PBG: Performance-Based Government

Reader Note:  Check back at 8:15 or so for the Housing report.

Since there has been so much press lately about the alt.left and far.left crazies (like AoC with her ‘borrowed from Canada’ New Green Deal) how about we come up with something a bit more far-reaching and positive?

By the way, Swing-state households would lose at least $70G within first year of Green New Deal, study finds.  Don’t bother with facts, though, this is about demogoguery not positive outcomes…which is our point.

As we view things, through a series of P&L’s and data stacks, the US is in process of failing.  We’ll skip the long discussion from old Business major books on how SDLC runs its course in software, something mirroed in government (just like it does with any other “product”.   But we can begin by wondering what the Founders would have done differently had modern management science existed when America was framed…

What’s missing from American Foundations is a  performance-based scoring system.  Voting was supposed to be that, but it has been subverted for a long time, now.

While it’s Business 201 that “What Gets Measured Gets Done…” there’s little evidence of this being applied in modern American government.  Except in some really specialized cases, such as TSA.  At the macro (high-level management view) TSA is a responsive unit of government in that their root cause for existence is to keep terrorists off airplanes and away from airports.

Ergo, since there hasn’t been another 9/11, they’re doing OK so far.  We trust you saw where T.S.A. Finds Missile Launcher in Man’s Bag at Baltimore Airport?  How’s that for finding  rat in Baltimore, huh?

But let’s focus on excellence of  individual cities and states.  There isn’t much.  Some are doing well, others so-so, and many are doing poorly.

Which gets us to the conundrum: Should States with low performance scores be allowed to carry the same voting weight nationally in congress as states with good performance scores?

The purpose of the Electoral College was to keep the American Middle/rural areas in a balanced relationship with the (crazier) big population states.

Is it time to ask the verboten?

Can States Be Scored?

The simple answer is yes, of course they can.  But the arguments break out when we start talking about specifics.  What scores well in New York, might not play in Kansas. So we need to come up with metrics that make sense.

We’ve always used money as a metric because it’s universal and tends, at least at some levels, to accrue from hard work.

Management Science would dictate we implment measurable, repeatable metrics in order to “score” states fairly.  This reduces to “What are people getting for their monies paid in taxes and fees?”

We would expect the efficiency of things like state transportation departments would vary daccording to geography.  Mississippi ought to have good roads because it’s flat and there’s not too much weather-related highway work (save occasional floods) compared to Colorado which has every climate imaginable and tons of spectacular cliff-hanging mountain highways, particularly if you work your way north out of Durango through their high country.

Obviously, scoring would need to be weighted to yield an apples to apples comparison.

Then there’s the matter of operating in concert with Federal laws.

Take illegal aliens, for example:  Should California be scored well for complying with Federal laws on immigration objectives?  Likely not.  Utah?  Maybe so.  But, you see how this goes.  Too much variance on core policy sets the stage for another un-civil war.

State affordability?  There would need to be measures to determine total tax burdens for things like sales, gas, and property taxes.  See?  One of the major screw-ups of the Founders comes into view.

Government was always intended to be a pay-as-you-go proposition.  Those who generated value (and paid taxes) got to vote back when.

Today, not only States but also the Nation itself, have abandoned balanced budgeting.  Meanwhile, the true problem (compound interest) makes the eventual failure of America a near certainty.  It’s just when does the money-watering-down become a revolutionary’s cry.

Our “poster child” for a failing state is Illinois.  Compound Interest will kill the state because of outlandish pension obligations. Each kick down the road raises costs.  This is a free lunch state. Not that the workers who’ve retired don’t deserve something reasonable & a fair shgake – they do.  But they also deserve government that understands money better.  Instead,  they’re suffering municipal and state pension issues because of giveaways and largess…mostly democrat, I’d add.

The bottom line – and what causes us to think in these terms and ask such a Big Picture question – is that Compound Interest is something we need to address sooner than latger.  When we ask it, though, another Big Problem must be addressed, too: Who Should Govern? High-performance states or losers? This is a non-trivial problem.

Should we be governed by population-heavy states of cry-babies who turn everyone into victims:?  Or, should leadership come from the the sober-minded, hard-working, goods-producing states that comply with Federal laws best and have measureable results?

Right now, the radicalizing of America is well-underway.  And you can see how the rift is leaving a “hole in the middle” with stories like “2020 Democrats keep shifting left. Moderates fret they’ll shift even further at next debate.

We match this up – as management generalists do – with stories like the Wall St. Journal’s “Federal Borrowing Soars as Deficit Fear Fades…”   Couple this with how “Political pressure complicates Fed’s expected rate cut.” We see a broad framework for a fine-tuning of elective government at all levels.

