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[DRAFT] Repeal "Supporting and Valuing the Humanities"

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Imperium Anglorum
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[DRAFT] Repeal "Supporting and Valuing the Humanities"

Postby Imperium Anglorum » Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:13 pm

The World Assembly finds as follows:

  1. Subtle unintended consequences should not be ignored or dismissed just because they are difficult to understand. The target resolution (GA 495) has subtle unintended consequences that need explanation at length.

  2. GA 495 establishes a fundamentally broken control mechanism which states that another committee will "[ensure] that money accepted by nations or organisations from the WHF is used for the above established purpose". It also states that "if incorrect use of funds is reported, the GAO will cease the allowance of funds to the transgressing nation or organisation" (emphasis not in original).

  3. The target's anti-corruption mechanism creates massive harms. The passive construction of the section 5 suggests that the mere reporting of an incorrect use of funds triggers an embargo on General Accounting Office money. The Office cannot reject false or malicious reports. The Assembly supports many projects in member nations: GAO money in GA 263 “Uranium Mining Standards Act” s 8 helps prevent radiological accidents, GAO funds given in GA 97 “Quality in Health Services” support universal healthcare in poor countries, and funds disbursed by GA 80 “A Promotion of Basic Education” ensure that disadvantaged children are educated (including in the humanities).

  4. The target embargoes money until a member nation receives a favourable verdict on appeal. The extent of the embargo is also not limited to the specific project which is allegedly corrupt, as the resolution applies to the “transgressing nation”. An education department buying school supplies with money allocated for building repairs can thus defund health services and schools on the opposite side of a nation.

  5. GA 495 also states "[t]he WHF shall exist to provide funding to constituent nations and non profit organisations within them to accomplish either in part or in full the following objectives". There is no clause requiring that requestors only get money for projects which they could not pay for themselves. This allows indirect diversion of funds, which resolutions like GA 97 “Quality in Health Services” avoid, as nations can purposefully defund their schools, fill holes in the budget with General Fund money, and pocket the difference. Member nations should not be allowed to take Assembly funds fraudulently.

  6. The kinds of projects the WHF approves are not limited only to projects which have a primary effect in achieving the goals listed in the resolution. Section 3's “accomplish either in part or in full” does not put a floor on how little is accomplished, opening the sewer doors:

    1. Building a lazy river for university students to relax on counts, as the project in part helps to “strengthen the academic enrichment of courses and create [humanities] electives”, if people may paint murals on the walls or a chapel is attached.

    2. Organisations sending theology professors from across the country to theme parks also counts, as it in part helps to “hold nationwide symposiums to put on ... advancements in the various areas of the humanities”.

    3. A nation defunding its own humanities departments and shuffling the freed-up money to foreign bank accounts would create a need to “support university degree programs that fall within the definition of the humanities”, a problem at which this committee could then throw money.
  7. “[E]nsuring that money accepted by nations or organisations from the WHF is used for the above established purpose” in section 4(a) does nothing when the money is given for wasteful purposes. The clause is supposed to stop nations from taking the money they receive and directly diverting it to other purposes. The clause does not stop indirect diversion as described above.

  8. Wasteful spending programs mean less money for food aid, pandemic relief, and basic education. Feel-good resolutions should not be supported when they are coupled with draconian punishments and provisions which leave open massive doors for squandering limited Assembly funds. Nor is it just to deprive member nations – without due process and, at best, on minor irregularities – of what they need to educate, heal, and protect their citizens. Repeal of GA 495 also will cause no substantial harm due to the provisions of GA 80 “A Promotion of Basic Education”, which promote the same goals, without the overbearing penalties in section 5 of the target resolution.
Now, therefore, be "Supporting and Valuing the Humanities" repealed.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:24 pm, edited 19 times in total.

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Imperium Anglorum
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:14 pm

See also Spending without controls (2020) WA L Rev working paper 2020/01; Interpreting committee provisions (2020) WA L Rev working paper 2020/02 (TNP Symposium version here).

I find it very annoying that the problems with the target resolution are subtle to the point that they are difficult to explain within the word limit. When adapting from my working paper to this proposal, I flew straight to 5300 characters. I'll try to put a shortened explanation for a few concepts here.

