Should the government experiment with social media and web technology?
The question I always have is “who does the government report to” ?
The naive, pat answer is: “the people”. The problem is that people have to mobilize and centralize their opinions and power, in order to effect this power to change government. The lag time, and tools and methods required to do so, usually take us about 2-4 years to apply. Coincidently, that is often the term of office.
In employment in America, the “employment at will clause” allows employers to change employees when violations of trust, performance and fit happen, which impact the organization negatively. In general, employees “report to” employers. Its anti-job security to employees, but its incumbent on employees to find ways to harmonize and add value so that employers do not exercise there right to terminate employees. In an economic downturn, it allows private enterprise the power to reduce cost, change focus and continue operations and avoid bankruptcy. Bankruptcy often results when debt taken on by the organization exceeds its ability to pay “within the reasonable period of operation”, usually quarterly. Not every 4 years (politics) but every 3 months. Hmmmm, big difference. Whats the term of office in Corporations? In Government?
Actions to reduce operating costs are is the corporation seeking to maintain itself, in a COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT. Unfortunately, by contrast, Governments do not have a competitive environment which encourages competitive response, improvement and changes to staffing, focus and accountability for results.
Since there is no “better products and better services” for citizens to select from, there is a huge incentive to avoid the hard choices and hard work of improvement, innovation, and cost cutting. Instead the motivation of self-preservation, and inertia are supported by PR, media manipulation and talk (which is always cheap).
Media is the instrument of control, and the Market is the instrument of competition. Since there is new open market of alternative governments for citizens to select from (in the short run), Monopoly power exists in Governments. At the city, state, and federal level.
In fact, one of my favorite quotes is “The justice department has a monopoly on antitrust enforcement”
So without further ado, here is a list of some examples of Government use of web technology
Matrix Click Here