We The Insane

Why do we  allow our elected officials to do the same things over and over again. You know the definition of insanity ? Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.  We as a country are absolutely insane for thinking that another committee of politicians is going to be able to do anything different from what they have done before.

A quick history:

First we had the :

National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in 2010.

It consisted of 18 members, all but 4 were current or former politicians. They came up with a proposal that was presented in December of 2010.  It was shot down after reminding the 23 people who read it that the economy was shitty and our future was worse . It was shot down because those same elected officials and the people who give them money  couldn’t agree on whether this particular plan gave us a roadmap on who our  economic problems should be addressed.

Then in July of 2011 as the drop dead date for the expansion of the Debt Ceiling approached, knowing our economy sucked and the future looked worse, we once again watched our politicians procrastinate, postulate,  posture and protect their election hopes rather than address our nation’s economic problems. When the deadline reached the final hour they did what all politicians of our era love to do, they pawned it off.  In this case they put it in the hands of another committee.

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

So lets review where we are on August 17th, 2011.

In early 2010, knowing the economy sucked and the future looked cloudy because of huge federal debt and problematic tax and spending policies The President created a committee composed of 18 individuals, 14 of whom were politicians. They spent 7 months working to come up with a bi-partisan solution which was then shot down after its release on Dec 1 2010.

Eight months later knowing that the Debt Ceiling needed to be expanded and knowing the economy sucked and the future looked cloudy because of huge federal debt and problematic tax and spending policies The President created a committee composed of 12 individuals, all of whom were politicians. Its called the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

You see what is going on here ?

We as citizens must be insane if we let politicians continue to try to solve a problem that they have demonstrated time and time again that they are unable to solve.

Which leads me to a problem that is driving me insane. I don’t know why we leave it in the hands of politicians and I don’t know what our options are to take this entire problem out of the hands of politicians.

No I’m not saying we need new politicians. Politicians are what they are, politicians. I don’t want politicians running my business or trying to solve the economic woes of this country. They got us into this mess, I don’t expect them to understand even a little bit how to get us out.

So what are our options ?

Civil Disobedience ? Can we as citizens create our own committees and present them to Congress for a vote ? Present them to our fellow citizens for a vote ?

If we can’t do the work ourselves can we stop this committee from consisting of politicians ? Can we give ourselves a voice and impact the membership ?  If it were up to me the committee would have membership requirements that said that members could not be current or former elected or appointed politicians , nor could they have donated to a politician, pac or party in the past 3 years.

The American way would be to sue someone . That is not what i want to do. Do we as citizens have any say ? Can we change the process and offer the solution ?  Can we at least force transparency ?

This is one of the biggest issues we as country will face and we are getting the exact wrong solution.

Whats a citizen to do ? Any ideas ? Suggestions ? thoughts ?

114 thoughts on “We The Insane

  1. Pingback: We The Insane | Freedom Developers

  2. Thanks for starting this thread. We live in interesting times. The pendulum has swung way too far. I think history will look very unfavorably on how business influenced politics during our time.

    Members of the Supreme Court rub elbows with corporate big shots and then come out with a ruling giving corporations rights afforded to people. When Supreme Court Justice’s family member can accept contributions with no repercussions, it’s pretty much over.

    If you study the Great Depression, government spending did help. We built things like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hoover Dam during that time. We had a greater percentage of debt after WWII than we do now. Even with all that debt, we created the Marshall Plan to save Europe, and we paid down out debt.

    Right now interest rates are at record lows. There’s a surplus of labor. It’s the ideal time to build and put people to work.

    Instead, citizens vote on “social issues” that are intentional distractions. They don’t realize that it may not be in their financial interests to cast their ballots that way. People get an e-mail with political misinformation, and they believe it. They don’t bother to check Snopes or factcheck.org.

    We need more people like Warren Buffett. The man “invested” $5 billion in Goldman Sachs and another $5 billion to Bank of America when they were in trouble. That’s a true American hero. He puts country first. Our politicians, corporations and Supreme Court Justices could learn a lot from him. He’s doing this when other American corporations are pumping money into other countries and not investing here. Talk about being short-sighted. We’re betraying our own family members for next quarters bottom line. There’s something very wrong going on here.

    Now we’re too bogged down. I hope you’re wrong about civil disobedience, but it’s happening in Europe.

    Comment by 390d -

  3. Mark,
    I think there may be a great solution in combining a few of your posts and Warren Buffett’s call for higher taxes for those making over one million. Buffett’s idea is frightening because as you’ve mentioned our government does not know how to spend money and so far has not been able to create jobs as they are busy arguing. Why would we want to pump more money into this system and away from the business minds that know how to spend money and create jobs and profits?

    Instead I think back to your blog, “An Idea for the Economy that will Freak Out a lot of People but could be Fun to Discuss.” Take the money out of the politicians hands and fund your idea. I’d much rather see the Cubans, Buffetts, Gates’, and Schultzs of our country coming together to create a solution such as the one you put forth than simply increasing their taxes. Plus those funding the idea could stand to generate profits while jump-starting job growth rather than paying politicians to waste their money by paying more in taxes. It’d be especially interesting if the government could find a way not to punish those funding this for participating.

    Comment by Master Jenn-Jenn -

  4. What ever we do…we need more of this…to voice our unhappiness with the current status quo. It’s healthy and we need to press our elected leaders hard to stop the nonsense and provide real results. We are all tired of false promises and politicians and special interest groups using our America to fuel their own agenda and line their pockets with our dreams. At the end of the day it’s the civilians and not the politicians who pay and pay and pay. We are the majority and why are we so afraid to rock the boat? Are we that content with our lives that we are unwilling to be “Mavericks”? Are waiting for the world to fall apart known as our America before we take action? Become more involved in your local community, become more well informed about politics and politicians so that you can be more active. Don’t vote for fake politicians and if you need to get really involved. Write a blog and write to your local politicians.

    Comment by ossie69 -

  5. Why do we allow our elected officials to do the same things over and over again?

    We would be forced to choose others if there were terms limits. Very simple solution.

    Comment by just2words -

  6. Sorry…not 35 million…45 million people…

    Comment by passingobamacare -

  7. Hi Mark,
    My name is Glenn, and your article describes my situation. Especially here: “Do we as citizens have any say ? Can we change the process and offer the solution?”

    I am an insurance broker, and I started operating my business shortly before Scott Brown got elected in Massachusetts. I knew that Obamacare (PPACA) would fundamentally change the nature of competition in my industry and, if I knew how to deliver the benefits and avoid the pitfalls more than my competitors, I would take business from them and win a successful company.

    What I found in trying to apply the law was many more pitfalls than benefits. I also discovered that this law would effectively end several necessary industries, including my own, and would severely damage many others, including yours (it relies on discretionary income).

    For the first time in history, it gives our government the right to take money (not tax economic activity) from individual citizens to use for it’s own purposes…in this case, to give direct cash infusion to insurance companies without any service delivered in return.

    I also realized the numbers they used were beyond faulty, and that American businesses of all sizes are going to pay much more in penalties than has been projected. All of the penalties/mandates/etc. are based on an initial projected enrollment of 7% in 2014, and an escalating enrollment to 21% during the sample period, at a cost of $2.5 trillion. If actual enrollment, due to better contribution being inside the exchange than out and more choices available for consumers, is only a third of eligible people, that’s over 35 million enrollees instead of the 9-10 million projected, effectively increasing the money needed fivefold initially (or $12.5 trillion dollars), and much more thereafter as the tipping point is reached and everyone eventually gets care through the state exchanges. Imagine the penalties businesses and individuals would have to pay to support something like this. It will bankrupt our country.

    Mark, every penalty the government extracts, from the big corporation to the lowly individual, will have to increase to sustain this law, and will have to increase forever.

    So, I went into action. I developed a better solution (a “replace” for Obamacare), wrote a book (Passing Obamacare), and am now trying to gather public support towards the better solution. I have interviewed with Reason TV and several radio talk shows so far, and written several articles. You can see them from my website (www.passingobamacare.com).

    Mark, if I can push a better solution to the level where it can be compared, on a national level, to the existing legislation, America would have avoided a substantial bullet aimed right at the heart of our economic system. I’m not just talking trash, I do have a better solution, and I’m not stopping until the American people have a real choice and avoid this catastrophe.

    My problem is getting to the level where public awareness of my activities, and of the solution itself, reaches a saturation point. Unlike average folks like me, you have the ability through your words to drive attention.

    Please contact me at info@passingobamacare.com. I can demonstrate everything I’m saying here, and you would have done our country a tremendous favor.


    Comment by passingobamacare -

  8. mark and others please join us on political jack forumhttp://www.politicaljack.com/forums/forum.php?referrerid=6544

    Comment by huskyoverlord -

  9. by the way my name is scott bloom and I am on facebook.

    Comment by huskyoverlord -

  10. Mark my phone # is 610-927-6276 and my email is huskyoverlord@gmail.com hope to hear from you. you have the money to pull it off and change many lives.

    Comment by huskyoverlord -

  11. Hey mark I am trying to get in contact with you about a business venture , don’t have your email or facebook. But my business idea involves shooting sports , they are still sports right? Instead of you owning a team own the faciliaties. The sports are already going just need better ranges. My idea is eco friendly and will stimulate local economies. Go big or gome home right? I would love to hear from you and explain in detail. Glad to see the rich are sick of our one party system too!

    Comment by huskyoverlord -

  12. We also let credit card companies get away with interest rate gouging, this is KILLING the economy. Study the numbers, the amount of student loan debt and consumer credit card debt is at an all time high. The situation is exacerbated by some outrageous interest rate charges.

