Showing posts with label global poverty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label global poverty. Show all posts

Sunday, October 06, 2019

The Nation State In Peril

I am looking at the (1) incarceration epidemic in the US, (2) the million detained Uighurs in Xinjiang, China, and (3) Kashmir having been turned into an open-air prison by the Indian government in Delhi, and I am thinking, the nation-state, as we have known for a few hundred years now, is in need of an overhaul. What we have is not working.

We need 4-5 layers of government on the planet. The local, the state, the national, and the global. Most countries could use federalism. And sometimes local is not enough. Some small cultural units need autonomy within that local/state government.

When the Prime Minister of India meets the President of China in their annual two-day summit, do you think they just hang out? No. Their foreign ministries have been doing the homework for weeks in advance. Bureaucracies are involved. Four-Layered governance on the planet will make for more efficient bureaucracies.

The nation-state is not in a position to tackle the big challenges of the day. Not climate change, not terrorism, not global poverty.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Does The World Government Have To Await A Total Spread Of Democracy?

English: Emblem of the United Nations. Color i...
English: Emblem of the United Nations. Color is #d69d36 from the image at (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Global Poverty, World Government, Soft Racism

A representative for every country on the planet so as to cover all of the land surface on the planet, voting in New York City, hosting regular parliamentary debates, voting for leadership --- what are the problems?

Will it be one country one vote? That might not be democratic. Voting has to reflect the populations in those countries.

Bill Gates is right. The only way to truly tackle global disease is by creating a world government, and no, the UN in its current form is not it. Somebody tell the powers that be, World War II has long been over. Need to reset the pieces on the board.

You could create two chambers. The lower chamber would have one country, one representative, with each representative getting a vote that is in direct proportion to that country's population.

There would be an upper chamber. There it is one country, one vote, regardless of population. But this would be a much weaker chamber, mostly casting symbolic votes.

There would be a Security Council, one representative for each continent: Asia, Africa, North America, South and Central America, Europe, represented by the most populous country on each continent. Another five seats would be reserved for the most populous countries not thus covered.

There would be an Economic Council, representing the 10 largest economies on the planet. The World Bank and the IMF would be under this Council. The Council would report to the General Assembly.

What seems to be the problem? That many participating countries are not even democracies? Bob Dole once laughed out loud that Gaddafi's Libya seemed to be chairing the Human Rights Council. "You hear many jokes about the UN, but nothing beats the real thing!"

This is a tricky one. Does the world need to wait for a total spread of democracy to have a genuine world government? Or can it go for it now?

I'd argue the world does not need to wait for that moment, instead it can hasten that moment by creating a genuine world government, that works in total transparency, and through regular democratic voting.

How will this world government fund itself? Each member country would be required to give 1% of its GDP to this world government. That is the tax you pay to be a member.

The International Court in Hague would become the judiciary limb.

The Secretary General would be elected by the two chambers through majority vote. One country nominating a person, another seconding her/him makes you a candidate. If no candidate gets a majority in the first round, the top two vie again. Once elected, the Secretary General forms a cabinet. Each continent must be represented. One would think a 10 member cabinet would suffice.

Creating this world government would be the fastest way to create a world where there is a rules based order. Right now we have an order based on armies. Very expensive armies.

This world government would have an army, and a police. Done right countries like America suddenly will need a much smaller defense budget. It will see a huge peace dividend with which to build infrastructure. It has ageing roads and bridges. It could start paying down on its huge debt. I am sure China would appreciate.

This is not a loss of power for America. The false power of white supremacy that bemoans 3,000 dead at the World Trade Center and goes ahead and kills a million people in Iraq!

This world government through its heartthrob of democracy and transparency would be the fastest way to wipe out global poverty and disease, and that is before it even spends any of its money.

Note that in this model you are not creating constituencies and holding elections to a world parliament. Each sovereign country participates. And the UN bureaucracy is rebuilt along meritocratic lines. The quota system that allows member countries to populate the ranks has led to a bloat. No wonder Bob Dole cracked jokes.

The UN bureaucracy has to be rebuilt along meritocratic lines.

Done right, this world government takes the sting out of regional trade deals. The WTO should be a wing of this world government. This world government would be the best way to deal with climate change. With terrorism. Terrorists thrive in the huge blind spots that exist between sovereign countries. You need not dilute that sovereignty. But you do need to get rid of the blind spots. A world government does that.

