[ by Charles Cameron — I’d like to define “thinkers” as those who make us think, John Robb being a prime example ]
Trust in the US government is inversely proportional to the number of bureaucrats it employs. pic.twitter.com/WTiq2ABDbh
— John Robb (@johnrobb) December 6, 2014
Assuming that in this case correlation just might be evidence of causation, what remedy would you suggest?
I imagine a wide swathe of people will think reducing the size of the bureaucracy could well increase confidence in government — but my own hunch, perhaps counterintuitive, would be to increase confidence in government & watch it cleanse itself of those in various offices who serve no helpful purpose.
Of course, there may be feedback loops involved, so I don’t consider this a sure-fire remedy. I’m foolish, I was being just a tad optimistic. And besides, correlation doesn’t prove causation, though it may alert us to its possibility.
John juxtaposes two images there, though, in a thought-provocative way, as is his wont. From a DoubleQuotes point of view — and this is a fine example of what I call “DoubleQuotes in the wild” — the juxtaposition neatly demonstrates the potential benefits of reading DQs both from left to right and from right to left, or more generally, of checking analogies for possible meanings both ways, despite the fact that they often have their own directionality, real or implied.
What I mean to imply when I say “my own hunch, perhaps counterintuitive, would be to increase confidence in government” is that we need to increase the actual trustworthiness of government, the degree of alignment between words and deeds, the sincerity of its practitioners, the degree to which that Gettysburg phrase, “of the people, by the people, for the people” is reflected in actual practice.
That must work primarily at the level of the human individual elected to govern: honesty, decency, and humility rather than self-serving, surely, are the primary values called for — a little dignity would be appreciated, too.