And last, but certainly not least, one of the major initiatives conservatives should push is how to bring a government bureaucracy that was created for a nineteenth century world into the present day. Whether you are liberal or conservative, those who are truly compassionate want the money that we do spend helping our fellow man to get to them in the most efficient and helpful way. The less money the government wastes the more we can spend on important needs, pay down debt or ask less of the taxpayer. That’s why many smart people always check charities to determine how much of their money goes to help the intended recipients rather than to pay the salaries of do gooders and bureaucrats. To this end, Gavin Newsome of all people has some suggestions:
Amazingly, the best recent outline for how to replace a lot of centralized bureaucracy with a decentralized civil society is written by a Democrat.
Every Conservative should read California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s Citizenville, a new book packed with ideas for using technology to empower citizens to reclaim the functions of government from the bureaucratic state.
I disagree deeply with Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco, on many social issues. But Republicans won’t find much objectionable in his new book. Newsom’s praise of efforts by Republicans such as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa makes clear this vision can be bipartisan.
In fact, the book is a blueprint for a Republican Party focused on a better future for all Americans, with more freedom, more prosperity, and lower cost.
Newsom’s title, Citizenville, is a play on the popular Facebook game Farmville, in which players build virtual farms to score virtual points.
Government, Newsom suggests, could co-opt such technology to create its own game — Citizenville — which awards virtual points but takes place in the real world. He explains:
The way to “win” Citizenville is to amass points by doing real-life good. If a player contacts the city to report a pothole and get it fixed, he gets one hundred points. If another player organizes a community cleanup in the local park, she gets two hundred points. If another player landscapes the median on his street, that’s three hundred points. Whenever people make a real-life improvement, they report it to the Citizenville Website, which has a continuously updating scoreboard.
The game is only one example of how citizens could use the ubiquitous technologies of smartphones and the Internet, as Newsom argues, “to bypass government…to take matters into their own hands, to look to themselves for solving problems rather than asking the government to do things for them.”