The DIVISION of POWERS
Power will be split between the Federal and State governments, and between their legislatures and their executive departments. Budgetary outlays will also be split to group similar services together. This simple act of common sense is not practiced by any of our current layers of government, nor reflected in our budgets which inefficiently divide myriad similar overlapping services among various departments costing far more money, time, and confusion than is necessary.
After organizing it all, I first put big nationally oriented programs under the power of the Federal government, and the locally oriented programs under the power of the States. Then I organized according to actualities and allowed logic to dictate what went with what putting all of one type of activity and related activities together. Power and communications lines should run along freeways especially with decentralized renewable power generation and high speed solar highway infrastructure. Energy production will be local to halve our energy needs since half is now lost in transmission from distant power plants to the end user. Since local, I put it under the States’ control. I then logically gave the States infrastructure responsibility, and then building of all government structures, and then building and codes. But permits are handled in each Citizen’s single account for checks and balances by the Federal government who manages information, forms, licensing and all of that type of thing including education and logically also training. So the Fed gets software control and the States get hardware control. I followed our foundational checks and balances model throughout and enhance it whenever possible adding transparencies, accountabilities, Citizen oversight and systemic crisscross checks and balances throughout.
It was necessary to consider both discretionary and non-discretionary budgets, and government revenue reliant on numerous taxes and tax-like fees, as well as who takes in how much in taxes, and from where, and where that money goes, and who controls its expenditure? Anchoring the tax and revenue side of this intricate puzzle will be the foolproof single transaction tax which will replace all other taxes and allow direct funding of the cohesive, integrated and coordinated system according to the budget percentages set by our Citizens every twelve years. All that later under The Economy.
The Judiciary serves our Citizens fairly and quickly in free online Review Courts with no need for an attorney, no advantage to powerful companies or expensive attorneys, 3 expert advocate judges taking all sides and providing nonbinding opinions and settlement suggestions, all due process rights, and Judgement and Appeals Courts. Supreme Court Justices are elected rather than appointed. Executive appointees must be filled on a much faster timeline than today. All that later under The Judiciary.
Before taking a self-centered, knee-jerk position without first considering positions other than your own, consider the old adage: “When you change the way you look at things; the things you look at change.” Be part of the solution by seeing things an as integrated whole and yourself as another puzzle piece looking for a home, and taking clues from puzzle pieces that are in the right spot. The distrustful folks who question my motives after I put most of my lifetime and most of my money into this endeavor need to realize that some people are givers and problems solvers and aren’t about the money. The armchair quarterbacks who second guess this Constitution need to realize that this is considerably more complicated than football and it sure as heck ain’t fantasy. We’re dealing with people’s lives here. Self-centered analysis is why we have the chaos, inefficiency and unhappy Citizenry we have now. Though you will get what you want most, you may also have to compromise on some things, something our politicians have been unable to do.
I’ve taken every pro I’ve ever met to school. First I let them do their thing since they’re supposed to be the pros, then I realize they are not the pros they said they were, and will not come up with what I want. So I take over the process and dictate play and drive them until it’s done properly and within high standards. So much effort is made avoiding responsibility, discipline, respect and high standards when they’re actually easier to fulfill than to circumvent. Humans are by nature creative. Yet every pro was unable to see it, hear it or get it at first and even in the middle where the going always gets tough. But in the end, after all the explaining and the many attempts, all paid for by me to teach them, they got it and liked it and learned the higher standard. Of course now that they know a higher standard the challenge is to maintain or better it. Alone most will fail. It takes more than a single example, or a single teacher. It takes a society dedicated to setting good standards, achieving them and then surpassing them with successive generations.
