In my last blog- “Iceland Revisited” I asked for and received some opinions. I had to share this one. Mostly because it was from a person who has made me laugh since the day I was born. MY MOM. So MOM- Thanks for your opinion. I will make sure I pick a nice home for you when the time comes. Well I wish you hadn’t brought this up. It is so complicated that it would be ridiculous to try to build a country. But I couldn’t get it out of my mind. So here it is. Tonyland is an absolutely beautiful country, much like Vermontanida, which was invented by Jeff and me. This is a small country, bordered by Caribbean blue water, silver sands, and palm trees. This extends back through rolling hills and valleys of flame colored trees, red, orange, yellow, and some green pines. These hills are backed by towering rocky snow-capped mountains. I painted this once, but can’t find it. Tonyland is ruled by Tony. It is a benevolent dictatorship which is the most efficient form of government. There are no cabinets or advisers, because this is where corruption begins. When Tony gets too old, or retires, there will be an election for a new dictator. The electoral process in Tonyland is preferential voting, as in Australia. You might have to look that up, it’s complex, but it is a sure way of electing the person the majority of people prefer. The economy in Tonyland is based on tourism and casinos. EVERYONE wants to visit this beautiful country. And because of all the tourism and casinos, taxes can remain reasonable while providing for infrastructure, government healthcare, and free public education. Income taxes are based on net income, no matter how high. No breaks for the wealthy. It’s a straight across low percentage. Property taxes fall greatly when a person retires or ceases to have an income. Youth are educated at no cost through 2 years of college. From age 20 (or after 2 years of college) to 22 all youth must serve in the “Services”. Some of these will be “soldier types” providing national guard services. Others will work providing public service to the country. They might build, manufacture, maintain, farm, manage, provide medical service, conservation, preservation, guard, assist teachers, ministers, hospitals, etc. They will receive further training in some of their interests while serving the country. After their service, they can return to school if they wish. They will now have some experience and life skills to help them make decisions on their future. The national guard will have 4 fighter planes and 2 nuclear weapons in case of attack. Tonyland remains neutral in all world politics and war, so little else is needed unless there is an invasion. Tonyland accepts no immigrants. Not because of prejudice or ethnicity, but to avoid an influx of unemployed and unemployable that must be supported. After all, everyone wants to live in Tonyland. If the population should begin to dwindle, people could apply for citizenship and be voted in by preferential vote. They would then serve their 2 years of public service. Option 2 Tonyland will occupy an area of drained swampland in some inhospitable area where no one else wants to live. It will be inhabited by a giant rat and the rat’s imaginary playmates. The economy will be based on amusement parks and fake scenery that charge exorbitant rates for everything from entry to the area to a mere sno-cone. Oh wait…we already have Disney World.