    Target stores charge 22.90% interest rate on their credit cards. I think Target Rate Jacked their customers a couple of years ago making it tougher to pay down existing debt they had already accrued. How bad is 22.90% interest? If you make a 4% monthly minimum payment on your debt, (a reasonable amount to pay), the effective ratio of interest rate charges to principle paydown is 50% towards interest and 50% towards principle paydown.

    In essence, Target is competing with their own store vendors for your money, actually taking money without providing a service or product.

    Comment by alexlogic -

  13. There are many ways to attack this problem but I’ll keep it simple as possible because Simple USUALLY equals Better.
    First-creating a special commitee to address the deficit is a ticking time bomb. The committee will become polarized-just as the Supreme Court has.
    The SIMPLEST way to address this problem is NOT allowing people who are on any type of social assistance to vote. Once you are able to be self-sufficient you have your vote back.
    You would have to be a fool not to vote yourself a raise, so politicians come along and promise higher payouts from social services.

    Comment by aklechuga -

  14. Right now, our legal tender laws prevent competition in currency. If we could eliminate the legal tender laws, then the market could decide what money is valuable and what money is worthless. Federal reserve notes wouldn’t last very long if other currencies were allowed to compete.

    To me, much of our problem is that they can print any money they need.

    Comment by duffomelia -

  15. Pingback: Huntsman is becoming a blogger, etc | Echo of Scripting News

  16. Might be off topic a bit but I see things totally different than if I were a millionaire. Your priorities change and what once was a given is now threatened to be taken. Maybe I’m wrong but if we had more working-class people in power (rather than tycoons and those born to money) the outcomes would come closer to reality.


    Comment by thecza -

  17. The Latest from the Greatest!!!


    Comment by hailguardian -

  18. I won’t attest to the absolute veracity of my numbers (because they come from the Internet…and well, you know how that is sometimes), but I read somewhere online last week that in the year 2000, we sent 98% of our Senators and Congressmen back to Washington, and I believe the normal number is in the 92-94% range. If memory serves, I believe that number coinciding with the last presidential election was 88% (boy, at least some of us were a lot smarter – 4-6% – approximately 140,000 – 210,000 of us anyway).

    Now I believe that almost no-one will admit to re-electing any of these folks, but it appears that we are electing the “devil we know” rather than the one we don’t.

    Here is a radical, yet over-simplistic thought. While it is virtually impossible that it could happen, my opinion is that our elected officials are so out of touch, that they have NO idea what life is like for the “average Joe” (also probably why John McCain’s “average Joe” became such a person of note in the last election).

    So, just as a theoretical exercise, what if we limited new candidates to folks that could prove that they have done their own grocery shopping – at least for the better portion of the last 10 years (especially the last three to four) – oh, and could provide receipts to prove it.

    Now there are probably other issues with voting these kinds of folks into office, but face it, currently only the independently wealthy can afford to run for office…and this IS currently just a theoretical exercise.

    If you limit new candidates to folks that actually do their own grocery shopping, most of us would actually have candidates that we could actually relate to. More importantly, we would have folks working in our government that are more like us, and perhaps even a little more resistant to the wiles (and whines) of Lobbyists(???!!!)…

    Again, kind of a ridiculous thought, but Thomas Jefferson did say “Every generation needs a new revolution” (hmmm…isn’t that even one of the tea-party’s mottos???). Oh, and speaking of the tea-party. In my opinion, those folks are just more of the same…with a little bit of extra “marketing” strategy…rich folks that want to control what the rest of us do.

    It’s very possible that a great many of these folks started in their pursuit of office with an altruistic agenda, but I think the big money and power that the office affords them corrupts that pretty quickly.

    I don’t know where you would stand on this requirement Mark, but if you have receipts, I might vote for you.

    Now don’t get me started on what I think of the idiots that decided our single largest foodstuff should go in our gas tanks instead of towards feeding the livestock and producing the products that go on our grocery shelves.

    Comment by storminone -

  19. Hi Mark,
    I think the problem with doing the same things all the time while trying to solve problems is a common thing in politics as well as in life. People are simply affraid to do sth differently. In my opinion we need s/b who will have new out of the box ideas and will not be affraid to use them. It is not a failure if you try different things, even if they don’t always work. It’s not like old ideas do. But as I said, it is easier to convince people that doing things the same way will eventually work, instead of taking a risk.

    Comment by urs1a -

  20. Television as peoples primary news outlet did a lot of damage to American politics imo. Slowly over time news coverage had to compete for ratings with ‘your regularly scheduled programming’… That couldn’t be accomplished with in depth news coverage that actually dug in and provided some substance.

    As a result news stations went out of their way (initially–and then they started preaching to specific choirs) to be as uncontroversial as possible. That’s not a good thing because typically any truth is going to have a constituency that has no desire to hear it.

    I wrote an entire blog post on the last 40 years in American Politics– and how we essentially haven’t made a single difficult decision in that time period. If you read it and commented it would actually make my day Mark… Here’s the link: http://thevaluemajor.com/40-years-of-soft-politics/

    Comment by thevaluemajor -

  21. Your initial blog is great Mark, but I don’t have time to read all these comments, much less the lengthy ones. I think some of these folks would be better served with their own blogs…. so I wrote a blog entry about it. In summary, it says get a bigger bang for your commenting buck.

    Comment by followingfred -

  22. Hey you guys don’t need to read a book you should write one….so damn busy explaining some website ideas why don’t you just build it and see if they come…damn sheep !

    Comment by markrittmayer -

  23. Mark-

    I wanted to post this idea in your Stimulus Plan blog, but loading it was killing my browser.

    Anyway, this isn’t a new idea, but I’d like to see a secure web portal that explains in great detail where your money is (or could be) going when you make a purchase. I would call it “VoteWithYourDollar.com”. The data in the database behind this site would be the product for sale and would contain answers to questions such as:

    1. Where does this company invest it’s money? How much in each investment? % of total investing?
    2. What goodwill does this company provide?
    3. What was the supply chain of the product I purchased?
    4. To who’s political campaign to they contribute? How much? When?
    5. What are this company’s parent companies? Who are their parent companies? etc..
    6. What companies does this company own? What companies do those companies own? etc…
    7. How much do they invest in the particular cause that I’m interested in?
    8. How much of an overall affect do they have on the cause that I’m interested in?
    9. How far did this product travel? How far did the materials used to make this product travel?
    10. Are there any alternative products that are more aligned with my preferences?

    The list goes on and on. To make things easy (or else, the mainstream will never adopt), you’d could link your bank/credit account or scan a batch of receipts (marking out any personal info if you preferred) to import your purchase. Time, location and product would be all you needed to answer the above questions (if you had it).

    I know I’d spend a bit more if one product was more aligned with my ideals than the cheaper product.

    On the flip side, if you wanted to share your anonymous buying habits with corporations so they “get the picture”, company’s could log in and figure out why they just lost a customer.

    Obviously, the web site and mobile apps could be set up easily. The hard part is:

    1. Gathering data and maintaining it.
    2. “Keeping it real”, which means no advertisements or bribes. Cash-flow in comes from the consumer only. Companies could be charged a large fee to see why their customers choose another product, but this business couldn’t rely on that money for future operations. Budgeting should be done based on consumer usage only.

    If it works, the consumer will have a much more effective, non-violent tool in promoting their causes.

    Comment by dataflownick -

  24. Hey Mark, I sent you an email a few days ago with my idea, a website which I believe solves our problems. I’m sure you are crazy busy, but if you have a chance to read through it, I’d love to hear what you think.

    Comment by dstharding -

  25. I agree with Drunkbatman…..go read a book

    “the Art of War” seems appropriate


    Comment by markrittmayer -

  26. There is a solution that we can all participate it. We have started a non-partisan, non-profit charitable organization (featured on CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS, etc) that is uniting Americans to help resolve the nation’s debt problem. If we unite together, we can have a loud and effective presence in Washington and demand real change and real solutions. We can also contribute to lowering the national debt. This too would make a powerful statement to the world and to our leaders that the American people are not going to sit back and watch them kick the can further down the road and drive the country into the ground. By joining together, we can make a difference! Please find the Association to Reduce the National Debt on the web or on facebook, “like” them, contribute and spread the word. WE ALL NEED TO ACT TO SAVE OUR COUNTRY.

    Comment by arndinc -

  27. everyone shut the hell up about the fed and printing money, you want deflation over steady inflation?

    ask cuban if hes more likely to invest during a period of inflation or deflation. Read a damn book.

    Comment by drunkbatman -

  28. Mark-

    I think we have a good system in place and I think (2) simple laws could turn the tide:

    1. Implement a voting requirement to pass a constitution competency test.
    2. Term limits for the House.
    3. Repeal the 17th amendment.

    I think the rest (decomissioning of the Federal Reserve, Dept. of Education, Dept of Agriculture, IRS, NASA, repealing the 16th, installing the Fair Tax, etc…) would come naturally.

    Comment by dataflownick -

  29. I would just like to add re: gold. I don’t own an ounce of it, because I don’t understand it. However, throughout history paper money has been manipulated, debased, and ALL past currencies have disappeared. There is not a SINGLE currency that has survived as long as gold has.

    If there was a paper currency which was kept constant, it could be just as good or even better than gold, because it’s easier to transport, etc. However it’s too tempting for governments to print paper money.

    Gold however cannot be printed. Silver, copper, iron, etc. etc. are all proper “money” in the sense that they cannot be created from thin air.

