It seems to me, a carpenter uses squares, levels and chalk lines to get satisfactory results, an accountant uses entries in a ledger to harmonize the income and outgo of a business’ expenses, and a CEO uses profit margins and return on investments to gauge their performance, those in politics however, have no such devices to insure the quality of their work, the effectiveness of their laws nor quantify the benefit of their actions. It would seem then, that the carpenter, accountant and executive is held to a higher standard than Senators, Congressmen, Judges or President of nations. The actions of a Judge has implications for the whole of the society, the economy balances on the laws passed by Senators and Congressmen, a President that refuses to equally administer the laws destroys civil society, yet there are no measures, gauges or regulations on them. The lack of which lowers, not only the quality of the work of government, but insures the sub par performance of everything government touches.
Imagine building a house without a level, square or chalk line. Such a house, no matter the expertise of the carpenter, would be shoddy. The walls wouldn’t be plumb, the floors wouldn’t be level and the framing wouldn’t be straight. Every part of that house would be terrible. Were a house built without the use of these tools it wouldn’t stand a year. If however, a house were built by an amateur, with the use of levels, squares and chalk line, even given the substantially lower skill level of the carpenter, it would be much better then a house built by an expert without the use of such quality enforcing tools. Quality work then requires the tools to ensure quality workmanship.
What if an accountant didn’t use ledgers to keep track of the expenditures of a business and instead kept all the figures in his head? That business would fail in short order. Money would be wasted, employees would get paid correctly, and inventory would be misallocated. No part of that business would function properly. No matter how intelligent or practiced the accountant, eschewing the use of books and ledgers would make her work terrible. Many businesses have no accountants at all however, but the owners themselves do the work with the use of ledgers and software t account for the expenditures and income and run just fine. It s obvious then that the use of ledgers are critical to running a business.
A CEO who didn’t allow the use of profit margins and return on investment would quickly find no one would buy shares of the company, and those who did would quickly loose their hard earned money. Such a corporation would be impossible to figure actual value, no one would know or could know, if it were profitable or not, or quantify the performance of the CEO. No matter how skilled in management that CEO was. The quality of his work could not be determined. Take an unskilled manager and let him used the tools of assessment of a company she runs however, and that company would be quantifiable, people would buy shares in it and the company would be able to function. If the company she runs is not profitable she will be replaced and if she does a good job the stock value will increase. The tools of return on investment and profitability are critical in running a corporation.
Politicians however have no tools to ensure the quality of their work, no tools to quantify the effect of their laws nor tools to understand the return to society of their regulations. Instead, government works in the dark, passing laws and regulations hither thither and yon. If a regulation backfires and makes the situation it was supposed to rectify worse, no problem, glom on another poorly thought out regulation. Which is like a carpenter not using a level to find plumb and so just nails on another board. If a law results in the lowering of a sector’s profitability, who can measure it, there are no ledgers to use to calculate the effect of a new law. If a decision of a judge has a pernicious incentive, who can evaluate it, there are no means of quantifying the societal impact of a judges ruling. Moreover, regulators, legislators, judges and presidents refuse to be bound by measures to improve the quality of their work, measure the effect of their labor or calculate the societal impact of their decisions.
What we have is a system where the person who labors with their hands produces high quality work, the person who accounts for the income and outgo of a business, calculates it to the penny, and the people running businesses performance is measured by the profitability of the enterprise, but our leaders have no such limits. Even the restraints of a Constitution are ignored and argued to the head of a pin. The result is that government, all governments, produce defective goods, deficient laws and inferior work. Such outcomes would be severely punished if a carpenter produced them, but they are accepted every day from our leaders. A Fourth Branch would provide the tools to measure, calculate the performance and quantify the societal effect of our leaders, unfortunately even the people most damaged by the defective products our government produces, recoil at the thought. Until we become as rational at gauging government, as we are about the quality of our homes, the profitability of our businesses and the return on our investments, we will continue to be damaged by the defective products of our governments.