New Laws


There’s a great rule that someone once came up with – “Rule Zero: Don’t do anything that would make us create a new rule!”   It is food for thought.  If people didn’t do silly/stupid/problematic things, we wouldn’t need a rule or law against those very things.  Kinda simple, but of course, simple and easy aren’t the same thing.   We do keep piling on rules and regulations, and as one book puts it “you commit three felonies a day.”  Kind of frightening.

In spite of all this, there may be times when new rules or laws are required.  Certainly, as technology has boomed, our legal system has struggled to keep up.  As our energy consumption and resource picture changes,  what sort of new rules or laws could you see enacted that might help us ease the transition into the Long Emergency?   Or is simply a bit of Flatland/wishful thinking that any laws or rules will help at all?

A few rules/laws that have been proposed; some may not affect people personally, but some could radically change our society.  Some thoughts:

  • Re-establish a national rail system,
  • Re-establish a system of national service (which could cover everything from a military draft, to a new CCC, or to a teaching corps),
  • Institute a carbon tax,
  • Increase retirement age,
  • Remove the cap on Social Security taxation,
  • Reverse the Citizen’s United decision, and possibly, the 19th century decision that “corporations are people,”
  • Reinstate Glass-Steagall.

Now, some of these are seemingly non-starters.  But at some point, some event may happen that could make one of these unpalatable laws or rules start to “make sense.”


  • So, which one of these happens first?
  • Which one will never happen, and why?
  • If we do have a Constitutional Convention, which is the granddaddy of rule making in the US, what amendment might be added?  The list is long.
  • What event correlates with what law/rule?  Would another stock market crash mean a severe curtailment of Wall Street?   Would an ice-free arctic mean some sort of carbon tax?



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