Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-10-2019, 03:55 PM
panache45's Avatar
panache45 is online now
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 43,839

How would your life be different in an ideal society?

What are your political and social ideals? Suppose they were a reality, suppose you lived in a perfect society... by your own standards. How would your actual concrete life be different than it is now?

I don't mean that you'd be rich, young and handsome. I mean, for example, how would your career be different, or your income, or your health, or your social standing?
Old 06-10-2019, 04:10 PM
Gatopescado is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: on your last raw nerve
Posts: 21,993

Last edited by Gatopescado; 06-10-2019 at 04:11 PM.
Old 06-10-2019, 04:19 PM
Buck Godot's Avatar
Buck Godot is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: MD outside DC
Posts: 5,789
I would probably have a significantly lower standard of living, since income inequality would be resolved to my detriment, and the curbing of greenhouse gas emissions would lead to an overall reduction in material goods, but on the good side my wife would have cheaper medical care, and easier access to needed medication so for me personally is probably a wash.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 06-10-2019 at 04:19 PM.
Old 06-10-2019, 04:42 PM
begbert2 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 12,592
I would have free medical care. Food and some other essentials would cost more, but with my income that wouldn't be a problem. My career itself would be unchanged, and I wouldn't expect my income itself to be materially different. Taxes would probably be somewhat higher, though not enough so to be problematic, and of course I wouldn't have medical and dental insurance costs taken out of my checks anymore. I'm a white male, so my 'social standing' would be largely unaffected - other people being mistreated less doesn't mean I'll be mistreated more.
Old 06-10-2019, 04:45 PM
neutro is offline
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Redmond, WA
Posts: 78
Driver education would be much better and people wouldn't hog the left lane. Outside the city roads would go to a "prudent" speed limit for conditions and your car.

However, your car would likely be electric because pollution would not be allowed on earth. All heavy industry would be moved to space.
Old 06-10-2019, 06:24 PM
Two Many Cats is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,719
I would be paid a living wage by Chicago standards. And as I get older, healthcare as needed, free by the government. That would include caregivers as needed, because I will have no family to depend on by that time. And none of this "you only qualify for four hours service on weekdays, and no weekends" bullshit.
Old 06-10-2019, 06:36 PM
not what you'd expect is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,787
If I am not able to return to work because of my back issues, I will have to choose between food and medical coverage within two years. Actually, I may not be able go even that long.

I'm petrified.
Old 06-10-2019, 07:28 PM
AHunter3's Avatar
AHunter3 is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: NY (Manhattan) NY USA
Posts: 20,348
a) I would be expected to work reasonably hard in a variety of different capacities, ranging from doing my turn at picking up the garbage on the garbage truck to doing meticulous grammatical copy-editing of text, with an occasional foray into writing 30-page position papers outlining the strategies and expected outcomes for Work Group X, etc. I'd be happy to do my part and would show up and work hard at whatever was asked of me. ETA: and babysitting; I'd get to hold newborns and rock them and feed them

b) I'd propose stuff that I wanted done and argue in favor of it at neighborhood (and larger) political meetings, and would be taken reasonabily seriously and some of it would indeed end up getting done as I'd suggested.

c) I would never pay for anything again nor would I get paid for anything I did.

d) I would forget what a police car or a police uniform looked like, having not seen anything remotely akin to a law enforcement officer in decades. But I'd occasionally get annoyed with my neighbors second-guessing some of my conduct and being asked to justify or modify it. I'd probably have a reputation as a peppery-tongued old fart.

e) I'd trip acid more often, and explore old urban ruins that interested me, not having to curtail my behaviors much because nothing is against the law, although yeah you have to deal with the neighbors and the community etc.

Last edited by AHunter3; 06-10-2019 at 07:29 PM.
Old 06-10-2019, 09:21 PM
Isosleepy's Avatar
Isosleepy is offline
Friend of Cecil
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,598
I would have less money/lower standard of living. I would have less guilt, and I would have zero worries on retirement. I would not have to agonize about choosing which charities to support.
Old 06-10-2019, 09:29 PM
Velocity is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 14,595
My healthcare would be cheaper, there would be less stereotyping, people would listen to me more ( :P ), taxes would be lower, and society would judge a lot less.
Old 06-11-2019, 03:18 AM
Nava is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 41,874
Without going to far as to postulate rational relatives, any of the times that my career plan got thrown off-whack by someone deciding that it was OK to screw with me on account of being a foreigner wouldn't have happened. In fact, the same asshole who did it to me the first time had already done it to someone else, so both this someone else and me would have obtained our PhDs where we did not and gone on to our intended careers as researchers (him hopefully in academia, me hopefully in industry).

