[ExI] If I were President...

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Sun Aug 28 23:26:00 UTC 2016

On Sun, Aug 28, 2016 at 3:18 PM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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

Fair enough.  I expect most people will have a beef with one or more
planks.  Just so long as they agree with more than they disagree.

> 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.

That's only one of the threads, but yes, that is one of the concerns I'd
want to address.

> ​>​
>>  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?

If you have one guy who doesn't need it and another who only needs 5 days,
they're competing on other things.

What this addresses is the way too common practice of businesses requiring
extremely specific skills, that amount to "have worked on our specific
equipment" - which of course no one who isn't yet an employee of that
company will have (save for returning employees and other rare cases).  As
a result, the company doesn't hire anyone - or if it does, the hiring
process takes a lot longer and wastes a lot more job seekers' time.  As I
mentioned, in many cases this is unintentional inefficiency, but in many
others it is deliberately invoked in order to get "but we couldn't hire
anybody" relief clauses (such as H1B visas).

> ​> ​
>> 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. ​
Try for private too, but yeah, private might be harder (and more
objectionable to thusly regulate).

>> * 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.

Oh, no question.  And it is.  This would be intended as an additional
layer, because even with previous efforts and their resulting improvemnts,
pollution is still concentrated in large urban areas.

> * 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.

Granted.  But the public tends not to hear "enforcement" so much as "new

But generally, for any point where I have "push for laws, and order
regulations", add "and enforce existing relevant law and regulations".

​ ​
>> * 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.

Yes, just ask them.  They seem to be doing just fine.

> * Eliminate the H1B visa.
>> Why
> ​ keep out of the country the smartest most skilled people?

The H1B, in practice, is not being used for this much - and even where it
is, there are better ways.
​ ​

> 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.​

No, but there are limited points where prevention of pricejacking can be
implemented.  This is one of them.

>  ​ ​
>> * 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.

That doesn't jive with what I'm seeing in the labor force.  People are able
to work for longer already.  Besides, a better way to compensate for that
might be more acceptance of less-than-40-hour work weeks, for the young and
the old.

> * 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.​

Granted, but that's why a) the bottlenecks and b) the limited rate.  If it
leans quickly into abuse, plan to shut it down once that becomes evident.

That said, this is based in part on California's constitutional amendment
setup.  It's had some issues, but there are (by now) identified ways to
curb the worst excesses - most of them inherent to the process.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20160828/93242809/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list