Act: Nice

People should learn manners. Too often in this country there is a lack of politeness. If people would more often say please and thank you, the entire moral tenor of this great nation would be improved.

In this same vein I would like to propose legislation. It is well established that the government cannot and has no right to control what people think, but within some broad bounds it may guide the expression of those thoughts. Therefore the law will reward good manners, while punishing poor manners and foul language. In order to keep costs down, most of the enforcement will be handled by people in service industries, police officers, teachers, and management, as well as mechanisms for all citizens to participate in enforcement.

I. Good Manners

The initial focus of this bill is to improve manners, therefore that behaviour needs to be rewarded. Whenever pleases and thank yous and other kindnesses and appropriate manners are given, a cookie, about the size of a cookie crisp cookie, but available in several different varieties, will be given. The giver will be the teacher, service person, teacher, or other approved agent who observed the kindness. If none of these are present, the recipient of the kindness may text or call 1-UBE-NICE, fill out the form at ubenice.com, or email to cookie@ubenice.com to pass along in the hope that all good manners will be rewarded. Centers will be set up for cookie collection in these instances. Though the cookie is small, those who practice good manners continuously over the course of the day will find they have as many cookies as they could wish for.

In the event that cookie companies lobby against this, they may be granted government contracts to make these cookies.

II. Foul Language and Poor Manners

Just as there is a carro…cookie to reward the desired behavior, there also must be a punishment. The same people who may dispense reward also have the right to inflict punishment. This punishment is a 25 cent fine for each instance of poor manners and/or foul language. Officers may ticket for each offense, and the citizen action information is 1-UBE-NBAD, the poor manner form at ubenice.com, or email not@ubenice.com.

There will be a review center, mostly automated, that will track the complaints and praise in order to avoid abuse of the system. If the computer flags a recipient of either more than a standard deviation above the norm, a human agent will review the file and, if necessary, make a direct, face-to-face review to discover if this person is actually a particularly good or bad person, if it is simply an anomaly or if there is an abuse. In the cases of abuse, that person will be barred from the system for six months. Immediate reward or punishment by appropriate authorities may still be given, but the automated system will automatically refuse to acknowledge inputs.

In order to encourage participation each state will be ranked for politeness, weighted by population. The winning state will receive a statewide ice cream party funded by the losing states, again weighted by population. The initial funds will be credit vouchers to the ice cream suppliers and, the states will provide the requisite funds and then, if the state is running too large a deficit to cover the cost, it will be added as a Act:nice Fee on the yearly state tax return.

In this manner, the manners of our great nation will be improved.

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