Given that the BoJ holds rates but vows easing if global events hit economy, we’re watching the world for the next day from the sidelines.

While there, we begin to wonder: Instead of being driven by money and minority persuasion blocks, how about we try something really radical?  How about we begin to measure great performance of government?

To begin, we could demand that politicians come up with specific, actionable, measurable campaign promises.  They’d get “scored” on how they moved those along.    Give us a business plan, not a bunch of crap, to vote on.  Elect and follow.  Generalities and BS are useless as proven time and again.

Because what we have now is obviously not working.  We keep falling for the same olde crappe.  Demagogue politicians promise the world and then offer nothing but excuses.

If this was a business and we (as voters) ran the HR department, everyone would give us  a workplan and if they didn’t stick to that – rather than come up with useless distractions and hot-button language – they get fired and replaced.  America needs more, lower barrier, political recall laws.

That’s a far-cry from the Housing data which will be out in a few minutes (check back) but I wanted to toss out this wild-ass idea that not only do we need a representative democracy, but we should also demand the same kind of absolute accountability that any professional manager would of employees, contractors, and even customers.

What gets measured gets done.  Either Trump or Pelosi needs to quit yammering about useless crap, table a solid business plan step-by-step to start America moving again.

Everything is a business model.  But America’s business model is dated and under attack.

We need Performance-Based Government or the Digital Mob will trash 243-years of project development.  Which is exactly where two-bit shills of social are leading.  151 characters at a time.

Individual cities have taken-on this kind of thinking previously and with some success.  The Seattle 2000 Commission laid out some measurable results for the city to aim at from back in 1974. (Bill Gates was 19 then…) Although mainly relegated to history, it was that kind of thinking that formed Seattle into a forward-viewing city that spawned companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe and OMG what a list…

Future-directed thinking is key – not the hot lingo nonsense that has enamored today’s young.

If you stand for anything less than performance-based government, you’re an idiot and not a future-shaping American.  We don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. But we need to focus more on cleaning up our act and cleaning out old-line politicians.

Not that business is perfect: DealBook Briefing: A Plan to Take on ‘Sociopaths’ in the Boardroom.  Like the ones in government, perhaps, too?

Personal Income is Up

Which is hardly surprising:

Personal income increased $83.6 billion (0.4 percent) in June according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $69.7 billion (0.4 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $41.0 billion (0.3 percent).

Real DPI increased 0.3 percent in June and Real PCE increased 0.2 percent. The PCE price index increased 0.1 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.2 percent.

The other big economic story is the Fed meeting which, although it is expected to lower rates a 1/4-percent tomorrow, could tank the market depending how it’s played.

Earlier this morning, the French and German markets were bleeding all over the place, with the DAXI was down 2.03%.  We tend not to get too worried about these kind of end-of-month pullbacks since they can be useful entries for long positions IF one thinks there’s still more up-side to go.  Your call.

Keep an eye on trade since As Trade Talks Begin, Trump Slams Beijing: “They Always Change The Deal”  Market’s don’t like tough negotiations.

War and Precedents

Russia Says U.S. May Be Aiming to Quit Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Royal Marines used excessive force, says tanker captain.

Blocking and Tackling

Blockchain Launches ‘Fastest’ Crypto Exchange in the World.

Bitcoin was stuck around $9,537 this morning.

Chart: Cannabis investors shift from loan financing to equity investment.

Possibly Useful Information (PUI)

Put us in for $20: Senator Rand Paul Says He’d Help Fund Ticket to Send Ilhan Omar to Somalia. Make it one way.

Attention Lawyers: The Jump Is Worrying:’ Bayer Reports Even More Roundup-Related Cancer Lawsuits.

Also at the courthouse: Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’ copied Christian rap song, jury rules.

Where’s the Left yelling “Concentration Camps?” Chinese Officials Defend Xinjiang Camps as a ‘Pioneering’ Approach for Fighting Terrorism.  They’re rounding up Muslims…

Strange Environmentalism ploy: Mini toiletries to be removed from Holiday Inn owner’s hotels.

And speaking of environmental change: Architecture firm shares concept for boutique hotel partially hanging from 1,982-foot cliff in Norway.

Back in a few with the Housing data and if you don’t come back, drop by tomorrow.

14 thoughts on “PBG: Performance-Based Government”

  1. G –

    Simple suggestion that will go a loooooong way towards bringing some fiscal sanity back to our NON- Representative Government.

    All Congressoids and Senatoids be AUDITED every 2 years, immediate family members included. Might start with that rat congressoid from Maryland, 2nd highest # of Human Traffic Crimes in US in 2018, Cummings wife runs a for Profit business and a NON – Profit business/charity in Baltimore..follow the money!

