What gets Measured, Gets done……

One of the oldest adages in business and so very true. We desperately need this same attitude in government and public policy.

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Joe Petrowski shares his thoughts on government accountability with Rick Brutti.

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In business, we measure the value of the enterprise and the performance of the leadership team as follows:

  • Profitability
  • Strength of balance sheet: more assets than liabilities
  • Growth & Innovation
  • Transparency & Communication
  • Social & Cultural Development:
    • We castigate firms that: discriminate or produce socially deficient products
    • We praise Starbucks for: employee development, commitment to fair trade, and the environment

Now, how should we judge Government & Public Policy Leaders?

  • Economic profitability: food, energy and housing which are the essentials of a material good life.
  • Balance sheet: domestic and foreign which allows a country to respond to emergencies, stay strong and not burden future generations.
  • Security & the administration of Justice: the primary function of government.
  • Capital, Infrastructure, & Education Investments: which are the drivers to innovation and growth
  • Social & Culture Formation (what leaders emphasize)
  • Self-reliance vs. Victim-hood  Examples:
    • Entrepreneurship vs. Statist Worship,
    • Opportunity Maximization vs.The Leveling of Outcomes,
    • Wealth Creation vs. Reliance On: Donations, Subsidies & Handouts.

We expect our public leaders to be: forthcoming, transparent and provide relevant and timely information.

Any CEO who could not be trusted to deliver this continuously would and should be an X-CEO.

So, what are the appropriate metrics?

Which is a good topic for policy debate, rather than the platitudes of: “it takes a village” or “I am for the common man!”

I would suggest the following:

  • Energy: Low cost as percent of GDP (15%) and per capita ($10,000).
  • Food: $3,000 per capita remain vigorous exporter which implies abundance.
  • Housing: Average monthly rental equivalent cost and percentage ownership.
  • Health: Universal availability and average per capita cost— for quality average hospital stays (minimum), mortality.
  • Education: Graduation rates, costs per pupil, and comparative test scores along with extracurricular participation rates.

We should balance budget on an operating basis – separating capital expenditures from the budget because it is misleading in budget analysis and does not get the focus it deserves by being lumped in with transfer payments and administrative costs.

Security & Justice –  will be harder metrics but not impossible, crime statistics, incarceration rates, illegal immigration rates are all worthy metrics

Culture & Social Development in Leadership –  are difficult to have hard metrics for, however the feeling of a leader’s attitude toward such issues as:

American Exceptionalism —  self-reliance, fairness, libety, transparency, and other qualities that make a community great are easy to judge qualitatively.