Wednesday, August 8, 2007

American Solutions, pod cast #1

This pod cast is available here:

American Solutions ( seeks to create a mass demand among the citizenry for change in the process of government at all levels. By transforming away from the existing bureaucratic based method toward a more free enterprise based model, we are able to concentrate our efforts towards demonstrated functionality instead of pursuing theoretical solutions.

"Real change requires real change". Real change requires a complete departure from the existing system, not just cosmetic updates or tortuous manipulation of existing processes. Newt returns repeatedly to a comparison of a free enterprise model with a government bureaucracy model to illustrate the fundamental nature of the depth of change he proposes.

"Free enterprise should be producing more choices of higher quality at lower cost with greater convenience." as opposed to the world that fails (which isn't confined to government alone), which has "bureaucracy, red tape, a failure to measure outcomes, no consequences for success or failure and it produces fewer choices of declining quality with more excuses, rising costs and no change."

Newt and his colleagues anticipate "an explosion of knowledge" over the next 25 years, on the order of 4 to 7 times the growth of knowledge as occurred during the preceding 25 years. Singularity anyone? Actually, Newt stays well clear of that argument and I think that may prove to be a strategic error on his part. Directly involving the people working toward, or simply anticipating the accelerating process of, the singularity taps into an existing source of specific incentive who could be expected to provide added stimulus to advance his general effort as well. For someone who demonstrates a clear understanding of the desirability of both positive and negative incentive, this seems a curious oversight.

Newt offers two particular examples of current "world that works" models for government to transform towards: tracking a package on FedEx while it moves vs can't find illegal aliens while they're sitting still; and, using an ATM in a foreign country, which identifies you, confirms your cash availability, withdraws US currency and tracks exchange rate to complete the transaction all in about 11 seconds vs the US government issuing visas or a specific failure of the law enforcement bureaucracy (you'll have to listen for yourself to hear the examples he offers - much too involved to try and relate here).

So far this seems to be a compilation of Newt's various policy speeches from years past which obviously formed the basis for this organizing effort; health care, government, bureaucracy, education. The long form of presentation does allow the comprehensive inter-relationships between the various ideas to be clearly illustrated, something that is lost in a more time restricted venue.

He makes a good start, let's see where he goes from here.

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