Campaign contribution limits

Here’s an idea for  Campaign Contribution Limits.

The Supreme Court of the United States’ recent Citizens United and McCutcheon rulings beg to be translated into Constitutional Amendments. Citizens United should be reigned in by Amendment #28 “Corporations are not People.” 

And the McCutcheon ruling, what of it? Individual campaign contributions should be gated, but how? If you are politically active what might you contribute to the candidate of your choice? What about what the average U.S Citizen can earn in a day? Yeah, a day’s wage perhaps. That seems reasonable. So what is a day’s wage? What is the average American’s daily wage? Well, let’s go find out.

From this image:
it looks like the average daily income would equal:
$52,000 / 365 = $142.00
Hmm, that seems reasonable.
U.S. Constitutional Amendment #30: 
“Citizen contributions, to any single political candidate, shall be limited, per annum, to the maximum of one day’s value of the national average daily gross income as determined at the first day of the year.”
[Amendment #29 remains as “Non-sequential terms for all U.S. Congresspersons”]



Southern Pacific Gaea’s island – GaeaLand

The Keeling oscillation of ~7ppm CO2 every six months seems to indicate that there is a considerable variation of the uptake ability of the Northern Hemisphere to capture (and release) CO2. If humanity could simulate 10%-20% of this uptake using the similar mechanisms that the top half of the planet uses – but in the bottom half we could help alleviate some of the inevitable rise to 450ppm.

So the question is, how to simulate the affects of the Northern Hemisphere? How to simulate the taiga and boreal forests in the oceans below 30 degrees south? Simulate but with a mind toward sequestration. Grow huge swaths of kelp that would die and sink every May. Design buoyant mangrove forests that could float across the southern India and Pacific oceans. Imagine building huge rafts of unrecyclable Styrofoam, and plastics, of wood refuse, and whatever else could be cobbled together and floated down and anchored in the South Pacific. Then start growing floating forests there. Imagine the fishery that would spawn (ha) from such an endeavor. Imagine a human made floating forest island the size of Greenland. Gaea’s island – GaeaLand.

Inner Circle Syndrome

The inherent problem with capitalism is what I call the Inner Circle Syndrome.

Take a resource, it could be a gold mine, a wheat field, an exclusive piece of real estate, a market exchange or, in a recent bizarre SCOTUS twist, a politician, but regardless what this resource is it has a set amount of “space”, if you will, around it to allow interaction. With a geo-physical entity this space doesn’t necessarily have to be actual spacial space, it can be more like financial access space; only a certain number of people can access such a resource and therefore only those with the biggest bank accounts are generally granted this access. Let’s look at two resources that better illustrate this inner circle syndrome.

A person, any person, has only so much room around them, whether physical or emotional or sociological. We can only deal with so many people at a time. Once we’ve saturated our inner circle we just can’t take on any additional friends, associates or compatriots. Now imagine if access to this inner circle, this circle of yours or mine closest associates, was gated by money. The more you paid me the higher the probability that I would let you in and kick someone else, someone who paid me less, out of my inner circle, an odd proposition I’ll admit.

Now imagine you are a US Congressperson… now this strange application of money to control inner circle access – doesn’t sound so strange.

[And with the recent (April 2014) ruling by the Supreme Court such financial gating is even more apropos.]

With little stretch to the imagination one can easily see how a Congress member can eventually have their inner circle primarily populated by the highest bidders.

Other financially gated inner circles are those around stock market exchanges. These are, to a large extent, actual physical inner circles; there is only so much physical space around the building that hosts an exchange. And so, as the inner circle syndrome goes, this ring around an exchange is populated by those brokers, funds, and banks that can pay the highest rents. It’s these inner circle exchange participants who then benefit from the fastest access to market data. This phenomena exists; is part of the various exchanges’ and the brokers’ plans.

Capitalism supports, condones even, this eventuality, those with the most money get access to limited resources.

There is only so much space around an entity. Whether that space is actual square footage, cubic area, social or network connections, or just a fixed list of party invitations, school slot vacancy or any of hundreds of other limited access resources the rule still applies; capitalism will see that those with the greatest wealth will always gain the inner circle. This is the inherent issue with capitalism. Eventually all systems where success is measured by wealth evolve into a plutocracy.

The Inner Circle Syndrome guarantees it.