    However like all money/assets it can be consumed by manias and panics. So it is not perfect and I do not own any gold because I have a lot of student loans (another symptom of the corruptness of this system) and I would be at the mercy of price swings because my debt is denominated in dollars.

    Last I would like to direct your attention to the near constant level of prices in the U.S. from 1770 to 1913, the creation of the Federal Reserve. This was the result of the dollar being tied to something whose QUANTITY DOES NOT CHANGE AND CANNOT BE CHANGED BY POLITICIANS. i.e. gold.

    It need not be gold; it could be purple mana whatever the point is, something with a non-changing supply. That is what makes gold, naturally, good money; you can’t print it; you can’t destroy it; you can’t consume it. However like anything else it is subject to manias and panics. Over time, however, a currency or price level linked to gold will be more stable than one linked to paper money (case in point the dollar has lost 95% of its value since the Fed and the printing presses were set free in 1913).

    That said for the reasons above I still don’t own an ounce of gold. Also I don’t understand what an oz of gold “should be” worth.

    Comment by halflink123 -

  30. Mark

    The problem is the American people. They don’t understand what’s going on. Washington has been hijacked by the big Wall Street banks. All of the capital of this country is flowing to the big banks. The politicians have basically been totally bought out.

    You’re a rich guy, but your problem is that you don’t lobby Washington enough. You give a Congressman $100 million and he will lick your boots.

    It’s funny the comments on here about how the country is “divided”. It’s not divided – like mushrooms, the American people like being kept in the dark and fed manure.

    How else do you explain someone advocating Hillary Clinton for President when she’s admitted she wants to be head of the World Bank (a global Federal Reserve if you will).

    Ron Paul is the only glimmer of hope this country has. Herman Cain WORKED FOR THE FEDERAL RESERVE.

    No the politicians will never solve this problem because it easier for them to maintain the status quo, as corrupt and disfunctional as it is, because they are in the pockets of wall street.

    Have you heard of even ONE POLITICIAN saying that we should default on our debt? (With the exception of possibly Ron Paul)? No but that would solve our problems.

    No the real solution will come through market in the form of a currency and debt crisis; some kind of CRISIS will correct this crazy, disfunctional system. As for patriots vs. businessmen – there was a time 200 years ago when they were one and the same. Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson; they were ALL BUSINESSMEN because back then there were no taxes and so politicians couldn’t leech of the rest of us like they do now. The problem is tyranny. The freedoms of early America have been degraded to the point that this country is no different from the England that it gained its independence from.

    Last I disagree with your take on gold. If you think paper money is a better money than gold, then you are insane.

    I support Ron Paul – because he is against the Fed (which just bails out its buddies), he’s anti-war, and he believes in Freedom.

    Until we (1) defeat the banksters and (2) the American people stop trying to steal from each other through government, they will keep printing money and destroying us.

    Comment by halflink123 -

  31. Some have called the Tea Party the new third party. I prefer the prior third party comprised of the moderates in this country. The democratic party and the republican party have around 20 to 30 percent hard core members, yet that leaves anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of the country who are moderates that just want the best that both parties have to offer.

    These moderates have been marginalized by cable news network. Until a THIRD CABLE NEWS NETWORK emerges that is exactly in the middle of Fox and MSNBC, the 24 hour a day barrage of these two small but constantly broadcasting channels will continue to polarize the country just so they can please their either extremist base, along with those who feel they have nowhere else to turn to.

    Comment by alexlogic -

  32. Term limits seems like a great idea, but how do people think such things as “the election season should be limited to 120 days prior to the election” could be enforced, or constitutional in any way. Everybody seems to forget that there is a constitutional right to free speech, which means pretty much being able to say what you want, when you want, unless you infringe on other people’s rights by doing so (like shouting in your neighbor’s window, violating their property rights). Free speech includes putting ads on TV or the radio or shouting your ideas from the mountaintops, and the constitution doesn’t have a time span during which free speech is allowed, like 120 days before elections.

    Also, why does anybody think a three party system will solve anything? In Europe, third and fourth parties are much easier to establish due to the configuration of their electoral systems and representative bodies. This frequently allows minority groups from the population to dominate the political debate, often at the expense of the majority agenda. Two party rule is not enforced by law in the USA, but our system naturally converges on two parties, intentionally, and specifically to avoid the pitfalls that Europe and many other places suffer. I believe this is the best system, because it forces people to line up on one side or the other, thereby creating the broadest possible coalitions among the population, so single issue minorities do not end up able to block an otherwise good agenda over their issue while other perhaps similarly minded, but not single minded, parties are unable to proceed.

    Comment by jonburchel -

  33. Pingback: Top 10 Reads: August 18, 2011

  34. To the poor misguided person who does not believe this is a political problem please read this essay from 1995:http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/reese.asp
    As to fixing the problem, I have no hope that it will happen in my lifetime but here is what is necessary:
    1. A three party system where the two parties with the most votes have to co-exist in the House and the senate.
    2.Term limits. It works fine for the President, it will work for everyone else.
    3. Limit the power of the House and Senate Majority leaders to block legislation from a vote.
    4. Make lobbying illegal

    In addition the election season should be limited to 120 days prior to the election. This will cut down the travel, the spending, the stupid debates, and the State Fair speeches that no one cares about.

    However, as I said, it will not happen in my lifetime and maybe never. The system we have is designed to benefit the people who are entrenched within it. They make laws that don’t apply to them, they start working on their reelection campaigns the minute they get in office, and suffer from the strange malady that strikes all politicians: they think getting into office made them smarter.

    Comment by agman65 -

  35. Made an error in my previous reply… I meant that cutting taxes will increase REVENUES long term, but actually said “increase rates” which didn’t make much sense…

    Also, I had one other comment reading other comments! A lot of suggestions which are made don’t seem to pass the constitution test. “Make lobbying illegal” sounds great and all, but would amount to restricting free speech, and isn’t practical or possible within the constitution. Also, previous suggestion made by Mr. Cuban, that committee members who should decide how government investment funds should be distributed have not given money to a political party in the past, would also be restriction of free speech, since political donations are equivalent to speech as judged by the Supreme Court numerous times. I don’t see how that could be avoided, much as the involvement of money in politics is deplorable, it is inevitable in a free market. Also, the restriction would be easily subverted by big money who could always find shills to serve in the posts but act as proxies. The answer is not to try to spend government money better. It is to let people keep their own money, corporate or otherwise, and do with it as they see fit, which will always be better than how some bureaucrat at any level of government can decide. If they choose to save it or pay down credit card bills, then that is really their decision, and it doesn’t matter whether they create a job with it or not, it is just the right thing to do. But ultimately, I disagree with Mr. Cuban also that it would not create jobs, even if a lot of retained revenue from tax cuts were used to pay down debt… There is every kind of precedent that cutting taxes grows the economy. There is ZERO precedent that raising taxes inhibits the economy or creates jobs, even in the short term.

    Comment by jonburchel -

  36. The problem will always be elected officials who we give power but have no experience in anything. most politicians are lifers who never ran or even worked in a business. So how can we expect them to make good, rational decisions when they are always posturing. There in lies the problem with our interpretation of democracy.

    Comment by robertjlangdon -

  37. As others have mentioned- raise the House term to four years, two terms max. Same for the Senate.

    Make lobbying illegal. Create a new tech-driven consensus that allows representatives to quickly check how to vote (with the best interests of their constituents in check). Create a record that can be easily searched and referenced against your own.

    Take the EPA, DoE and other regulatory agencies and make them state level, not federal.

    Flat Tax.

    Comment by chrisyoura -

  38. Mark-

    I think what we’re seeing is the ill-effects of central planning. Before 1913, we had a fairly free market going. The industrial revolution and the mass production of cars all evolved out of this system. I think the world noticed where this was going and a clever bunch of bankers devised and executed a plan to hijack our currency. I believe ever since then that out market has been much more centrally controlled. Both by the Feds and the Government.

    I think the problem is that this new central planning agency is far removed from the voters and doesn’t always have our interests in mind. Without any hesitation, they admit that their goal is to stimulate the economy. I don’t think that’s natural. I think the only thing that should stimulate the economy is innovation. Also, what’s so bad about an economy that has a consistent course? We already have a good standard of living and I’m not too overly concerned about improving at the rate some folks are interested in.

    Anyway here are my suggestions on how to fix this:

    1. Stop bailouts. It’s no different than the IRS writing off my tax obligations for the year. However, instead of them paying my taxes for me, they’ll lock me up and even worse if I resist.

    2. Limit the voting pool by requiring voters to pass a very simple constitution quiz (accessible to the blind, handicap, etc… of course) And this law would be 100% constitutional. I don’t think you’d hire a software developer like me to run Power Forward because you know what’s required of a PF, why let the voters hire someone in which the voters don’t know anything about the position they’re hiring for?

    3. End the fed. (However, the last president that took action on this idea was JFK.)

    Comment by dataflownick -

  39. I worked for years as a housekeeping supervisor (the only one allowed to clean the office of the director of a youth correctional facility). He said, “you seem to be the only one around here who does not have an agenda.” I told him, “I do have an agenda – just not the one most people seem to have.”

    Maybe we should look for a leader that has a different agenda.

    Comment by lisarlee101 -

  40. Our government works, but after over 200 years it has created the “Professional Politician” and changed the culture of governing. They come from both sides of the aisle. They are at every level of government from Federal, to State to Local.

