State

The organizing layer

Overview

A State is a constitutional element of the multi-layer representative structure and has a its own government directly elected by all of the citizens in the State.
Within the structure of Variable Law, Regions may elect to promote aspects of law and some service responsibilities to States. So every State has a constitutional responsibility to uphold the constitution and to provide the BASE services that are promoted to it by the majority of its constituencies.
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The State is also the level at which most 20th century societies have organized themselves, and much of the infrastructure for the administration and management of society’s affairs exists, today, primarily at the “national” level. Because of this pre-existing infrastructure and geographical delineation, the State is most likely to be the initial tax collecting authority.
The initial primacy of the State presents great opportunity for rapid change and it is also the layer that will see the greatest change to its status as the Communties and Regions mature.

Minimum Requirements

Along the with the right to create laws comes the responsibility to administrate the infrastructure necessary to support the government of the State. There are aspects of governance that a State cannot promote or relinquish, because to do so would abdicate the core responsibilities of being a State.
To this extent, an inability to manage and administrate these aspects of government, precludes a group from forming a legal State and having its own government:

  • elections
  • government assembly
  • legal services to codify, police and prosecute the law
  • BASE services as promoted to the State by constituent Regions
  • Information network connectivity
  • Transport integration
  • financial control for tax revenues and expenses

Responsibilities

Elections

lifecore200By definition a State has its own government and so it must necessarily be able to run elections for representatives.
Elections must be held using the LIFE PR system which requires that the State is able to validate its constituents’ identity and provide a suitably accessible method for them to cast their votes. State governments must be re-elected every five years.

Representative Assembly

The elected representatives meet in assembly to review matters before them and make laws.
The State must provide facilities for the representatives to meet, and for there to be public scrutiny and a premanent record of the proceedings and voting.
The size of the assembly is determined by the size of the State’s population, but can not be less sufficient than to accommodate seven representatives, assembly reporters and a public gallery.
The remuneration for representatives should be approximately 8 times the median earnings of their constituents, such that the best candidates are attracted to public service and so that they can devote themselves full-time to the execution of their responsibilities.

Variable Law

The principle of Variable Law allows for a State to retain unto itself aspects of law promoted to it by the Regions it contains, and, in practice, it is likely that some aspects of law will be further promoted by States for governance at higher layers.
States, like any other layer, that decide to retain, or retrieve, any apsect of law, have a concombinant responsibility to adjudicate any alledged transgressions thereof. This requires that the State have the personnel and infrastructure necessary to police and prosecute the law. States will have to fund these services, and the others outlined below, out of their BASE tax distributions and any local taxes levied.

Separation & Unification

The constituent Regions of a State are voluntary members of the State and linked by geographic proximity. Regions can elect to change their affiliation between States, so long as they have geographic continuity with a Region in the other State. The citizens of a Region joining an established State automatically inherit the Variable Law status and Transterritorial affiliation of their new State.excentric_all.jpg
Transterritories do not have the right to accept or reject a State’s election to affiliate with them.
The Regions of a State can elect to divide into multiple States – effectively allowing secession. In such an event, each new State initially inherits the same Variable Law status and Transterritorial affiliation as its origin State.
Material fixed assets, and directly associated debt obligations, are assigned to the new States based on the geographical boundries of the new States. Other financial assets and debts are proportionally assigned to the new States based on the portion of the previous population they encompass.

State Management

In support of the constitutional responsibilities of the State there are various practical management duties necessary to the functioning of the State.
The organization of the adminstrative and management functions resembles a standard management structure in which departmental managers of each of the functions below report to, and serve at the discretion of, the representative assembly.

In addition to the functional Service departments below, there are various general management reponsibilities that will most likely be executed by a general manager. These functions include planning and licensing.

Provisional estimates of the management and staffing required to run a State with a population of 100,000,000 are 2,000,000. This excludes contributors who support public services through volunteering or micro exchange.

Finances

A State must be able to manage its finances and keep accurate, public records thereof.
Most likely this will involve the management of the collection and expenditure of sales or income taxes, and BASE distributions for the provisioning of public services (see below).
A State Finance Manager should report regularly to the State Assembly on the state of the public finances.

Sales, Corporate & Income Taxes

States that collect local taxes based on sales or income must either provide their own mechanisms for their collection, or submit applications to the constitutional authorties at higher layers to collect taxes, based on the same sales or income, on behalf of the State. Such requests shall not unreasonably withheld and revenues therefrom shall be subject to the deduction of the collecting authorities’ costs.

