Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Personal Notes On Politics (1)

The need for a new kind of political party
  • New political and economic ideology suitable for the 21st century. Not leaving everything to the market as the rights preach nor complete central control. Competition is good but can't solve all the social problems that we face. And more importantly, leaving everything to the market has done little to reduce inequality.
  • Peer progressives [1]. Citizens and officials working collaboratively to get things done, taking advantage of advanced communication technologies. More participatory form of democracy. More like ancient Greek city governments, suddenly made possible by new technologies. Currently, citizens cast vote every few years and that's it and then everything is upto the officials.
  • Current political system has given rise to something as useless as campaign, where millions of dollars are spent without any improvements in the lives of citizens. Election campaign is a byproduct of politics; it has nothing to do with the sole goals of politics.
  • Political parties that are much more connected across the country, with national agendas. Currently, US political parties are more state centered, very much decentralized, apart from presidential elections.
  • Political parties that connect the nation together, that contain the spirit of American people. Parties that have a unified vision for the nation. When we look at a country like South Korea, we find that they have national agendas, goals they want to reach by a certain time period. US doesn't have much of a parallel, because we have preferred small and decentralized governments and leaving most to the market. We fund some of the initiatives, like the Obama brain project or the national nanotechnology initiative, but not much of national agendas.
  • By virtue of our decentralized political parties, we have enjoyed stable democracy. The parties are not centrally coordinated and hence can't initiate a country wide movement and thus topple a government.
  • Decentralized political parties also mean members of the Congress can express their own opinions or the opinions of the people they represent. In centralized political parties there is pressure on the members of the legislative division to represent their party's views and agendas.
  • Parties whose members work towards serving people and the nation. Parties that say No to wasting millions of dollars in campaigns and getting more involved in 'politics' rather than serving people and nation.
Other ideas on politics and government
  • Management information system makes businesses work better. Government information systems make governments work better.
  • Bureaucrats applying management principles.
  • Governments (say city government) as "platforms", on top of which people and companies build or offer "services". Just as the iPhone in your pocket is a "platform" on top of which app developers offer apps as "services" (or the BlackBerry if you are President Obama!).
  • Politicians work to introduce new policies. Sometimes they work sometimes they don't. Technologists introduce new technologies. Technologies solve problems. People who work on social change also aim at solving problems. Social change bring about changes in culture, in values that people hold. Inspiring people, soaring the spirits of people can bring about social change. But what happens when you combine Policy, Technology and Social change together towards a goal? That should have the highest possible impact for the better. And that's what I am going to introduce!
  • Imagine what would happen if we could introduce new health care policies and new Biomedical technologies, drugs, treatments and Social movements that encourage people to make better lifestyle choices- all at the same time and that work together as a bigger whole. Wouldn't that revolutionize US healthcare? 
  • In the past 20 or so years we have seen technologies eating middle class jobs. As an instance, because now we can buy our airways tickets from the comfort of our homes, thanks to the internet, travel agencies are going out of business. From the emergence of Robots, Google self driving car, Baxter and Watson, it seems likely that lower end jobs and jobs that require intellectual capabilities and expertise are both next in line for automation. And once technologies start eating a lot of jobs, social security net, social welfare programs are going to become more important. We are not there yet, but we can prepare ourselves for the future that is surely to arrive sooner or later. Small governments don't seem to be the future that we are heading towards.


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