    Basically it is an elected official that never worked in the private sector or has a trade outside of politics. They never used their own money to balance a budget, meet a payroll or market a good or service. Their speeches are like lectures spewing opinions with little actionable material. They gather data from commissions and summits, but lack the ability to implement and execute the findings. Their passion lies in getting re-elected and their best attribute is campaigning.

    I agree, we are the ones that are insane if we think someone with this background is going to produce/remove regulations to get us out recession and restore confidence in our economy.

    Our power is with our vote, and when we learn about candidates lets quit voting for “Professional Politicians”

    Comment by Senor Smoke -

  41. I see you grappling for the right idea, but why is it so hard to make the leap that the answer is to elect politicians actually willing to reduce the size of the role they play in our economy, by reducing revenues and slashing spending. That has happened before, under Reagan, most notably, and led to long periods of prosperity. There are politicians willing to slash and burn the government willingly. Bloomberg was not one of them, and certainly Obama was not. But many among those wretched Tea Party types are exactly on the same page. But I guess maybe they are not fashionable or popular enough in the “smart” crowd? As a true man of vision, I hope that succumbing to that pressure would not ever be a risk for you.

    You recognize the problem is too much government intervention in the economy clearly, but unless I misunderstood, you still think the government should take the money, and then somehow hand over power to distribute tax revenues to citizens, it seems, by local councils. I would argue that instead, they should let citizens (including citizens who own corporations obviously) keep their own wealth and spend or invest as they best see fit, and the only way to do this is to cut spending drastically, reduce entitlements drastically, and then yes, cut taxes at the same time, and raise rates as well. Slash the beast, and slash it so it cannot easily recover. Then the economy will suffer loss of unproductive elements, but grow again, and revenues will actually grow, despite the cuts, as they did dramatically under Reagan. Then, if we have a balanced budget amendment, the situation that occurred under Reagan, where increased revenues were not to be outdone by ever increasing budgets (under a Democratically controlled congress) will not recur, and we may actually pay debt down then in the future, a very shocking concept I know.

    Long term, outlook is very positive, despite politicians and the horrible situation with the debt, though.

    Comment by jonburchel -

  42. We need a *Constitutional Convention*. The current system of government is irreparably broken. The politicians have finally figured how to co-opt it.

    The electoral college is a farce. National elections are now determined mainly by a few swing states. Gerrymandering has created Congressional districts where incumbents always win. Money — needed to pay for commercials to run over “public” airwaves — has elections.

    After the American Revolution, under the Articles of Confederation, the first federal government failed. That led to a constitutional convention which resulted in our current form of government. Now, that government and constitution is failing us. We need to assemble the best and brightest among the citizenry to recapture the great American experiment. What’s needed are individuals to assume leadership roles. Are you interested, Mark?

    Comment by macname -

  43. Mark,

    For a counterpoint to this, see Charles Krauthammer’s recent column, “The System Works. Excerpt:

    Of all the endlessly repeated conventional wisdom in today’s Washington, the most lazy, stupid and ubiquitous is that our politics is broken. On the contrary. Our political system is working well (I make no such claims for our economy), indeed, precisely as designed — profound changes in popular will translated into law that alters the nation’s political direction.

    The process has been messy, loud, disputatious and often rancorous. So what? In the end, the system works. Exhibit A is Wisconsin…

    Comment by davidpinsen -

  44. Pingback: Samplings from August 17th | Sample the Web

  45. I have read the majority of comments on here and most of the people leaving them sound very educated. Congrats Mark on creating a following that is not saturated with sheepish minds.

    Comment by twinfield28 -

  46. Not all lawyers are bad, but our legal system definitely needs revamping.

    Comment by twinfield28 -

  47. We also need to reform our legal system! There are not enough protections in the system against frivolous lawsuits and the scum bag lawyers who try to see them through.

    Comment by twinfield28 -

  48. Checks and balances is the reason behind government log jams on passing a budget proposal that will put the America back on the right track. Should we change the power layout of our government branches??? Heck no! If we did it would be too easy for special interest or people that have been fooled to get an ignoramus leader into office. People may think it is easy now, but it would be even easier. How can we not pass a tax on all those that gained big money during the Bush era???? That alone will get us back on the road to recovery. The poor are taxed a heftier % than the wealthy in a horrible economy??? That does not make sense to anyone except someone trying to sell the false realities of Reganomics. ‘Cisco Systems, which has an offshore corporate fortune of $35 billion. Apple and Oracle have, respectively, $31 billion and $20 billion stashed abroad.(WSJ 2010)’ Who knows what Halliburton or ExxonMobile have hidden away tax free. Why are some U.S. companies allowed to benefit big from their country, but evade U.S. taxes in shelter tax countries??? I believe in helping wealthy people, like myself, getting wealthier, if that is a persons pursuit of happiness, but everyone needs to carry their fare share during desperate times or there will be a revolt. Fare shares are dealt in %’s not in amounts. Tax shelters are abused in this country. Personally, I would rather get taxed more than have to keep my money in gold and watch America and the dollar go down the tubes. The U.S. Dollar is getting killed because of one parties inability to compromise on a blatant issue. I do not want to see Republicans lose all power in government because the special interest party holding the strings to a given representative puppet says they cannot compromise on a major issue.

    On the flip side. Unions need to be stripped down to very lean operating standards during these struggling times. They are way to powerful and are the breeding grounds for the dilution of quality service/product America puts out.

    Even though poor people are carrying a majority share of the burden by being stripped of many benefits, the poor that are free loaders need to be stripped of even more once the rich pay a more equal percentage of taxes (which won’t really be the same percentage because they will be using, so called legal tax right-offs, to reduce a majority of their income then paying a percentage of that). Could poor people use tax shelters??? That’s another subject, but I will say it is not as favorable to their finances to do so because of the costs associated with tax sheltering through a fictitious business.

    In the end if our government leaders cannot compromise and people don’t get voted into office that will, Rich and Poor people both have back up plans even if they don’t realize it. The Rich will move to Australia, Canada, or retire on some remote island and be forced to pay more in taxes. Poor people will revolt and take back over the U.S. and take ownership of her very fertile lands and rebuild along with a select few right minded rich. I prefer our current government Republicans put taxes on the negotiating table and compromise, so rich people don’t get burned if a bunch of liberals get voted into office replacing those representatives.

    Comment by twinfield28 -

  49. Mark, I’m enjoying your posts (and rants) keep up the good work.

    In terms of suggestions, one of the reasons I love the Internet, is its potential to democratize complex problems.

    Idea: A neutral website that refers to current topics/opinions that citizens can “vote” on. (similar to digg, reddit, etc.) The idea being that a particular opinion, assertion, idea, can be promoted truly speak for the people. Not lobbyist. Not some loud-mouthed extremist. End of the day, it would be a reference point to the media, politicians, etc. ex: the following website had 600k people upvote/downvote this opinion: that the American people agree that we should be taxing the uber-rich, or that we should be cutting back on enttitlements. THAT, IMO, would be a way to get our voices heard beyond the loud minority. thanks.

    Comment by carloschang -

  50. Start a petition consisting of quality people to sit on the super committee.
    Mark is right, more pols will be another do nothing committee

    Comment by spanwart -

  51. The fundimental challenge is that we have allowed the raise of a permanent political class. The antidote is to go back to fundimentals.

    The political class is a product of unlimited terms, the raise of the seniority system in congress and the formation of a permanent “shadow government” in the form of the congressional staff.

    The first step in returning the ownership and direction of the government to the hands of the people is to go back to the founders ideal citizen who contributes to the greater good through sacrafice. Enforce term limits such that each legislator or government elected official can serve ONE and only ONE term.

    This would immediately eliminate the seniority system. It would eliminate the “good old boy” political system where new members of congress are forced to get along and vote with their majority rather than truely represent their district.

    It would result in a lot more average citizens getting into office vice the political professonals who now make up the political class.

    Next, do away with the congressional staff. One of the problems we have is that there is a vast army of people working for and inside congress who’s continued justification for their existence is a continuing and ever growing set of recommendations for new legislation and regulation. Give each congress member access to an administrative assistant, eliminate all staff members, and impose term limits and you are a long way toward curing the problems of our over regulated government.

    Next eliminate all the perks that go with the elected position. No government funded health care. No free mail. No free computers. Let them pay for their own health care. Eliminate all the perks. No drivers. No fancy offices paid for by the working class.

    The answer begins with term limits.

    Comment by coachrg -

  52. do not forget that people left their money initially to their financiers…the to their politicians….and you [mark cuban] has never left things in hands of anyone….take charge of your money and become a trader..

    Comment by bluerosetrader -

  53. Mark –
    Other than starting a revolution to change the system from outside, my belief for a long time has been that you need to do two very basic things to radically change the way Washington thinks (i.e. “what do I have to do to get re-elected” being their first 10 priorities, and their #11 priority being “what’s best for the country”).

    #1: Enact term limit legislation. 2 terms for Senators, 4 terms for Representatives. Why is it good enough for the President and not for Congress?

    #2: Tax code simplification. Take away all tax deductions and have no more than 3 tax brackets. I’m fine with a flat tax even. That would eliminate a HUGE amount of the lobbying.

    If we could start there, perhaps the mindset in Washington could turn to “what’s best for this country?”, IMO.

    Comment by davedillonphoto -

  54. How about a Referendum?


    Comment by Trent -

  55. Combination of rossh43 & sapphiresut’s (4th & 5th from top) comments.
    Stop talking and start doing.

    Show me a politician willing to give up a tiny fraction of their pay to hire a couple of interns to run/coordinate a voting site for their constituents to weigh-in on items concerning them and you’re one step closer to my vote.