We’re all teachers and students and must give back to our society if any of us are to survive what’s quickly headed our way. Hence, my P-12 schools, focusing on each child’s gifts and aptitudes, developing them for success in commerce, and relationship class which will allow them to succeed emotionally. Pursuing our gifts makes us happy and allows us to fulfill one kind of destiny, while succeeding in our relationships makes us happy and allows us to fulfill another kind of destiny. If you’re not growing, you’re not living. If you’re not living, you’re not happy. The Valentine Constitution gives our Citizens the liberty to live life and pursue their particular happiness. That’s what Jefferson was promising when he wrote of “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
PART. I. GOVERNANCE
Section. 1. All responsibilities are divided between the Federal and State governments, and city and county governments are eliminated:
The Valentine Constitution excludes City and County government and instead reduces government to two manageable, accountable, non-redundant halves rather than four chaotic, non-transparent, overlapping layers none of whom take responsibility for any problem. All legislative duties and responsibilities are divided between the Federal and State governments. City and County governments will be abolished to reduce the size of government and the number of politicians and departments that our Citizens must keep track of; to eliminate inefficient overlap in governments and departments, and instead allow our Citizens to quickly and easily find and hold accountable the responsible department and government employee, and to more easily track budget expenditures made by our government and departments.
… all laws will, unless impractical, be uniform throughout the nation
The Valentine Constitution ensures that all State and Federal laws be uniform so that Citizens have a clear understanding of the rules no matter where they happen to move to, and so that fair standards will apply across the country. Since certain powers are given to the States, those powers must be uniformly applied to our Citizens who have far better things to do than keep up with fifty different sets of laws. The general laws will be identical when and where practical. Speed limits, penal codes, building codes, negligence, noise, and the vast majority of laws will be identical with minor variances to account for common sense realities.
The Valentine Constitution establishes the rule of uniformity as a standard in many of its provisions to enable Citizens to more easily understand their own government, to feel more invited, to be more likely to participate in their democracy, and to be able to solve problems without getting caught up in fifty different varieties of compliance. Follow common sense and luck will follow you. Uniformity of law provides ease of use, decreases stress and allows for energy to be spent on the content of the law rather than the games of politics. A principled environment attracts principled people.
… the powers not delegated to Costa Rica by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people;
Section. 2. Our Federal and State governments are prohibited from abridging the rights, privileges or immunities of our Citizens;
Section. 3. Every State is guaranteed a republican form of government:
Republican: of a form of government or Constitution belonging to, or characteristic of a republic.
Republic: a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than an ancestral or divine monarch.
… full faith and credit will be given in each State to every other State:
Each of our States needs to do business, have lines of credit, and pay employees.
Section. 4. Any department of government may demand the enforcement of any provision of this Constitution which is not being adequately enforced by the responsible department; and will have the right, if enforcement is not then forthcoming, to enforce the provision themselves and to be compensated therefor by the negligent branch:
The provision empowers departments or department manager appointees or office holders in State or Federal government to demand that a law not being timely executed by another State or Federal department be enforced by the responsible department or unit, and, if ignored, to step in and do the job, and bill the negligent department for the execution. It is a strong incentive for each department and official to do their jobs to the full extent. Again, the primary doctrines espoused in The Valentine Constitution would require a few warnings in most cases enough to get the job done, but an elected official or appointee, loyal to certain camps or issues or re-election, will no longer be allowed to avoid enforcing laws. The Citizens have the right to have their Constitution and their laws enforced.
Section. 5. Whensoever this constitution fails to provide guidance then the principles of fairness, common sense and right over wrong shall be applied:
What do we do when this constitution fails to cover an issue or problem? Most Constitutions, like most agreements, and most deals, fail to consider everything. So what happens when they don’t? In our case they will be answered by the application of the very same principles that created this constitution; fairness, common sense and right over wrong. See below the discussion of the conscience and the philosophy I derived from it.
Any problem can be solved by applying these principles while asking questions and collecting information and creating solutions as each bit of information comes in. Start solving early in the process and keep solving throughout. Like musicians in the studio recording an album, keep writing and creating and recording until you,. Novelists often observe that writing is rewriting. New information better and more completely defines the problem as calculations and ideas more accurately define the solution.
Adding people to the solutions requires fairness. While common sense keeps a lid on costly, extravagant perfection, and right over wrong keeps out greed and corruption. Equality, for example, was never meant to make everyone equal, just to apply rights equally to all. It was not intended to give everyone the same or even equal opportunities, but rather to provide them with equal shares of government resources, like schooling. The former are communism; the latter are democratic capitalism. It would not be fair to take what someone’s father worked hard to leave them and give it to someone else, just as it would be unfair to send one Citizen to a poorly funded school and another Citizen to a richly funded one. That would not be right. Common sense tells us so. These three considerations gives us checkmate nearly all of the time for they are born of the stardust we are made of and true to earth.
