Seven Recommendations: A Government More Responsive To Its Citizens

This is not a political blog.  That said, almost all writing on economics and business embeds a political point of view.  I recognize that my view is relatively libertarian with respect to economics/business, but conservative with respect to ethical issues.  There are a few things that I think would get wide agreement from many parties, aside from those entrenched in DC.  That is what tonight’s post is about.  I think that I will not post like this often.

1)  End gerrymandering — all congressional and state districts should follow the following rule: The ratio of the square of the circumference to the area of a district should not exceed 30. This would make representatives less partisan than is common today, because they would have to be elected by groups closer to a random sample of the people in a given area.  Exceptions would be granted for non-negotiable boundaries, like state and national boundaries.

2)  Make them read the bills publicly.  We have a health bill that is 1990 pages long.  Make them read it, and make the legislators listen.  Whip those that fall asleep.  Further, let the bills fully express the changes made in a plain english manner.  Amendments to existing laws must be written out in entire, rather than referencing a code, and saying that it has been deleted, amended, etc.

3)  Limit the length of bills.  The Law of God through Moses was far more comprehensive, and is far shorter than even most narrowly focused bills.

4)  Flesch-test all bills.  Make them simple enough to be understood by ninth-graders.  Hey, they force this on insurance companies!  Do you suppose that laws which should have universal application should be different?

5)  Publish an abstract of all major laws that affect citizens once every five years.  Give a copy to every adult citizen.  Let this be done in every state as well.

6)  Re-emphasize the ninth and tenth amendments to the Constitution.  Those amendments are supposed to maximize liberty for states and individuals.

7) Amend the Constitution to make Federal and State laws superior to treaties.  I know what mischief this would do, but I would rather be ruled by my local peers than by foreigners who have no understanding of what our American system is like.

Would that we would do this.  Our government is less and less understandable to the average citizen.  If we want our government to exist for a long time, we need to put into place reforms that will cause the government to be more responsive to its citizens.