Monday, September 29, 2008

The 10 Habits of Ineffective Government

Glenn Greenwald has posted 10 normal principles our government follows in general, and has followed in the recent crisis. Here they are, somewhat abridged:

(1) Incredibly complex and consequential new laws are negotiated in secret and then enacted immediately, with no hearings, no real debate, no transparency.

(2) Those who created the crisis, were wrong about everything, drive the process. Experts who dissent from the prevailing Washington orthodoxy, particularly ones who were presciently warning about what was happening, are simply ignored -- systematically excluded from the process.

(3) Public opinion is largely ignored, as always, and public anger is placated through illusory, symbolic and largely meaningless concessions.

(4) The Government begins with demands for absolute power so brazen and absurd that anything, by comparison, seems reasonable...

(5) Wall Street, large corporations and their lobbyists own the Federal Government and both parties, and (therefore) they always win.

(6) The people who run the Washington Establishment are drowning in conflicts of interest.

(7) For all the anger over what Wall St. has done, the Government -- as it bails them out -- isn't doing anything to rein in their practices.

(8) When the Government wants greater and greater power and wants to engage in pure corruption, it need only put the population in extreme fear and it gets its way in every case.

(9) On the most consequential and fundamental questions that define the country, the establishment/leadership of both political parties are in full agreement, and insulate themselves from any political ramifications by acting jointly.

(10) Whenever you think that the Government has done things so extreme that it can't top itself -- torture, theories of presidential lawbreaking, a six-year war justified by blatantly false pretenses -- it always tops itself.


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posted at 1:15:00 PM by Neil

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