Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Lean mean governing machine (not a Schwarzennegger post)

How effective is our government? There are varying views of its practical efficiency (a term here defined by me as an ability to process laws or govern at an acceptable rate), but my view is that it does a poor job. Part of this is due in part to keep corruption at a minimum through bureaucratic red tape, but part also is due in part to the changing political view of representation as a job rather than a service.

The political machine has become so bloated and complex that the average person has little time (with the average work week increasing in hours spent) to become thoroughly involved in the political process. So, does this lead us on the path to plutocracy? Are there other options? I would suggest trimming some fat. The first thing that can be done is to remove many laws from the book. Government is good. Government is necessary. But overlegislation only creates elitist conflicts in our legal-political system. Elitist conflicts should only take place in our educational or social systems. Of course that might be difficult if not impossible to do with the interrelationships between all systems, but a good start would be the simplification of our legal code. (As an aside there is a children's book that demonstrates strange but true laws from actual states- ie you cannot sneeze on a train in Nashville).

Cutting back on bureaucracy is another idea, but that is a delicate process. While some redundancy is necessary as a protection, there are some areas which could be cut in an effort to simplify government. That should be a topic for another day with more time to research.