    Oh no ! have I just Offend ALL the candied ass, everybody gets a participation trophy, ankle grabbing, dumpster bumping, baby killers? Oh well,Tough ____!

  2. A few things this morning…I was interested in why the Green New Deal will cost average households $70,000 in first year, so I read the Methodology. What a bunch of horse hockey. It’s full of assumptive costs, upfront cash payments and doesn’t factor in savings. Half of that cost is buying a new EV. Doesn’t factor In a trade in value of old car. that can be re-sold abroad or in Central or South America…Or the fact that most people willy take our a car loan…It Doesn’t factor in gas savings or tax exemptions. My first year of owning a Tesla saved me over $12,000 in the first year…$5000 in gas savings and a $7500 tax credit.

    It factors in the cost of solar or alt housing and corporate energy costs…again, most will pay in installments…It’s a flawed study that is meant to scare and not really inform. Oh yeah, it’s an article from Fox…Go figure.

    Technology always costs money…Going from the typewriter generation to the computer generation cost thousands…even tens of thousands over the years…when you consider upgrades. Going from box TV sets to HD flat screens costs thousands at first……especially if you had multiple TV’s. Hell, an IPhone X costs $1,000…There are thousands of examples…

    But just let that headline sink in for a second and then you can see just how ludicrous it is. There is no way in hell that the GND would ever cost the average household $70,000. The numbers just don’t make sense…I already have most of those GND initiatives like solar, EV’s, etc…as do a lot of Californians…and it saves me money at a low upfront cost…Most people don’t even make that much money in a year in many of these states.

    One another note…you said…”Or, should leadership come from the the sober-minded, hard-working, goods-producing states that comply with Federal laws best and have measurable results?”

    What is a sober-minded, hard working, goods producing state? California is the most populated AND, it has the 5th largest economy in the world…AND, it is a major goods producing state from cars, to agricultural (#1), tech (#1), bio-tech (#1), Energy, manufacturing etc. That’s a pretty sober minded fact…New York…heavily populated #1 in dozens of economic sectors…pretty sober minded wouldn’t you say?

    Missouri…never mind…Iowa…never mind…Kansas….never mind…Arkansas…hahaha. Seems to me that the most populous states are the sober minded, hard working, goods producing states…by virtue of That’s where the JOBS are.

  3. The problem would be getting anyone to agree on what those performance metrics should be and how they are measured. Remember the metric ‘Jobs created or saved’?
    I think a better solution would be to enact term limits and a balanced budget amendment.

  4. “Imagine what would happen, if, by law, every US Congressman/woman, US Senator, President etc. was by US law audited every 1-2 years by an independent agency.
    Imagine what would happen if those audits extended to all family members of such ‘elected’ official?” – Q

  5. “Generalities and BS are useless as proven time and again. ”

    I, respectfully, disagree ;-); Same do, indeed, work.


  6. Considering we were formed as a “United States” of some degree – originally via the contract known as the Constitution, each individual state can represent its constituency in any way it’s resident voting population sees fit, as mentioned by George, so long as it complies within the letter of U.S. Constitutional law. Any divergence between state and federal interpretation of a law or laws usually lands before the SCOTUS for definitive resolution. Levying a ‘one shoe (ruling) fits all’ judgement through the SCOTUS is often viewed as unfair by the losing side. So ‘scoring’ states fairly faces inherent incongruities due to geographic size of the state, river/ocean access, mountains vs. plains, weather, population (which determines representation in the House as well as Electoral College votes) and industry (arguably proportional to size, water transportation access and mineralogy/geology). Getting a coalition of the disaffected in each state to agree on a ‘level playing field’ scoring system would take a deconstruction of the current Constitution. That, I fear, would end rather badly. So why change? Just to feel better about ourselves? Lee Iococa famously said about Chrysler “if you can find a better car, buy it.” I’d add a correllary: “ if you can find a better country, move there.” Until then, get over our petty differences and focus on what we have in common. Will it be easy or without conflict? No! But ‘‘that which does not kill us will make us stronger,’

  7. “We trust you saw where T.S.A. Finds Missile Launcher in Man’s Bag at Baltimore Airport? How’s that for finding rat in Baltimore, huh?”