    Comment by maselev -

  56. Herschel,

    I didn’t mean to say that my vote doesn’t count. What I mean is that no matter who I vote in, no matter what they say before they’re elected, no matter how much I agree with their positions, it all amounts to nothing once they’re elected.

    As soon as any politician is elected they now have a new master to serve, and it’s not their constituents. It’s the folks funding their next run for office.

    I also don’t think it’s a shortage of good candidates. I just think we’ve created a system which doesn’t do what it was meant to.

    Comment by charli125 -

  57. Hello Mr. Cuban,

    Thank you for your very interesting and informative blog posts. My brother is in the developmental stages of a revolutionary new medical software that is going to transform the industry. Would you have a few minutes to review his business plan. I know this is asking a lot but I think you will be interested. Thank you.

    Comment by jafhgf -

  58. Pingback: Great question but not many good answers « A Man With A Ph.D.

  59. I don’t like bantering back and forth in comments, but I want to make one comment to Charli125.

    If you can’t blame the voters for who WE elect, then all is lost with our republic.

    WE THE PEOPLE are the first and final arbitrators of who represents us and our values.

    You as an individual have one vote and yes, that one vote may appear to be insignificant. But the reality is that each of those individual votes add up and that is what elects representatives who WORK FOR US.

    NEVER, EVER, allow yourself to think or to be told that YOUR VOTE means nothing.

    NEVER, EVER accept that YOU are not partially responsible for the republic for which you live in.

    You and I and about 300 million of our fellow citizens ARE responsible for the welfare of this great nation. We are the stewards, who must ensure that this great country is passed down to the next generation of freedom loving citizens.

    NEVER, EVER abdicate the responsibility that freedom demands of you – to stay vigilant and true to the belief that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

    Comment by Herschel -

  60. Mark, I totally agree. I would love to see us use our own constitution to battle this. We have a right to steer the country in a better direction. That said, it takes someone like yourself with both power, money, and credibility to get the publicity it takes to push a movement like this.

    So let’s start a movement. I’m on board. I’d be happy to help. I think you need some of the nations best leaders in business and some average joe’s with common sense. Ever see the movie “Dave”? Would love to see that happen at the oval office. It’s a battle of wills and I don’t see the tea party or any party for that matter solving this.

    Many people are holding out on the next election and then they hold out for the one after that and so on. Total insanity. What we need is the people to rise up say that enough is enough. But if no one proposes a new bill for law and no one steps up and prosposes viable solutions to congress and the president, we are just a bunch whiners and complainers who get what we deserve for being lazy.

    The rules were rewritten in 1776 and the longer we let this persist, the closer we will be to falling apart.

    The good news is that with social media and the traditional media, those tools can be used in place of guns and violence to coordinate and effort, people, and resources toward a new set of rules.

    So here’s my question back to you Mark. Can we as a country get your help and time commitment to jumpstarting this movement?

    Comment by Michael LeJeune -

  61. Cuban said: If it were up to me the committee would have membership requirements that said that members could not be current or former elected or appointed politicians , nor could they have donated to a politician, pac or party in the past 3 years.

    I would add that it would prevent them from ever running for future office in order to avoid anyone looking to use this as a springboard.

    I would also remove the donation part. A lot of well qualified people make political donations. If you’re looking for people that have no political beliefs then it’s not going to happen. Warren Buffett makes political contributions, but I think he would be one of the first people I would want on such a committee.

    For all the good the Tea Party thinks it will do, I fear that it is quickly becoming just another party. When you have a party you have a rigid set of rules and restrictions which prohibits cooperation. I don’t think the Tea Party is the solution any more than the Democrats or Republicans are the solution.

    And to Herschel in the above post. You can’t blame the voters for how bad of a job our politicians are doing. To be in a position to get elected any politician will have already been forced to sell their soul. That’s the attitude that got us into this mess. Each election elicits the same response: “Those guys did a bad job so let’s vote in the opposite”. There is no opposite, they’re all just politicians looking to move on to the next higher office, with more benefits, more salary, more notoriety etc.

    Comment by charli125 -

  62. It is in economic times like this, that people are learning the hard way, the individual limits we have, and what exactly in this life we are truly qualified to have an opinion on.

    How exactly do we impose that reality on the people in DC, leading us down the wrong road, time and time again? Especially when they nominate themselves to these committee’s?

    It starts with campaign finance reform and how people are elected.

    And then once they are in, we need to start vetting their nominations to committee’s, advisory boards, and cabinets ourselves.

    But most of all, the political polarization of our citizenry needs to stop. And for at least a moment agree to some common goals.

    Comment by jimgoose -

  63. And if there is an emergency and we somehow can’t afford a tax increase to pay for it, let there be a national referendum on whether the situation is truly an emergency.

    If we are to defer payment, we should at least approve the deferment plan. And then Congress should stick to it, following our directive.

    If its truly an emergency, I don’t see why we can’t just pay for it with a national sales tax. Approved by the same referendum, of course, and expiring when the emergency is paid for. We pay too much income tax as it is.

    Comment by stretchwithme -

  64. Mark,
    I hope you read these comments, but I sadly don’t think you do. So, I’ll answer your question in hopes that it makes sense to someone and sometime, somewhere these words will be worth the time it takes me to write them down.

    1) Don’t blame the business of “politics” for creating the politicians you so dearly loath. Remember, as a self governing society, these politicians are the creation of the society they serve. IF YOU WANT better politicians, WE NEED TO CREATE a better society!
    2) You have so many more resources than the average citizen. Wisely use those resources you have worked for to take action and change that which is broke.
    3) Put your skills, knowledge, wisdom to work as a “politician.” There is really no higher of a calling than to serve you fellow countrymen.

    There are many problems with our society. But there are so many great things that we should be proud of as Americans. As with any human creation, we need to strive to continually improve, to fix, to learn new ways of functioning together as a united society.

    But what we need now more than anything is TRUTH, HONESTY, PASSION, LOVE and DEDICATION to the fundemental ideas put forth over two hundred years ago…

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    Comment by Herschel -

  65. There are no silver bullet solutions to systemic problems.

    WE are insane because we are apathetic, mis-informed and uneducated.

    Politicians are politicians because WE are that way.

    Creating private sector committees, that WE select, doesn’t help WE to understand the problems, let alone the solutions.

    The solution should work out as follows:

    1. If WE are educated, WE will not be mis-informed. (education reform)

    2. If WE are not mis-informed, WE will not be apathetic. (better news sources)

    3. If WE are not apathetic, politicians cannot be politicians. (accountable politicians)

    Any properly functioning democratic process relies solely on an educated people. Without an informed public, any other solution you create will only fail.

    Comment by pappyo -

  66. I would really like to see major change in campaign financing. This will never happen because the politicians won’t allow it, but I believe any incumbent should not be allowed to spend the millions of $’s they use to get re-elected. Especially any gov’t funds. They should be required to run using only their record. The fact that Obama is running around the mid-west on a bus using federal funds is another major slap in the face. Further insult is the fact that they are saying this isn’t a campaign trip, but a duty of the president???? What logic is that?

    Comment by mikefranklin73064 -

  67. great post, mark. civil disobedience and revolution are exactly what is needed. it starts with issuing our own currency and taking ourselves off the dollar, which is the tie that binds the whole current government scam. the foundation for the US revolution was the passage of the currency act of 1764 by king george of britain, which forbade the american colonies from using their own currency. the foundation for the next american revolution will be something quite similar. and as was the case with the first american revolution, this one will restore liberty and the set the foundation for economic prosperity for generations.

    it is only a matter of time before people have had enough and decide to go this route. the sooner it is chosen, the less painful it will be for all of us, and the sooner we get to the good stuff (freedom, functioning government, economic liberty, peace, etc)

    great post mark.

    Comment by kidmercury -

  68. And here I was hoping after winning the NBA title you’d focus on solving one of my pet issues and take the Dodgers out of McCourt’s hands. You’re obviously on to more important endeavors. Damn!

    The Tea Party has the right ideas on this to some degree but they are somewhat midguided. Like your comment above–they aren’t business people. The fact that they were going to allow the debt ceiling to not be raised in the name of their principals is honourable, but the ensuing financial market catastrophe would have been far more damaging to our fiscal health than what they are trying to fix.

    I think you’re on the right track here. A Tea Party Pro League, made up of successful business leaders who aren’t party wanks and who won’t care which party gets the credit, but who are focused on solving our country’s financial mess. A small group, with money and chops to make enough noise and enough dollars to pay to get their message out there. Like the Tea Party, get a grass roots following that will demand and force our politicans do what’s fiscally right for the country, but in a financially responsible manner that will actually work without leaving scorched (financial) earth behind. Based on his comments this week, I’d suggest that Howard Schultz join YOU in this efforts.

    Let me know if you need any help fixing this. And then you can buy the Dodgers.

    Comment by kgstephen -

  69. The solution is really quite simple. It is not about getting politicians to believe in your views, etc, but really the aim needs to be to ensure that politicians actually represent the people. To achieve this, we need;
    1) strict LOW limits on corporate and personal political contributions
    2) Compulsory voting – Ensure every citizen (or most) vote, by imposing a $50 fine for not voting.

    These two requirements would ensure that no individual or corporation can buy a politician, and that every citizen’s voice is heard. By having a lower voter turn out, today politicians try to convince you to vote with fringe hot button issues, rather than raising real “boring” issues that actually matter to the country.

    Abortion gets more butts in voting booths than deficit spending and debt ceiling. I still don’t understand how it can be politically acceptable to run a deficit budget in economically good times.

