Radical Surveillance of the Government
Mike Konczal gives us a great example why liberals don’t have all the proper building blocks for policy… they are unable to view a healthy distaste for government AS THE PERFECT STANCE for determining what laws to have.
You can’t argue government does what the private sector doesn’t want to or can’t do, if you are actively keeping the private sector from doing it.
This doesn’t put limits on what government can do, but forces it to BEG for private sector competition. And our standard should always be is the government BEGGING private citizens and private corporations to act.
He bats around the idea of Democratic Surveillance state, and generally it is merely a liberal’s theoretical description, to my amazement he outright wonders if it is even possible, and the runs off rails for this reason (emphasis mine):
A democratic surveillance state would also require public accountability for the proper conduct of private companies that deal and sell in private information. It’s easy for people to be cynical about not being able to control their privacy when it comes to the government when they also feel powerless against private agents as well.
Mike’s a smart guy with good intentions, and I’m routinely trying to get him to think outside the policy wonk box… so let me try again to show him the obvious:
- Let’s grant a $1K annual tax credit to anyone who invests in surveillance technology to be used to watch the state.
- Let’s require that ALL public employees live under radical surveillance. If drugs are illegal in their state, they will be drug tested, and fired. They will have their bank accounts exposed. Their consumption will be be audited, and punishments for graft or corruption severe enough that choosing to be a public employee REALLY comes with consequences that justify the OVERPAY they are currently receiving.
#2 is easy to understand, but the tax credit is actually a pro-blogger free press, personal security approach. It is the funding arm to strengthen the first and second amendments.
It is a subsidy to future drone platforms, open source data companies, and visual systems that serve consumers. And the Open Source community that will flourish within these as each million buyers = $1B in annual sales.
That’s right, if there are 20M political or technology hobbyists, we get $20B less tax revenue and $20B more in government sunshine EVERY YEAR, building layer upon layer of citizen driven protections.
This will spawn an industry and a CULTURE of government watchdogs, that put drones out to scenes of the crime, that watch street corners and neighborhoods, and the big data analytics and hosting that allows this stuff to be actionable to everyone.
In many of these terrorist acts the private citizen leaves his house and catches the bad guy.
Let the citizenry be the watchers, explicitly have a distaste for government, beg the private sector and private citizens to solve the problems, and then with a republic amped on its own power, we’ll more carefully construct government policy towards its own people.
In short, we’ll REALLY know what the private sector can’t do, and where it fails, Mike will have a better argument for government.
We want a raging technologically adept Sparta. We are Americans, not British. We DEMAND the technological equivalent fo 300M guns in the information age.
As a final deeper note to Mike, dude, don’t freak about living in public, very soon, your entire buying history will be so INEXPENSIVE that everyone has it. As a consolation prize, you’ll have everyone else’s.
Instead, freak about being on the losing side of that battle for twenty years, while you (and everyone else) consistently convince yourselves the illusion is real. That willful illusion will give your opposition and the government immense power over you.
We cannot stop the march of pervasive sensors, but we can encourage each citizen to view the state with suspicion, and have the resources to protect ourselves.