Parrot Ballot

SuperMajority Sunday, Better Ballots, and the US Public Policy Leaderboard #49

It’s ridiculous to have to vote for the person you hate the least when it’s so easy to vote for all those you approve of and/or in order. The problem is first-past-the-post voting is almost single-handedly responsible for hyper-partisanship and negative campaigning. The solution is to upgrade our ballots to Approval, Ranked Choice, Score, or STAR.

Let’s take a look at where the Replacing Plurality Voting landed on the US Public Policy Leaderboard. Welcome to SuperMajority Sunday, when we update the (US-PPL) and the Sweet Sixteen Solutions for ‘Us People’—the Silent SuperMajority.

This week, we pulled all the best voting reform solutions into their own section.

Electoral Reform

What’s the Flap
over Voting Methods?

Plurality voting, or First Past The Post (FPTP), often distorts democratic representation by allowing candidates to win without majority support. It discourages independent candidates and third parties, leading to two-party dominance that perpetuates a cycle of polarization and political stagnation.

Approval, Ranked Choice, Score, or Star ballots means voting for all the candidates you approve of and/or in order of most to least. You can find links to all these voting methods in the Fly Higher section at the end of the article.

Shortly, we’ll also be scoring Proportional Representation. We rank solutions by individual components whenever possible.

Better Ballots is in second place on the new Electoral Reform standings, just behind Open Primaries for the top idea, and #39 on the US-PPL. Congratulations to Approval Voting, Ranked Choice Voting, and STAR Voting.

Politics 4.0
PolicyKeys Values

  1. Be open to private and/or public sector solutions.
  2. Talk about public policies, not public figures.
  3. Score any solution (but leaderboard-worthy solutions first).
  4. Show our work (be transparent).

THIS WEEK’S
US Public Policy
Leaderboard Update
(US-PPL)

Recent changes: Now that we are on Standard Time, at least for now, we have replaced Permanent Standard Time with Food as Curriculum, a tantalizing solution and a favorite of the Center-Left corner, to lower long-term healthcare costs and increase childhood well-being. The PRO-Family Act also joins the Center-Left team. The Trillion Dollar Coin to avoid a catastrophic US debt default joins the Pro-Active Government corner.

The overall theme of the Sweet Sixteen is that both political parties have no solution to our crime problem. The Republicans benefit from prison profits and weapon sales. The Democrats benefit from good-paying law enforcement and social worker jobs. Under both their leadership, the middle class has shrunk by 11% in 40 years, and we have the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world.

Here are four leading solutions for ‘us people’ from each sharp corner of the political table

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The Sweet
Sixteen

Strong
Status Quo Bias
(Free Markets &
Small Government)

#12 WELCOME THE
MIDDLE-CLASS ACT
(78% Super Nonpartisan Score)

WELCOME! Pay full-time employees a living wage with the corporate taxes the government would have otherwise destroyed. The Willing Employer Living Compensation Exemption eliminates the corporate tax for all but the most profitable companies.

It would surge demand for middle-class goods and services, significantly reduce unnecessary public assistance projects, and lower taxes because of lower crime. America is exceptional enough to build enough capacity to keep inflation in check in the long run. 

#4 SMR Nuclear Reactors
(82% Super Nonpartisan Score)

We need to scale new, smaller, modular, safer SMR nuclear power for energy independence, not rely exclusively on any energy source, protect commerce from the devastating effects of severe weather, and bring affordable, abundant, dependable energy to underserved markets.

While there is great potential for fusion, astro-electricity, and battery technology—it will take decades or even a century to realize, and SMR nuclear can be bridge energy. Update: AI takes an extraordinary amount of power, and since that genie is out of the bottle, it needs to be fed with reliable, uninterruptable electricity. Update: There was a setback; the DOE and the operator mutually terminated the Idaho SMR. However, many other competing projects are still proceeding.

#17 End Sugar Subsidies
(76% Super Nonpartisan Score)

Sugar subsidies distort free markets, cost billions, increase health problems, and ill health saps productivity from the workplace—that’s not what our tax dollars should be spent on. Sweet! This is one of the many earmarks that could be cut out of the federal budget to avert a shutdown or catastrophic debt default.

