This is the video of the forum I participated in with Senatorial Candidates John Mertens, Robb Simmons, and Peter Schiff.

Feel free to distribute!

19 Responses

  1. Warren what are your thoughts on the below idea about the failure of our democracy to scale as the population has grown. As the article suggest, it no longer matters who we send to washington, the crony capitalist corruption cannot be tackled unless we totally redesign the federal government and the amount of seats that are represented in the federal congress. Instead of 500 seats roughly, we need 5000 federal congressional seats, would make concentrated corruption by large bodies much harder if not impossible.

      1. Warren you are unique though, a rose amongst the thorns, how many congressmen have the financial insider knowledge and financial resources you have accumulated? I read about the “friend of angelo mozillo” countrywide mortgage program. With congressmen selling out thier office for a few points and reduced interest on their mortgage, I am amazed at how easily corrupted some of these people are. The benefits couldn’t add up to much more than a few 10’s of thousands of dollars. That won’t even buy a nice world cruiser sail boat, much less a dual hulled super yacht. That is one thing in your favor, hard to corrupt a rich man with mere peanuts.

  2. 5000 congressional seats. As long as the additonal 4500 are MMT’ers, I don’t see a problem. Otherwise, you might have to wait 3 generations to get anything passed…

    1. I always liked Pete DuPoint idea. Every two years, pick the House of Representatives randomly, it’d be like jury duty or more precisely, like federal grand jury duty (which can last 18 to 24 months). They wouldn’t actually have to stay in Washington, they could have committee meetings or cast “floor votes” online from the district office.

      That would actually be a good idea regardless of how congressmen are picked (I think Kevin Phillips proposed it one of his books). It would certainly complicate lobbying efforts. :o)

      1. I too am a favor of random representation.

        But I would add a twist. Every 2 years the sitting representative would face a retention vote. If a majority of the registered voters in the district vote to retain her, she stays. Otherwise she goes home, and is replaced by another randomly selected representative from the district.

        Oh, and you have to volunteer to put on the list for congressional service.

      2. Random selection? Really? Have you seen the polls in the US about what the majority of people believe? It should disqualify them from holding any public office above dog catcher.

      3. Yes. Really.

        I’ve seen what people in the US believe.

        I’ve also seen what US Congressmen will do when public service becomes a profession.

        I’ll take my chances with the average citizen.

      4. You are assuming an either/or solution. The democratic solution is to get the money out of politics and lock the revolving door. That would be difficult but nowhere near as difficult as passing a constitutional amendment instituting random selection and ending representative democracy. That’s changing the form of government entirely and instituting a new system.

      5. Well I didn’t realize that this discussion was governed by the rules of what is actually possible. If I did, I might not have engaged.

        As for getting the money out of politics, I think that will happen when politics stops getting into people’s money.

        I’s a bit naive to think that a bunch of people elected (or otherwise) can gather in one city and tell citizens in the rest of the country how their money is going to be spent without the citizens using their money to influence the decision. You can make it illegal, but still the money will come. To use your analogy, you can get the money out and lock the revolving door, but the money will get in through the back door, or the window, or down the chimney, or through the floor boards ….

        Until you elect/appoint angels in government, money will have its say. And I don’t see many wings or halos in Washington (or anywhere else for that matter).

      6. Much of the problem with corruption in Congress could be dealt with be imposing term limits. No more than 6 terms for the House and 2 terms for the Senate. Campaign finance reform is also needed. In a nutshell my recommendation is…no caps, full disclosure and registered voters only.

      7. A randomly selected House of Representatives isn’t in the cards for a variety of reasons but I really doubt they’d do a worse job than our elected officials congressmen do now. Then again, I liked that James Surowiecki book, The Wisdom of Crowds.

        Of course its the Senate that is more dysfunctional than the House, I think the 17th Amendment (direct election of Senators instead of a state legislature vote) was misguided. The most respected public officials in the country are federal judges, and I think that’s related to how they’re selected- Presidential appointment, FBI background check, Senate confirmation. And no one runs for the job, somebody (the president or, more typically, a home state senator) thinks that person would make a good judge and so they’re asked to serve (the Senate confirmation process discourages picking unqualified political hacks who are simply owed a favor).

        If I could make one amendment to the Constitution, it’d be to seat US senators by an analogous process; gubernatorial appointment, state police background check, state senate confirmation. If whoever’s governor in 6 years wants to renominate that senator that’s fine, but they’d go through the process again (just like a federal district judge appointed to the circuit court of appeals will go through the confirmation process again).

      8. As Arnold Kling said in the link originally posted, it won’t matter if you send random citizens to the current congress. 500 congresspeople is too small a federal government for the current 350 million population and easily corrupted. It will simply be too costly for lobbyists to pay off 5000 congresspeople, career politician or random citizen congressperson.

  3. Notice no one challenged Warren when he raised the fact that the government is never revenue constrained? Warren’s proposals make the most sense in dealing with the reality of the situation. Reduce taxes, which only regulate demand, and pump up spending that goes into the real economy.

    Schiff wants to abolish the Fed (I think, I know Ron Paul does) and get rid of the bulk of government. Not going to happen. We don’t live in that world. We haven’t in a long long time….

  4. When is someone going to ask how politicians salaries, benefits and retirement are affordable? They should obviously be the first ones to take a big cut. BTW, the public would love it.

    What a bunch of grandstanding selfish corrupt hypocrites.

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