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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

 
Romney Is On To Something

By now y'all have heard about MSNBC's doctored video of Mitt Romney's Wawa visit. I can't add anything to what Media Research Center and others have already said - MSNBC invented a fraudulent "news" story. But I would like to add to Romney's speech. His thesis is that private enterprise has been far more successful than the public sector at making its goods and services user-friendly. Successful businesses make good use of automation. By contrast, government bureaucracies are still run pretty much the way they were during WWII, with their Rube Goldberg chains of command and mazes of information flow. I've been batting around an idea for a while. Given that bureaucracies are essentially information systems, wouldn't it be worthwhile to hire someone like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to play a key role in bureaucracy reform? It seems to me that the principles that make Facebook successful (IPO overvaluation notwithstanding) should be applicable to the government version of social networking. Some might worry about the notion of government getting better at collecting and disseminating information. But the increased omniscience goes both ways; citizens are part of the bureaucracy information loop. And we could require agencies to publish online any data subject to FOIA requests - to make such requests obsolete.

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