Sunday, December 11, 2005

Ten-Tiered Citizenship

Before I headed to the library today, I was watching a bit of Starship Troopers. In the movie, the only way to become a Citizen was to serve in the military. Now, some countries around the world follow this procedure, but not the US. An I don't think we should. I, for instance, am too emotionally fragile to serve, but I still want to be a citizen.

So my proposed solution is to have a tiered system of citizenship. With each increasing tier, the citizen would be entitled to more benefits. At Tier 10, for instance, you would be entitled to two votes in every election and an increased retirement payments under social security. Tier 1 gives you the right to vote. Tier 5 let's you run for public office. Tier 3 gives you full constitutional protections. I haven't worked out all the levels, so feel free to post some suggestions. Here's my basic framework of the requirements for each level:

Tier 10: Serve in the military for four years
9: ?
8: ?
7: ?
6: ?
5: Perform more than 50 hours of public service every year
4: ?
3: Pay your taxes on time every year for five years
2: Born to parents Tier 5 or higher
1: Born in the United States

As you see there are some gaps, but with a little thinking and your help, we should be able to fill it in.


Blogger warm fuzzy said...

wow, this sounds like a really bad system, although I do like Teir 5.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

My dad often talks about how he'd like to see mandatory national service. Either in the military, or in the peace corps, or in some American-oriented service program. While I think mandatory is kinda pushing it, I wouldn't mind putting in place this kind of program with something like guaranteed money towards education.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

And whoa - I just noticed that your sidebar link to the US tax code points to a domain in Switzerland. Freaky.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous big brother said...

The movie is really bad. The book is really good. It's on my shelf. In their society you can not vote unless you have performed military service.

What surprises me is how everyone recoils at the thought of military service. I will be willing to bet that most of your impressions of the military are from movies (extremely innacurate) or from the news(Also extremely innacurate, no matter what news station you watch)Has anyone bothered to look at what jobs are available. Everyone assumes that they will have to be in the infantry. Most of the Army is compromised of support units. It takes 12 support personnel for every 1 infantryman.

While I like this idea in theory, I realize it is a horrible idea. The last thing I want in the armed forces is a bunch of people who are there because they have to, not because they volunteered to.

It would be a shame for people in this nation to have to earn something besides credit card debt.

There is currently money for education

3:53 PM  
Blogger Xeno said...

Drom my studies in philosophy I have to say the level 9 citizenship should require a understanding of the froms.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Ally said...

To some extent we do have tiered citizenship. Think about it--some citizens are afforded excellent educations (public or private)while others are sent to pitiful inner-city schools where education is the least of the concerns; some citizens have access to top notch health care while others cannot afford to take their children to the doctor. Some can afford top-notch attorneys to navigate them through the legal system while others are lucky if they get a court-appointed one. And when it comes to a political voice, to a large extent money and connections (often as a result of what family you were born into) makes a big difference and has created somewhat of a tiered system, e.g. our current president would never have become president had he not been born into the Bush family. Fortunately people can overcome their circumstances and "move up" tiers, but it's a lot harder when you're born into certain situations. I need to check out this movie; I've never heard of it.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Fishfrog said...

Ally, I think you're absolutely right. The class system in this country effectively takes away the right of someone born into poverty to become President. Without obscene resources, a person cannot become president. That is the benefit of my explictly tiered system. We abmit that there are levels of citizenship but then make moving up the levels merit-based.

Admitedly, my system has some flaws. Step 5, as proposed, favors wealthier people who are able to volunteer for 50 hours in a year. The lower class in this country has to work every waking hour to survive on minimum wage. They are unable to spare 50 hours with which to increase their level. The system definitely needs work.

6:55 PM  

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