow you to believe what you want, and
even lie along with you.

Look at the debate over the speed limit a few years back. To be for eliminating the 55 mile-per-hour speed
limit, politicians and the public felt the need to argue that a higher speed limit wouldn't cost lives. We want to
have everything, the truth be damned.

Think about this rationally for a moment. How many people would die in car accidents if the speed limit was
strictly enforced at 15 miles-per-hour on all roads? Virtually none, and we can understand that. So whether we
want to admit it or not, the speed limits we have are a balance between our desire for convenience and the
reality of more deaths as the limit goes higher.

Now imagine for a moment, if a public policy maker were to put a chart on TV, outlining how many deaths there
would be at each level of speed, and coldly calculating what the acceptable level of death is in exchange for our
convenience and economic efficiency (things would be expensive if truckers could only go 15 MPH, right?). The
public would be shocked at this process, even though t is the same one that is going on less scientifically in our
collective consciousness.

We want to believe that with government all things can be had, and all things perfected, and the lying
politicians aren't there to burst our bubble. Taxation is a great example. On the page "The Politics Of Taxation,"
I explain the fallacy that we can automatically raise more revenue by raising taxes.

If people want a welfare system that helps as many people as possible, they have to understand
that taxes can't be too high, even on the rich, or less money will be collected by the government, not more.
That means less money for the programs, of course. What many people really seem to want, though, is the
pretense that we can take as much as we want from the rich and the corporations and have as many
expenditures as we want, and all will be well.

Imagine if the most socialistic politician out there understood this. He comes out before his constituency and
says, "We have scientifically determined the most efficient rate of taxation, and we must lower corporate tax
rates and the income tax rates of the rich in order to increase collections. I suspect that no amount of truth
here would overcome his constituents desire to both have their social programs and screw the rich. They want
the lie, and there will always be a politician to serve it up.

By the way, how can you tell when a politician is lying? When his lips are moving.

The Politics Of Taxation


The politics of taxation demand that governments strive for a system that seems fair to the most people. It
precludes actual fairness or reasoned thought in the science of funding government. In fact, it mostly just
precludes any science or logic. The idea that you can generate more revenue with higher tax rates is a perfect
example.

The Secret Of The Laffer Curve


What is lost in all the debate over tax increases versus tax cuts, is science. Invented by Arthur Laffer, the Laffer
curve shows the relationship between tax rates and tax revenue collected. I'd guess that less than 5% of people
understand this simple principle, but it is crucial to proper governance. It is the idea that as you raise taxes,
you reach some point where actual revenues collected start to drop.

You can understand this at the extremes. If the government took 95% of your income in taxes, would you work
much? No? Do they get any taxes if you don't work? No. More money will actually be collected if they take a
lower percentage, right? Add to that the fact that every dollar the government takes can't be invested into new
businesses, which would create more income, and therefore more taxes, and you can see that there is a point of
diminishing returns.

Where is it? The science isn't that exact yet, but it seems to be somewhere around 15% to 25% as a total tax
burden (federal, state and local). What this means is that if tax rates go higher than the top of the curve, the
government actually collects less money. So even if a person or society want all sorts of social welfare
programs, they have to realize that there is an ideal rate of taxation to get the most money to pay for these
programs. Tax more heavily, and you get less, not more.

Politics trumps science, of course. Imagine if wealthy people are taxed at a rate that has them
spending more time looking for loopholes than ways to make more taxable wealth. (If your friends don't get it
when you explain this, point out that 20% of a million is more than 50% of three hundred thousand, so
production matters - not just rates). Will a politician have a chance if he explains that the government can
collect more taxes from the wealthy if the rates are lowered?

Most won't even try. That is the politics of taxation.

This page on politics and taxation is mostly excerpted from my ebook "You Aren't Supposed To Know - A Book
Of Secrets." You can get more information at http://www.TheSecretInformationSite.com.

An interesting blog about taxes:


Michigan Taxes Too Much

A Policy Of Truth
Is a policy of truth possible?

After 9/11, lawmakers passed all sorts of laws to pacify the populace. Remember that the planes were taken
over with box cutters as weapons. Pass all the anti-scissor and anti-nail-clipper legislation you want, and
anyone could still find something on a plane as dangerous as box cutters (piece of broken mirror, sharpened
plastic knife, a pen held to the throat). It was for show. The public demanded that they be lied to, that they be
assured there were simple solutions, and politicians obliged.

So maybe a policy of truth isn't a political possibility just yet. Nonetheless, I thought it would be
interesting to speculate on what it might mean. Here are some of the things you might see.

"Yes I smoked pot in college. I did two chicks at once one night too. What the hell does that have to do with my
being president?"

The Value Of A Life


More seriously, imagine if a politician said, "We can't make things perfectly safe, nor do we want to. We could
have an extremely safe car if we were willing to pay $120,000. We aren't, so we have to pick a level of safety
that is acceptable. All costs of regulations and safety devices are of course passed on to the ultimate consumer.
It has been decided that each additional life saved justifies the imposition ten million dollars in costs on the
industry. If a measure cannot save a life statistically for this amount or less, it will not be passed into law."

This is the policy of truth, remember. Couldn't we make cars safer at some cost? Isn't it already true that we
are only willing to pay just so much to save lives? Why not be scientific about it? Otherwise, we might be adding
$1000 to the price of a car for measures that save fewer lives than a $500 option. This cold calculation doesn't
seem nearly as cold to me as allowing more people to die, just so we can maintain pleasant lies.
The Cost Of Freedom
Of course it costs money to maintain our freedoms, and it costs lives too. Again, though, there is no honesty
here. We want to pretend that we can somehow have perfect safety. Imagine if a politician said this:

"We can't win the war on terror. There always have been terrorists and there always will be. We don't pretend
that by declaring a "war on theft" we could stop the six thousand year old reality of people stealing things. Let's
not pretend we can eliminate terror or terrorist. Let's instead look honestly and rationally at the various
measures available to us for reducing the threat. Then we can make decisions rationally, based on the cost in
money, lives and freedom."

Policy Of Truth?
What would we be hearing if we were hearing the truth from politicians?

"I had to vote for the bill or I wouldn't get that campaign contribution."

"I really don't understand this issue."

"Of course there are far worse regimes, but they don't control the oil."

"I don't care about the rest of the country. I need this pork project for my district to get re-elected."

"If you reporters ask me questions that piss me off, you won't be invited back."

Don't expect a policy of truth in politics anytime soon.