Improving Our World

Improving Our World

Democracy  ~  Economic Moderation  ~  Self-Improvement
 

Improve Democracy


Improve democracy by continuously conducting new experiments with it. First conduct experiments at a local level. Then conduct experiments with the most successful of these at higher levels. In each experiment, poll residents about the results and publish the poll results. In some of the experiments:

Use random selection (sortition) as part of the process to select officials from screened candidates.

Have term limits for more offices.

Ban (or limit) lobbying — giving gifts to officials, on behalf of very wealthy special interest groups.

Ban (or limit) the “revolving door,” in which officials leave office and become lobbyists who are paid well by very wealthy special interest groups, to influence government decision-making by their friends in office.

Have candidates advance through government one level at a time. This better ensures that they’re first found trustworthy by local peers. It also broadens their experience.

Have an executive council instead of one chief executive officer because:

- A council is more difficult to corrupt than only one officer.

- Many types of councils are already trusted to make very important decisions, at all levels of government.

- Modern inventions eliminated some reasons for having only one executive. For example, when quick decisions are needed, remote members of an executive council can use telephones to consult and vote on decisions.

Conduct random selections using transparent machines, in front of randomly selected volunteer witnesses (with identities made part of the public record). Televise live broadcasts of this.
 

Conduct voting using the secret ballot voting method, with paper ballots. Store ballots for several years. Have term limits for people who collect and count ballots, and randomly select them from registered voters.
 

History’s first recorded experiment with indirect democracy began in Athens, Greece around 600 BC. It used screening — followed by sortition (selection by lot) — to choose representatives for government and jurors for public trials. Sortition was regarded as the best way to protect democracy from corruption. Public elections were very distrusted, because they’re easily influenced by very wealthy entities. Today many nations still use screening and sortition to select jurors for public trials.
 

Since experiments with democracy began again in the 1700s, societies changed greatly — due to technology, globalization, large-scale overpopulation, concentrations of wealth, and mass media. Improvements to democracy have not kept pace with these changes.
 

Today, almost two-thirds of the world’s people are governed by some form of democracy. In many, their representatives don’t represent society (at local to national levels), because most people don’t have resources to campaign for election. This problem worsens for offices having higher campaign costs. As a result, most candidates are from very wealthy backgrounds and/or they receive large campaign contributions from very wealthy entities and repay contributors through biased decision-making after being elected.
 

Democracies using only public elections are increasingly vulnerable to corruption because:

- the wealth gap is growing, and the very rich are vastly richer (For example, of the world’s 100 largest economic entities, 51 are corporations; and, the world has over 1,430 billionaires.);

- election campaigns are vastly more expensive;

- mass media exists and influences most voters (Much of it is controlled by only a few entities.); and,

- in some places, there is growing ignorance and apathy.

"It is thought to be democratic for the offices to be assigned by lot. For them to be elected is oligarchic."

"The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes."

"Democracies degenerate into despotisms."

~ Aristotle (384-322 BC), Founder of Western Philosophy
  

     

Improve Economic Moderation

To reduce the economic extreme of poverty, reduce its primary causes, which are *overpopulation; corruption; inadequate opportunities for education and employment; and, some welfare incentives.

To reduce the economic extreme of wealth, have a wealth (net worth) limit of $500 million for every person and $500 billion for every corporation. Allow two years to give away excess wealth before enforcing the limits, using only fines and imprisonment.

Arguments against wealth limits include:

- A limit will reduce incentive for people to manage creating, maintaining, and expanding businesses. This is false, because there are many who successfully do these things; they don’t need to also fund them.

- A limit will remove all incentive for people (having the maximum wealth) to improve the well-being of society. This is false, because the incentive of altruism remains, which is gaining good feelings from practicing unselfish concern for the well-being of others.

- A limit is communism. This is false, because communism is when the government owns things used to make and transport products and there is no privately owned property, except for minor personal belongings.

- Only extremely wealthy people are able to afford starting and expanding businesses. This is false, because many ordinary people can combine their money for this; corporate charters were created to enable this.

- Only extremely wealthy corporations can lower prices, through economy of scale. This is false, because extreme wealth enables some to be inefficient and to reduce competition, which reduces incentive to improve and lower prices. (In addition to having a wealth limit, have corporations' primary duty be protecting the public interest and their secondary duty be producing a profit, as was done in the first corporate charters of the 1700s.)
 
   

Improve Yourself

Self-improvement begins with using the power of thought.

Thought is a form of energy — as all things are. You are a physical and intellectual form of energy that is part of the changing, mostly unknown, and intelligent energy field that creates all things — including powers to co-create and self-change. Your intellectual form includes the powers of: will, awareness, understanding, emotion, reason, introspection, expression, imagination, and inspiration.

Your thought energy changes into electric energy moving through your brain. This changes into electric signals moving through your nerves and chemical signals moving through your veins. Thought energy impacts every cell, atom, and emotion of your being. Your current and stored thoughts form much of your identity.

You choose many of the thoughts that you: create/ imagine; express; seek; receive; store/save; retrieve/ recall; remember/re-experience; forget/ discard; ignore/ block; and avoid. Use this to improve your well-being. As you improve yourself, you improve society.