PART. II. Our DEPARTMENTS
Section. 1. The Directors of our Federal Departments will be appointed by our President with the majority consent of The Senators; the Directors of our State Departments will be appointed by each Governor with the majority consent of The Legislators; The Director of our Department of Elections will be appointed by our Justices of the Supreme Court and report to our Citizens;
Section. 2. Each branch of the Federal and State government will be responsible for reorganizing the Departments, Agencies, Bureaus and the like under its administration in accordance with the provisions set forth herein:
There are currently up to 20,000 departments or agencies. It would be inappropriate to include and define all governmental departments in a Constitution since their success will require constant revisions as they constantly adapt to an ever changing world, and since Constitutions are difficult to change, prescriptive by nature and general in scope.
The Departments are the heart of government. Their staffers are its life blood. Our bureaucracy currently consists of people working under the duress of irrationality in a poorly functioning, politically infused government that stifles the pride that comes with success. Missions are hopeless and a befuddled chaos prevails. Leaders either lack vision or are not creative, are handcuffed by a law or a boss, are horrible at their jobs, or do not care.
The Valentine Constitution mandates that our departments aid, advise and educate our Citizens and use simple, user friendly programs. The government workers we Citizens come into contact with would prefer to be helpful and offer guidance rather than feed us pathetic excuses and redirect us into oblivion. Government workers need a clear job to do in a government organized to solve problems and provide Citizen support. Government workers must be free to improve their job techniques, their office, their agency and their departments, and focus on execution and mission success.
Good workers and leaders working in their gift areas are most productive, happiest and most helpful to Citizens. While being reorganized by The Valentine Constitution, a flexible employment system allowing workers to find a home in an efficient, organized, focused and coordinated government with no overlap of responsibilities and a culture of constant improvement will go a long way towards righting the ship. Firing and rehiring will go on until each worker finds their niche. People practicing their gifts are happier and far more productive than those stuck in jobs they hate. And there are lots of hateful jobs in a wasteful, disorganized government with no focus or means for improvement.
… for avoiding any overlap of responsibilities:
The Valentine Constitution mandates that our departments avoid duplicating responsibilities. One job, one person is traceable, so we can correct the behavior that led to the mistake or reward the behavior that led to the success, and learn from both, share the information with others, and succeed as a society.
… for providing our Citizens with the names and contact information of each employee or contractor responsible for each job:
The Valentine Constitution will provide to our Citizens the names and contact information of the person responsible for any given problem. Why would we wish to hide anything? Instead we face the facts of a situation so we can deal with solving the problem at hand, fire who needs to be fired and help them land a job better suited to their aptitudes where they will be happier and more productive, or reward who deserve to be promoted and teach their methods and innovations to other workers.
… a simple, easy to understand budget; an explanation of how, where and why all tax dollars were and will be spent and who spent them:
The Valentine Constitution mandates that the departments disclose the path of our tax revenues in simple terms in non-accounting layman’s math which the average Citizen can understand, as well as in standard accounting methods. Where the money went, where it is going in the future, why it was spent, when and who received it, who specifically spent it, how they spent it, all of it must be available to our Citizens, whose tax dollars are being spent. And what added attractions does this have? One, the department and its employees will know they are being monitored for every penny spent and will be mindful of every expenditure. Two, they then will have to be well organized to keep track of it all. Three, organization will improve their knowledge of both specific projects and the big picture. Four, we get free watchdogs. Citizens, uncompensated for their diligence, will follow the money and catch the mistakes, which is why we need simple math, to encourage watchdogs. Five, we’ll catch more than just money mistakes, because where there are money errors, there are building or other physical and digital errors, so we’ll catch the manifestations of the money problem also. Cheap paint does not last. Poor foundations will be discovered if they could not have poured them correctly in the time allotted, or with the materials purchased. Problems will be caught, and corrections and improvements will be made, and finally we will have good standards.
… an efficient way to report problems and issues; a user friendly way to rate the efficacy of all work done by any recipient of tax dollars; and a streamlined process for correcting problems once discovered:
The Valentine Constitution mandates that our departments allow our Citizens easy avenues and programs and apps for rating work and for reporting problems and mistakes, and a process which ensures that the problems reported be fixed and the ratings be heeded.