#22 Let the States
Control Their Immigration
(75% Super Nonpartisan Score)

One size doesn’t fit all for immigration; some states need to terminate immigration, some states need to accelerate immigration, and others need to pause immigration. Local TAP Legal Immigration solves most of the legal immigration problem. Immigration is probably the best way to lower inflation while keeping the economy moving.

Center Right
Status Quo Bias
(States’ Rights &
Trade Associations)

#1 The Great Penny Meltdown
(86% Super Nonpartisan Score)

It is time to stop wasting useful metals on useless coins; there is little to no reason to dig up zinc, spend two cents to make a penny, and then bury them in penny jars to gather dust. This is worse than paying people to dig holes and fill them back in. We need the zinc. It’s sapping the country’s productivity and resources. Update: Breakthroughs in zinc battery technology make this even more urgent. This is one of the many areas of bipartisan waste that could be cut out of the federal budget to avert a shutdown or catastrophic debt default.

#8 Social Security Force
(80% Super Nonpartisan Score)

The Social Security Fund should invest 25% of its reserves into US index funds. Stocks historically outperform bonds by 2x, and instead of every market recession or depression making the top decile richer, the SS Fund can buy on dips and assure a solid retirement for all our hard-working citizens. This would make the SS Fund one of the biggest whales in the stock market, displacing all but a few private firms and putting a reliable floor under the market during corrections. Forcing the social security fund to invest in America would avert it going into the red without raising taxes. This is one of the many ways to avert a shutdown or catastrophic debt default.

#23 Pathway to Residency
(75% Super Nonpartisan Score)

Americans don’t want to do the 10 million open jobs because the work is tedious, low pay, grimy, and sweaty. Immigrants are willing to do those jobs as a foothold on a better life for themselves and their descendants. We already have 11 million illegal immigrants, aka undocumented workers, in the country. It’s a waste of human capital and an international competitive disadvantage not to put them to work with a pathway to citizenship. Now, many are being paid under the table and are not paying their fair share of taxes, yet another way to avert a catastrophic debt default. Commerce has a labor shortage crisis due to low birth rates. The solution is a pen swipe away. 

#34 Quick Set
Transitional Housing
(70% Super Nonpartisan Score)

There are two kinds of homelessness: those who can’t or won’t work full-time and those who can and want to work full-time but the jobs aren’t accessible due to proximity, skills, shelter, or support services. Changing zoning laws to allow housing in, next to, or near industrial parks solves the latter problem almost immediately. Note: One or two 72-room apartment buildings per county are all that’s needed. Quick SET handles the three problems of Shelter, Employment, and Transportation for those needing a stable job and living situation.

Center Left
Change Bias
(Public/Private Partnerships
& Guilds)

#11 The Abortion SCALE Act
(78% Super Nonpartisan Score)

Now that the FDA has approved OTC Birth Control (‘us people’ won!), the Abortion SCALE Act (Structured Compassionate Abortion Law Endorsement) is on the Sweet Sixteen recap. This allows for a woman to choose until the 16th week, from the 17th to 23rd week* abortion is semi-legal with enhanced informed consent and a 72-hour hold, and illegal after week 24* when a fetus would be viable outside the womb (an unborn citizen). The only exceptions being to save the mother’s life, a fetus becomes non-viable, or in the cases of rape or incest. *Note: Recently, twins born at 21 weeks survived, so that the 23-week benchmark might be lowered to 20 weeks, and new artificial womb technology may make this more common. Note: The Pro-Family Act is a twin solution to support families.

#30 A Grand Supreme Court
(71% Super Nonpartisan Score)

Having lifetime appointed justices when the average lifespan was 35 years is quite different, with the advent of 100+ year lifespans just around the corner due to new life extension technologies. A court is supposed to be impartial, not partisan football. A much more judicious solution is eighteen-year term limits with staggered starts every two years in nonelection years, 18 to 23 Justices like a grand jury, a pre-vetted pool maintained by a nonpartisan commission, and a lottery if Congress and the President won’t do their jobs. There are supposed to be three branches of government, not two parrots stacking the legal deck.

