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If I were President of the world...

Setting the world to rights, one point at a time

This is a post I put in a forum recently; the topic was "What would you do if you were President of the world?" While it was intended to be a humourous thread, the qestion started me thinking about what I would do if I were given unlimited political power of the planet. It's one thing to point out all the things one thinks are wrong with the world, but quite another to come up with solutions for all of them. So I spent some time thinking about it, and crafted the response below. It triggered quite an interesting debate, but what surprised me the most was the number of people who actually agreed with much of what I put forward, even though some of it is quite ruthless and other parts of it even communist in nature. So considering the thought I put into it and the reactions it provoked, I thought I'd repost it here, in my permanent record.

I'm going to assume I have unlimited political power here, because no congress or senate would pass what I have in mind, much less would I be popular with the rest of the ruling class. So I'll assume for this that I at least temporarily have the power of an absolute dictator. Which most of you will realise, because by the end of this post, you'll think I'm an absolute bloody commie! ;D

1: Separation of Church and State: Any person professing belief in ANY religion, shall be automatically precluded from standing for public office. Any person in public office who is then discovered to profess belief in any religion, or who converts to any religion, shall be summarily dismissed from office.

2: Politics of Fear: Total media gags shall exist on any case involving terrorism or paedophiles. Any politician using these two factors as a rationale in promoting restrictions of civil liberties shall be immediately dismissed from office. This will extend to any factor used to exploit public fears in the name of reducing civil liberties.

3: Marijuana: Marijuana will be legalised and able to be sold by licenced outlets in the manner of tobacco and alcohol licences. Production of marijuana for personal use shall be permitted up to a total of one plant, no more than 6 feet high and bearing no more than 3 pounds of consumable flower product, per person. The penalty for unauthorised or unlicenced commercial production or sale of marijuana shall be the confiscation of all assets of the offender.

4: Other drugs: Manufactured recreational drugs (e.g. heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, amphetamine) may be produced by pharmaceutical companies under regulation, and made available to the public by prescription only. However, a doctor cannot refuse to provide a recreational drug prescription unless he can demonstrate an immediate and definite threat to the life of the applicant. A doctor may limit supply to an acceptably safe level of use.

5: Smoking: All public transport shall make provision for smoking and non-smoking areas. All public entertainment venues shall likewise provide smoking and non-smoking areas. Non-smokers are not permitted to enter smoking areas, nor are smokers permitted to enter non-smoking areas. Non-smokers are not permitted to advocate elimination of smoking areas (see Section 15).

6: Prostitution: Prostitution shall be legalised, provided sex workers are licenced and subject to regular health checks. Sex workers must not solicit for custom in a public place. Premises used by sex workers are subject to regular health and safety inspections, and their operators must also be fully licenced. Premises shall be clearly marked as being for the purpose of commercial sex and the interior of the premises shall be obscured from public view.

7: Copyright: Copyright in any published work shall subsist not more than fifteen (15) years from date of initial publication. Following copyright expiry, the published work shall be placed in the public domain. Free, non-commercial distribution of copyrighted works does not constitute infringement of copyright. The unauthorised sale of, or profit from, copyrighted works does constitute infringement and is punishable by the confiscation of all assets of the offender.

8: Malware and Fraud: No person shall by any means introduce, without the user's knowledge and informed consent, any software to any computer system which is designed to facilitate identity theft, fraud, espionage, or behavioural tracking. No person shall engage in the aforementioned activities by any means. The penalty for infraction of this law shall be mandatory public execution, by hanging, of the perpetrator(s). The perpetrator's immediate family shall also be subject to the same penalty, regardless of age, if it is shown that they were aware of the perpetrator's activities prior to detection by law enforcement. (Yeah, I really, really hate these bastards!)

9: Infrastructure: All infrastructure essential to the running of civilisation will be nationalised and placed under control of the appropriate government body. This includes electricity, gas and water supply, telephony and internet services, roads, public transport, oil and petrol supply, and banking services. These services shall not be privately owned or operated. The government is mandated to use the profits from these services for the national good and to reduce or eliminate taxes.

