Of course, social science is not as rigorous as the hard sciences like physics, because it's virtually impossible to test a single variable with all other conditions remaining constant. A single experiment can support multiple hypotheses, and rejecting a hypothesis completely is much harder. That limits the usefulness of the scientific method, but it is still useful nonetheless.
And I'd like to point that though I agree with you that moneyed interests do have a strong and unwelcome influence on the system, the fact is that those interests are not in full agreement with each other. For example, look at what's going on with a proposed bill that will allow states to collect sales taxes on Internet sales. On one side, there are behemoths like Wal Mart and Amazon. On the other, is another set of moneyed interests (ex eBay)
And leaving aside the issue of "collapse", people will continue to disagree over whether or not things are "better" with or without SSM. IOW, while you may settle some of the more extreme claims (though I doubt it), it will not cause people to change their minds over such matters.
The fact is that peoples opinions are not subject to scientific resolution because they are as rooted in a persons' values as they are in reason and science. Science can not prove whether some things are "just", or "fair", or "better" because such judgments are subjective and therefore not subject to scientific resolution.
-Founded the faith-based initiatives programs that gave inner-city (predominately black) churches federal funding for their non-religious community work
-First POTUS to include the United Negro College Fund in the federal budget
-Rescued tens of millions of Africans from an early death by putting essentially all of Sub-Saharan Africa HIV patents on anti-viral medication
-Appointed the first ever 2 black Secretaries of State and National Security Adviser
-Had more women on his staff than any POTUS in history or since
Hated by the two largest Democrat constituency groups, women and blacks.
-Using drones eliminate terrorists
-Ordered the attack on Abbottabad that killed Osama Bin Laden including the controversial doctrine of carrying out acts of war inside of Pakistan with their knowledge or permission
-Carried out PRESIDENT BUSH'S auto bailout plan that saved Chrysler and General Motors.
-Copied the Mitt Romney healthcare plan and rolled it out nationally inspired by the GOP think tank, The Heritage Foundation led in part my Newt Gingrich
-Kept a member of President Bush's cabinet in his administration
-Has always had Republican representation in his cabinet
-President Bush's Wall Street Bailout wasn't even his doing but Republicans think it was
-Kept Gimto open once privy to national security briefings he was excluded from when he promised to close it placing the security of the American people above his own credibility and reputation
-Is fighting the FDA and Federal Courts in continuing to require minors to have a prescription for the morning after pill
Hated by Republicans
Having opinions all over the map is a good sign of a person capable of autonomous thinking. Felix -2011
And our system is a two-party system. The two parties control the vast majority of the money spent on campaigns, and viable third parties are unable to emerge because of fears that voting for a better third party will result in a worse result when the party you oppose the most wins as a result of the vote being split.
You're an intelligent person. Why should I have to explain this concept to you? Do you not agree that it effectively discourages the emergence of a viable third party?
And in regulation for most other industries, there is a single side that wants rules that only big giant corporations can deal with, and artificial barriers to entry into the marketplace that protects their supremacy in the market.And I'd like to point that though I agree with you that moneyed interests do have a strong and unwelcome influence on the system, the fact is that those interests are not in full agreement with each other. For example, look at what's going on with a proposed bill that will allow states to collect sales taxes on Internet sales. On one side, there are behemoths like Wal Mart and Amazon. On the other, is another set of moneyed interests (ex eBay)
I'm an electrical engineer. I just finished my engineering degree this semester. For my senior design project, I built a complete autonomous helicopter using an open-source autopilot project. It cost me a grand total of about $1,400 for the whole project, and it performs as well as UAV's that cost the military about $55,000 each. I wanted to pay the money to branch that project and get it FAA certified, so that I could use it to start a business building and flying commercial UAV's. The FAA requires hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of investment, and years of testing to validate a flight system, even though the drone I made is no more or less dangerous than the R/C helicopter I used as the flight platform. The methods I used for communication are well documented, as was the code written to establish fail-safe behaviors, and the circuitry used to minimize hazards in the event of things like instrument failure. Still, it takes insane amounts of money, and years of red tape, to LEGALLY fly a drone the size of a desktop fan.
Each of those legislations were presented in the name of preserving public safety. I value that goal, and I approve of any reasonable legislation towards that end. But the larger result of those legislations is that only companies with huge amounts of resources are able to produce goods for that industry. Economically, it creates artificial barriers to entry in the marketplace that stifles competition, and diminishes the power of consumer choice. Both of those results are detrimental to the free market, and to the social mobility of people who want to participate in it. Because of those laws, my only real option as an engineer is to go work for an aerospace company and take whatever pay they decide to give me, even though I'm willing and able to run a business and take on the greater risk, for the chance of a greater reward.
I also suspect that your stated preference for having this issues decided at the state and local level is based on emotion and not reason. After all, there is no objective evidence that states and localities do a better job of this.