At the national level, there could be proportional representation for a unicameral legislature, with public financing of the 7 largest national political parties, while eliminating the US Senate and the Electoral College altogether. (In other published essays, I have proposed a new US Constitution that could make these changes in one sweep, but that idea has been largely opposed by those on the Right and the Left.)
Internationally, the world could be divided into 500 rectangular districts of equal population to create a unicameral World Congress that could be authorized to make laws and elect executive and judiciary branch officials as needed. Our neo-conservative and neo-liberal foreign-policy "experts" are very opposed to the idea of a democratic federal world government.
When CEOs devise ways to move company jobs overseas and pay workers there $.17 an hour instead of $20.00 an hour in the United States, the stockholders are quite pleased by such cleverness and entrepreneurial expertise because it causes the value of their stocks to go up. But is it fair that one person gets $20.00 an hour and another person gets $.17 an hour for the same work?
According to Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, the richest 1% of Americans own 40% of the nation's wealth. The 1%, and the corporations they represent, can get a lot of politicians (and the mainstream media) to be their advocates. They can even reward politicians and media pundits for arguing that global warming is a hoax and that air, water, and land pollution is not a severe problem. Without public financing of the top 7 national political parties, which could actually be implemented, politicians who need campaign money to get reelected end up selling their souls to the highest bidder. We have the best democracy money can buy.
When the United States, according to http://www.PolicyMic.com, http://www.policymic.com/articles/2636/compared-to-the-rest-of-the-world-americans-are-all-the-1, represents 4.5% of the world's population but nearly 30% of the world's GDP--is that fair? According to the website CommonDreams.org, https://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/04/13-4, more than 53% of your tax payment goes to the military. Should we keep starting wars and paying for them with borrowed money that increases the yearly federal deficit and the long-term national debt? According to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the U.S. spent more on defense in 2011 than did the countries with the next 13 highest defense budgets combined. http://www.pgpf.org/Chart-Archive/0053_defense-comparison.aspx. I think the corporations in the military-industrial complex are the biggest welfare recipients; they are padding their pocketbooks while making the world a more dangerous place.
Instead of arguing that every American deserves a decent job, why not argue that every citizen of the world deserves a decent job with adequate wages and benefits. I say, let's create a system in which no one on the planet makes more than three times what the lowest earning, full-time worker makes. People who refuse to work (and that number is low when jobs are available) should still be guaranteed enough food, shelter, and health insurance to survive. When there is a vast disparity of wealth between the rich and poor within a nation, or between the rich and poor nations--crime, poverty, disease, illiteracy, and ecological destruction inevitably increase, which then requires more police, a stronger military, more prisons, and increased surveillance.
If Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, or Martin Luther King were in charge of the world, considering its many social, ecological, economic, psychological, and spiritual problems, what would they legislate? Would all the terrorists' groups exist, and would so many people hate the United States government and the CIA, if we closed down all of our military bases around the world (over 1000 according to Foreign Policy in Focus http://www.fpif.org/articles/too_many_overseas_bases) and advocated the simultaneous dismantling of all nuclear weapons in the world? Some of our leaders seem to think that the United States needs to conquer the world in order to create a world safe for American transnational corporations. But even if that could be fully achieved, it could not be sustained, considering the fate of all former empires.
It seems that a lot of interpersonal conflicts between spouses or partners, family members, and co-workers stem from the fact that most people have a lot of pride and big egos to the extent that it is very hard for them to say, "I'm sorry," when they are wrong. There are effective communication skills available to resolve conflicts, but few people have learned them, and they lack the ego strength to let go of their ego defense mechanisms--such as rationalization, projection, and denial--in the necessary search for the naked truth about themselves, others, and the world.
What if world leaders could honestly examine their national histories and then apologize and ask for forgiveness for all of their nation's wrongdoings toward other nations, abused groups, and individuals?
When we admit our mistakes or wrongdoings, ask for forgiveness, receive pardon, and achieve reconciliation with a former adversary, a healing at the core of our being takes place, whether or not we believe it is the literal love of God that makes it happen.
If enough people become concerned about gross national happiness and planetary citizenship (instead of gross national product and nationalism) when they talk to their friends, family members, co-workers, and elected officials--then the spiritual and political transformation advocated in this essay can happen nationally and globally. Another subtitle I considered for this essay was "When Nations Stop Acting Like Sociopaths."
Roger Copple was a general elementary and also a middle and high school special-education teacher in Indianapolis. He retired in May 2010, turned 60 in June, and then moved to Sarasota, FL, where he is now living.Delete This Draft