Humility. Be humble about how much you know, relative to the unknown. Admit when you’ve been wrong or ignorant. Avoid feeling superior to others because of your knowledge, beliefs, or membership in an ideology group.
 

Question. Question everything, especially authorities and ideologies based on unproven things. Good authorities encourage questioning.

Avoid unquestioning obedience to an authority — such as a leader or book of an ideology group. When many have unquestioning obedience to a government, their society becomes vulnerable to tyranny.
 

Gather facts and use reason. Avoid excessive emotion, especially fear (which is very powerful and contagious, because it’s a major instinct for survival). Use facts and reason instead of faith (belief in the unproven as fact); often doing the opposite increases dishonesty with self and others.
 

Education. Go to school, and learn by yourself using resources such as books and the Internet. Demonstrate and promote a desire to learn — throughout society and at home. Encourage children by learning and reading in front of them. Donate resources to schools, especially those that offer free to low-cost education to the public. Learn from many sources. Avoid people who limit this — especially when the knowledge opposes, questions, or undermines an authority — such as a leader or book of an ideology group.
 

News. Receive news from diverse sources. Assess their motives, owners, and controllers. Much of TV, radio, and print “news” is cheap-to-produce commentary and speculation — instead of more costly investigative reporting of facts. Of the actual news reports, many are made needlessly dramatic and scary — to increase audience appeal. Limit your exposure to negative news, but remain informed. You can be adequately informed without being flooded with news.
 

Thought programs. Use thought programs (self-commands) to improve yourself. To speed making a lasting neural path from a thought program, use it repeatedly and use several forms of input — recall, read, say, hear, and write it. Use thought programs appropriately; get help from a doctor if you need it. 
- Use short sentences to avoid confusion.
- Use commands about things happening in the here and now, such as those that include I am, I have, I do, or I feel. Avoid commands about things happening later, such as those that include I should, I will, or I would.
- Use commands that focus on good things you want. Avoid commands that focus on what you don’t want, such as those that include avoid, free, reject, or stop.
- Avoid commands that sound unsure. So avoid commands that include I could or I might.
- Avoid words like no or not, words that begin with dis, non, or un, and words that end in less, free, or out, because often we overlook small things that reverse the meaning of bigger things. If you must use these words, emphasize them.
- Thought program examples are available.

Mass media is paid very much to broadcast repeated words and images, to program its audience's thoughts and actions. Since the 1950s, television has become the main way to influence public opinion. When you passively watch TV programs and passively listen to radio programs, your mind accepts things without question. In this passive state, your thoughts are changed without you knowing it. Hearing things (like TV or radio programs) while you sleep increases the programming effect of passive listening. So hear recordings of healthy thought programs while you sleep.

At times, avoid all mass media for at least a few days, and tune in to your own thoughts. Also, boycott violent, angry, and scary entertainment. Increase mass media broadcast of uplifting and happy music, movies, shows, etc.
Reduce excessive fear in your life and society. The following entities gain from excessive fear: abusive authorities, the military industry, money lenders, and some leaders of governments and ideology groups.   
  
   

*Overpopulation

Overpopulation is mainly due to ignorance and outdated ideologies on birth control. It is often the primary cause of poverty. Other causes of poverty include:  corruption; inadequate opportunities for education and employment; and, some public assistance incentives.

In most countries, the poor have more children per family than any other group. Three billion people live in extreme poverty and struggle to survive on less than $2 per day. More than 840 million go hungry every day. Increase and improve voluntary birth control to reduce overpopulation.

We increasingly impact each other in our global society. For example, as consumption increases in some areas, global prices increase for basics like food and fuel. Consumption is growing fastest in overpopulated, rapidly industrializing Asian nations, like China and India, which have growing populations (over 2.5 billion combined) and increasing disposable incomes. The economies of many Asian nations have greatly improved over the past few decades. Industrialization (and the transfer of jobs) lifted many out of poverty. Some gained extreme wealth — for example, China has over 100,000 millionaires and 122 billionaires.

The economic decline of many industrialized nations is mainly due to the transfer of jobs to overpopulated nations with much lower wages. This transfer often occurred along with excessive spending by governments and individuals. These factors produced export-import imbalance, debt, and a falling standard of living. If you live in one of these nations, you may become more thankful for what you have, more responsible as a consumer, less materialistic, and more empathic. You will consume and pollute less. There is no quick and easy way for many of these nations to fully recover. It took several decades for them to decline, so it will likely take decades to recover. They must increase production of exportable goods and services.

Entities that gain from overpopulation include:

- governments and ideology groups that gain more people to give them wealth and power — including people desperate enough to give unquestioning obedience;

- businesses that gain cheap labor and more consumers; and

- those that gain from fear and conflict, such as the military industry and its money lenders.

"One would have thought that it was even more necessary to limit population than property; and that the limit should be fixed by calculating the chances of mortality in the children, and of sterility in married persons. The neglect of this subject, which in existing states is so common, is a never-failing cause of poverty among the citizens; and poverty is the parent of revolution and crime." ~ Aristotle
 

"Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess. What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are its victims." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), Civil Rights Leader