Consider it like this. Let’s say your local sports team demands a new stadium. You hate sports (or that sport at least). Why should you and 60% or more of your local population be forced to pay more in sales, property, and income taxes so a few fans, some overpriced hotdog vendors, and a rich guy can benefit? Even if only 10% of the population doesn’t want their money going into a stadium, I would think it is only fair that they not be forced to pay for it if the other 90% does.
In an ideal world, in the future world, only the people who want that stadium in town would fund the construction of that stadium. If he threatens to move, that’s nice, but assuming everyone lives by this new golden standard, only the sports fans in that town would be funding the move. Either way, no one has to pay for a new stadium unless they want to and it doesn’t get built until the funds are in place.
Take my local area. They want to raise sales taxes to keep a team that has already decided to move. I don’t hate the idea of keeping the team, but I don’t want to pay for it either. I’m not a fan of the sport so it staying doesn’t benefit me. But the people in the city hall want the team around despite the fact this city has done everything possible to diminish itself. We used to be on maps and globes… well not any more. It ceded its identity away, and quite frankly city hall is very proud for nothing to show our own town. Losing this stadium is kind of the last nail in the coffin that city hall refuses to admit is nailed shut due to in no small part their behavior.
Don’t even get me started on the ugly new pier I heard they plan to build.
At tax-payer expense.
Then refuse to put a tax-payer referendum on the ballot stopping that monstrosity.
There’s a reason why I want the internet to remain tax-free. It’s because of evil and greedy people who want to take my money and use it for things I don’t care for. If they want it, they should foot the bill. If they can’t pay or get the funds, no project.
I’m telling you all, if governments were forced to crowdfund instead of being allowed to tax, crap like that, and everyone knows it’s crap, wouldn’t happen.
That is the role of crowdfunding in the future, to allow people who want certain civic improvements ad programs to be the ones who’d pay for them.
Now you might argue about us needing hospitals, fire departments, police, and schools. The children (the fashionable human shield) will be dumb, shot, set on fire, and bleed to death in the streets because they are now criminals all at the same time. Seriously, people?
Just stop it.
Here’s the thing. Most people want a hospital to be there in case they need to use it. They want a fire dept. in case a fire breaks out. They want cops to keep crooks off the streets. They want schools so kids can get an education, pay their own share as adults, and not turn into criminals. In other words, this is America and enough people still give a crap to make sure those things will get done. If they don’t, they’ll learn the hard way and they’ll be all too eager to make sure that mistake isn’t repeated.
Here’s the beauty of crowdfunding: goals and stretch goals. You can say that for every X dollars you can have so many cops or teachers. Need new squad cars or a fire engine? Crowdfund it. Need a computer lab in every high-school? Crowdfund it. Want some parks? Crowdfund them. Want to help the poor? Crowdfund assistance for the poor. This already exists in case you are really, really stupid; it is called charity. Maybe if we weren’t forced to spend millions in public funds on the self-pleasure habits of snails or if cats’ favorite color really is purple we’d actually have more money to help the needy. However with modern crowdfunding techniques we could focus like a laser on the charities and techniques of helping the poor that work the best.
Over time, people will see what’s getting funded, what needs funding, and some nice things if there’s extra cash. Also, stupid crap that the governments fund for reasons beneath anyone sane probably won’t get funded, but who cares if sharks prefer garlic or parsley on their seal meat? You think billions of dollars shouldn’t be wasted on private companies who don’t know how to stay in business? It won’t happen. You don’t think that every TSA agent should have an anal probe to detect explosives? It’s not happening. You hate political idea X but love Y? Your money will never go to X and will always go to Y. You don’t think a congress or president with a combined 8% approval rate should get raises? Good, they’ll now finally have to tighten their own belts instead of forcing you to tighten yours so they can have their own Learjet.
In crowdfunded governments, there doesn’t need to be a general fund, but if there is, you don’t have to put money into it. If you give people full control over their own taxation, their will and how they want to be represented becomes obvious. And that’s the most liberating idea there is.
One thing this idea needs is some form of accountability and some form of metrics to make sure the money people willingly gave up aren’t wasted. We could have competing ideas on how do things as well as historical stats of how much money they got, how well they did, and how much they wasted. People won’t willingly throw their money away and it’ll force people to produce results or all of a sudden, the crowd went to someone who had his act together.
Likewise if someone says I can do this project in X amount of time for Y dollars, he is legally bound to perform and there must be rewards for doing a project in less time and less money than quoted and if he fails to provide the service on time and on budget, there’d have to be legal recourse. None of this never ending projects BS that keep going over budget could be tolerated in a crowdfunded government. If that were to happen, people would lose faith in the system and crowdfunding would start to dry up until reliable people show up and get things done. While this would be fine, it’d be an iterative learning process and some mistakes will be made along the way, there’d be too much temptation to drop the system the moment the cash stopped. Instead of the government and people doing the services say, hey it’s our fault we aren’t getting any money, let’s improve ourselves, they’d want the new system revoked and the older, less free, less innovative system would return with a vengeance.
There’s one more thing this system would need, no fund shifting. Once money has been given by the donor to a project and service to be provided, those funds can only be used for that one thing. If it closes, completes under budget, or fails, then the money, or whatever is left over of it, would have to be returned to the donor based on how much he gave and how much is left over. This is a key factor: it is the trust needed for the system to work. If I give my money to the cops or the teachers, I don’t want it going into the sewers, into a ball park, or funding whale butt fungus research. If I want those things done, I’ll pay for them myself once I get my money back.
In a crowdfunded government, people voting with the wallets is just as sacred as people’s votes at the ballot box. You can’t change a person’s ballot so you can’t change what he decided to fund either. You have to deal with it.I am Winterclaw, and thus I have spoken.