Service Financing

States receive disbursements of tax revenues to cover the costs of provisioning the BASE services that have been promoted to them. The receipts of the State are proportional to their population as a part of the entire population covered by the tax and do not factor any special circumstances of the State (except insofar as the assessment of average service costs across the entire taxable population is affected by the inclusion of the assessed costs of that State in the overall assessment).
States must meet their service obligations, but within those parameters they have discretion over the proportional allocation of tax revenues between services.
Additionally, States may coordinate with other constituencies to ammeliorate their service costs and they can levy additional taxes on their constituents to fund additional or enhanced services.

Environment

One of the primary responsibilities of every State is to manage their environment, and their impact on it, to create a sustainable living space.
There are three primary elements that each State must manage:

  • energy
  • waste
  • water

Energy

It is in the self interest of every State to become as energy self sufficient as possible, with the lowest environmental impact. The objective of every State should be to become entirely self sufficient without the use of stored carbon energy sources, such as coal, gas and oil.
As carbon taxes are applied and the cost of centrally generated energy escalates, the desire for end-user efficiency and local micro generation will grow. States that can increase their efficiency and develop their own renewable generation capacity will be best able to serve their constituents by diverting funds into their State infrastructure, that would otherwise have gone to outside energy producers.
Public transport and shelter services can have a large impact on energy requirements.

Waste

Waste management is basically a Community responsibility, although it may be shared with others through Regional cooperation.
As part of the standard Community setup, each Community will assess its waste management costs as granularly as possible (i.e. per product or material type). If the State is the taxing authority with responsibility for sales tax collection, it will apply the appropriate additional waste taxes to sales in the Communities, and return collected revenues to the Communities.

Water

An adequate supply of clean water is necessary for life and it is a key responsibility for every State to plan for and secure this.
Necessarily, water management is defined by the catchment basin, watersheds and aquifers of the geography that the State occupies. In many cases this will require Regions and Communities to form water management authorities that cross constituency boundries, and States can assist in the development and coordination of these authorities.

Monopoly Utilities

Where there is no reasonable prospect of, or ability for, competitive supply of a critical resource to the inhabitants of a State then the supply channels and source will be publically owned. This is especially true of water, but can apply to other utilities the supply of which is crucial to the health and well being of the entrie State, in even the most dire of political or economic circumstances. There may still be value in the use of commercial operators for some parts of utility systems – see Topic – Infrastructure for further discussion.

Services

The provision of promoted BASE services to all State constituents is a mandated constitutional responsibility of every State. There are bound to be variations in the nature of the services, the extent to which they are delivered through promotion of the responsibility to higher layers, and the priorities of different States.lifeBASE200.gif
The content of the services is self described by the constitiuents of the area included in the Income Tax catchment area, and often this will initially be the State. Therefore States will be the layer at which BASE servcies are defined and the costs of each service assessed for the entire State population.
There will be States whose mandated service responsibilities in each of the BASE services will be little more than what is necessary for survival, because the wealth of the State/Transterritory cannot support anything more.
In this wiki, much of the detail of these service descriptions applies to implementation in the industrialized societies and is not intended to be a prescription for everyone or every situation. The linkage between the levels of BASE services, the cost of providing them and Income Taxes is intrinsic to the Standards of LIFE and specifically allows for great variety to best fit the people and the situation at hand.
Each of the following services will most likely require management that reports to the assembly, and staff to provision and maintain the services and facilities.

Shelter

As Communities have primary responsibility for the provision of Shelter, States are likely to have only emergency relief responsibilities.
A State should probably have permanent relief capacity to accommodate one or two Regions and the ability to deploy temporary shelter services for a fifth of their population. Disaster planning and analysis will allow States to determine the appropriate extent of the facilities they maintain.

Sustenance

Given the nature of Sustenance services and the implementation of BASEC, States are likely to be involved simply in assisting Regions with the distribution of food stuffs and planning for emergency relief, in line with the situations described in Shelter above.
As the primary tax collecting authority, the State will also be the primary definer of BASE standards, including Sustenance SSE.

Healthcare

The primary responsibility of States for Healthcare services will be to provide specialized remedial services to support the remedial services of Regions and the preventitive services of Communities.
The high costs of specialized facilties and more highly specialized medical practioners, will make these services too expensive for some States to support on their own and so will be promoted to, or coordinated within, their Transterritories.
States will have to provide the mandated healthcare services included in the BASE specification free at the point of need for all constituents. They will have to fund these services from their tax distributions, unless they are further promoted to the Transterritory.
There will be opportunities for private, competitive healthcare facilities, but these should not be mixed with public services or facilities.