    Hmmm.. doesn’t everyone have one… LOL…


    when I was in the military.. there were two guys.. both had been in NAM way to long.. LOL LOL LOL LOL… the first guy he lived with every kind of gun you could imagine.. some with shells that looked like twelve gauge shotgun shells.. could go through a engine block no problem.. anyway.. he had been several tours in nam and couldn’t handle being constrained..so he took off the screens and opened all the windows and door.. in DC.. anyone that has been there knows that this is a beautiful city and evil all around.. and we lived on the border to the dark side.. even so you just didn’t sneak in.. you walked in.. one day I was dozing in the chair watching tv.. my friend was taking a nap in his room and my other friend was in his room reading or something.. when all you could hear was this chamber of a canon closing.. we all woke up to my one friend having this cannon shoved down someones throat as he is dragging him in by the hair ready to make a mess in the kitchen.. the guy was sneaking in the kitchen.. my other friend and I were both begging him to spare his life.. he did let the guy go.. never was there anyone else that tried to come in.. the little store across the street .. koreans.. I was in love with the guys daughter.. super nice and could cook oh my god.. she could cook.. we were flirting back and forth when some guy pulls a gun.. all of a sudden there was this flurry of action and the guy runs out.. I was shocked.. the owner opens a drawer and tosses the gun in the drawer.. LOL LOL LOL.. I said are you going to call the cops.. DC cops not on your life they won’t do anything anyway.. and this is how I make money by selling the guns LOL..

    the other guy was really shy..birds hated him.. never in my life did I see birds hate someone as bad as him.. and the feeling was mutual.. ( they dive bombed his pepsi LOL hit square to) anyway.. we would run perimeter watch.. and he spent way to much time in Nam.. way to much.. he would scare me.. he carried a grenade.. played with it.. kept it in his pocket.. pull the pin out put the pin back.. juggle the dam thing.. I would say.. can’t you put that thing up someplace.. god it makes me nervous.. nope you never know when you will need it.. then he went on leave..
    the story he told me was he was hitch hiking and some guy picked him up.. as they cross the bridge the guy grabs a gun… he said.. that is when I pulled out the grenade with the pin pulled and said god theres a lot of nuts in this world anymore.. so the guy let him out..

    my grandson he comes home wants to make a potato gun.. for school.. you can’t take something like that in school.. yup it is a class project.. I call everyone.. yup.. don’t see anything wrong with it.. we had one when I was a kid.. you do realize that is a canon .. so we built one it went to school.. they all went out even the police the monitor the halls and was shooting it.. guess they got three football field lengths.. they drove pickups back and forth trying to land in the back of it..

    so really what difference does it really make if someone had a launcher.. if they have a collection.. and it is disabled..( even if it was enabled.. ) is it that bad of a thing. basically all it is is a hollow pipe with a range finder attached…..

  8. I have always thought a simple solution to jumpstart Congress doing what is best for the country is to start with themselves. Pay for congressmen should be set to the average income of their particular state. Then, maybe, they would pay a bit more attention to wasteful spending and maybe think about what might benefit the people of their state.

    • ” Pay for congressmen should be set to the average income of their particular state.”

      great idea.. I say limit the funds that can be donated.. and then those funds be placed in a general fund and used only to pay down the deficit rather than go to our congressmen and women.. trips donated to a particular congressman put in a raffle and every member of that state given the opportunity to get it.. didn’t Nancy just make a nice little fact finding trip abroad.. paid for by lobbyists..

      limiting the actual pay would never work as long as they can get unlimited cash donations from lobbyists.. You know I already think we have the best congress that the money the puppeteers donate can buy..

  9. Personally, I don’t want “efficiency” in government. The Founding Fathers deliberately designed the Government as a representative bicameral legislative body, to make it difficult to pass laws — The thought being if it were difficult, Congress would have time to contemplate a law, and therefore pass fewer stupid or frivolous ones.

    That said, do y’all really want to make “government” more efficient?

    Okay, then…

    1) Make regulations illegal. This will cause every regulatory straw on our backs to be voted on and passed into an actual law, by people who can be voted out of office instead of bureaucrats who can’t.

    2) Make EVERY law SUNSET, after 10 years.

    The single biggest problem in D.C. is: Congress passes a bad (not Constitutionally grounded) or junk (usually a “feelgood” law, and neither well thought-out nor enforceable, or which “doesn’t do what it’s supposed to” because Congresscritters are notoriously bad at considering the “Law of unintended Consequences” type of) law. Such a crap law gets passed, then Congress will revisit it, sometimes periodically for DECADES, to alter its parameters or jack with its application or funding, because it is crap law, doesn’t work, AND CAN’T BE MADE TO WORK.

    A “good law” can be passed again.
    A “crap law” just goes away and ceases to be a suck on the system.

    And 3) Term limits — Requires an Article 5 Convention, because the batards on the Hill are never going to vote, to cast themselves out of Office…

Comments are closed.