Indirect diversion. A how-to:

  1. Start by giving 100 million pounds to the humanities programmes at universities
  2. Take away 100 million pounds from the humanities programmes
  3. Get funds for your now-impoverished professors from the WHF, which is not permitted to make determinations on whether your nation has any need for this money
  4. Spend the money for the WHF purposes only on the professors in line with section 4
  5. Put (100 million – what you got from the WHF) into your personal bank account
Does this happen in real life? Yes. Eg Spending without controls (2020) WA L Rev working paper 2020/01, 2 (citing Dambisa Moyo, Dead Aid (2009) 52–3):

[Aid of this sort] release[s] tax receipts that are “then diverted to unproductive and often wasteful programmes rather than productive public expenditure (education, health infrastructure) for which they were ostensibly intended”.

How would the committee interpret the clauses? This question emerges a lot. If you assume the WA committees are not only perfect, but also entirely benevolent, then you might find yourself in the position where you would try to make that work. I would counter with two things. First, the law does what the law says. If a committee could undivert funds or take actions outside what they are permitted to do, the resolution would say so. It does not. Important to note here is that the text of the target does not embargo funds by project. It embargoes funds by nation: "if incorrect use of funds is reported, the GAO will cease the allowance of funds to the transgressing nation or organisation". The text of the target does not give the GAO discretion to reject reports. If it did, it would say so.

Second, even if we throw into the bin the textualist view that the World Assembly has long adopted,

we have held to the convention that there exists some kind of executive in the World Assembly. Regardless of its structure – be it feuding separately headed directories or a single unitary executive under a Secretary-General – turnover at any level would necessarily create different interpretations at different times, in the same way that new leadership in government changes how the government interprets legislation. Interpreting committee provisions (2020) WA L Rev working paper 2020/02, 2–3.


Version at 2020-09-11 20:24 NS time is 4547 characters long.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:25 pm, edited 8 times in total.

Author: 1 SC and 36 GA resolutions
Maintainer: GA Passed Resolutions
Developer: Communiqué and InfoEurope
Toxic villainous globalist kittehs
Delegate for Europe
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Refuge Isle
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Postby Refuge Isle » Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:15 pm

Does this draft intend to signal that you do not support the queued repeal proposal on which you are presently listed as a co-author?
Last edited by Refuge Isle on Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kenmoria
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Postby Kenmoria » Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:16 pm

“I believe there was a typing error with regards to the appearance of ‘s 8’ in clause 4. This is regardless a well-argued and persuasive repeal, and I have no other issues with it.”
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Imperium Anglorum
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:48 pm

Refuge Isle wrote:Does this draft intend to signal that you do not support the queued repeal proposal on which you are presently listed as a co-author?

I intend to support the queued proposal.

Kenmoria wrote:“I believe there was a typing error with regards to the appearance of ‘s 8’ in clause 4. This is regardless a well-argued and persuasive repeal, and I have no other issues with it.”

Could you clarify?
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Author: 1 SC and 36 GA resolutions
Maintainer: GA Passed Resolutions
Developer: Communiqué and InfoEurope
Toxic villainous globalist kittehs
Delegate for Europe
Elsie Mortimer Wellesley (EMW); OOC unless otherwise indicated
Ideological Bulwark 285, WALL delegate
Dastardly villain providing free services to the community sans remuneration

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Kenmoria
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Founded: Jul 03, 2017
Corporate Bordello

Postby Kenmoria » Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:05 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:
Kenmoria wrote:“I believe there was a typing error with regards to the appearance of ‘s 8’ in clause 4. This is regardless a well-argued and persuasive repeal, and I have no other issues with it.”

Could you clarify?

(OOC: Looking back, I somehow didn’t recognise ‘s 8’ as being ‘section 8’, and assumed it was just random symbols that had been put into the draft. With that sorted, I can’t see anything wrong with the current draft.)
A representative democracy with a parliament of 535 seats
Kenmoria is Laissez-Faire on economy but centre-left on social issues
Located in Europe and border France to the right and Spain below
NS stats and policies are not canon, use the factbooks
Not in the WA despite coincidentally following nearly all resolutions
This is due to a problem with how the WA contradicts democracy
However we do have a WA mission and often participate in drafting
Current ambassador: James Lewitt

For more information, read the factbooks here.

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Graintfjall
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Postby Graintfjall » Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:39 am

Are you willing to attempt an in-character argument in favor of your proposal?

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Araraukar
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Postby Araraukar » Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:01 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:Building a lazy river for university students to relax on counts

"...we should petition the Building Management to build one for the ambassadors here. That sounds very relaxing. Oh and support for the repeal."
- Linda Äyrämäki, acting ambassador in the absence of miss Leveret
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