Thinking about other stuff that was going on in my life at the same time, and for this I would like to walk back on my initial claim and assume that I'd be somewhat less fucked up than I was at the time, communication with The Bestest Boyfriend would have been better, to the point where at some point I would have asked him whether he wanted to get our marriage paperwork processed by a judge or a Catholic priest (I'm Catholic, TBB is not). Any kids we'd had would be in college or headed there by now.
Old 06-11-2019, 09:52 AM
ZipperJJ's Avatar
ZipperJJ is offline
Just Lovely and Delicious
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 25,332
I wouldn't have to worry about paying for health care, so I could swing a smaller paycheck, so the small business I own could put that extra money towards paying off its debt, and I wouldn't have to be so stressed out about money and work.
Old 06-11-2019, 09:59 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is online now
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 34,532
Much less stress about things like the possibility of losing my job (or my wife losing hers), or about trying something new (like starting a business), or about health care. Probably a lower standard of living. I'd get to take a train everywhere, which is my favorite way to travel (my ideal America would have a great high-speed rail network).
Old 06-11-2019, 10:37 AM
HeyHomie's Avatar
HeyHomie is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Viburnum, MO
Posts: 9,867
I wouldn't have to worry about paying for my prescription drugs, or about putting off going to the ER for being unable to breathe because my health insurance doesn't kick in until next month.

I wouldn't have to rely on my network of dealers to get my pot, but just go to the corner store and get it (see my location).*

As others have mentioned, I'd almost certainly be paying more for certain goods.

Pushing the envelope of idealism any further: if the USA had the kind of rail network that, say, Japan or Western Europe has, I could probably just hop on a train to go out of town, rather than having to rely on my car.

*Missouri has legalized medical MJ, to take effect... I don't remember when. Across the river, Illinois has legalized recreational, to take effect January 1, so guess where I'll be on January 1?!? Still a hundred-mile drive, though.
Old 06-11-2019, 11:00 AM
TriPolar is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 40,367
My first though was my taxes would be higher. But I don't think that would be true, in an ideal society we wouldn't be paying off so much debt with our taxes, or have so much debt from stupid wars. So I think my life would be pretty much the same except I might be a little frustrated from having less to complain about.
Old 06-12-2019, 03:03 AM
Dereknocue67 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 1,178
My ideal society would have zealously religious people on another continent/planet. Our society would receive regular updates on the progress of the wars they were fighting and/or the groups they were demonizing.
Old 06-12-2019, 03:09 AM
Nava is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 41,874
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
I might be a little frustrated from having less to complain about.
Ah, you're a vocational grandmother?
Evidence gathered through the use of science is easily dismissed through the use of idiocy. - Czarcasm.
Old 06-12-2019, 05:00 AM
Asuka is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 1,227
Originally Posted by Dereknocue67 View Post
My ideal society would have zealously religious people on another continent/planet. Our society would receive regular updates on the progress of the wars they were fighting and/or the groups they were demonizing.
Isn't that literally the plot of a hundred sci-fi works where all the religious zealots are banished to another planet, only for them to slowly build up their numbers and technology until they're invading and winning against the people that kicked them out in the first place?
Old 06-12-2019, 05:02 AM
MrDibble's Avatar
MrDibble is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 25,561
Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
I don't mean that you'd be rich, young and handsome. I mean, for example, how would your career be different, or your income, or your health, or your social standing?
"Career" would be a meaningless word, as would "income". My health would be great, and my social standing more or less the same as every other non-criminal person.
Old 06-17-2019, 09:28 PM
Time Like Tears is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Valdosta, GA
Posts: 596
K-12 education would be better tailored to students by their interests and abilities, rather than the current 'you take what we give you based on your ZIP code' method, and funding would be per child, not based on property taxes - eliminating my current worry that my son is absolutely stuck with garbage schools as our only choices other than homeschooling.

Government would exist as a tool OF the people, FOR the people. When citizens need help, they wouldn't be mired in endless loops of bureaucracy and Catch-22 bullshit designed to make them give up on their requests entirely. Support would be in place to allow the physically disabled to work in truly non-physically-taxing jobs, the mentally disabled to perform meaningful work that they could do (of which there is plenty) for a REAL wage, and working wouldn't automatically preclude citizens from receiving the benefit of their taxpayer funded social support programs any more. I would be able to both work AND be considered legally disabled, have medical care AND improve my circumstances. Basically, the government would pull its collective head out of its obstinate ass and realize that denying people proper support and healthcare means they'll NEVER get to go back to work.
Old 06-17-2019, 09:56 PM
Wesley Clark is online now
2018 Midterm Prediction Winner
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 22,000
Perfect society is one where technology is much more advanced than it is now. As a result we aren't stuck in these brains and bodies.

A world where if someone wanted to transfer their consciousness to a machine brain and machine body they could.

Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion
Old 06-18-2019, 01:13 AM
Sunspace is offline
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Near the GT eeehhhh...
Posts: 27,716
How old would I have been when this ideal society came about? Because if it had happened when I was in, say, kindergarten, my life would have been a lot different than if it had happened when I was in university...
Rigardu, kaj vi ekvidos.
Look, and you will begin to see.
Old 06-18-2019, 09:21 AM
Oredigger77 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Back at 5,280
Posts: 4,907
No real changes for me. I'd have more local small business to shop at and my taxes would be slightly higher. The county I live in would pave the road I live on. I'm pretty close to my ideal society.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:37 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017