Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Honest Labor Amendment

The Honest Labor Amendment would disqualify candidates like Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama because only those candidates who had performed sufficient honest labor would qualify.

Let’s first define what we are calling honest labor. Honest labor complies with honest laws, competes with other honest labor, and is voluntarily exchanged with another individual who voluntarily traded the fruits of his own honest labor.

Now let’s explore what is not honest labor.

By definition, governments spend money they either borrowed, printed out of thin air, or collected from other people by force. Governments also tend to forbid competition with their services. Governments ban the fruits of some labor, subsidize other labor, and even force us to buy some products and services. Governments even compel people to serve in their military. Therefore, any labor performed for a government is not honest labor.

The legal profession is a special case. Everyone knows it has a dishonest reputation and is intimately dependent on government, but perhaps more important is that about 90% of Congress has a law degree, and Congress has an approval rating of 11%, and our goal is to improve Congress …

Even work done by private sector doctors is not honest labor because doctors are protected from competition.

Volunteer work is also not honest labor because even those rare volunteer jobs that avoid the taint of government are not a two-way trade.

Therefore, very few people actually perform honest labor, but we don’t have to be purists to make an effective amendment. The Honest Labor Amendment merely needs to be fair, effective, and enforceable.

The Honest Labor Amendment

No one shall qualify for the Congress or for the office of the President of these United States without having first performed 10 years of labor separate from government and independent of individuals and organizations receiving government funding.


  1. That extra restriction, as any other arbitrary restriction, would make government less efficient.
    Imagine reverse situation: that software developers are allowed to work in private sector only after 10 years government service.

    1. An employer of programmers certainly has the right to require any qualification he thinks will produce a better workforce - on average, just as we, the employers of politicians, have the right to require any kind of qualification we think will produce better politicians - on average.

      It is not a given that reducing our options is a bad thing. Consider that a CEO or an investor might decide to be restricted by a rule that prevents his flaws from affecting his decisions.

      The ideal solution is an electorate that is more honest, informed, and mature, but we all know that we will not become more honest, informed, and mature in the foreseeable future. In fact, as I explain in "What is Wrong With the People", we are devolving. If we did reverse course and evolve sufficiently, then we would simply choose to repeal The Honest Labor Amendment.

      The kind of government effectiveness that would be reduced is a good thing. Government would become less effective at starting stupid wars, wasting money, increasing cronyism, and restricting freedom.

      Given the current electorate, for every good politician excluded by this restriction, 100 bad politicians would be excluded. That sounds extremely efficient.

    2. I suspect someone may think my arguments could be used in a different context to restrict other individual behavior, such as the right to keep and bear arms, so I will address that potential confusion.

      I have a right to keep and bear arms regardless of whether others grant me that right, but I do not have a right to make laws binding on others. Therefore, I do not have the right to elect a representative to make laws binding on others. Therefore, others have a right to restrict my freedom to elect a representative who would make laws binding on them - just as they have a right to restrict my freedom to kill them. In fact, the right to keep and bear arms is critical to their right to restrict me (or my representative) from killing them or making laws binding on them.

      If your goal is efficient government, then in the broadest context, the most efficient government is no government at all. The free market can provide anything the government can provide, and do it better and cheaper - with a few exceptions. The exceptions are those things which the government should not be doing anyway, such as drafting people into its military, building pyramids, or granting some men rights to the fruits of other men's labor.

  2. Assuming this post is about removing parasitic, power hungry behavior from entering politics....

    Jim, My intuition tells me that the requirement of 10 years honest labor would probably create a pool of candidates who's character and values would align with the average man. Qualities and principles that create balance and sustainability.

    I do wonder about the difficulty of getting such a law passed.

    I do wonder about the ability of money and power circumventing the law if passed.

    I do wonder about the possibilities situation where the powerful and wealthy circumvent the law by the of raising of presidential candidates. Ones who would "work at dads business for 10 years but never leave the influence of the progressive or parasitic belief structure".

    I do wonder if it is possible that a charismatic well spoken man with sound principles could lead the public in mass to start on a path and plan, towards a very well thought out plan of action(with the assistance of some not yet invented open source software) . He would also be streaming f.p.s. 24/7 so that all people could see what he is doing at all times. He would explain his upbringing, values, why he thinks the way he thinks. Etc...

    I think it is naive and ignorant to think that the current power structure could be changed within our lifetimes (Rate of change in power is a topic that can explain why its damn near impossible to predict or forcibly change power structures in the world).

    We have to work with the people in power by explicitly understanding there power. Once understood leaders would have to organize people in mass in such a way that motivate them to make "drastic" changes in their life.

    A situation would have to arise where changes people made to organize their power would be worth it in their mind. The changes would have to make their purposed life more enjoyable then their current life. Otherwise the personal cost to change their life to organize their power in line with others would not be worth it.

    I'm basically looking at the grand scheme and the most likely path to change, obeying the laws of power and tendencies of human behavior.

    What are your thoughts?