Friday, February 20, 2015

Assessing the Performance of an Administration

If one has to assess the performance or non-performance of a government or administration, what is the better parameter, how much it has done, subsidized, regulated, etc. or how little it has done or intervened?

This is corollary to my friend Ethel's question in her fb wall, "Sige. Let's be fair. Give me something Noynoy has done in the past five years that is actually good for the Filipinos."

Some  of the "pro" comments:

1. He took out wangwangs on the road. he curbed corruption.
2. He brought peace to Mindanao?
3. The creation of the GOCC Commission tasked to privatize, abolish, merge, the duplicating, non-performing corporations, offices of the huge bureaucracy.
4. Jailing of three senators and former lawmakers.. never done before
5. The PERCEPTION of an honest and transparent government in the international community,
6. Napaalis niya si Corona.

And the “anti” comments:

1. He curbed corruption because he wants all corruption to go straight to the palace. See what happens to LTO plates.
2. He gave each congessman and senator so much in lump sum appropriations under PDAF and DAP
3. He was able to avert an armed confrontation in the West Philippine Sea against an armed invader.
4. He gave the bird to the Catholic Church by getting congress to pass the RH Bill.
5. I see wangwangs everywhere
6. Zero infrastructure in 5 years/ LRT/ MRT in ruins.

Most people would use how much subsidies and welfarism, how much regulation and interventionism, how much taxation of the rich or top 1%, etc as their parameter. So less welfarism and subsidies means bad government.

I take the 2nd parameter. The worst thing that a government or administration can do to its people is that it does and intervenes so much. So a government that does not intervene too much, which "does little" is actually a good thing. When a government requires you need a permit to renovate your CR or change the color of your roof before you move, even if there is zero corruption involved, you will hate that government.

My beef is that PNoy Aquino is not liberal enough, he is not non-interventionist enough. Lots of past interventionism and bureaucratism are not removed yet.

In a free, (classical) liberal society, everything is allowed except for a few prohibitions. LIke no killing/murder, no stealing or destruction of others' property, no abduction/kidnapping, no rape/trafficking, etc. The rest is allowed. Have alcohol and drugs, sex, open shops left and right, etc. so long as no one is hurt or harmed.

In an unfree society, everything is NOT allowed, prohibited, unless one gets a permit from the government. Thus, one cannot drive his own car, cannot open and start a business, cannot repair his house or office, cannot sell something, etc. unless he/she gets a permit.

It is not so much the degree of welfarism and subsidies given away, but the degree of freedom that people enjoy, including the freedom to be hard working and freedom to be lazy, that should be given more weight in assessing a government.

So if one is a lover of huge welfare, beautiful infrastructures, then he/she can love China and its communist government, love PM Xi Jinping. They give lots of free housing, free university education, beautiful roads and airports, etc.

But if one is a lover of freedom, he will hate China and any commie or one-party government. No fb and youtube, no twitter and gmail, etc.

How about Singapore? It allows fb and youtube, twitter and gmail, etc., have lots of beautiful infra like roads and huge airport. Nice, except that you can never ever criticize the government with those social media. Their government gives heaven on earth, it should not be criticized.

No comments: