When I was in college, "The Death of Common Sense" seemed to bring politics "down" to my level. I "got it" and really enjoyed the simplicity of Mr. Howard's suggestions. I stumbled across this piece today and wanted to share. I would proffer that these proposals are apolitical, but I am sure many of you would disagree (i.e., I don't like it unless it calls for a "pound of flesh" from the other guy:
1. Clean out the stables of government. Democracy is not supposed to be a one-way valve, always piling new laws on top of old laws. In each area of government, appoint respected citizens and experts to make proposals to clean out unnecessary entitlements, mandates, and regulations. Going forward, laws and regulations should expire periodically under sunset laws. Government must make choices for the future, not stay mired in choices of the past.
2. Radically simplify law. Laws must be understandable to be effective. Write laws to set public goals and general principles. Leave implementation to designated officials, with clear lines of accountability. The Constitution is 16 pages long. No statute should be over 50 pages.
3. Push responsibility down to local organizations. Give back to Americans the freedom to make a difference—without unnecessary interference of centralized bureaucracy, especially in schools and other social services. Let public schools operate with the same freedoms as charter schools. Hold people accountable for results, not bureaucratic compliance.
4. Restore boundaries to lawsuits. Fear of lawsuits has poisoned human interaction in most areas of society, especially health care and schools. Law should set outer boundaries of required conduct, not interfere in everyday disagreements. This requires judges and legislatures to define reasonable social norms as a matter of law. Create special health courts to provide a foundation of reliability and trust, essential to making health care safe and affordable.
5. Revive accountability for public employees. Individual accountability is a critical component of a functioning democracy. Overhaul civil service and teacher tenure: Public servants should have more freedom to take responsibility, and they must be accountable for their choices. Make government transparent; sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Their practicality is a completely separate issue.