Elizabeth Warren: "Ask a thousand Americans if they would rather give subsidies to the biggest oil companys or the richest banks...The answer would be big oil and big banks just need to make it on their own"

Let me just say first that I appreciate the time and thought you've clearly put into expressing your sentiments. Obviously I disagree with you over quite a great deal, but... well, it shows a certain amount of respect that you took the time to do that, and I recognize and appreciate that you've done so.

I think my broad objection is that I don't see how we can possibly have a world (barring some truly revolutionary hypothetical) in which there are not powerful people controlling our lives. In other words, any system that starts off with absolute, maximal freedom will inevitably resolve itself into one in which there are powers that occupy the same position in our lives that government does today - and if traditional government shrinks down below a certain level, then that power vacuum will be taken up by other powers that ultimately turn into government themselves. I think its best to accept that that structure is an inevitable outgrowth of human nature, and try to move it towards one that best suits human needs.

The governments that we live with in the modern era are not ones that have always existed. They evolved slowly over eons away from ones that afforded freedom according to means alone (that is to say, absolutely free markets), and into increasingly sophisticated entities. We've moved away from kingships made possible by unrestricted concentration of wealth - and therefore, power - and towards more equitable distribution through democracy and the greater demands that the people have placed upon government to reign-in those that would wield power unfairly. In other words, (democratic) government itself pushes back against the would-be tyranny of powerful individuals. Sure, it's restricted certain freedoms, but in-so-doing it's also afforded us a level of existence we'd have not been able to dream of otherwise. I'd much rather be alive today than in any other era.

Of course, some of this can be chalked up to technological progress. As an example, the fact that I've never once gone hungry in my life has more to do with advances in agriculture than any government enterprise. But some of that can also be attributed to ordinary people using existing channels of power to ensure rights and privileges that would not otherwise be accessible to them or their children. Environmental regulation has helped clean up a lot of the tremendous harms of the past, and will hopefully address the pressing concerns of the future. Child labor laws have made sure that we have the freedom to experience healthy growth and education as youth. Welfare has meant that even the least fortunate of us have the ability to meet basic needs and reduced criminality that would otherwise be visited upon the more fortunate. And yes, we've begun to explore the cosmos - and out of that, we've seen countless contributions to the technological splendors that we enjoy today.

Now there are problems. Particularly in The US, we have our fair share of corruption, exploitative self-interest by politicians, pandering and outright violence - and these problems actually seem to be getting worse. These are very pressing issues that you're right to have pointed out in your previous comments. So how do we address these things?

In my personal opinion, these are not issues with government itself, but issues specific to the exercise of government here. One of these issues has to do with the way our democracy has been designed - particularly in our chosen voting mechanism. But we also have an issue with sheer size.

At its founding, ours was a nation of 2.5 million governed by a congress of 91. That converts to an average of 27,000 people for each representative. Today, 318 million people are represented by 535 congressmen and women - an average constituency of nearly 600,000.

/r/PoliticalDiscussion Thread Parent