#41 PRO-FAMILY ACT
(76% Super Nonpartisan Score)

The Pro-Family FUN Act would improve maternal health through expanded care programs and data gathering, providing financial relief via tax credits and tax-free diapers/baby items, removing marriage penalties in welfare programs, and increasing funding for adoption services.

Other ideas include creating universal preschool (Pre-K), full-day school, and year-round academic calendars. It might raise pre-tax dependent care accounts, expand childcare options through flexibility and innovation pilots, and experiment with parental leave accounts funded through individual, employer, and government contributions. All these solutions would also increase socialization, which is something that appears to be in serious decline in the US. It also might pay for itself through increased productivity, new household formations, and crime reduction.

#45 Food As Curriculum
(65% Super Nonpartisan Score

Healthcare costs are skyrocketing, and the best long-term solution is to teach healthy lifestyles in school. Agriculture and nutrition are excellent ways to teach science, technology, engineering, and math. School farms can help cut the cost of school lunch programs and be more nutritious and engaging. Local ugly produce can be channeled and used in school lunch programs. Teach a student how to eat healthily, and they will be healthy for life. Let’s put STEM in them thar stems, and stem high healthcare costs with Food as Curriculum.

Strong
Change Bias
(Pro-Active
National Government)

#44 Trillion Dollar Coin
(66% Super Nonpartisan Score)

When the world went off the gold standard, the world yawned. The dollar was stable and remains the world’s reserve currency, primarily because we spend the most on our military. Who will tell us ‘no’ if we want to mint a trillion-dollar coin?

The primary reason stopping the Fed from paying the interest on the federal debt with printed money, instead of taxing or borrowing, is the fear that the dollar would devalue on world markets.

That would help our exporters, which is what both parties claim they desperately want, demonstrated by their fighting a trade war with 200 other countries. Go figure.

The secondary reason stopping the Fed is it might cause short-term inflation, but the US has demonstrated being exceptional enough to have supply keep up with demand in the long run.

Minting trillion-dollar coins can also help pay for existential long-term projects to avert climate disasters from causing mass deaths, mass refugees, and property damage. We could also strengthen our military even more.

#7 Parking Lots of Shade
(80% Super Nonpartisan Score)

Solar canopies over sunny parking lots. It’s a no-brainer. No undeveloped land is used for energy production that could be used for other human needs like housing or growing food. It will keep cars cooler, less sun damage, less energy used to cool them, and even give some shelter from the rain. Solar installations eventually pay for themselves, so they are thrifty, too.

#19 Increase the EITC to P50L
(75% Super Nonpartisan Score) 

Many industries don’t have the margin to pay a living wage, so increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit for full-time workers to halfway (50%) between the Poverty line (P) and the Living Wage (L) would solve the problem for the working poor. America’s shrinking middle class is a national embarrassment for both political parties. Note: Stores are closing because of a spike in shoplifting, which almost certainly would go down if people made a living wage.

The two parties blame each other, but let’s face it: They have both had total control of the House, Senate, and White House over the decades, so both are to blame. A full-time working couple should crest a living wage, with no marriage penalty, while a single person could work a few hours of overtime each week to achieve a living wage.

#25 HOPE Drug Harm Reduction
(74% Super Nonpartisan Score)

Illegal drug use is way more a health issue than a criminal one. Treating drug users like criminals is cruel unless they commit crimes unrelated to trafficking or other felonies. It is also less expensive to send a drug abuser to rehab than jail. This is one of the many areas of bipartisan waste that could be cut out of the federal budget to avert a shutdown or catastrophic debt default.

Sweet Sixteen
Super Nonpartisan
Conclusion

Interestingly, The WELCOME Employer Tax Credit to pay a living wage and the P50L EITC to boost the working poor closer to a living wage, at the end of the day, have almost the same effect on raising the middle class and the budget, but here’s the weird thing—partisans on both sides of the aisle may vehemently oppose the “other” solution. Psst, they are both leaderboard-worthy solutions. The parrots are just fighting and can’t stop. 

