US News California’s Coastal Commission fined a homeowner $4.2 million over a failure to remove a gate and stairs for an easement project. The homeowners said they were waiting to remove the structures once the CCC was ready to break ground. However, the CCC decided...
The solution to the twin problems of government corruption and wealth inequality is the creation of a decentralized state based on distributed ledger technology (DLT), combined with a sound monetary system back by either gold or a hard-capped cryptocurrency.
Our current government was shown to be an oligarchy through a Princeton study in 2014. Since then, political donations through Super PACs have increased even more. Centralized governments always become corrupt over time, and the larger they are, the more risk there is. This happens for two reasons. First, when people have power, they become corrupted. Second, when governments centralize and increase power it permits those rich enough to use it for their own purposes. When a government is small, decentralized, and minimally controlled by humans, it is less likely to become corrupt.
Also, our current financial system of debt-based currency issued by a central bank has been shown to increase income inequality through inflation that benefits the rich and harms everyone else. The more money that is printed, the more wealth is stolen from everyone. This was made clearer recently since, according to USA Today, billionaires made over nine hundred billion dollars from the fiscal and monetary stimulus during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was all while everyone else suffered.
Wealth inequality has been made much worse since going off the gold standard. When wealthy people control a government, they tend to create systems that enrich themselves. Thus the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, and eventually, we went off the gold standard in 1971.
On the other hand, a government utilizing DLT would be much harder or even impossible to corrupt. Laws and political processes would happen through a transparent ledger with an immutable structure. The less centralized a government is, the harder it is for special interests to take it over, which has happened to every government in of history.
If money can’t be printed endlessly, those who control the system can’t enrich themselves. You also wouldn’t be able to print tons of money and pump stock markets and other assets that rich people tend to own. The value of our money would be much more stable, and people would not lose wealth to inflation.
DLT would replace voting, using a proof of stake system where people get one vote per token and each person has one token. People could be given them when they hit a certain age (preferably older than eighteen), since younger people have less wisdom; let’s say age thirty. Tokens are non-transferable and therefore have no value.
Under a one-to-one gold-backed DLT, It would also be possible to distribute small amounts of money when people stake their vote or participate in the system to encourage participation. There would be gold certificates if people want to use cash as well so that not everything is tracked. The main DLT system could also be private, but maybe there is a way to track things during criminal investigations. This would have to be very limited.
There could be a credit check system still, but it should be opt-in. A social credit system like the Chinese system would be banned in the new, more robust constitution. The goal would be to protect the rights that were guaranteed in the old Constitution but with more thorough and legal language. It would also have to specify that only people are people, not corporations.
Any citizen could propose a new law but would need a pre-determined number of people willing to sign on to start the process. Then the new law would go to a vote. New laws would be difficult to pass and require a large percentage of voters to agree to them (maybe 75%). The goal would be to not pollute the legal system with unfair or unnecessary laws. Laws that are created could also be removed over time with the same process.
Laws would be debated by constitutional lawyers, which would be selected, reviewed, and rated using the DLT system. The government would fund the lawyers as part of the system. Multiple lawyers could argue every law. This way, people would have much more information about what they are voting for and what it really means. This is a part that could become corrupted, so there would need to be systems in place to detect and eliminate corruption. The system of reviews, ratings, and dismissals should help.
It would be very difficult to change the constitution or to add new amendments, but it could be done using the same process. The threshold for these changes would be even higher. Constitutional changes would need more initial people to agree, and they would need, maybe, a 90% yes vote to pass. Constitutional lawyers would also argue for any proposed constitutional amendments.
People would vote in a series of local judges who would determine if someone broke the law. They could be rated, reviewed, and dismissed. There could also be elected state-level courts, who weigh in on laws to determine if they are constitutional. These judges would also be rated, reviewed, and could be voted out. If more than half of the states rule a new law to be unconstitutional, it would be dismissed. Alternatively, the law could go back to a vote to become a constitutional amendment but would then need a much higher percentage of the vote.
