106

Almost all high-speed broadband Internet service providers, except in high-density urban populations, have limited competition, if not full monopolies. A small start-up would have to build out their own infrastructure with no existing customer base, which isn't going to happen, in most cases. This is why so many people want to treat the providers like a ...


97

Reagan made the statement during The President's News Conference, and understanding the context of the event can help establish his meaning. It's worth mentioning that I've seen some indications that the saying wasn't coined by Reagan, but was in general use as far back as the 70s. I'd say he was referring to the belief (often held by conservative voters ...


96

The answer is First Past The Post. The nature of the voting system is such that many people who would rather support a 3rd Party feel compelled to vote against the party that they like the least, rather than for the party they support the most, because their preferred candidate is unlikely to win the race anyway and thus they are simply removing support from ...


76

This is not true, in a universal sense. In general it's true that, in government as in other fields, the higher up you rise, the higher your salary is, but what's much more important is the field you're in, and it's relative value (to the state/country) and competitiveness. If you look at US States, for example, you'll see that the Governor is almost never ...


74

American political parties are essentially standing coalitions that do their coalition building before elections instead of after What is typical in Europe and other parts of the world is for a collection of smaller parties to win to varying degrees in elections, and after the elections are over, form the whatever coalition is necessary to govern. Here in ...


65

If your country also has a welfare system, and someone doesn't save for their retirement, they'll end up on welfare when they stop working. So the government is going to have to pay their expenses either way. The forced retirement savings ensures that this won't all come out of public funds, but will instead come from money they put into the system earlier. ...


64

Politicians, that is to say, the people that we elect, do not actually do the work of the government. Their primary job is raising funds and encouraging people to vote for them. Legislation is mostly written by their staff. If a politician participates in writing legislation, it's not as a developer submitting changes to legislative review. It's as a ...


61

I wasn't able to find an answer online, so I called the Office of the Clerk of the House to ask why they use stenographers instead of electronic recording devices. They gave me a list of reasons: To preserve the decorum of the House. House members like having a stenographer they can talk to about the record (to have something re-read, or to have their ...


61

Firstly, it's not quite correct to say that UK Government departments were traditionally named Ministries. The common use of the term Ministry to describe government departments was mostly introduced in the first half of the 20th Century. To take your examples: Ministry of Transport: established in 1919, assumed duties of the Road Board, and transport-...


58

A safeguard WAS put into place. We call it the Electoral College (although it is not named as such in the Constitution). It failed miserably at that goal. The original vision when the Electoral College system was devised had three aims: To prevent political parties from dominating politics. To prevent a populist from getting elected to office. To "...


51

Very good question and I am surprised that I as German needed to dig deeper into the stuff than anticipated. I tried to consult the German Wikipedia and the normal Google results, but got essentially nothing at first. I suppose it was self-evident schoolboy knowledge at their time and they did not bother to remark the function for following generations. ...


49

Is this customary? Yes, there is a whole wiki on it. Obama had pastor Rick Warren at his inauguration. How does this align with a secular government? Isn't it one? The government is still secular. What makes the government secular is that a religious component is not a mandated component. You can become president without prayers. More importantly no ...


49

What's going on? This is a leftover from earlier historical tradition, which had lots of lower-level democracy. For example, coroners being elected was a tradition not just from early days of USA, but actually from English common law: Electing a coroner is a holdover from medieval English common law, where the coroner's job was to determine how and when ...


48

A great many of the current problems on the farm were caused by government-imposed embargoes and inflation, not to mention government's long history of conflicting and haphazard policies (Reagan's speech that originated the phrase) Specifically in the context of that speech, one of the implications of that phrase is that: Government enacts policies that ...


48

The capitalist answer to this problem is that when there is a real desire for net-neutral internet providers, then the market will create them. An internet provider could publicly commit to maintaining net neutrality and use that commitment as an unique selling proposition in their advertisement. Consumers who care about net neutrality could then vote with ...


48

Note that the manufacturer has worked around this ban by introducing the Kinder Joy It has plastic egg-shaped packaging that splits into two, one half contains layers of cocoa and milk cream and the other half contains a toy. Because the edible and non-edible parts are separated, this can be and is sold in the US. And since someone suggested in a comment ...


47

They have tiny pieces that are considered to be a choking hazard. There have been some high profile and tragic deaths among children due to choking on toys with small pieces. So the United States is especially stringent in regulating children's toys. The Kinder Surprise Eggs are considered especially dangerous as they are embedded in a food product. So a ...


47

The pattern you describe is called colonization. Think of it. A place that is viewed as being "without proper government." Europeans come in, bring their laws and administration, in the hope that the locals will be happier than with their previous rulers. What makes you think that Sweden would want to do it? They seem to be a fan of democracy, all things ...


45

Many identity documents contain pictures. These pictures will not be very useful after several decades. German identity cards are valid for 10 years if issued after the 24th birthday, but only for 6 years if issued earlier. Many identity documents contain security features which evolve over the years. Decades-old documents will no longer be state of the art ...


44

Note that those free services have some way for the company to make money. This can be by way of advertising or gathering data which they can sell or otherwise use to make money (for example provide some other service which does make money). Having said that, a company boycotting a country would generally result in fewer users which in turn leads to less ...


43

Do politicians use bug trackers or version control etc.? This is hilarious. Many of them barely use email. Version control software is pretty much specific to software engineering. Even disciplines that rely on evolving documents like legal practice either don't use it or are limited to Word's "Track changes" feature - or manual change markup. The main ...


42

History Since 1933, prayer has been a consistent part of presidential inaugurations in America [Source: Newdow v Bush, Civil Action. Pg.7] . Since 1933 the President-Elect has visited a church for prayer prior to taking the oath of office, but since 1937 actual prayers have been offered during the inauguration itself. Secularism As noted in the question, ...


41

A government could potentially benefit from increased revenue if they tax the production and sale of cannabis, the legal cannabis industry is already worth billions of dollars. Making it legal would also make criminals who supply the drug redundant, so they would make less money. The demand for cannabis is known to have driven a substantial amount of ...


39

There has been a steady decline in enforcement of tax laws against the wealthiest individuals since the Reagan administration. The people who stand to lose if the tax laws are adequately enforced have bought themselves some democracy and managed to get legislators (mostly Republicans) to cut enforcement funding from the IRS and to also legislate rules that ...


38

The processes regarding the Russian government are described in Chapter 6 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The articles which are most relevant to this question are 111 (appointment of the government) and 117 (resignation of the government). In Russia, the government consists of the Prime Minister and the ministers. The ministers are appointed ...


38

This is a simple countermeasure against identity theft, falsified documents, and fraud more generally put. Someone who successfully falsifies a document is whatever the document says they are until they are confronted by an official who can (in)validate the document. An expiration date guarantees that everyone is periodically forced to confront an official. ...


37

This is not caused by the US government in general, this is caused by the Republicans who have been in control of the House for most of the past three decade. Republicans are ideologically opposed to a strong government and want to minimize taxes in general. Thus for ideological reasons they tend to view the IRS as an enemy: it's the agency in charge of ...


34

While discussions on lifting restrictions have already been started (here in Germany they were initiated by opposition parties), there is no sane politician that would announce a concrete plan. Even the opposition politicians initiating the debate do not want to name any dates, and would rather use a vague "as early as possible". Nobody knows when the peak ...


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