Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Does more "accountability" lead to statism?

I was thinking about this lately:

Has the continued cry for performance measures and accountability for any government spending lead to bigger government?
Has increased accountability measures driven government to increase size?

Does a "responsible" government naturally move towards statism?
Is this the unintended consequence of a 'limited' government?

Increased accountability only increases the "size" of government (measured by government spending I guess) if the cost of accounting for everything is greater than the spending that was turned down or discontinued as a result of the accountability.

Whether or not any spending ever gets turned down or discontinued or whether it can even be attributed to the accountability standards... God only knows. It would be nice to find out, though.
This kind of reminds me of the idea of doing a cost-benefit analysis on cost-benefit analysis.
What does it mean to be held accountable for something you shouldn't be doing? When I was a kid my mother never looked in on me to see how well I was messing up my room. The police have never attempted to correct me for not speeding fast enough.
"Accountability" is intended to appease the public mind and substitute for "limiting" government.
Do we have another Anarcho-capitalist on our hands, Juris? I like your style.
That's hilarious, juris. Govt. accountability audits are the "How Well Am I Driving?" stickers on the trough.

Well, OK, the analogy is a tad labored.
My current place of work does performance measures for their program. The thing is that government really has no business doing this business (workforce training, unemployment programs) and has monopolized a market of information (most notably unemployment statistics). So it seems they are holding themselves accountable for something they have no reason to be doing.
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