21 December 2008

Not very optimistic

Adam Shatz writes:
The one demand [the protesters in Greece] shared was that the government resign. Their protests struck a chord among students in other European countries dismayed by their dim economic prospects and unresponsive leaders. 'London Review of Books', 1 January 2009
Exactly so - see my previous post.

Blogger.com tells me this is my 600th post, and this blog has been going for four years now. So it's a good time to summarise where the Social Policy Bond idea is going. For the Social Policy Bond principle, it hasn't been a great year, to be frank. Most importantly, policy still seems to be driven by virtually anything except outcomes. I see policies that I regard as ineffectual or disastrous continuing to consume vast amounts of bureaucratic energy, political capital and other resources, without making people or the environment significantly better off. Little is being put in place to insure against nuclear proliferation, climate change or any other type of disaster - areas where, I think, the Social Policy Bond idea could score heavily over any other policy, even where such policies (like Kyoto) are at least being considered.

Intellectually, it's been more satisfying, in that I recently published my latest book on the subject. At 60000 words it's the definitive work on Social Policy Bonds, so far. But I couldn't find a publisher prepared to take it on, so I've had to publish it myself, at no cost, via Lulu enterprises. After a couple of months, sales to people other than myself (for proof-reading purposes) haven't made it into double figures.

According to my website statistics sources, this blog and the SocialGoals.com site between them are seen between about 10 or 20 times a day. But many of these visits are short; almost nobody this year has emailed me about the bonds or even left comments on this blog.

Taken together then, I'm not too optimistic and I am considering what to do with this blog and my time. Publication of my book and four years of this blog mean that a resource is available for those who are interested, and it might be better to let the idea lie until somebody is sufficiently motivated to take it further. I will have a think about that.

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