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View Diary: Why is our society contracting? (55 comments)

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  •  Don't be discouraged. The problem and the (0+ / 0-)

    solution are both rather simple. A couple of historical events (universal suffrage, civil rights, consumer rights, FOIA) have combined to challenge the rule of our traditional elites, the people we elect to manage our natural resources, the currency and commercial relations. Because, although the Constitution refers to the people governing, government by the people wasn't really possible prior to the developments that cumulated in the nineteen sixties.
    From the perspective of legislators, at the local and national level, the death knell to their traditional power was the termination of "sovereign immunity." That actually happened with the passage of the Federal Tort Claims Act, which made it possible for U.S. residents to hold public officials accountable for negiligent behavior. But, it took a while for the change to become evident.
    At first, it was actually the families of people who were killed in plane crashes who were lied to and eventually got satisfaction from the government.
    After that, it was mostly developers deprived of their rights who were able to argue that the decision-makers had shown preferential treatment.
    I can still remember when a city attorney advised council members that if a decision seemed arbitrary and capricious, they could be held individually liable. It put a real damper on the proceedings.
    We are making progress. Government by the people was long an aspiration. Now it is becoming a reality.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 10:46:03 AM PST

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