Transport

Efficient provision of many BASE services in a State, as well as the health of the local economy as a whole, will require the availability of public mass transport systems. Any transport network needs to integrate in a coordinated manner with the transport infrastructure of the wider area in order to provide meaningful services. The primary focus for States will be on providing interconnecting transport services between Regions. Because of these integration responsibilities it will be appropriate that the State also set transport standards for transport systems across the State and its constituencies.
To provide for the smooth flow of commerce across constituency boundries, States may take a leading role in the supervision of freight transport; preferably as part of a coordinated Transterritorial plan.
While flying is very unlikely to be a part of the BASE Transport service anywhere, the very nature of aviation means that it will likely be an appropriate State responsibilty to set the standards for and manage.

Education & Research

Advanced research and education will most often be promoted to States and Transterritories.
There is much research to be done to find solutions for society’s challenges in many areas such as sustainable energy production, water management and efficiency at every level. As these efforts have urgency, critical consequences and require significant resources they demand the pooling of resources and talent across as wide a population as practical and coordination of efforts in different locales.
Research is a very significant investment for a State on account of the facilities and specialized staff necessary. The opportunity for the construction of competitive educational facilities may arise for private ventures, but it will unlikely make sense for public services.

Information

The ability of residents to access information will be key to the vitality of the economic activity of the State, the health of the society and the democratic involvement of all.
Reliable, secure connectivity between all contituencies and onwards to higher layers, at the fastest speeds possible, has to be the objective of every State. The State has a key role to play in the deployment of a secure, resilient network infrastructure that provides the entire population with access to secure data stores. The xID and SPEx specifications, and the existing infrastructure of many nations, will likely mean that States will have to carry the initial burden for secure data store facilties, and their management and maintenance. However, from inception, States and their citizens must prioritize the devolution of secure data stores down to Regions and Communities.

Access

The State’s main responsibility will be providing the secure network backbone that allows citizens to manage their xID records and access other privacy sensitive systems, for such things as checking their medical records.
Because of the security requirements there is no opportunity for commercial, private operators to be involved in the infrastructure rollout and maintenance, these will be public responsibilities. The State needs to own the network systems to ensure that free public access is always available and connected to wider area networks.
Public access networks will primarily be provisioned by Communities and Regions and can be built using the best available solutions at the most affordable prices. The State may be able to supplement public access by providing for access on transport services that cross Regional boundries.

xID Stores

Many Communities and many Regions may not have the expertise or the infrastructure to be able to build and maintain their own xID Store. In these cases they will promote responsibility for the storage of their xID records to their State. In hosting xID stores on behalf of Communities, States must do so in such a way that the stores can be easily and quickly transferred to Community stores, as soon as they are ready to host them themselves.
States will have to build secure xID Stores that meet the xID specifications, and secure networks that connect the Stores to the Communities.
Furthermore, States will have to implement disaster recovery processes and facilities inside their own boundries or with their Transterritories.

SPEx

To enable a vibrant micro economy the State needs to provide support, guidance and basic technology infrastructure for a State Services & Products Exchange (S.SPEx). This exchange provides a consolidated marketplace using Inter-SPEx to connect the R.SPEx systems and allow anyone to publish the services or products they are willing to provide across the State, whether for monetary compensation or not.
Where Communities and Regions do not have the ability to provide their own SPEx, they can promote this to the State, and the State will provide centrally serviced but locally specific SPEx systems for each Community.
The Inter-SPEx network links the S.SPEx to the Transterritory’s T.SPEx, which in turn links to the W.SPEx worldwide exchange for micro services and products.
It is vital to the sustainable health and prosperity of every State that every effort be made to foster and support micro economic activity. While all of the BASE services indirectly support that goal, Information services are the catalyst that ignites the flame.

Legal Services

States must provide the required Legal Services to their constituents.
Most likely States will be the holders of many aspects of law, especially in the areas of criminal harm. Additionally it is likely that Regions will promote to States the responsibility for the remand of criminals deemed to be the most dangerous to society and so States will have to provide incarceration facilities and the services to manage those. Enhanced incarceration facilities for the most violent and dangerous criminals may be escalated to higher layers, so long as the same aspects of law are promoted along with the responsibilities.

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