    The tea party concept has attracted too many lunatics concentrating on singular issues. Politicians that represent the nation must represent all of American’s issues.

    Comment by ozzieadam -

  70. We are stuck in a permanent campaign. And unfortunately until politicians stop feeling like they are doing it for the greater good, when the greater good disagrees, we remain.

    Like a mother telling a child to take the medicine. But in this case it’s the medicine that’s making the child sick.

    Comment by hailguardian -

  71. Mark,

    The biggest issue I see with our current economic situation is that there are maybe a dozen people in the entire U.S. who truly understand what got us there and what it may take to get us out of the hole. As you say, politicians are just that, politicians. However, I don’t think they are entirely to blame. American citizens living beyond their means for the last 25+ years has led us to this junction. I think that the American public needs to be willing to change its habits for anything to change. I also think a consumption tax is something that should be considered in place of income tax but that’s an entirely different discussion. The bottom line is excess got us to where are IMO and until people start living within their means we are always going to be headed down this road …………. That includes you Uncle Sam!

    Comment by bemo5584 -

  72. Politicians aren’t in office because they are good at solving problems, they are there because they are good at getting elected. The US system allows someone to represent a district without the votes of a majority of its eligible voters, as long as they have more than anyone else. Combine this with the current media situation with the drive for advertisers, thus sensationalism, and I think politicians see their best chance to get elected by appealing to the extreme ends of the political spectrum (but not too extreme, or the disinterested majority in the middle might be moved to get off the sofa and vote against you). These politicians then are less likely to compromise, and kicking the can is a nice way to avoid angering the middle.

    Require someone to have at least 50% of his or her district’s possible votes to serve? Leave the district’s seat empty otherwise? If your district doesn’t have a rep (or state a senator, etc.) the pork (including the necessary pork) stops coming. Maybe that would get the disinterested majority in the middle more engaged. Maybe the majority vote winner can still serve with less than 50% of the votes, but can’t vote on certain issues, like budget, etc. Some countries have mandatory voting, but does that do more than get someone to mash a random button at the polling place?

    Obviously this would need a constitutional amendment. And it may be impossible to get politicians to support something that will change how they get elected. Better civics education might help to move the middle, but the current trend is less education, not more. And I think that the 1st amendment protects how the media covers politics, so I don’t think that’s an avenue to try to affect.

    Very difficult problem.

    Comment by mattnelsen -

  73. The debt crisis is easy to solve, you only need to know 6 numbers, but the politicians want it to sound complicated so they can continue blaming, politicking and fundraising. The budget drivers with this year’s spending are:
    Medicare $825B (Up 153% since 2000) Aging population
    Soc. Sec. $725B (Up 85% since 2000) Aging population
    Defense $700B (Up 130% since 2000)
    Interest on debt $215B (Flat since 2000 due to low rates)
    All other spending, departments and salaries combined $1,100B (Up 60% since 2000)
    That makes total spending almost $3.6 Trillion.

    Tax Revenue $2.2 Trillion (Up 10% since 2000, 80 year historic low as percentage of total income)
    Democrats refuse to touch Medicare and Soc. Security, Republicans refuse to address Defense and Taxes…..Thus the game continues and it is the “other party’s fault.”

    Comment by bjbanker11 -

  74. Mark,

    The following is from a column by the (late) former Orlando Sentinel columnist Charlie Reese. It was published in 1995. Though penned 16 years ago, it seems more relevant today than the prosperous go-go 1990’s.

    *545 vs. 300,000,000 People
    -By Charlie Reese
    Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then
    campaign against them.

    Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are
    against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

    Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and
    high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

    You and I don’t propose a federal budget. *The President does*.

    You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on
    appropriations. *The House of Representatives does*.

    You and I don’t write the tax code, *Congress does*.

    You and I don’t set fiscal policy, *Congress does*.

    You and I don’t control monetary policy, *the Federal Reserve Bank does*.

    One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court
    justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly,
    legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems
    that plague this country.

    I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was
    created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty
    to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central

    I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They
    have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a
    congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if
    they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the
    power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is
    the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

    Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what
    they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of

    What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount
    of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood
    up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can
    only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

    The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives *sole
    responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving
    appropriations and taxes*. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He
    is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow *House members, not the
    President, can approve any budget they want*. If the President vetoes it,
    they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

    It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545
    people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and
    irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not
    traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth
    that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must
    follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

    If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

    If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

    If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want
    them in Iraq and Afghanistan …

    If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan
    not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

    There are no insoluble government problems.

    Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire
    and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they
    can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from
    whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the
    belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,”
    “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an
    oath to do.

    Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

    They, and they alone, have the power.

    They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their

    Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees…

    We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

    Comment by Bad Bad Leroy Brown -

  75. It’s time to neuter our political class.
    As Howard Schultz suggested, withhold all campaign contributions.
    Quit working on campaigns, quit believing that only politicians can solve our problems.
    When I lived in Switzerland, most important issues were put to a referendum. Politicians had very little power, they were basically paid administrators carrying out the will of the people.
    It’s time we acknowledge that our 230+ year experiment with representative democracy has been highjacked by lobbyists, corporations, and people with enough money to buy politicians.

    Comment by merricap -

  76. Mark,

    You are terrific….In fact, why don’t we have the smartest business people put together a plan….Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Cuban, Jamie Diamond, etc…I am sure you can fill in the list. These people will be practical and bipartisan. When President Obama was elected he said he was going to consult these types of people. This way he could tap the brightest of minds.

    On another fact, I have a revolutionary medical software I would like to present to you. How do I get in touch with you to make a brief presentation?

    Thank you.

    Comment by jafhgf -

  77. We should take more control from the politicians and put it in the private sector.

    Comment by rablm3 -

  78. What is your opinion on Warren Buffett’s idea of raising the tax on the super-rich?

    Comment by spakona -

  79. The Truth is as long as the elected officials are looking out for number 1, nothing is going to change. I’m with Mr. Buffett if a group of elected officials fall below a set standard of economic performance they should lose the option to be re-elected. They didn’t perform. CUL8TER

    Comment by kbbarber2003 -

  80. The answer for everyone (Congress and the President alike) is a single term. If they do not have the opportunity for re-election, they will be forced to focus on doing something meaningful instead of worrying about politics. For those who argue that 4 years is insufficient for a President, make it six, but leave it at one term only. Same goes for Congress. While I’m sure that everyone goes into politics naively believing they are doing something good for America, it doesn’t take very long, I’m sure, for them to become career politicians, censoring their remarks for whatever audience is in front of them. One term. That’s the solution.

    Comment by michellecorson -

  81. These comments only show how difficult it is to actually nail down a cohesive plan to step by step restore the values this country was built on.

    The basic problem is our entire political process has been sold.

    Until we remove the powerful influence of money into politics real change will never occur.

    How to remove financial corruption from the process takes real freedom of speech and an electorate committed on making change.

    Is it too late for a few candidates to slip through the cracks? Maybe not – but look at the candidates today that propose bold solutions like Ron Paul – his television persona is pretty much a whacko. Since the the majority of Americans can no longer read anymore the sound bites are the needle of information they are being fed.

    The list of changes to start are extensive but are always stalled with who the leader will be.

    Beware of the Tea Party – if you follow the money you’ll see the newest and latest set of crooks spilling out this diatribe.

    Comment by regulatedmilitia -

  82. Mark,

    How do you feel about Ron Paul? He strikes me as being one of integrity. Do you think that he has a chance?


    Comment by JP -

    • he certainly is principled, but he is 100pct wrong about the gold standard. his position might have worked 40 years ago, it wont work today. the minute people think gold is a currency its value will implode . gold wouldnt replace money, barter would replace money. and as gold prices plummeted nations would start dumping thousands of TONS of gold which would wipe out golds value. 6k years of history can be as wrong

      Comment by markcuban -

  83. These politicians are all voted into office by the “average” U.S. citizen. We all listen to their speaches, watch their videos of shaking hands in the local coffee shops, visiting factories, etc. We then vote on who “we think” is the right candidate. Perception is reality….we vote on who we “perceive” to be the proper candidate. Once the winners take office, the “average” citizen has no say or control over anything that happens. I feel there should be a group of “successful” entrepreneurs and business leaders that get together and demand a “sit down” with the politicians trying to figure our financial crisis out. This high level group should include sales types, marketers, accountants, etc. These would be people that have been successful building a business, brand, etc. Kind of like a “Financial Summit” meeting. I would be very interested to see the response of such a meeting. Something needs to be done and another round of politicians is not going to get it done. We need powerful business leaders involved in developing a plan, politicians are no these people. Get a group together Mark….get to the media….organize the meeting….we can make progress.

    Comment by ctlaxman -

  84. Perhaps Scott Adamshas it right:

    “I’ve predicted for some time that the citizens of the U.S. will stage a bloodless coup, in effect, as soon as we realize that our broken government isn’t going to fix itself. The Internet gives us the option of forming a meta-government that simply tells the government-in-name what to do. We would still need politicians to press the buttons, but someone needs to tell them which buttons to press. And it looks as if that’s about to happen.”

    Comment by melnist -

  85. We need to think about changing what our Congress consists of…
    and wait for it….make it more democratic by making it larger,
    transparent, and transient.

    We have to eliminate the 30 senators from 15 states with 5% population from political influence indeed dominance.

    And we need to grandfather them out of power, so they will agree to a radical change but they get to keep their $ and privilege for a very short period.

