[ExI] If I were President...

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sun Aug 28 22:18:43 UTC 2016

On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 6:15 PM, Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com> wrote:

​I agree with some of your proposals dis​agree with others and for some I
just don't know, but if there is a thread running through most of them it's
that one way or another the enormous gap between rich and poor and between
rich and super hyper rich needs to be reduced or the shit is going to hit
the fan. And for recognizing that fact I applaud you. The richest 62 people
having as much money as the poorest 3.5 BILLION is a recipe for disaster.

>  Push for laws, and order regulations, banning hiring decisions based on
> whether someone does not have a given skill, where that person has general
> competence in the field and can reasonably be expected to learn that
> particular skill within 5 business days on the job.

​So now the guy who doesn't need 5 days of training is unemployed instead
of the guy who does need it. How does that help?

​> ​
> Push for laws, and order regulations, preventing charging a college
> undergraduate a total tuition more than 1/3rd of the average 10 year income
> of a college graduate in that field.

​For state run​
​ colleges perhaps, but not private. ​

> ​> ​
> * Order resumption of the construction of the nuclear waste repository in
> Yucca Mountain.


> ​> ​
> * Ask FEMA to investigate the practicality of large air scrubbers for
> areas hit hard by smog,

The best place to deal with air pollution is at the tailpipe and the
smokestack where the pollutants are most concentrated not after they gets
into the atmosphere. And the air in the USA is far cleaner than it was 40
years ago.

​> ​
* Order the DoD to consider more dual-use technology, and more paths to
commercialization, for its science spending.  Note that technology is
inherently more sustainable if it has a civilian commercial base in
addition to military customers, rather than for the military's exclusive

​It's hard to imagine a civilian use for Stealth Technology, but
usually the transition is a matter of time and cost; with the DoD price is
(almost) no object, but it always is ​for civilians. Originally computers
transistors and GPS were too expensive for anybody except big government
agencies to have, but time changes things.

> ​>​
>  Encourage DARPA, NASA, the DoE, and similar agencies to consider more
> small science: projects with total budgets under $500,000

​Not a bad idea at all.​

* Push for laws, and order regulations, allowing the government to go after
> executives who willingly and knowingly aided and abetted (and especially
> ordered) corporate malfeasance.

We already have laws about that, it's enforcement that's the problem. We
have have too many laws so I would reduce their number by emanating all
libel laws, but I would add one new law, if Mr. X sues Mr. Y and loses the
case then Mr.X must pay all of Mr.Y's legal bills. Also
our copyright laws are ridiculous
Mark Twain died in 1910, his last grandchild died of old age in 1966, but
his autobiography is STILL under copyright! That's nuts.

 In 1937 Walt Disney took an idea from a 1812 book that was in the public
domain, put his own spin on it and made something new out of it, Snow White
the first full length cartoon. But today Disney won't allow anybody else to
do what they did back the
, today nobody but Disney is allowed to put their spin on Mickey Mouse even
though Disney introduced the character way back in 1928 and everybody
involved with
​Mickey's creation​
 is long dead. That is also nuts.

​> ​
> * Order the FTC to establish minimum cybersecurity regulations for any US
> company that handles customers' financial data.

​Companies don't need more punishment when they are hacked, they're already
severely punished by the market, just ask Sony or Target Stores. I think
the fundamental problem is that in general the more secure a network is the
more cumbersome it is to use; so what you need is somebody with technical
skills like
Steve Wozniak
​ to make a secure operating-system/network  ​and somebody like Steve Jobs
to make an interface to it that's friendly enough that people want to use
it. Such geniuses are rare and none work for the FTC.
And besides, things move so fast that government regulations that work fine
on Monday would be hopelessly inadequate by Friday. More laws won't help.

> * Eliminate the H1B visa.

​ keep out of the country the smartest most skilled people? It specifies
that people must have "
highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor including but not
limited to biotechnology, chemistry, architecture, engineering,
mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health,
education, law, accounting, business specialties, theology, and the arts
​". I would make one change, I'd get rid of theology.​

> ​> ​
> Order the FTC to put a condition on all pharmaceutical company mergers
> expressly preventing substantial increases in the prices of the drugs the
> smaller company makes for several years - perhaps at least 10 - after the
> merger.

​A company doesn't have to merge to increase the price of its drugs.​

> ​> ​
> * Push for laws, and order regulations, restructuring Social Security,
> Medicare, and related programs with the assumption that people are going to
> have longer healthy working lives.  Perhaps push the age at which they kick
> in from 65 to 75

​That doesn't seem like a very good idea, I think you're going in the wrong
direction. With increasing technological progress the number of jobs that
people can still do better than machines will become fewer and fewer as
time goes by, so it might make better sense to gradually reduce the
retirement age from 65 to 55.

​> ​
>  Push for laws, and order regulations, implementing mandatory
> no-person-at-fault declassification for anything that has been classified
> for longer than a given number of years.

I agree. It wasn't until 2011 that the government declassified two document
written in 1917. One contained a formula for invisible ink and the other
instructions on how to open a sealed envelope without detection.

> * Establish an ongoing virtual constitutional convention.

​That would be a very risky thing to do. There is a reason changing ​the
constitution is hard, doing so could be extreamly dangerous.

​I doubt if the Bill of Rights would win the popular vote in an election if
it were held today.​

 John K Clark
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