One Megaword

Government has a tendency to decline in quality. Stopping this is difficult. Revolutions don't usually work, the odds are heavy on getting a new crew of criminals. Constitutions can be circumvented, ignored, or even forgotten, as the US Congress illustrates. So a good elected government drones on, churns out bad law and pork barrel, and over time the junk accumulates. A two century old democracy has a lot of stupidity codified and ever decreasing will to deal with it. How could this be remedied?

An indirect way is to limit the work product of government. Consider if the total of legislation could not exceed a million words - and moreover, words found in a ten year old dictionary just to keep them simple and to the point. If you want to write something new in, you have to cut something old out to make room. And give the courts the ability to cancel sections as being incomprehensible, so you can't get too cryptic. Hey, maybe just appoint a jury in a randomly selected jurisdiction and have them read one new law and pass judgement on whether it is clear (maybe answer a set of multiple choice questions about it). Assign each law (including laws alterred by deletions) to a different district. Make sure we can all understand the rules.

After all, nearly all of us remember less than a million words. If some issue is not important enough to rate a few sentences in the most important million words, then firstly why is congress concerning itself with such pointless detail, and secondly why should citizens need to worry about it? A million words, that is about 2,000 words per congress person or 10,000 words per senator. And still a million words each citizen might be touched by.

Oh and that includes budget items. And you can't cancel a section within 4 years except retroactively (which means if it was law anyone in conflict with it is pardoned and compensated, and if it was revenue the government gives it back with interest).

Maybe that would get a government to sit up straight and pay attention to the essentials.

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