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I'm not talking about regulation. I'm talking about stating explicit political goals and monitoring progress towards them, or away from them.

Can you give an example of a clear, explicit and objective policy goal, and a clear, explicit and objective way to measure how it is attained?

Regulation isn't the problem here. Neoclassical brain rot is.

Neoclassical brain rot unfortunately produces inappropriate (lack of) regulation. And insane constitutional amendments. If it did not, it would not be a major problem. So if and when the neoclassical brain rot is purged, we must have workable policies to replace the neoclassically-inspired garbage that's been foisted upon us.

And what happens when you not only don't get the policy you want, but you do get policies which are clearly destructive to the policy you want?

Then I organise in a political party or a civil society organisation that can exercise useful amounts of power over decisionmaking and is broadly sympathetic to the policy I want. Or, if no such civil society organisation is available, I attempt to become A Very Serious Person so I can influence policy directly. I don't hold much hope at this point on either count, but one does not need hope in order to put up an honest fight.

But I can't do that until and unless I know what policy I want. Or rather I can, but then I'll get taken for a ride.

the proper function of the Civil Service is implementation, not strategy. It's not the job of the Civil Service to decide whether a high speed rail line should be built. It's the job of the Civil Service to try to get it built as cheaply and reliably as possible once the decision to build it has been made by ministers.

On the contrary. It is precisely the civil service's job to decide whether a given rail line should be built, given the government's overall fiscal and infrastructure policy. It is the minister's job to light a fire under the civil service to get them to produce reasonably coherent policy proposals on matters that interest him. And it is the minister's job to then reject, approve or decide between the proposals presented to him. But he has neither the staff, the training nor the institutional support to conduct serious strategic planning himself.

So I'll say again: this should be considered a privilege, it should be made explicit

I don't understand the need for private banks to be placed explicitly in the government chain of command. Private banks exist at the pleasure of the central bank and financial regulator - if the latter two so desire, they can pull the plug on any and all banks' business model almost literally overnight.

Make the central bank subservient to parliament, rather than this neoclassically-inspired "independent central bank" bullshit (which is in reality simply a bit of sophistry to avoid saying "bankster-run central bank"). Give it a financial stability mandate. And a clear and explicit standing order to use its big stick to beat any misbehaving private bank firmly about the head until it mends its ways or goes tits-up.

If you still have problems with misbehaving banks after that, we can start talking about constitutional amendments.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 13th, 2011 at 07:44:55 PM EST
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