‘Political-ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY’ Series,
Episode 2, Draft Script -- ‘Citizens Externality Equity’.
Episode 2: Pillar I -- ‘Citizens Externality Equity’.
[Introduction] In this, second, episode, we introduce the first pillar of ‘Generalized Equity’ and of ‘Political-ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY’, which we have named ‘Citizens Externality Equity’.
[video accompaniment: minimize face-time, using footage of polluted waterways, poisoned landscapes, e.g., “Superfund” sites; photos of hydraulic mining ruins, mine waste pools, exploded petroleum plants, pollution-sickened residents, etc.]
[Episode 2 Main Text: ‘Citizens Externality Equity’ Overview.] In brief, ‘Citizens Externality Equity’ provides a constitutional rights-based, voting-rights-based defense against the “market failures” that capitalist economists call “external costs”, or “externalities”. Such “external costs” include pollution as well as property value depreciation, rent unaffordability, traffic and parking congestion, etc., caused for residents by the activities of capital equity corporations. The new defenses we propose start in the locale of residence of each citizen, via a kind of grassroots-democratic, ‘economic suffrage’.
The ‘Citizens Externality Equity’ human right constitutes also a new, constitutional property right, a collective property right, exercised via voting. It is a right to a preventative remedy, in return for having suffered, in the past, the “external costs” imposed upon citizens by enterprises in relation to which these citizens may be neither stockholders nor customers, thus having no say in the decisions and management of those enterprises, including those that massively impact, or even destroy, their lives and the lives of their family members. By having so suffered, in accord with the principles of equitable jurisprudence, said citizens have “purchased”, in kind, and in effect, this new kind of equity stake in those polluting/other-externalities-generating enterprises.
As neither stockholders nor customers of those enterprises, these citizens are unprotected by standard “market forces”. They have no effective voice to redress their suffering of the, often deadly, coercive visitations upon them of these “external cost” damages, by those enterprises.
A way to get at what the term “externality” means is to ask just exactly what “externalities” are “external” to.
“Externalities” are external to the market relationship between the owners of enterprises that produce goods and services -- between the owners of “capital equity stock” in those enterprises as the “first parties” in this market relationship -- and the customers of these enterprises, who buy and consume those goods and services, as the “second parties” in this market relationship.
The “second parties” are at least somewhat protected, in such market relationships, from abuse by the “first parties”, by the ‘economic check and balance’ of market competition. If the “first parties” abuse the “second parties”, by foisting upon them low-quality customer service, poor quality goods and services, and/or prices that constitute profiteering, the “second parties” may have recourse to buy instead from competitors of those abusive “first parties”. Those competitors may, to win out in market competition against those abusive “first parties”, offer better prices, better quality, and/or better customer service.
But the sufferers of “externality” damages, such as pollution poisoning, etc., are “third parties” to this market relationship. They are “external” to the market relationship between the first parties and the second parties.
These “third party” citizens are unprotected, by any market competition kind of ‘economic checks and balances’, against damages such as pollution, etc., imposed upon them, coercively,
by the “first parties”.
The function of the new ‘Citizens Externality Equity’ constitutional right is to provide a new kind of ‘economic check and balance’. This new kind of “check and balance” is designed to systematically redress the failure of the market-based, competition-based kind of ‘economic check and balance’ to protect citizens from these, often life-threatening, costs to those citizens as “external”, “third parties”.
The ‘Citizens Externality Equity’ human right and property right is designed to expand the self-protection of each citizen, and their protection of their families, starting from where they live, against pollution, for example, by factories and other physical plants that threaten their families’ health and, potentially, their very lives.
But it is designed to provide this protection in a very direct and local way, and in a way that makes ruling-class bribery, to thwart that protection, exorbitant, unaffordable -- even to the bribery budgets of the richest of the rich.
This way is one which also skirts the failed capitalist method of relying upon external regulatory bureaucracies, that are regularly “captured” -- co-opted -- by the very industries that they were created to regulate and restrain. Consider, for example, the cases of the FCC, the SEC, etc.