10: Welfare: Unemployed people between the ages 18 - 65 may claim welfare benefits from the government. These benefits shall be paid in the form of tokens or vouchers for the payment of rent or mortgage, utility bills, food, clothing and household expenses. Recipients must justify these expenses (for example, a single person renting a 20-room mansion in a wealthy suburb will not be accepted). A small sum for incidental cash requirements shall be paid weekly, and shall not exceed 20 percent of the minimum award wage.

11: Landholding: No person shall own more than one residential property for the purpose of renting to a tenant. Real-estate auctions are forbidden, and real-estate prices are set by the government based on the median income of the residents in any suburb, city or town. Any person purchasing a residential property other than the one permitted for lease must take occupancy of said property within 6 months of purchase or it shall mandatorily be returned to sale. (I hate foreign land-bankers and property investors driving up real estate prices!)

12: This one will piss a lot of you off... Population Control: Each adult shall be permitted to progenitate no more than two children. Following the birth of the second child both the father and mother shall be subject to mandatory sterilisation. All children will be paternity-tested to establish the identity of the father for the purpose of tracking the number of children a man has fathered. Any woman found to be pregnant after her second child shall be subject to mandatory abortion, and any person, male or female, who fails to report for sterilisation after the second child will be sentenced to 5 years community service in addition to mandatory sterilisation.

13: Gun Ownership: All citizens without a criminal record may own any number and type of firearms, and may carry, but not display except at clear and present need, firearms in all public places. Gun training and safety shall be a required component of high school physical education. The penalty for misuse of a firearm shall be a sentence not exceeding 40 years in the gulag (see below).

14: Imprisonment: Perpetrators found guilty of serious or violent crimes shall be incarcerated in a designated gulag. This shall constitute a region of land physically separated from the rest of each nation, wherein inmates are left free to live by their own rules, if any. No guards, wardens or internal security measures shall be used, except to prevent departure of inmates from the designated gulag region. Those found guilty of lesser or petty crimes shall be fined appropriately or mandated to serve community service orders.

15: Impingement of Rights: No person shall join, form or cause to be formed, any society, organisation or lobby group whose purpose is to advocate the restrictions of civil liberties, lifestyle choices, or freedoms of thought, speech, expression, association, or assembly. (Free speech does not carry the right to advocate reduction of freedom. Non-smokers, teetotallers, anti-drug campaigners, anti-porn crusaders and the like, take note.)

16: Affirmative Action: No person shall receive any special consideration on the basis of race, culture, ethnicity, sex, or sexuality. Any service provided to persons of any such race, culture, ethnicity, sex or sexuality must equally and impartially be provided to all other people. Equal means "the same as", not "special treatment for minority groups".

17: Age of Consent: Persons under the age of 18 must obtain a parent's or legal guardian's consent in order to engage in sexual activity. Such consent may be given for any female who has undergone menarche; or any male who has experienced their first ejaculation. Minors who have not yet undergone menarche or ejaculation shall not be subjected to sexual activity, on penalty of public execution of the person thus subjecting them.

18: Wages and Salaries: Each profession shall have a prescribed minimum and maximum wage or salary. The highest possible salary or wage shall not exceed 20 times the amount of the lowest salary or wage.

19: Political Shareholding: Persons standing in public office shall not own any shares or other interests in any public or private commercial organisation. Commercial organisations and their shareholders are enjoined against making donations to any political party.

20: Corporate Profits: The net profit of any public or private commercial organisation shall not exceed 0.5% of the GDP of the nation in which it is operating in any calendar year. Any excess profit above this amount shall be submitted to the government for wealth redistribution to the people at the end of each financial year.

21: Feminism/Masculism: Any person publically advocating that one sex is deserving of better treatment than the other, or advocating misandry or misogyny, shall be tried for crimes against humanity and incarcerated for life in the gulag.

22: Political Correctness: Any person attempting to artificially culturally engineer widespread acceptance of a new moral precept or rejection of an existing moral precept shall be subject to immediate and summary public execution.

Right. With that lot in place and made irrevocable by constitution, I'll stand down and let democracy take its course for the rest! ;D

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