Monday, February 09, 2009

The economy: All in favor of accountability ... ?

I have to admit being mystified by some of the approaches taken to shore up the economy. If we don't know who is going to get the money and how it is going to be used, then how do we know it will have the effect we intend? If we don't know those things, then how do we know how much we need? Do we know whether the real job will take half that amount, or twice that amount? If we don't know any of the above, then how can we measure whether the intervention was a success?

Have you heard the principle that the amount of work will expand to fill the time allotted to complete it? I expect the need for money will expand to fill the amount available. But do we know when to stop?

Accountability is the main thing I ask of this bailout. Simple accountability.

4 comments:

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

The Bush administration made a big deal of testing for schools and students, accountability. This was to the point that some thought schools would be "teaching to the test."

I don't understand how they did first bailout without accountability. Now the banks seem to not be able to account, even in retrospect, for where the money went. Even more puzzling to me were the news reports that Secretary Paulson had to beg some banks to take this money. They didn't want it. Now any of those institutions are on the hot seat if they are spending money on any kind of perks.

I can only hope that the present administration learns from the past lack of accountability. Accountability , or lack of it, catches up with people. Look at what happened to those nominees.

Weekend Fisher said...

Yeah, and -- look, I was never a huge fan of McCain, he's got a lot of integrity but he had no real vision for the country -- but one thing is he did see the whole Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac thing coming years ago, and was trying to get accountability in place. He was soundly shut down by the people with vested interests. I'm just saying even the previous bail-out was not exactly the first time the whole 'accountability' thing has come up in connection to the current economic trouble.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

Tony-Allen said...

Accountability seems to be rare these days. Even rarer are people maintaining it. The place that laid me off had a serious problem with people on staff not having enough of that, and instead of fixing it they've fired a lot of people who had it.

Weekend Fisher said...

I know what you mean. I think de-emphasizing accountability was a huge mistake.

How's this for timing: today I saw a packet my daughter had brought home from school, and in it the school district outlined their goals for what they should have taught / how they should have formed their graduates by the time they graduate. It had some good stuff in there, but I was more struck by what it never said: leadership, integrity, vision, character, courage.

The part on the work world said they should become good employees. Hm. Not ground-breakers or entrepreneurs or even managers. They were encouraged to get along and think small and let other people worry about the big picture. The skills missing from the list were the "big picture / long haul" skills. Like accountability ...

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF