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The ideal nation


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We've argued politics plenty of times, but I don't know that we've brought it all together.


If you had a chance to build a nation from scratch, how would you structure it?


Would you subscribe to the modern nation state concept? Opt for a benevolent (or not so benevolent) dictatorship? A computer age meritocracy? A socialist republic?


What about the economy? Is healthcare public or private? What about the military? Education? The media? If you rely on taxation, what form does it take?


Feel free to be a specific or broad as you like. I'll pipe in myself if I'm not totally intimidated by the first few responses.

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Hmm… I'll just write down what comes off the top of my head:


Government - Secular parliamentary republic with mixed-member proportional elections. A strong judiciary should be in place to enforce the constitution. Voting is compulsory.

Constitution - Enshrines civil liberties, including protections against discrimination based on sex, orientation, or gender identity. No surveillance without a warrant. Abolition of the death penalty.

Economy - Socialist or welfare capitalist with a high level of regulation. The overall tax rate should be heavily progressive and constitute 50% - 60% of the GDP. The government should ensure that every citizen has an acceptable standard of living.

Healthcare - Universal, including eye and dental care. Abortions and birth control are provided without question.

Education - Teachers should have masters degrees. Students have the option of entering trade schools or tertiary education programs largely funded by the government.

Media - There should be several government-run media organizations along with a flourishing private media. Limits should be placed on media ownership to prevent the kind of conglomerates that occur in the United States.

Gun Control - Firearms are outlawed and cannot be owned under any circumstance.

Military - As small as possible. No wars of aggression; military action should only be exercised for self defense or peacekeeping and be approved by the legislature.

Environment - Stringent protections. Power should be provided by nuclear or renewable sources.

Immigration - Few restrictions

Justice - Restorative justice system with rehabilitation services for substance abuse problems.

Foreign relations - Free trade whenever possible, no support of oppressive regimes like Israel.

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I don't particularly think that it's useful to talk about ideal politics when there are very real materialistic problems that are very divorced from political ideals and deal far more with realistic situations that foil the implementation of models, such as ethnic difficulties, being poor, and strong extralegal entities.


If you want to talk about an ideal nation, I suggest you play NationStates.


That said, I'll be a total hypocrite and go back and answer the prompt later when I think about this more.

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My ideal nation would take the same geographic area and control of resources as the USA. I would have absolute, unquestioned power over everyone and everything. My first action as despot would be to detonate the country's entire nuclear weapons stockpile where it sits, simultaneously. There would be no further action needed, nor any further conflict, because the entire planet will have been reduced to a cloud of radioactive dust.

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It would have something similar to the U.S. Constitution. Except it would really mean it this time.


And the commerce clause would be revised. There would be a national sales tax instead of income taxes. 20%. 10% state, 6% federal, 4% local.


We would construct an economic bloc with other nations. Free trade among "free peoples" - nations with similar standards of living, human rights, environmental protections, and worker rights, we would have free trade among us. But there would be tariffs and penalties on trade with nations without such rights, standards, and environmental policies. This ensures jobs for the nations "doing the right thing" and gives a compelling reason for other nations to change so they could join us..


It would be foolish to illegally immigrate, because everybody would be welcome - people will be greeted with "welcome, you are one of us" rather than "illegal!" -- however, there will be exams and medical quarantine period when necessary, vaccination programs, and one national language; immigrants and other non-native speakers would have english lessons and courses provided to them free via the community college system. They must also learn and acknowledge our basic civic and legal system. Other than that... welcome, come.


Healthcare. There will be national coverage for cancer, stroke, heart attack, broken bone... basically national free (yes I know not really free, taxpayers have to pay) coverage for disaster, emergency, and for life-dependent treatment and medications. Private practice and insurance will be allowed to take care of the rest; it will be quite affordable and optional when the nation covers critical issues. Of course that is a simplistic version but you should get the drift.


Education. Free education up through an associate's degree or a trade school completion. We can't forget about trade schools. We need plumbers, pipefitters, welders, electricians, woodworkers, even chefs and beauticians, more than we need another army of people with Associates Degrees who can't find work. No disrespect to associates degrees: in general we need people who are more well versed in history, culture, sociology, you name it. But we also need a workforce with ready skills.


Oh and we'd stop using the USDA to tell people they should be eating the same diet and chemicals that ranchers use to fatten livestock. I'm not 100% against GMO research, but I am 100% against... let's pretend a bunch of grains and carbs are good, that we should ingest chemicals and sugar and it's all good and safe!


We would also develop thorium power to use as a cheap, much safer alternative to uranium power - and integrate our power grid to solar and nuclear production.

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Ex: I agree with many of your points, but wouldn't go quite so far on firearms and hope you'd pay teachers better if you required extra schooling.


GG: I would counter that very little discussed in General is really "useful", since we lack the numbers or the clout to actually sway society on our own. It's a thought exercise and nothing more. Also, we had a pretty decent community of NationStates at one point. I hope I'm not the only one that fell of the wagon.


Addy: I think you overestimate the impact of our nuclear stockpile. There would probably be life left somewhere, just not humans.


Slarty: Just remember: a rock can feel no pain, and an island never cries.


Hogan: Don't forget to blame the FDA as well as the USDA. Food made from fresh produce in a home kitchen? You can't sell that. Pink slime? Go for it.

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A post got eaten. In brief, a well-functioning and equitable society needs good education, which means good teachers. They need to be trained in pedagogy specifically, the profession should be highly competitive, and they should be well paid. Yes, in part because they work hard, but more importantly because money motivates, and what a lot of countries lack now is motivation for the best and brightest to teach. And you can't mandate prestige, but money does buy a fair amount of it.


—Alorael, whose ideal state is not far off from Excalibur's, really. Some differences, but a similar framework.

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Actaeon: It seems you are correct. In that case, plan B:


1, Throw Actaeon into a volcano, and report it in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent with photographs.

2. ?????

3. Profit!


Alternately Excalibur's idea is good but a few comments:


No guns ever for anyone under any circumstances? Someone's going to smuggle one in at some point. First of all the military should have them, and I would be inclined to give some to the police with strict regulations such as that only a small squad of highly-trained specialists should have them and take them out of the station only in extreme emergencies.


Also, I'd like to emphasize mental health services as an integrated part of a government-single-payer, not just universal, health care system.

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Individual meritocracy (me) - I am best qualified to lead, thus I shall. Quiver before me, underlings!

Healthcare - Universal Wrack aka Volebamacare

Economics - Aquatic Prostitution aka make it rain on dem hoez

Education - Kim Kardashian 4+2 = Instagram program (cerebral restructuring to keep the masses inane)

Judicial - Lava Pit Of Truth (evolved form of Bisha'a)

Military - Gray Jedi

Media - The Onion

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Alternately Excalibur's idea is good but a few comments:


No guns ever for anyone under any circumstances? Someone's going to smuggle one in at some point. First of all the military should have them, and I would be inclined to give some to the police with strict regulations such as that only a small squad of highly-trained specialists should have them and take them out of the station only in extreme emergencies.

I should have specified that such a restriction was for civilians.

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  • 2 weeks later...

the trick is that the people as a whole would need to know what they want, and have high education and strong wills to avoid coercion into changing them.


unfortunately, in most cases there's huge discrepancy in what people want, and then there's the problem with people's opinions being pretty easy to sway through manipulation of media, so things they may wish can be shaped by any group with money and a malevolent agenda.

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