With the election campaign turning into almost five months of Same Old Hillary and Dangerous Donald, it’s time to look elsewhere if you want to talk about actually accomplishing something, and doing something good, in politics and government.
In October of 2014, I wrote a post entitled “Making Government Work Better – Something Everybody Can Agree On, Right?” That post talked about assessing laws against what they are supposed to achieve and rewriting them so they work better. I got the idea from New Zealand and said that it seemed to me to be “a concept that both right and left should be able to unite behind.”
Let me do some more of that, once again with an example from New Zealand. The National Party is heading a center-right government in New Zealand. The Finance Minister of that government, Bill English, has been talking about, and is actually starting to implement, something he calls “social investment.” The idea originally came from a review of the state-run Accident Compensation Commission in 2011. Back then it was called “forward liability investment approach,” and it “was applied to getting beneficiaries into paid work and keeping them there, thereby avoiding paying a lifetime’s benefit to them.”1