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Social Efficiency and the Quality of Life
The word efficiency is often negatively
associated with factory efficiency experts forcing workers to work ever faster
and more robot-like. The word conservation is often negatively associated
with Scrooges living second-rate, minimal lives rather than consuming more and
more the red-blooded American way.
Efficiency and conservation are
two of our best friends. In the long run, they have done more to improve the
quality of our lives than any other actions that we take. Efficiency and
conservation reduce cost and labor and increase leisure time and the quality of
life. Efficiency and conservation are the best friends of every smart person,
business, government, and society.
Along with the injustice and inequity of our
current plutocratic society and its corrosive effects on the quality of all of
our lives, particularly on the economic bottom half, another important complaint is that
it is inefficient. The addition of a demos as the fourth branch
of government along with the other suggestions made in this work would
greatly increase our efficiency and our quality of life.
Here is just a brief
list of some of the inefficiency and waste under our current plutocracy which
would be corrected by the changes in our government and society discussed in
In concentrating most of our nation’s power
and wealth in the hands of the few we create a huge social imbalance and a
host of disastrous and costly social disorders that can never be
corrected no matter how much time, effort, and money are thrown at the
Over-concentrated wealth requires a huge
military and police force and every manner of wall, barrier, device,
assurance, and insurance to protect it.
Millions of people in poverty, especially when concentrated into urban ghettos, requires an enormous constellation of resources to maintain order and to prevent rebellion and even revolution. The maintenance of this fundamental injustice also requires a huge judicial and prison system. Millions of potentially educated, productive, taxpaying people are instead turned into criminals that must be caught, tried, and imprisoned at enormous expense.
The vast difference between the perceived extreme
luxury, security, pleasure, and happiness at the top of the social heap
compared to the extreme poverty, insecurity, pain, and unhappiness at the
bottom drives everyone clean out of their humanity and into a tooth-and-claw
rat race and fist fight in which some will do anything to anyone to achieve ‘success’ while
‘losers’ litter the landscape. Both the ‘winners’ and
the ‘losers,’ the carnage of our current system, overcrowd our overtaxed
mental and physical healthcare systems. Anger, anxiety, angst, alienation, loneliness,
and addiction reign supreme. We have become hardened, trivialized,
dehumanized caricatures of our full potential capacity and humanity.
Billions of medical dollars are wasted
extending for a few days or months and in a ghastly, mechanical manner the
lives of the wealthy terminally ill while many millions of people left out
of the healthcare system receive no proper preventive medical care and show
up in emergency rooms with costly, advanced, medical problems. Many billions
of potential healthcare dollars are thrown down a black hole, the
for-profit health insurance industry, an industry which has never put so much as a
single Band-Aid on anyone.
A several thousand page tax code, the
principal purpose of which is tax evasion by the wealthy and which is
understood by almost no one, causes uncountable hours of anguish and
billions of dollars to be spent by businesses, individuals, and
A huge labyrinth of government processes
and programs both in the legislative and executive branches having to deal
with the fallout from our current unjust government and social system. An
endless sea of impossible forms and hoops that people destroyed by the
system must wade through almost as a way of life just to get a bit of help,
people who would not be there in the first place were it not for the system.
An equally huge labyrinth of processes and programs in both government and industry designed to obscure the
corrupt, often illegal, usually immoral wheeling and dealing, mutual back scratching, and self-serving actions of the elite.
A plague of often unscrupulous corporations, special
interest groups, and PACs pumping a river of money into election campaigns
and government, debasing and corrupting them and effectively
the electorate. A dispirited electorate and
a cynical populace throughout the land.
A world based upon plutocratic governance and unjust,
opportunistic political-economic relationships within and among nations is
forever at war. A huge portion of the resources of the world’s nations is
consumed by military and security budgets depriving their use for the
benefit of humankind. The American military budget is nearly equal to the
military budgets of all other nations combined.
What is the emotional cost of the fear, anxiety, resentment, distrust, alienation, complexity, and diminishment that all of this brings into our lives?
Government, business, and each of our lives can and should be made much more sane and simple.
All of these problems and many more would be completely corrected or significantly reduced if our current plutocratic government were modified by the addition of a demos and consensus democracy and by the implementation of the other suggestions made in this book.
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Beyond Plutocracy - Direct Democracy for America
© Copyright 2001-2017 Roger D Rothenberger