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.

Government cannot argue to its citizens it must do what the private sector won’t do, if government is actively keeping the private sector from doing it.

This does not limit what government can do, but to prove its actions justified, it must be BEGGING for private sector competition.  

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 then decides to clip the wings of the only solution possible:

A democratic surveillance state would also require public accountability for the proper conduct of private companies that deal and sell in private information.

Mike’s a smart guy with good intentions, but to think outside the bureaucrat  wonk box, he has to be able to point his mental guns at his friends, so here it is:

Let’s grant a $1K annual tax credit to anyone who invests in surveillance technology to be used to watch the state.


Let’s subsidize 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.

Noodle that.

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 Boston, the private citizen left his house concerned about his property, and happened to find the bad guy.  For this he lost his boat.  He wasn’t even trying. Imagine if everyone was trying.  Imagine if he didn’t fear losing his boat.

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.