    Let’s grandfather every current House and Senate member to 10 year terms from 2013 to 2023. keep pay /benefits / retirement etc..
    or golden parachute their exit with a pay to leave package.

    But change the Constitution to permit 1535 seats.
    Allow parliamentary slate voting for 1000 new legislators.
    Canadian/British/French whatever

    Allow 50 percent plus one vote majority voting in the new combined chamber.

    this way every representative has 200,000 constituents not 689,000.

    Change the Presidency to one 6 year term only.

    Allow presidents to be members of the 1535+++ for life, so they can remain in political life, legislatively.

    Change the supreme court to 18 to 27 justices.

    Comment by epstein -

  86. “Can we as citizens create our own committees and present them to Congress for a vote ?”

    What makes you think that our politicians aren’t accurately representing The People?

    Or, in other words, what makes you think that We The People agree on a solution?

    Don’t forget, we’re the same nation where 26%-34% of homeowners don’t know what type of mortgage they have:


    If you need further proof – just look at California where huge parts of the budget are voted by direct democracy. Surprisingly, the people voted for lower taxes (Prop 13) and higher spending.

    Maybe… just maybe… democracy doesn’t work.

    Maybe we need to go Singapore/China style and have a bunch of technocrats/engineers rule the nation.

    Comment by bluelava1 -

  87. Mark: This is a good place to start and powerful people like you can make it happen! – Starbucks Corp. Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz urged other CEOs to boycott donating to U.S. political campaigns to encourage leaders to solve the nation’s growing budget deficit.

    Comment by jestciddn -

  88. Mark,

    My business partner and I came up with a new political party a couple of weeks ago. We dubbed it the “Middle Ground” and developed a list of initial tenats that must be adhered to in order to be endorsed to represet the Middle Ground. Don’t have the list with me right now but here are a few off the top of my head. First and foremost, Middle Ground candidates may not ever sign any pledges. They are stupid and eliminate the ability to utilize critical thinking. Real life demands that we bend and are reasonable with situations as they present. Second, we value critical thinking and problem solving skills. We also believe in science and the scientific method. You may not blather about religion and muck up a scientific conversation with your personal, religious beliefs. You are welcome to them, whatever they are, but they are not to be involved in government and you may not insinuate them on others. Middle Ground candidates must be able to listen to opinions different from their own and give those consideration. Must be willing and able to compromise and understand what that means. May not accept campaign contributions of more than $200 from any one individual, business or organization. We will not be involved in personal choices. That is why they are personal. We do not care about the sexual orientation of others. That is personal. I do remember the last one was, must love dogs!
    This all came from our complete frustration with politics and politicians and our realization that probably, the majority of Americans feel the same way. Most people probably fall somewhere in the middle of all this insanity! Regardless of party affiliation, politicians are all the same. They have no clue what is going on with normal constituants or how they think and feel about issues. All anyone hears is sound bites that really are crazy. People take sides based on whatever the last sound bite they heard said. It’s absurd! And yet we continue to elect more of the same.
    I think that a Middle Ground option that kept its focus and refused to engage in the political nonsense that has become government could be progressive and productive.

    Comment by laurh -

  89. We’re F’d. Nothing is going to change. These guys don’t make $$$ (and tonz of it) by changing.

    Comment by sonnyrock5 -

  90. You can’t seriously say that politicians got us into this mess, and that they’re incapable of getting us out of it. You may think that the individuals in office now are incapable, but not politicians writ large.

    So, either you’re saying that the problem is economic, and that the answer has to be economic, or the problem is political, and the answer is political. (Buy political power for economic gain is inherently a political problem.)

    If you think it’s economic, I certainly have no idea how to “fix” things. I’m not in business. That’s more your field, Mark. But, if the problem is political? Find a candidate worth electing, that wants to serve in office. Push that person.

    Americans Elect is planning an Internet poll to decide what candidate they’ll put on the ballot in every state in the nation. Find someone there. Form a third party around them. Push that person, and hopefully being on every ballot, and getting enough attention, will get that party enough for matching funds in future elections.

    Conversely, this is prime territory for a start-up. Fund, create, and push a new website based on congressional districts. Use your star power to make it a large affair; go on all the talk shows, the AM news shows, and everything else to push the grand opening. Tell people they need to get involved again with their government. Be active in it yourself. Find famous people in every congressional district to join you, and pimp the fuck out of it. (Lawrence Lessig will likely join you in a heartbeat, for instance. Fuck, get Ted Nugent.)

    Find co-founders. Do it as a non-profit. Provide the platform, and make it incredibly easy for users to find and interact with their political representatives. Some are active on the web, some are less so. But get moderators to keep things even-keeled, and discuss the issues.

    Then find a way to measure what’s going on in any given district, and make that available to congresspeople. And let people know if their congresspeople are paying attention by showing how often they check the available accounts, and how they vote.

    Comment by jeffool -

  91. Mark,

    The only thing I can suggest you to do is take all your money and buy Yuan, Singapore Dollars, Swiss Francs etc and wait for the end so you have some money when it is time to rebuild.

    Marc Faber is in ChangMai and he is not paying US taxes nor is he contributing to the nonsense.

    As long as you contribute you slow the inevitable which is the downfall or bust cycle of the capitalist system in the US.

    You must make a decision to move away and then work against the system, so that you survive and profit….just as when you started out and were broke.

    Make a decision to get out now before you get entangled like warren buffet and tell the politicians to tax you to the point your broke….and that all is ok with the system….

    Comment by markrittmayer -

  92. As a computer scientist, it seemed natural for my work in this area to start with the axiom, “America is a complex system of systems.”

    This led to a number of conceptual breakthroughs that I captured in my book, “The Next 10 Amendments.” Not since the Bill of Rights has so bold of an update to the Constitution been proposed. (view here: http://www.blurb.com/user/store/DanFarfan ) The solution you’ll like the most, Mark, is the “Tech Branch” … the 4th branch of government. 🙂

    Your post touches on some of the frustrations many other Americans share that I can characterize in a single sentence, “The people who can be elected are the wrong people to even properly identify the problems, much less solve them.

    I can prove that point in under 2 minutes…

    For the last several months we’ve heard politicians, pundits and patriots of all stripes claim and explain that “the problem” is spending or debt or deficit or the baseline budget or “failed policies of the past” or some or all of the above and their “solution” is x, y, z, but those darn evil other people just keep hurting everyone.

    Balderdash. All of those are symptoms, not problems. They are effects. Something isn’t “the problem” simply because it itself has effects or (heaven forbid) it fits onto a bumper sticker or into sound bite. Politicians wouldn’t SUPPLY us a forever-expanding government if there was no DEMAND for it.

    Who demands? The citizens of course. Politicians won’t say that. They need citizens because citizens mean votes. They need companies because companies mean donations. Politicians are the wrong folks to “solve” “the problem” because they can’t even start by clearly identifying the problem, lest they cease being politicians. The result… insanity deja vu.

    And of course there are the well-meaning folks such as David Walker who believe and advocate the completely failed and hopeless notion that we can redefine the role of government simply through its budget. Poppycock.

    As I’ve written elsewhere recently, “Attempting to redefine the role of government by way of their budget is like trying to write the criminal code from watching prime time network television crime dramas and daytime judge shows.”

    The role of government is at the heart of America’s disease (but that’s not as simple as it seems). Fluff around with all the symptoms you want and you won’t get within a country mile of the real disease.

    In “10 Amendments” I address 10 specific systemic design flaws in America to improve some of the subsystems so that the real disease can be addressed. Solving the role of government? Well that’s for the book I’m writing now and the website I’m building now. Why build a website for it?

    A) It’s going to take all of us to pitch in to cure what ails this experiment we call the United States of America before there’s no life support powerful enough to keep the patient alive.

    B) Big companies need the solution too in order to identify and eliminate weaknesses in their complex system of systems in order to run better than their competitors. 🙂


    Comment by danphx64 -

  93. ->float a vote exchange. true first amendment rights would have us able to sell our votes not just give unlimited money to pacs. with all the votes in play then people like you could put your money efficiently toward change instead of giving it to the teevee ads for campaigns. also a good redistribution of wealth mechanism.

    ->develop algorhythm for a political klout system. altruistic volunteering for the state earns points. of course you can buy points. political debate tournaments for points. social media points.

    ->reform the senate. ever 6 years sounds good but 2 people from rhode island or north dakota on equal footing with 2 people from california or florida? enuff said.

    ->reform the house. every 2 years is too soon. one term 3 years no incumbency. the tea partiers and their lack of interest in re election showed themselves to be a potent force for change. nothing like creating a sense of urgency.

    ->break down the barriers to voting and nix the arcane rules. you should have to have an id, but vote early by mail and email seem like a no brainer.

    ->rethink presidential warpowers unless prebudgeted in a war fund. or earned by specific actions shared by congress and the president. incentivise. a la cuts for debt ceiling increase. balanced war budget amendment. nation building in a narco-global system is problematic

    ->stop the winner take all nature of the administration. sounds silly, but we need to let the bureaucrats do their jobs. in the age of technology they actually have a chance to do it right. the bush administration showed how political appointees hobble government worse than all these meetings and commissions.

    ->give laws a trial period so we can try new things out without being held hostage.

    Comment by todrford -

  94. We need a third party. A party not focused on polarizing, worn-out issues (i.e. abortion, demonizing immigrants, etc.), but focused on 3 things – creating jobs (or bringing them back to America), education (training the future generations of workers), and stabilizing social services (health care, infrastructure, etc.).

