Voting and Elections
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A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare
The methods of voting and of the market are methods of amalgamating the tastes of many individuals in the making of social choices. The methods of dictatorship and convention are, or can be, rational in the sense that any individual can be rational in his choice. Can such consistency be attributed to collective modes of choice, where the wills of many people are involved? An illustration of the problem is the following well-known "paradox of voting'" Suppose there is a community consisting of three voters and d this community must choose among three alternative modes of social action (e.g., disarmament, cold war, or hot war).
George Washington's Farewell Address
In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union…parties by geographical discrimination [can] acquire influence within particular districts, misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts, [and] tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests. They are likely [to] become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion. This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, and is truly their worst enemy. This leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism [as] the disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty. It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.
Pathways to Police Reform Community Mobilization
Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Sam DuBose, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, . . . . The litany of Black people who have lost their lives at the hands of the police or in police custody seems endless. People are killed and brutalized, but the legal system gives us no relief. Police officer after police officer is either not charged or acquitted. Police who kill are given paid vacation instead of being held accountable. "We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are “isolated.” They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere. … They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives. Until their voices matter too, our justice system will continue to be anything but. —Justice Sonia Sotamayor
Inter Miami MLS Soccer Project
David Beckham's MLS ownership group has taken so long to produce the plans for a Miami soccer stadium, according to the Miami Herald, that it now appears the measure couldn't be voted on before November. Neither the original proposed 9-acre property purchased in Overtown in 2016, nor current discussions to redevelop part of the Melreese golf course next to Miami International Airport, appear anywhere close to fruition.
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