What would it take? Who will tie the bell round the cat's neck?

This will also create space for a new global reserve currency. China came up with a pretty good idea early in 2009. The US shot it down. And so now the Chinese currency competes with the dollar in places like Africa.

A world government taken to its logical conclusion will create a world by as early as 2030 where people move around from country to country, like goods do today, and that does not seem to create problems. Immigration is like terrorism, it exists in the blind spots between sovereign nations. In a global world, there should only be travel, no immigration.

A world government is long overdue. There is no need to wait for a total spread of democracy before we can make it happen. Like Amartya Sen said, "A country does not become fit for democracy, a country becomes fit through democracy."

The world government idea will not become possible because there has been a total spread of democracy, but creating a world government will hasten that total spread of democracy on the planet.

Why does the world need to wait for a major Climate Change related disaster before it can whip up a world government? Why can't it be done by world leaders who will see the light? It will save America hundreds of billions of dollars. Every year. We will conquer poverty and disease.

The world government's Health Department will do work that the Gates Foundation can only dream of. Rich white guys have their limitations.

Imagine that world government putting money into R&D on Energy. We will see nuclear fusion happen. The world government's space agency will take humans beyond the solar system. Scoot over, Elon Musk.

How about having two chambers? In the lower chamber, each country's vote is according to its population. In the upper chamber, each country's vote is proportional to its GDP, the GDP calculated for PPP (purchasing power parity). Will that make America feel better? Both chambers would have equal power. I am sorry if it sounds like campaign finance gone horribly wrong. I am just trying to get America to come on board.

I think there is a way to blow up China's internet firewall. You do that (use Musk's internet satellites) and there is no way China can stay away from fundamental political reform. Free speech is the most important of all human rights. You put that into play, and all other parts of democracy follow very quickly. That and that leaves only Africa as a big chunk without democracy. Arabs will also come along. With fracking and green energy, the House of Saud does not have that kind of muscle any more. It will fall and make way for democracy. Why can't they take about 10 billion for themselves and let the country be?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Global Poverty, World Government, Soft Racism

Bill Gates came out a few weeks ago saying the only true solution for the kinds of problems his foundation struggles with is a world government. I have never heard white guy Bill Clinton say that. And he is the political one. I am going to call that white guy Bill Clinton's soft racism. Got to call him out on that one.

Instead of rich white guys running around like headless chickens trying to solve problems not even t-h-e-y can fathom, let alone solve, we should gradually move towards real solutions, lasting solutions. This is not me dissing their good work. Heck, I am the biggest fan of the Gates Foundation. I never admired Microsoft the way I admire the Gates Foundation. This is me becoming a bigger fan.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

$100 Billion Plan To Save The World

The bitcoin logo
The bitcoin logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. Scale out the Google/Facebook drone initiative to blanket the planet with internet access, effective immediately. Cost $25 billion.
  2. Design a $25 smartphone and flood the Arab countries (and subsequently rest of the world) with them. The dollar a day crowd gets the phone for free. Distribute shared solar chargers alongside. Cost $25 Billion. 
  3. Use Bitcoin technology (zero cost for money transfers) and mPaisa technology (bank account on your phone, you get money on your phone, you pay back on your phone) to radically expand microfinance globally. The goal is to not generate any profit, just to keep the fund intact. Cost: $50 Billion. Anyone with a phone with internet access can borrow upto $100 per year as long as they keep up with their monthly payments. If they miss three monthly payments in a row, they don't get to borrow any more for the following two years, after which they can choose to get back in the swing. You need a phone, and you need to send in an image of your fingerprint to a central database, and your picture perhaps. There is an app for that. A credit rating agency is instantly being set up. This program comes from the air. There is nothing between the dollar a day crowd and the internet. The interest rate on the loan is 5% per year. This is to make room for the fact that 5% of the borrowers will default. You can only get $100 per year for now. The next Warren Buffet should add another $50 billion to this. This would be the magic bullet of curing poverty. 
The best way to fight ISIS (population: 20,000) is to show to them and to the two billion Muslims and everyone else how small and irrelevant they are. They don't speak for two billion people. This political challenge is primary. The military threat, though very real, is secondary.