TED Conversations

bristol ozturgut

Me,

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

An institution devoted to reviewing and highlighting legislation that has exceeded a certain time frame.

Legislation is important under certain contexts. It's crucial, then, to keep legislation current. I think it a spectacular idea to commit a non-profit group to holding outdated legislation to current standards.

To quote the U.S. General Accounting Office report to Congress in 1990, through P.J. O'Rourke's "Parliament of Whores,"

"The government established a wool and mohair price-support program in 1954... to encourage domestic wool production in the interest of national security."

How is my proposal any better than the Government Accountability Office? Well, I'm not entirely sure and I suppose this is why I'm proposing it. I feel, though, the the GAO is entirely too big and that a program like this should have a lot more visibility - voters can access an archive of legislation, what it was written to combat, and what the general effects of it are now.

+1
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 27 2012: Excellent idea, but since lobbyists like Abrahamoff came along, it's very difficult. Those crooked lobbyists who buy your representatives get their legislation passed by offering legislation that says, replace SS 05321 and replace it with "whatever the lobbyists wants that the representative will not know what is being done".

    I have traced legislation backwards. It's hard. It's done this way on purpose.
    • thumb
      Oct 27 2012: I'm always a little wary of the sentiment that government does things on purpose. Government is not so much a machine run by precision gears and masterminds as it is a wobbly table with a short leg -propped up on a matchbook and legos - which holds a banquet of mismatched tableware holding food in various states of decay. I cannot affect any positive change if I unfairly judge that every lobbyist, legislator, and initiative is crooked.
      • thumb
        Oct 28 2012: Then judge them fairly by their actions or lack there of. If their intentions are noble, this thread would not exist.
        • thumb
          Oct 28 2012: My point is that there is no "their." Our government is not any one person. There is no "man." There is no "They." To do any good, we must first expel that idea that we are dealing with a uniform entity, working to propel itself in one direction with one set of values and desires.
      • thumb
        Oct 28 2012: Read Abrahamoff's book. He gives step-by-step instructions for how to corrupt a congressman and how to get the legislation you want passed by using deceptive methods. He also explains how widespread the corruption is: Insider trading (buying or selling stock before proposed legislation that is expected to pass is made public), embezzlement (inserting ear-marks into legislation knowing that the earmark is designed to benefit you personally and knowing that no one will read your earmark), bribery (self-explanatory and massively prevalent), for example. Many examples are given. It's how your government works.

        When the book came out, congress (both sides) said that congress is immune from such laws. Don't you remember the flack?
        • thumb
          Oct 28 2012: What are you trying to do by telling me this? Are you trying to dissuade me?! I am appalled at the responses I am getting here. This sentiment sickens me and it is everywhere. It is the flavor of cynicism that beats me down. You would have me believe that there is no reason to try; it's all going to shit anyway. I know there is corruption. I am also aware that corruption is just a way to identify a deviation from a standard. We could devote an entire doctorate program to studying the psychology and impact corruption has. I cannot let myself give up because the system is seemingly one giant tumor. A lot of people here today are making a mistake in assuming I want to berate each act of corruption I see or somehow propose incentives to get legislators to forgo corrupt practices. I am not so naive.

          I see clearly that the number one reason why our government continues to fail us is due to the pervasive thinking that there is no use. I call it the Eeyore Syndrome. By putting me down all I can really take from these responses is that somehow you actually want the corruption to persist. Now that can't be... But it does certainly seem to fit the tone. You should be ashamed of yourself. I would be excited to put my weight behind any person willing to take on the problem. We won't succeed unless our attitude is fervently positive. I'm looking for criticisms directly regarding my proposal - a team working to simply make outdated actions visible to the public. I am looking for feedback that can help me make specific changes to the exact functioning of such a group. How can I get high visibility? How do I broadcast our findings? Who can you direct me to to model my work after? What were some of the pitfalls of such a model?
      • thumb
        Oct 28 2012: It's a two party system giving us a faux representation of intricate opposing ideologies. It's most definately is two entities with a speckle of independents. It's a well orchestrated ebb and flow between Dems and Pubs. These are well defined and well organized political machines. As we become more aware of the corruption and backroom deals the machines will attempt to circumvent our ability to communcate and mount any type of organized attempt to put reigns on their actions. The moment we start pretending these entities don't exist is the moment we become a herd of cattle drinking from straws through our muzzles.
        • thumb
          Oct 28 2012: I haven't "pretend[ed] such entities don't exist." I have a few other objections to your response, namely the dichotomy of democrats and republicans and their "well orchestrated ebb and flow." But I am realizing quickly how futile it is to contest your attitude. I will simply thank you for taking the time to give me some input. It's good to know how some people may receive my project once functional.
      • thumb
        Oct 28 2012: You propose a watchdog institution. A wonderful idea. My attitute is pro active while yours is reactive. The real question is why we need a watchdog institution in the first place. We have put so many bandaids on the symptoms while never addressing root causes.

        Of couse it's probably more likely one would get funding by addressing reactive measures. It's much less likely to get funded if it targets fundamental core issues. This could adversly affect the power of special interests who are enjoying windfalls of unbalanced legislation.

        Allow me to offer up a link. I beleive we have such institutions that you speak of:
        www.watchdog.org
      • thumb

        Gail . 50+

        • +1
        Oct 28 2012: Bristol, perhaps those who see your optimism have already spent 40 years or so trying to fix that which is so broken. Many of us have been activists and have watched our voice be silenced by money.

        I applaud your willingness to go forth and fight the mighty fight, but as for me, I am working on a way to make changes by coming through the back door rather than the front. I want to cure the illness rather than continue down the road of treating the symptoms. I haven't given up. I've just changed course.

        So I certainly do not belittle you. I admire you.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.