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  1. #1
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Default Simpler codes and laws

    I mean to talk about this as a general matter, the junction of several different topics. Brainstorm session.

    Many codes and laws over time become too "complicated" for those expected to be bound by them. Examples I'm thinking:

    1. Credit card companies' terms
    2. Tax code
    3. Congress' own bills
    4. Police/lawyer code

    Most of these writings are so voluminous that very few people have ever read them completely. Surely these codes can be condensed, without losing their principal purposes. Or can they? What's your opinion: Do you think it is important for such laws and codes to be short, succinct, and accessible?

    But the details are important, too. Every law must have boundaries, and those boundaries must be defined by specific cases. These build up over time, and continually add length to such codes. So the other question: How can we define the law totally, for all cases, while still keeping it short and understandable? Is training a generation of "translators" the answer? What do you think is the right way to balance length and precision, justice and accessibility?
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  2. #2
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    i have a short story i'm working on (sort of....well not really) that has the absurdity of the complexity of doing "all thing the right way in this modern world" as the central theme..... basically, Its going to be about how IMPOSSIBLE it is to actually follow the law, the taxes, and everything else to the letter! and in doing so, causes terrible greif and misunderstanding. (now that I think about it, I'm maing the character very ISXJ-like)

    So yes, i greatly concur that it should be simplified. The problem is it usually takes some sort of traumatizing revolution to get rid of heavy, beaurocratic and tax heavy policies.

    One thing i actually WISH Bush would've got done was the simplification of the tax code. Nothing as robust and commonplace as Federal Taxes should REQUIRE you to have an expert handy even to understand what's going on..... it's like, enforced servitude towards H%R Block, or something.

    actually, on second thought, isn't a cumbersome tax code that forces you to "pony up" and hire people sort of like Hustling or Racketeering?!?
    PAY US YOUR PROECTION MONEYZ OR YOUR TAXES WILL BE INCORRECT! OH NOES

  3. #3
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Some things have to be complex, we've grown as a country and we have complex issues. Like taxes, the bills in congress, and police and lawyer standards.

    Rules and laws should be in a constant state of refinement, we can never get it 100% right.

    As far as Credit Card companies, they have a different motivation when it comes to the fine print.

  4. #4
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    As far as Credit Card companies, they have a different motivation when it comes to the fine print.
    Do they? Are you certain?

  5. #5
    Member Xenofile's Avatar
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    I'm of the opinion the tax code should be simplified. The tax code is something like 74,000 pages I think. That's absurd. We should have a flat tax that would be easy for the average citizen to understand. A simpler system would, if nothing else, save billions of hours a year. There's is no reason to make our system complicated just so that we look like a "grown up" country to the rest of the world.
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  6. #6
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenofile View Post
    I'm of the opinion the tax code should be simplified. The tax code is something like 74,000 pages I think. That's absurd. We should have a flat tax that would be easy for the average citizen to understand. A simpler system would, if nothing else, save billions of hours a year. There's is no reason to make our system complicated just so that we look like a "grown up" country to the rest of the world.
    Thanks, but I was hoping to look at the common element in all these situations, and not get stuck on the political answer to just one. People discuss the tax code quite a bit already.
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  7. #7
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    There ought to be both imo!! There's nothing wrong with an outline, bulleted user-friendly summary that says in black and white all the things accomplished in detail. Bonus: Having said outline will allow you reference points you need way better, and having more common terms used now-a-days will give you more confidence in your own reading comprehension, and thus more confidence to handle paperwork instead of treating it the way a kid treats a new bug they've found.
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  8. #8
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenofile View Post
    I'm of the opinion the tax code should be simplified. The tax code is something like 74,000 pages I think. That's absurd. We should have a flat tax that would be easy for the average citizen to understand. A simpler system would, if nothing else, save billions of hours a year. There's is no reason to make our system complicated just so that we look like a "grown up" country to the rest of the world.
    Precisely....

    Imagine a prfoessor of classics at some Ivy League telling the entire student body that, once per year in April, they would have a test on the entire works of Aristotle, which spans thousands of pages. Sound a bit overzealous, much? Well its ok, cuz if you dont want to take this rediculusly huge test, you can pay someone to take it for you, someone who knows it in and out.

    That's fair to all, right?

    The modern tax law is cumbersum and a huge confusing burden. Trash it

  9. #9
    Member Xenofile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    Thanks, but I was hoping to look at the common element in all these situations, and not get stuck on the political answer to just one. People discuss the tax code quite a bit already.
    I'm sorry, I just read something about a long code and got up on my it was not the reaction I would have made had I been paying attention.

    (I may be reading this wrong and responding way out of left field, but here we go)
    I think that one thing that could be done is to place laws and their justifications in separate but linked places. Additionally, the law could be more recognizably broken down into easier to sift through volumes, for example, the laws could be broken down into small books or websites on housing regulations, warehouse regulations, office building regulations etc.) This would allow for those are are only interested in what the law says for practical purposes to look it up in whatever category it falls into, find the correct volume and use its smaller table of contents to more easily find the exact section of the legal code they're looking for. This could also be done online, with specific pages dedicated to each small topic. In the book versions, you could either put the legal justifications for each law in the back of the volume, or in a corresponding volume, while online this could be dealt with using a link next to the individual rules.

    Also, we could simply the language of the laws. Laws do not need to be written for lawyers alone. Any citizen with passable English skills and reasonable cognitive function should be able to at least get the gist of a law.

    Well, its an idea at least.
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  10. #10
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Do they? Are you certain?
    What's your take on it?

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