Shockingly, on the left, either WELCOME or the P50L would essentially end wage discrimination for full-time working people up to the median income level—almost instantaneously. But the left will complain that WELCOME makes people work full-time, and corporations must pay their taxes.  

Shockingly, on the right, either WELCOME or the P50L would make commerce boom, as there is no better way to get an economy humming than a vibrant middle class. But the right will complain that the P50L has some people’s spending subsidized by the government, and that’s not fair.

Most shockingly, the US crime cost is between $680B and $3.41T yearly, probably 2x – 10x more expensive than WELCOME or the P50L. People making a living wage aren’t knocking off liquor stores or shoplifting to feed their families. Child poverty alone costs America over $1T annually, and most domestic violence is about money. One thing’s for sure: a coin flip on these two solutions would be better than political parrots squawking about high crime and a shrinking middle class for yet another decade.

NEW:
Leaderboard-Worthy
Electoral Reforms

In this new category, our editors predict these solutions would have the most significant immediate improvement in our democratic-republic in the shortest time.

First Place

#41 Truly OPEN Primaries
(67% Super Nonpartisan Score)

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that there’s two-party rule. There are more Independents than Democrats or Republicans. There should be one primary election for all candidates running for office, and all citizens can cast their ballots for the top two to five candidates regardless of party affiliation that they approve of to go onto the general election. That way, the winner will be the candidate the most people approve of instead of the candidate we all hate the least. 

Second Place

#39 BETTER Ballots
(69% SUPER NONPARTISAN SCORE)

First Past the Post (FPTP) Plurality voting all but assures hyper-partisan politics into the future. FPTP is a two-party monopoly protection device. Better Ballots utilizing Approval, Ranked Choice, Score, or STAR voting will ensure we stop having to choose the candidate we hate the least and start voting for all the candidates we approve of (and possibly rank them). It’s impossible to have liberty and justice for all while being bossed around by the few leading the two parties.

Third Place

#6 Fraud-Free Guaranteed Vote
(81% Super Nonpartisan Score)

Getting a voter ID should be a frictionless path if you choose to vote. Virtually everyone does business with their State, and that can be automatic. Then, you can access a mail-in ballot to avoid the long lines on election day. If you mail the ballot by the election day deadline, it will be counted. No more listening to political parrots squawking about voter rights vs. voter fraud. May the best candidate win.

Fourth Place

#40 The Original First Amendment
(67% SUPER NONPARTISAN SCORE)

The Original First Amendment, lost due to a clerical error or subterfuge, aimed to make the House indeed for the People, with small districts for meaningful citizen representation. Today, Congress’s approval rating plummets to 13%, reflecting dissatisfaction in a system where the U.S. lags in healthcare, education, and middle-class prosperity. Gerrymandering, closed primaries, and outdated ballots have caused the House to become dysfunctional. Supersizing the House of Representatives is now possible with online meeting technology.

Fifth Place

#10 Move veterans day to Election Day
(79% SUPER NONPARTISAN SCORE)

Metaphorically, Election Day and Veterans Day have fallen in love but are having their first squabble over when and where the wedding should be. Move Veterans Day to Election Day —or- Election Day to Veterans Day? We scored the former higher because having election day occasionally on weekends and the sabbaths—will lose more support than it gains. 

If Veterans Day was moved to Election Day, voting would remain on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November and become a national holiday—celebrations and voting during the day and mostly happy returns in the evening.

Cue the
Patriotic Music

Imagine an America not paralyzed by political squawking. A Parrotopia oasis in a desert of division. Where the sounds of the silent super-majority drown out the droning of the hyper-partisan parrots.

We’ll be freed from the cages of entrenched ideology to fly higher in the big sky of American beliefs, attitudes, values, and ethics. To boldly go where no political parrot has gone before—rating solutions with a nonpartisan score.

Anthem

Where Can We Agree? 
(Why Don’t You Want To Know?)

Methodology

Politics 1.0 is each party wanting to be a one-party system. Then, Politics 2.0 is the two-party gridlock that blocks the silent supermajority from getting what it needs. Next, Politics 3.0 is all the noise from special interest groups trying to influence us to see things their way. Finally, Politics 4.0 ranks solutions with a nonpartisan score and lets the best ideas rise up the leaderboard so people can choose.

