03 January 2011

The gap widens

Another year, and the gap between policies and meaningful outcomes continues to widen, as does the gap between policymakers and the people they are supposed to represent. Much of the problem lies in an almost total refusal by policymakers to be open about the costs of their policies. The environment and future generations look like being the most grievous victims. Policies that benefit the rich, large corporations and the present generation of voters at the expense of everyone and everything else are always likely to be made under the current regime, where policymaking is so complex there need be no transparency about who are to be the real winners and losers. Policy goals are unstated, vague, uncosted or mutually conflicting and there is no follow up as to the success or failure of particular initiatives.

Social Policy Bonds offer a transparent alternative. Being entirely focused on outcomes that are meaningful to ordinary people, they are far less likely to be hijacked by corporations and their lobbyists, because outcomes are accessible to all - unlike the arcana of current policymaking.

So where are Social Policy Bonds going? They have been in the public arena now for more than twenty years, and I know of nobody who's actually issued any. I see my present role as one of maintaining my websites and making my work available to all, while standing by in case anybody does want advice. Right now I'm working on updating my book (a little) so that it can be marketed a bit more effectively.

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