13 May 2012

Self-entrenching corruption

Our current political systems are quite simple to understand. Corporations, government agencies and, indeed, any organisation, have as their over-riding goal that of self-perpetuation. With government at all levels looming so large, the bigger organisations find that trying to influence government in their favour is one of the most effective ways of achieving their prime goal. Most often this happens at the expense of society or, via borrowing, the next generation, or the environment. Everybody's doing it, it seems, so it would actually be a dereliction of duty for any leaders of these organisations not to do it. Unfortunately, this system is self-entrenching. Only a really big shake-out can do anything about it - and such shake-outs bring their own problems.

A Social Policy Bond regime would be different. New organisations would come into being that would be entirely subordinated to society's explicit social and environmental goals. They would survive and thrive only by being efficient at achieving these goals. Their structure, composition and activities would all be secondary issues: subordinate to their goal-achieving initiatives. In short, we shall have a new type of organisation. And that's exactly what we need. Here is one tiny but typical of the current system subverts has corruption built into it:

The claim that it would be cheaper for Greece to send every rail passenger to their destination by taxi was ... first made by Stefanos Manos, the former Greek finance minister, in 1992. Manos used the railway system to illustrate what he saw as gross public sector waste. ... He says it was an off-the-cuff remark but about right. "I knew the number of passengers and I made a brief estimate of what it would cost to send them from Athens to the north of Greece and I decided it was quite obvious it would be cheaper to send them there by taxi rather than train."
The conclusion?
... Mr Manos is correct if there are more than two passengers in each taxi. Source

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