The Four Laws of
Public Policy Formation

The First Law of Public Policy Formation is that people with short-term focus will naturally protect their wages, jobs, status, profits, and wealth.

The Second Law of Public Policy Formation is that people with a longer-term focus place bets to make life better, longer, easier, or different.

The Third Law of Public Policy Formation states that the short- and long-term clash causes noise, angst, conflict, and harm.

The Fourth Law of Public Policy Formation is that nonpartisan scoring can rank ideas.

(OPNT) One-Page
Narrative Tool

Uses the following ground truth:

There’s a time to save
and a time to spend,
a time for freedom
and a time for laws.
Where can we agree?”

This yields four legs of the political table: Abundance, Thrift, Governance, and Commerce, poetically our Political DNA, ACGT.

A Level
Playing Field

The four sides of the table are…

Abundance Governance (AG)
National Public Sector and NGOs,

Abundance Commerce (AC)
Technology and New Businesses,

Thrift Government (TG)
Local Municipalities, Guilds, and Consumers, and

Thrift Commerce (TC)
Established Supply Chains and Jobs.

Each side has a bias for change and a bias for the status quo. We scan these eight Information Walls for Key YES and NO Reasons, no cherry-picking.

Treasure
Hunt

The Political Parrots have a key reason they don’t want us to know about because it ruins their argument. We search for these, like a treasure hunt, and sort them using our EMIT format: Emotions, Money, Information, and Timespan. We listen for these key signals in the political noise.

Key Reasons can look similar, so we edit for redundancy and look for errors, omissions, and innovations.

We search for solutions with the highest hypothetical nonpartisan rating. Something that would solve 80% of the problem with the simplest 20% solution. The Pareto principle, hence a Parrotopia.

Definition of
Political Parrots

Are you making up your own mind or marching to the beat of a political parrot?

  1. Political Parrots get paid to squawk the same thing over and over again.
  2. They don’t listen if you’re not paying.
  3. They don’t fully understand what they’re saying.
  4. They are charming and sport every color.

We look to filter out the GRIFTERS, Gaslighting, Red-herrings, Idolizing, False-dilemmas, Tunnel-vision, Exclusions, Reductions, and Straw-man arguments. 

You can make up your mind. Where can we agree?

Birds of a Feather
AI

Once the Key Reasons are set, we use the Birds of a Feather AI for loose ties to beliefs, attitudes, values, and ethics. Over 16 million combinations are possible for the 128 roles. The game board starts balanced at zero, with an equal bias for change and the status quo.

We then prescore the puzzle using 56 arch-type roles that most embody each of the 56 loose ties. This yields a general bias for change or status quo and reveals ties.

The editors break the ties and review all 128 roles for specific reasons to overrule the general AI where necessary. These are noted in the Tuesday Tiebreaker article.

Then, we finish the puzzle by applying the most fitting YES or NO reason per role on all four sides of the Political Table: eight Information Walls, sixteen Subcultural Windows, sixteen Bias Columns, and sixteen Influence Rows.

SAT9
AI

When the scoring is done, a second AI looks for inconsistencies using the SAT9 AI filter (Situational Assessment Tool). This is 256 ‘supreme courts’ where each role is the chief justice in a presumed 5-4 and 4-5 bench. This generates a ± error margin.

The engine for the AI is our One-Page Narrative Tool (OPNT), which we gamified for role-playing at policykeys.com. We call our AI, POLI for Political Omnibus Leadership Initiative. Soon, you can use it as your Political Digital Twin and generate a personal public policy advisor report on any PolicyKeys puzzle.

You can read more about PolicyKeys™ in the upcoming book, Politics 4.0: How Gamification, AI, and National Idea Leaderboards Can Help You Depolarize the World. The Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has recognized PolicyKeys™ for digital engagement.

Collegiate
PolicyKeys

We seek to partner with a lead university to host a national collegiate PolicyKeys association for political depolarization, innovation in public policy, idea competitions, team competitions, AI upgrades, polling, data science, and journalism. Just respond on social media, @policykeys on Mastodon.

