I play this game with myself once in a while, pretend I can lay down any edict I choose to Make the World a Better Place. Now, I could come up with a whole bunch of edicts and I’m sure most Dopers could as well, so let’s limit things to just one. My entry is aimed at we Americans:
Everyone, between the age of 18 and 22, shall spend a year off of the continent.
I’m not meaning Peace Corp-type volunteering, although that would be nifty. The sojourn doesn’t have to be in a third world country; if you want to stay in London or Tokyo for the year go for it. The reason for the edit is so that they can learn, while still impressionable, that the way things are done at home is not the only way things can be done. Home’s ways might be best, but how do you know that until you’ve tried something else?
Starting today the USA ceases all government-sponsored activities abroad and recalls all official personnel. An 8-year insular period of total infrastructure renovation will commence. Military units will be split between border guard/internal security and small advanced civil-engineering details. Public school educators will be screened and either retained in their current positions or given the option of immediate negotiated retirement or retraining/indoctrination into The New Order. Police duties will be refocused on maintaining public order as opposed to specific law-enforcement, which duties will be assumed by internal security military personnel.
Salaries for all of the above public servants will be doubled, option of additional housing allowance or federally funded multipleunit housing will be available.
Well, I would tend to be a benevolent dictator, however, it’s a thankless job, since you can’t please everyone, and you’re bound to be assassinated. So, therefore, my first rule would be:
All photographs and likenesses of The Divine Dictator Bughunter and the Royal Family are forbidden. Any who create or possess one shall forfiet all virtual, intellectual, and material assets and be imprisoned for a duration of my choosing.
Next, greed is clearly the single largest risk for the corruption of society. Contemporary USA is a clear example if there ever was one. So,
There shall be no secrets regarding money. All finances shall be open records, available to casual inspection by anyone and everyone. Any person or legal entity found keeping secret financial records shall forfiet all virtual, intellectual, and material assets and be imprisoned for a duration of my choosing.
All money earned by citizens or legal entities thru the creation of goods, addition of value to goods, or performance of professional or vocational services shall be taxed at a graduated percentage proportional to annual income, capped at 15%.
No tax exclusions are allowed for any reasons except the whim of the Divine Dictator.
Those seeking the shelter from taxation and legal liability offered by a legal entity such as a partnership or corporation must first demonstrate a benefit to society as a condition of being granted such protection. If the entity by its actions or decisions ceases to provide a benefit to society, or causes harm that outweighs its benefit, or causes grievous harm to society, this protection shall be immediately revoked.
Legal entities created for the purposes of limitation of individuals’ tax or legal liability shall enjoy the status of second class citizens, and their rights shall at no time supercede the rights of individual citizens.
We’ll see how that works for a while, tweaking here and there. Hopefully, by the time the Divine Dictator passes on, the society will be capable of continuing under self-rule without reverting to despotism.
I know you want only one but I have four off the top of my head that will be implemented posthaste.
Marriage will now be legal between all parties of consenting age, regardless of gender identity.
The legal age for any activity relating to age (mariage, drinking, smoking, voting, driving, etc) will now be raised or lowered, depending upon its current designation, to eighteen but with stricter laws in place for that of driving, including a compulsory driver’s education course and mandatory (and sizeable) fines for vehicular crimes including, at minimum, a month’s time in jail for driving while under the influence of any mind altering substance.
Marijuana will be legalized, controlled, taxed, and otherwise treated much the same as alcohol currently is.
Prostitution will be legalized and handled as it currently is in either Nevada or Amsterdam, whichever method happens to be more ideal. Having never used the services of a prostitute, either legal or otherwise, I am not an expert on such matters and will leave it up to those that are or, at least, know more than me.
All immigrants would be accepted. AFTER they perform 12 months of public service. And I mean some seriously the stuff that no one else will do and/or is otherwise not economicaly viable. They can bring all the family members they want, but there must be 12 months of service for every person brought over. You got a wife and three kids with you? 12 months for you and another 48 months to cover the family. The wife can work it too and only minors or disabled can have their months proxied. The people would get healthcare and free if not luxurious room and board.
I shall have the power to change any part of the constitiution at any time for any reason whatsoever. If I want to dissolve congress, and replace it with 3 of my good friends who make all the laws in the country, I can do that.
I shall be given seven large castles in different parts of the country, with T1 lines for fast internet access, a pool, a game room, several always-on-call prostitutes, and a pool table. I shall be given as much money as I want without having to work for it, and I shall not have to pay any taxes.
All military forces will be at my immediate disposal. I will instruct the military to nuke things for my amusement, and develop an orbital death ray to vaporize my enemies.
The country shall be renamed the Vuliaktue Zhaidhrion Imperium.
I shall have a harem, consisting of short, nerdy asian girls.
Only one law? Simple – my foolproof plan for Middle East peace:
Evict everyone from the Israel/Palestinian territories, build a wall around it, then let Disney run it as a theme park.
Holy land, schmoley land – you want in, you buy a ticket like anyone else. And if you misbehave, you get the indignity of being bounced out of the park by Goofy and Donald Duck. Religious machismo takes a nosedive after that indignity.
(Where’d we put the displaced people? Who cares? Those are mere details, I’m an idea person)