    Re: Jobs – bring the CEOs of major industries that moved jobs overseas together to ask one question – what would it take to create new American jobs and/or bring those jobs back (a competitive corp. tax structure compared to other nations, predicable regulation, trained workers?) Get the answers and get them to pledge to return jobs with changes made. Get our builders and manufacturers working again.

    Re: Education – invest, invest, invest. Year round school (most families with two working parents can’t watch kids during the day during summer as is), more after school programs focused on building job skills early on. A huge number of our schools are horrible – this has to end to be competitive in the global economy. Math, Science, English, History, Language, Art, Athletics – and cut the rest of the crap.

    Stabilizing social services – health care has to be addressed. We can no longer be a nation where getting sick can, and most likely will, bankrupt an average American. Study and start transitioning to a Canadian or English style health service. Put money into to infrastructure – we need to concentrate on making America a cleaner, more efficient and prepared nation (for disasters and for growth). A little greener wouldn’t be bad either.

    (You’re probably thinking – well, that’s nice – how the hell do you plan on implementing).

    We need a coordinated movement from the middle. Not the Right, Far Right, Left or Far Left. The middle. Heck – call it “The Middle” or “Common Cents” or something. Democrats don’t trust Republicans and vice versa – and if you aren’t independently wealthy and are willing to pander to primary voters (far left, far right) you aren’t getting to a general election. We have to create the third party (work to get it on the ballot in every district) and advance on both parties at once. The mild mannered middle – sharply focused for results.

    We need huge amount funding for an organization to get it started (maybe get CEOS above to contribute to the new party and end corp. donations to Republicans and Democrats for failing to do anything – i.e. Starbucks). We need to hire people to get this started nationwide … and now. (if you can match my modest middle class salary – I’m in).

    As I see it – this may be the only solution. We can vote out Obama for a Republican. Vote out Republicans for Tea Party members. Vote out Tea Party members for Democrats. Old boss same as the new boss – and nothing gets done. We gotta try something new – such as having government work for the people who just want to work hard and live peacefully. With the country’s frustration with everyone in Washington DC right now – we may actually have a shot to pull this off.

    What do you say Mark? Do you want to change the world (or at least the country)? Let me know if you wanna grab lunch to discuss.

    Comment by JBD -

  95. I think this may be what you’re driving at, Mark? Still pithy and on point after two and a half centuries. If we’re not there yet, we can certainly see it from here.

    – – – – –

    “…That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security…”

    Comment by brittmayo -

  96. I agree with rossh43 – a Canadian style government, or a similar system which reins in federal political contributions almost entirely. More Unions, not less. If the working man and woman have hope, then that leads to confidence, consumer sending, consumer borrowing, an upwardly mobile middle class, and peace & prosperity. What Clinton achieved. Robert Reich as Secretary of the Treasury again, too. Mandatory equal television time for all candidates. Equal. Cuban for President. Or Dictator. Either.

    Thanks for the great subject matter and discussion.

    Thanks for the great blog. I am forwarding it liberally.

    Comment by oakraidfan -

  97. Mark,
    Great post as always. Our political system is eons behind technology. In this day and age, anything can be brought to a public vote via the internet. We do it on American Idol, why can’t we do it for actual meaningful issues.
    You have made some great points, mainly that we keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I am currently reading Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art. This quote stands out to me on this issue…

    “The more important An action is to our souls evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

    It seems like exactly what our political system did with the economic crisis and debt ceiling issue.

    I couldn’t agree more with your point that the committees that oversee this should be made of of US citizens and not politicians. The only person that really has the opportunity to make something like that happen is the President. So the blame has to start with him, if he wanted to have people on the committee that were not politicians he could have made it happen.

    Change has to start from the top.

    Keep up the great posts, and keep on inspiring us all.

    Comment by Brian Pivar -

  98. Vote Warren Buffett as President. He KNOWS how to run a company. Mark can be VP.

    As to your question Mark. Yes, we do have the right and power to take our government back. Our Founding Fathers foresaw this need. That was the reasoning behind the Second Amendment. The “Militia” they speak of is US, the American People.

    “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.”
    Thomas Jefferson
    to James Madison

    Comment by ldyofpeace -

  99. I think we need to analyze the Bill Clinton presidency and understand that was the last true moderate time in this country. Since then, the cable news media has ultra polarized their stories into either neo-conservatives on one side (FOX), and ultra progressives on the other side. (MSNBC)

    A Hillary Clinton presidency would have surpassed Bill Clinton’s presidency in fiscal responsibility, but unfortunately, the higher ups in the democratic party, on wall street, and in the billionaire circles felt Barack Obama would fall in line with Wall Street much easier than Hillary Clinton would have.

    Until there is a THIRD cable news network that caters to MODERATE AMERICA, (Hillary Clinton’s stronghold), we are trapped into an “us or them” cable news paradigm. Even Standard and Poors has warned us about the political climate in this country, and it won’t change until a true moderate cable news channel emerges.

    Comment by alexlogic -

  100. Mark,

    I think that Howard Schultz is on to something here.


    Comment by toddb8 -

  101. great statement ‘politicans are what they are, politicans’. It is true politicans are destroying the united states, we the people need to select a group of American leaders that have a track record of proven innovation, job creation and charity to submit proposals to politicans about the how to fix the problems that are currently going on in the united states. We have to be sure to not select a group of people that will only care about the benefit of their company or name, but leaders that can gain the respect of the american people.

    Comment by lexadvertising -

  102. Unfortunately most constituents can do nothing.

    A select few can. It’s awesome to see Howard Schultz withholding contributions. If more big contributors get on board, it might have an impact. The economic crisis hasn’t hurt any congressmen, withholding contributions will.

    Comment by iszalinski -

  103. One big issue that to few people take into a count is that government is not a for profit business therefore some of the tactics that work for a business are not appropriate for government. Examine how different the accounting rules are for government compared to for profit business. Second area is that the system was bought and sold by special interest groups and corporate america then leveraged to the hilt and then the tab was left in the hands of the american public. If politicians were not concentrating on chasing the dollars to run a campaign then they might be able to put more effort into representing the american people. I do not think transparency works because then they really start behaving like children and performing for the cameras with the cover my ass comments that can be recorded on cspan and then made available when its time to make those campaign commercials. But then putting into the hands of the people is not any better because there are a lack of educated individuals that can think on their own and not buy into rhetoric that they truly do not understand or do not have the initiative to do research on their own. Finally the amount of hatred that is spreading through out this country I think it would be hard to work together as a country. Not sure what the answer is but what we have is broken.

    Comment by madcoolchick -

  104. We cannot get rid of DC but over time it could change…I wish a Trump like figure(but not him), could get a chance to make serious changes to Washington…maybe a Cuban or a Wynn. In this environment you are correct, politicians will not solve the problem.

    Your job creating idea was good but Washington and Unions won’t let it happen.

    Comment by johneagle -

  105. Politicians aren’t stupid, they cater to those who pay them the most. One solution: the entrepreneurial class throws their weight around more, either paying politicians who vote “for sanity” or threatening to move their businesses to other countries. By tying the threats to votes, the public dialog might change to “politicians are causing us to lose our best jobs”.

    Comment by Steven -

  106. Mark,
    The house and senate are set up to be a voice for the people. Each vote of the representative should be voted on by the populous of their constituents before their vote is cast.

    We need to modernize our government in many ways. But there is no reason that we cannot have online voting poll for each representative. Then each rep is really voicing the thoughts of their constituents.

    This way each rep will be accountable to their constituents and take a lot of their power away. They will be a figure head of their constituents as they should be. Taking their power away will take the corruption out of politics.

    Comment by sapphiresut -

  107. Very simple to solve.
    The US has been hijacked by self interest groups and corporations to the detriment of Americans.
    Do what Canada did. Eliminate the payola and then the politicans will have no choice but to start listening to the majority instead of a check book.

    Comment by rossh43 -

  108. Mark, if we want to break the DC stranglehold, let’s move Congress out of DC. They don’t need to be there anymore.


    Comment by Ike Pigott -

  109. Mark,
    I think this is the Brilliance of the Tea Party. In the last election I believe we elected a good amount of Patriots not Politicians. Some have even pledged to only serve a limited time, term limiting themselves. I believe they were the main reason we had a discussion in July and August. They did not bow to the senior congress members and held their ground. We need more like that.

    I wish we could elect a non politician like Herman Cain as President but I know that will likely not happen.

    I agree the debt deal was awful and I doubt that they will make meaningful cuts.

    The only way to change our government is to get rid of the establishment and return to the days of patriots serving their country for a limited time and then returning to life and getting back into the economy. Career politicians are out of touch.

    Comment by johneagle -

    • Its great that there are patriots in our government, but if they dont know business they cant solve our problems

      Comment by markcuban -

      • The path of least regret is not the path of least resistance, but the road less traveled. Translation – tax reciepts (thirdway.org/taxreciepts), state legislature term limits, and taking Washington out of the equation by using the less traveled option below. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes. From
        http://www.usconstitution.net/constam.html The Amendment Process

        There are essentially two ways spelled out in the Constitution for how to propose an amendment. One has never been used.

        The first method is for a bill to pass both houses of the legislature, by a two-thirds majority in each. Once the bill has passed both houses, it goes on to the states. This is the route taken by all current amendments. Because of some long outstanding amendments, such as the 27th,Congress will normally put a time limit (typically seven years) for the bill to be approved as an amendment (for example, see the 21st and 22nd).

        The second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States, and for that Convention to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions. This route has never been taken, and there is discussion in political science circles about just how such a convention would be convened, and what kind of changes it would bring about.

        Comment by stones2own -

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