The Science of Laws Institute, Silver Scales of Justice

 

 

THE SCIENCE OF LAWS INSTITUTE

 –  Scientific Knowledge of Laws and Lawmaking  –

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

In simple terms, why do governments fail to solve problems?
The purpose of democratic governments is to secure the rights and liberty of the people.  To accomplish that task, governments must solve (solve, mitigate, or prevent) those problems that degrade or threaten to degrade rights and liberty.  The simple reason for the present failure of governments is that they attempt to solve problems with a process (the traditional method of lawmaking) that does not have problem solution as its purpose.

 

How will scientific lawmaking be different from traditional lawmaking?
The goal of traditional lawmaking is to make laws.  In contrast, the goal of scientific lawmaking is to solve societal problems.

 

What are the parameters that define the success of government?
The parameters that define the success of government are human rights, living standards and quality of life.  The most successful governments are those whose citizens enjoy the highest levels of human rights, living standards, and quality of life.

 

What will be the cost of quality programs for laws?
There is a cost of developing and implementing any quality program.  The cost-experience with quality in productive fields (those that deliver useful products and services) is that the value gained from quality far exceeds its costs.  Based upon that experience, it can be extrapolated that the cost of quality programs for laws will not only be "free," but the value imparted to the government (hence to the people) will greatly exceed the costs.  For example, the savings and benefits that are realized from the repeal of less-than-useful laws will more than pay for a program of quality assurance.

 

Will politicians resist the implementation of quality programs for laws?
Some politicians will resist quality programs for laws, but only those who place their political ambitions ahead of the safety and well being of the people. In fact, quality programs for laws will have a high favorable rating with the people, and politicians who wish to advance their political career will be wise to embrace, not resist, quality.

 

How will quality programs for laws be implemented?

Quality will be implemented when a legislature creates a regulatory commission to develop and enforce quality standards for laws.

 

How will we tell that quality assurance has had the desired effects?
A quality assurance agency or commission will measure, analyze, and report its findings of the quality status of laws.  QA reports will inform the legislators (and the public) of the outcomes of laws so that those laws that are found to be useless or harmful to the public can be repealed. The effects of quality will become evident when less than useful laws are repealed, and the size, cost, and complexity of the body of laws decrease.

 

What are we going to do with the laws currently on the books?
Every enforceable law will be subjected to a periodic review of its problem solving performance vis-à-vis the best interests of the people.  If a law does not meet the performance criteria of the quality assurance program (i.e., produce a positive net benefit to the people), it will be submitted to the legislature for repeal.  Laws that are not evaluated within a designated period of time (e.g., ten years) will be automatically repealed. Repealed and deactivated laws will be stored in an archive for historical interest and research.

 

Wouldn’t the feedback system slow down the government, as the lawmakers will only have time to deal with feedback and not make/write new laws or improve old ones?
The feedback system (i.e., quality assurance) will not slow down the government – just the contrary.  The task of repealing nonproductive laws is as important a function of the legislature as the creation of new laws.  As non-productive laws are identified and repealed, the resources that non-productive laws consumed will become available for more productive purposes, and the government will become more, not less, proficient in satisfying the purpose of democracy.  Quality design standards will substantially reduce the workload of legislators because frivolous bills will be prevented from reaching the desks of legislators.

 

How do you prioritize the problems in order to make laws?
The assignment of priorities to problems for solution (the "setting of policy") is, perhaps, the most important task of a legislature.  Through the process of debate and deliberation (rhetoric and dialectic), legislators will determine the priority of problems to be solved by means of laws.

 

Is the public going to support quality?
The public is very concerned about the quality of airline travel, health care, electrical appliances, and drinking water.  It is completely illogical to assume that the public would not be equally concerned about the quality of laws.  Let’s ask the following question in an opinion poll:

 

"The medical, food processing, airline transportation, and energy production industries observe high standards of quality to maintain the safety and well being of the public.  It has been proposed that similar quality programs should be developed for the laws of government for exactly the same reasons. Would you be in favor of quality programs for laws?"

 

Prediction: A significant majority of people will respond "yes" to this poll question.

 

With regards to the quality assurance program, should it be within government or should the public have a say?
Quality assurance requires scientific measurement and analysis ("outcomes research") that is performed by scientists.  A QA program for laws will not directly involve the general public, just as the quality assurance procedures that are performed by the FAA do not directly involve the public.  However, the results will be made available to everyone through the internet and other media.

 

With the establishment of schools for law design, laws will be designed by engineers, not by legislators. Will this signify the end of democracy?
Democracy is defined as the form of government in which the people as a whole constitutes the sovereign.  Laws that are designed by engineers will enhance democracy because engineering standards and practices will only permit the creation of laws that enhance the purpose of democracy, which is to serve the best interests of the people.

 

An engineering school for law-design will assure that the highest quality design methodologies are applied to the creation of laws that serve the best interests of the people.  Contrary to the point of the question, the school will emphasize the creation of laws that uphold human rights, living standards, and quality of life standards to the greatest extent possible; it will seek the maximum possible freedom of the people through the rule of law.

 

How would quality design standards make laws immune to manipulation by lobbyists?
Quality design (QD) standards for laws will act as a "filter" for proposed new legislation so that only those bills that solve problems in the best interests of the people as a whole will be considered for enactment into law.  QD standards will block virtually all pork barrel projects, non-productive political agendas, and special interest legislation, which virtually never serve the best interests of the people as a whole. Lobbying groups will still be able to influence legislators on policy matters (i.e., with campaign contributions), but they will be prevented from inserting non-relevant and harmful provisions into laws.

 

Where do lobbyists fit into quality assurance programs for laws?
They don’t.  Lobbyists have no quality credentials – they would have no conceivable role in QA programs for laws.

 

How many people will it take and how far back will we go in the books for the quality assurance program?

The number of people involved in QA programs for laws is difficult to estimate. The important thing to remember is that quality programs will pay for themselves from the resources that are saved from the repeal of less-than-useful laws.  Every enforceable law (just like every pharmaceutical, every bridge, every airplane…) will be subjected to a regular program of quality assurance, and there will be a large backload of laws to study before a steady state of QA for laws is achieved.

 

Define profit in law perspective (in regard to quality assurance programs that always pay for themselves, turn a profit).
QA programs don’t "turn a profit" per se.  However, the costs of quality are more than offset by the added value that quality imparts to a given productive industry.   In bookkeeping terms, the total effect of quality should be regarded as a negative value in the cost column rather than a positive value in the profit column.

 

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