Weekly
Puzzle

new PolicyKeys™
Where Can We Agree?® puzzle 
drops every 
Monday at 7 a.m. Eastern at PolicyKeys.com.

PolicyKeys™ Where Can We Agree? is a real-life role-playing game. Each week, there are sixteen sets of eight ‘rival’ roles. Sit awhile in each of their eight chairs and predict whether a majority of people in those roles would say Yes or No to the week’s question.

The best ideas land on the US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL) if a majority of each of the four sides of the political table agree.

YOU CAN PLAY THIS WEEK’S PUZZLE AT POLICYKEYS.COM.

Fly
higher

We disagree on abortion. Here’s a pro-family agenda both parties can support.
Washington Post Opinion

FBI Data, City Crime, and Income Inequality
Zippia

Congress’s Approval Rating
Gallup

Genocide of Indigenous People
Holocaust Museum Houston

Automatic Voter Registration
NCSL

Agricultural Conservation Programs and Climate Change
American Enterprise Institute

SMR Nuclear
https://www.energy.gov/ne/advanced-small-modular-reactors-smrs

Top Five Reasons to End Sugar Subsidies
https://www.atr.org/top-five-reasons-end-us-sugar-subsidies/

Anti-Immigrants
https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/anti-immigrant

Should the US Retire the Penny?
https://www.wsj.com/articles/should-the-u-s-retire-the-penny-and-nickel-1521425100

Let’s Drop Pennies, and Nickels too while we’re at it
https://www.brookings.edu/articles/lets-drop-pennies-and-nickels-too-while-were-at-it/

Future Financial Status of the Social Security Fund
https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v70n3/v70n3p111.html

Immigration Resources
https://immigrationforum.org/resources/?type=fact-sheet

National Alliance to End Homelessness
https://endhomelessness.org/ending-homelessness/solutions/rapid-re-housing/

FDA Backs First OTC Birth Control Pill
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/05/10/1175255611/advisers-to-the-fda-back-over-the-counter-birth-control-pill

Eighteen-Year Terms for SCOTUS
https://www.amacad.org/ourcommonpurpose/recommendation-1-8

It’s Time to Let All Voters Vote
https://www.openprimaries.org

Permanent Standard Time
https://aasm.org/aasm-experts-advocate-for-permanent-standard-time-ahead-of-fall-back/

Move Election Day to Veteran’s Day
https://www.amacad.org/ourcommonpurpose/recommendation-2-2

How the Middle Class Has Shrunk
https://www.visualcapitalist.com/how-americas-middle-class-has-shrunk-since-2000/

The Middle Class Has Shrunk by 11% in 40 Years
https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2022/04/20/how-the-american-middle-class-has-changed-in-the-past-five-decades/

Aggregate Cost of Crime
from the University of Chicago

Government Accountability Office on Cost of Crime
https://www.gao.gov/blog/2017/11/29/how-much-does-crime-cost

National Institute on Drug Harm
https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/harm-reduction

Beaming Down Energy to Earth
CalTech

Deep Fakes and American Law
Davis Political Review

Determining Fake Statements Made By Public Figures
IEEE

Circular Economy
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Supreme Court Approval Drops to All-Time Low
The Hill

18-Year Term Limits for Supreme Court Justices
American Academy of Arts & Sciences / Our Common Purpose

Childhood Poverty in the US
Social Work Research

Employed & Homeless
NAEH

Quick Guide: Economic and Domestic Abuse
NCADV Blog

Only 13% Think Abortion Should Be Illegal &
Only 34% Think It Should Be Totally Legal
Gallup

Healthy Diet Could Save $50Billion in Healthcare Costs
Science Daily

The Validity of the Public Debt Shall Not Be Questioned
Constitution.congress.gov

A trillion-dollar platinum coin could be minted at the last minute
Axios

AI and Energy Use
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-ai-boom-could-use-a-shocking-amount-of-electricity/

Return the House of Representatives to the People
Thirty-Thousand.org

Why Open Primaries
OpenPrimaries.org

Where can we Agree?
Finding out takes guts from all four sides of the political table
[::]


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