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Cost of Good Government


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Is Good Government Free?

People in a liberal democracy are free, it is true. But does that mean that good government is free? This assumption is dangerous, because special interest groups who lobby legislators and executives know that their form of “good” government, which provides legislation that is favorable to their special interest group, costs money.

It may be reasonable to conclude that law-making that favors citizens over special interest groups may also cost money. This is not a new concept. But PoliticalSheepdog.com raises some new questions:

How much should you pay for good government to be competitive with the private sector? (That is, how much are we willing to pay for public policy to be the best it can be?)

How can the brightest and best minds be drawn to public service as law innovators?

One way to recognize the importance of creating a market for good public policy is the issue of competency of public schools versus private schools. Citizens intuitively understand that it costs money to run public schools. However, citizens also desire schools that provide value for the money invested by parents and taxpayers. After all, we already know that good schools are possible, because we see them in the private sector.

Reward for the brightest and best thinkers in free societies, under the sponsorship of PoliticalSheepdog.com, would lead to the discovery of new ideas for laws to revitalize our schools and other institutions. Without a major change, the failure of public schools to measure up to the results of private school will continue to hurt countless students as well as society at large. The same is true of most of our social welfare institutions. We all suffer when our social institutions are second- or third-rate. To reduce the failures and suffering, we must be prepared to pay for the innovation of effective, first-rate public policy.

PoliticalSheepdog.com also envisions a powerful citizen lobby group working to help pass these innovative public policies to reform our social institutions, such as our schools. These citizen lobbyists will be paid for successfully influencing legislators to support effective, efficient public policies.

Economists usually use “efficiency” as a measurement of improving the social welfare. PoliticalSheepdog.com will develop and support efficient public policy within a competitive environment designed to ensure a fair market value for good public policy. Citizen lobbying and monetary reward for social reformers should be correctly seen as legitimate pay for the promotion of the national and local good.

The Elegance of Profit

To understand the PoliticalSheepdog.com solution, let us consider markets. Not all products are equal in quality and utility. Some products are worth much more than others.

For instance, a frying pan can be just another cookpot, or it can be a specially crafted invention that cooks food better and faster than other pans. We don’t mind paying for something that gives us value.

From the producer’s point of view, it is not only fair, but also informative, to be able to profit from a superior product. Profits tell producers that they have produced a valuable product. When an inventor can sell a good product and profit from it, there is motivation to continue to deliver products that benefit consumers.

Using equality instead of profits as a standard of fairness may be an important reason why Communism fails. When everyone is rewarded the same, despite the value of their work, a market can not produce excellence. Without profit as a market indicator, producers do not know what to produce, and the economic system becomes inefficient.

Profit in a global economy is an elegant concept. Profit is the combined effect of billions of other economic choices, and it can be a reliable indicator that tells producers what to produce. As a result, the standard of fairness in a market is not equality, but the fair market value of a product. Economists call this standard the “marginal revenue product.”

The fair market value of a product is the additional value that an individual or product adds beyond the next best competing individual or product. For frying pans, it is the difference people are willing to pay for the quality pan that cooks faster and better versus the ordinary pot.

Fair market value can be attributed to the development and support of good public policy as well as to frying pans. PoliticalSheepdog.com invites innovators and constituent citizens to invest in developing and supporting effective, efficient, and possibly productive, public policies with a fair market value return for their efforts.

To find the fair market value for constituents who support the successful enactment of better laws (efficient public policy), PoliticalSheepdog.com uses competitive auctions wherever appropriate.

Creating a Market for Good Public Policy Innovators

Rewarding innovators of creative new laws that save lives and money with their fair market value is a new concept. It is built on the concepts of the marginal revenue product, intellectual property rights, and monopoly protection in a form similar to patents.

The fair value of an inventor is the value of his or her invention for a period of time. To be fair, the period of time would be equal to the length of time it would have taken the next best competing inventors to develop a similar invention. In this way, inventors compete only against inventors and researchers producing similar products for a period after the initial monopoly period.

PoliticalSheepdog.com will create a market for limited competition between competing public law innovators. The website will act as the marketplace. As a result, this website will attempt to provide a fair market value for those innovators, who create these good laws (efficient public policies).

Other Possible Markets for Improvement

PoliticalSheepdog.com deals with efficient public policies. Whenever a public policy can result in greater efficiency, then PoliticalSheepdog.com can use the same concepts and technology to address the related issues.

PoliticalSheepdog.com may also be able to address policies that create more goods and services (productivity) or more consumer and producer surpluses .

The Cost of Bad Laws

Bad laws cost us our precious resources – our health and our money. Poor public policies may even contribute to the needless loss of lives as occurred with Katrina.

The Cost of Good Laws

Good public laws are not perfect, but they offer us an improvement over laws that fail to adequately protect us from corruption and waste. How much is it worth to discover and implement new ways of dealing with such social problems as addiction, drug trafficking, unemployment, and incarceration?

If citizens in free societies are not willing to invest in good laws, they will instead pay dearly for ineffective, inefficient laws – with their treasures and their lives. Let us now count the cost and invest in democracy and in our future – our children.


NOW is the time…