Government incompetence is a way
to disguise corruption:
As I read about the FEMA ice debacle and Mona Charen's 9/30/05 article regarding our inflating government spending during our hopeful "Republican Administration." A disillusionment just grew. My hopes of expounding on what I have witnessed and somehow do a useful service came crashing down in despair and defeat at the magnitude of the problem.
Though I had not yet touched my bible, for which my reading has become at best token, I mentally gave a brief prayer. The next thought that came to me was in regard to government incompetence being a way to disguise corruption.
Now, the ice debacle is not a good example, it just shows incompetence. But, mix a few incompetent incidents among others much less accidental and you have a method getting corruption lost in the shuffle amidst the image of mere incompetence at hiding those programs that are designed to enrich some at the expense of the public a big game of government!
School Choice Our public schools are "dumbing" down America. We must offer a competitive alternative to the union controlled public school system. There should be a federal mandate that State's allow parents the option of using public school funds to send their children to the private school of their choice so long as the school is academically accredited and no more than 10% of the academic curriculum is non-secular in nature. The amount of the annual voucher would be set at a minimum of 50% of the amount spent on a per student average for public education at that grade level.
Minimum Wage The current minimum wage laws have been eliminating those entry-level jobs that young and disadvantaged people need in order to develop work skills. This is hurting the American economy and causing people to unnecessarily remain on the public dole rather than develop work skills. Since the lobby to eliminate the minimum wage is too great, a compromise solution would be to allow each home unit and each business to hire 2 employees or up to 2% of their workforce independent of the minimum wage. This would again allow homeowners to hire neighbor kids to do chores around the house (at a wage commensurate with their abilities), and businesses to hire people who lack work skills and give them a chance to develop those skills. Safeguards could be incorporated in the law to protect workers from being exploited (such as requiring businesses to bring the wages up to par with other workers, once their skills had developed to the point that their abilities were developed).
Medical Malpractice How can we ever expect to solve the problem of rising medical costs if we operate under a system where attorneys enrich themselves and the victim of a medical accident can "win the lottery" at the expense of the rest of the public? Medical malpractice lawsuits should be banned and replaced with a monitoring system over medical practitioners, not unlike that of over operators of motor vehicles where citations and points are scored against an offenders record. Instead of enriching attorneys and the occasional victim of a mistake let us clean up the medical profession, requiring expertise whle weeding out those who are truly incompetent.
Roll Back Government Bureaucracy It is amazing how the bureaucratic process works! Start with a fairly reasonable programmatic idea to serve the public, and quickly the bureaucratic mind can create procedures and processes that encumber the process until its main function is to provide a self-serving operation comprised of mostly inefficient workers perpetually increasing the overhead cost at the expense of efficiently implementing the program. Businesses cannot escape this process, or the consequences. A general factor of enterprise is that once a fairly efficient process is set up, less efficient people take over and have a tendency to create "deadwood." As a consequence, for businesses to continue to survive and compete, they must periodically "clean house" or they will fail. Government bureaucracy has been able to escape this competitive reality, as it focuses more on consuming its budget (so it can get a bigger budget in the future) and establishing job security than in providing a service. If businesses must clean house every 10 or so years to eliminate the deadwood or fail, what are we doing when we allow government bureaucracies to simply increase year after year without true accountability? When was the house cleaning last done with Social Security, or any other government agency? If you have witnessed how quickly the bureaucratic mind works to undermine efficiency, you would mandate that every government agency be disbanded and re-invented every 10 years. The reinvention process should be engineered using a team comprised 90% (or so) of the most productive of the worker bee level staff those who know the nuts and bolts of what it takes to accomplish the mission, rather than those who are adept at being cogs in an ever less efficient machine. The prime target of the reinvention would be to reduce operating overhead, streamline procedures, recognize competence, weed out deadwood, and assure that its meaningful mission is accomplished with maximum efficiency and minimum cost to the taxpayer. As the reinvention process starts, independent taxpayer groups should assess the viability of maintaining the mission (maybe the mission is obsolete or unproductive to the economy), set the minimum level of rollback, based on a review of the current operating costs. Remember: Businesses grow because of productive efficiency and a demand for the product. Bureaucracies grow because bureaucrats are adept at increasing the inefficiency of their operations so that they can justify an ever-increasing budget!
Provide Self-Sufficiency Incentives to Recipients of Government Largesse Why does just about every government assistance program contain disincentives to the recipients bettering themselves? One sad reason for this is that it helps maintain the bureaucracy: If the programs were successful, bureaucrats would be out of work. Case in point, Unemployment Compensation for every dollar earned (gross: before taxes and deductions), the unemployment compensation is reduced a dollar. For the marginal worker this is a disincentive to going back to work prior to the unemployment benefits running out. Why not deduct $1 in unemployment for every $2 earned and provide some incentive to the person working? The tendency for all government programs is to work this way: keep the recipient as close to the poverty level as possible or deny benefits.
Government Spending? Ever try to really figure out where your taxpayer dollar goes? The figures don't show you much. The taxpayer needs to see the types of information a businessman needs in order to assess the pros and cons of an enterprise. What are we paying in comparison to the services provided? Is it cost effective? Each government agency should provide an annual report that clearly depicts services performed and an accurate breakdown of the cost of providing these services. Such reports should be subject to public scrutiny and investigation.
Social Security Since we are stuck with the system, let's find a way to get through the baby boomer years. The rules have already been modified so that the age for full retirement will increase from 65 years of age to 67 years of age. After that period of increase has ended, a new series of increases should be put into effect to bring the full retirement age to 70 years (and perhaps more as anticipated lifespan grows). The purpose of Social Security should be for those who worked until the age of retirement, and not as a program to provide funding to people below the retirement age. All programs within Social Security that provide funding to others should be brought under public scrutiny in order to be modified or eliminated.
War on Poverty Somehow, we must recognize that our current multi-trillion dollar campaign is based on a screwed up strategy. We have done more to destroy the family and institutionalize poverty than we have done to promote genuine opportunity and incentive for people to rise out of the squalor of poverty.
Privatize When are we going to learn that putting something under the auspices of government is always less efficient than competitive private enterprise? Wherever it makes sense, we must privatize what past politicians have created as a government program.
Recognize that Atheism/Secular-Humanism is a Religion It is essential that we preserve the integrity of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We cannot allow the secularists to establish its belief as a state religion.
Truth How do we get past the spin? Truth is a good thing. Propaganda is a poison, which destroys society. Truth is based on verifiable fact. Evaluation of truth requires some objectivity, critical thinking and logic β something that is increasingly missing in public education, the mass media, and political rhetoric.