Such a system would require very few taxes because the government would be very limited in what it controls. Most of the country would be run through free-market operations. Sales tax could be collected, but there would be no other necessary taxes. The U.S. income tax was specifically created to fund the Federal Reserve’s monetary system and wouldn’t be needed in this case. Land and property should be privately owned, which means no taxes. There would also be no way to take property away from legal owners (which can happen if taxes are not paid).
Infrastructure could be run entirely through free-market operations or with partial state funding. If the government funds it, then people could propose projects and they would be voted on. Projects that pertain only to certain states would only be voted on by the people in that state and would only get state money. It would be possible to divide infrastructure funding evenly by each state’s population or even by county.
It would be very important to structure the military correctly. The Founding Fathers feared standing armies because they knew they could essentially enslave people and take their freedoms away. The military would have to be decentralized and based on a militia system.
There could be elected generals/commanders of each county and then one that controls each state. We also might need an elected, ten general counsel during wartime. Each general/commander would be voted in, rated, reviewed, and could be voted out.
Ideally, the nation would be non-interventionist and only use force to defend itself. Any defensive military action could be voted on by the people. If there are emergency military situations, the commanders and generals could vote on the DLT system. Missiles could be tied into the system and wouldn’t be able to be launched otherwise. The DLT system could be quantum encrypted and have nodes in space so that it can’t be taken down. The government could spend a certain amount each year awarded to businesses by the people to keep the military modernized.
There would be no standing military. Instead, it would be a militia that would be called up. You could have everyone train for it at some point in their lives and specialize in certain areas. Overall, it’s unlikely we’d need the military since the United States has a nuclear arsenal. It would be unlikely that anyone would attack the American homeland.
The initial laws would be designed to protect people. Everything would be legal unless it hurts someone else. The role of police would be to protect people and respond if called. They would not be searching for people to arrest and would have no incentive to do so. There would be no civil asset forfeiture.
It would be good to have a decentralized police service. No state cops, just local. Police sheriffs would be elected, would be reviewed, rated, and could be dismissed. An alternate system could be privately hired security. Either way, if the police can be personally sued and are rated, it should prevent much of the corruption.
We’d also have to protect people from companies. If a company sells toxic products or pollutes in a way that harms human health, they would be prosecuted. People could also sue them. You can have a free market system where you still protect people from businesses.
In this system, there would be far fewer criminals since the police wouldn’t be searching for people to arrest. People would decide through voting on the DLT system which prisons would get the government contracts. They could also be voted out. Private prisons could be sued, rated, and reviewed, which would help with the selection process. People in prisons would be given the choice to work in a free-market set-up. The goal of the prison system would be to reform people, not to turn them into slaves like the current system.
Since monopolies hurt people they would be illegal. By simply not having a system of patents, there would be far fewer monopolies. Also, when a government is smaller, there are less likely to be monopolies since many monopolies gain power through government connections and subsidies. People would be able to propose that a company is a monopoly, and then everyone could vote through the DLT system to determine if a company needs to be broken up.
The government shouldn’t be involved in education. When they are, they only use it to indoctrinate people with whatever ideology they want. The free market can handle education better. There would be some issues as far as the quality of education people get, but it’s better than the government telling you what to think.
A distributed ledger technology-based government would decrease corruption since the ledger could not be corrupted as people can be. Furthermore, the smaller the government is, the less damage it can do. This system would eliminate virtually every part of the government, including the president, Congress, the Senate, and every department, except anti-trust. Local governments would handle the police and protecting people. This type of government, in combination with sound money, would create the freest and most fair system possible.
Brian Terenna is a dystopian, sci-fi, dark fantasy author. He recently finished his third novel The Astral Hacker, which is part of a trilogy called “Cryptopunk Revolution.” He is an avid chess player, a vegetable gardener, and he meditates regularly.