This way also skirts the increasingly failed approach of suing the polluting enterprises in civil court, and fighting a usually losing court battle against deep-pocketed mega-corporations, and against an increasingly compromised judiciary, appointed by an executive branch increasingly “owned”, under the present system of “legalized bribery”, by the lobbyists of those same corporations, with the “advice and consent” of a Senate increasingly beholden to same.
For example, such polluters are typically able to ward off litigation through various legal maneuvers, and settle out of court, thereby never admitting to any wrong-doing, even if their wrongdoing has been overwhelmingly egregious, and never incurring judicial precedents that might inhibit similar destructive, even deadly, externalities-generating behaviors on their parts in the future.
SOME EXPECTED QUESTIONS, AND OUR RESPONSES.
We have stated, and responded to, key ‘FAQs’ we anticipate listeners and viewers will want answered. We encourage you to send your actual questions, if not covered by these FAQs, incivilities excluded.
Expected Question: With regard to ‘Citizens Externality Equity’: how would its ‘Public Boards’ be ‘unbribable’, or “unaffordable to bribe even for the bribery budgets of the richest of the rich”?
Response: There are presently approximately 32.5 million U.S. businesses, nationwide. Every enterprise that pollutes beyond the constitutional and statutory threshold would internalize a ‘Public Board of Directors’, consisting of 5 ‘Public Directors’, each a mandated, recallable, term-limited, elected representative of the residents impacted by that pollution. For the United States, there would be hundreds of thousands of such ‘Public Boards’ nationwide. Paying annual bribes of just $50,000 each to the 5 ‘Public Directors’ of each ‘Public Board’, given just one million ‘Public Boards’ nationwide, would cost the ruling class 250 billion dollars every year. There would simply be too many ‘Public Directors’ to afford to bribe, and too much turnover, due to term limits and/or to recalls of corrupted ‘Public Directors’, costing ‘re-bribery’ for every replacement ‘Public Director’ sworn-in, if that ‘Public Director’ were even willing to be bribed. The “externalities” that the ‘Public Directors’ aim to reduce, are pollution, etc., externalities, in the very places were those grass roots ‘Public Directors’, and their families, live and work. No “absentee” ‘Public Directors’ would be eligible for election.
Expected Question: How would ‘Citizens Externality Equity’ give citizens grass-roots-level control over pollution, etc., in their localities?
Response: Residents of each locality impacted by the above-threshold pollution, etc., externalities of a given enterprise, capitalist or ‘Stewardship’, would elect 5 ‘Public Directors’, forming a Public Board, to negotiate the annual ‘Externalities Budget’ of that enterprise, per the wishes of their constituents. These elected ‘Public Directors’ would all be mandated, term-limited, and recallable. If the negotiations of the ‘Public Board’ with the ‘Private Board’, or with the local “Management Committee”, of that enterprise, were to deadlock, then the negotiation would be remanded to the “nearest” ‘Tribunal for Externality Equity’ having jurisdiction over the impacted locale. The Justices of that Tribunal would be popularly elected by the residents of their entire jurisdiction, and would also be mandated, term-limited, and recallable by their electorate. The losing party in the adjudication of the deadlock would be required to pay all of the court costs of that adjudication, to ‘dis-incent’ merit-less deadlocks, and merit-less litigation.
The ‘mandation’ of elected officials means that each candidate official, upon registering to stand for election for a give office, would be required to file a statement of intent regarding the conduct of the office if elected, and the approach of that candidate to the public issues addressed by that office. This statement of intent, or mandate, would be published to the electorate before the election. These mandates of the various competing candidates are what the electorate should be voting on, voting to select. Once in office, if the elected candidate abrogated their mandate, that would be OK if OK with the majority of their electorate. If not, that abrogation would constitute grounds, perhaps together with other grounds, for a petition campaign aiming to qualify for an election to recall that officer, and to elect a candidate to replace that officer.
For more information regarding these Seldonian insights, please see --
For partially pictographical, ‘poster-ized’ visualizations of many of these Seldonian insights -- specimens of ‘dialectical art’ -- see:
Voting Member, Foundation Encyclopedia Dialectica [F.E.D.];
Elected Member, F.E.D. General Council;
Participant, F.E.D. Special Council for Public Liaison;
Officer, F.E.D. Office of Public Liaison.
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