Our politicians love the word “accountability.” To them, it means that we will have a vast bureaucracy and if anything goes wrong, there will be someone to blame.
In reality, however, this is just theater. If you have ten thousand anonymous bureaucrats working under you, and one of them screws up, you fire him or her and make apologies. Nothing changes.
All of our failings from the past 200 years of politics have come from people who are “accountable.” However, if they can fool the voters, accountability goes out the window.
One way they fool the voters is pretending there is accountability. It’s some kind of demonic punch-line.
Since we all seem to like this concept of accountability however, I think we should expand it. Make every person accountable for their actions, and stop passing the buck.
In particular, this can solve many of our biggest problems:
Bust the drug users. Starting in the 1970s, law enforcement switched from “bust the users” to “bust the dealers.” Problem: this creates more dealers because the profit incentive is ludicrously high, and there are lots of people on drugs who want to buy lots of drugs. If we start busting the users again, we hit the market where it is weakest, which is people who want to have a future. If drug use suddenly carried a ten year felony sentence, far fewer people would use drugs. Sure, there would be a few tragedies, but we have plenty of those when SWAT teams kick down the wrong door and machine gun clueless homeowners in the night. Let the middle class — because everyone else emulates the middle classes on this one — know loud and clear: if Johnny does drugs, we’ll catch him, and put him in jail. No more free ride where Johnny gets a possession ticket and his dealer, who lives on the wrong side of the tracks, goes to sodomy camp for a fiver.
Bust those who hire or sell to illegal aliens. If we’re serious about stopping illegal immigration, I have a suggestion: make the people who empower this illegal immigration accountable. If we catch you hiring an illegal alien, we hit you with a $150,000 fine. Even if it’s your maid. You need to check ID, and call in to a central data bank and make sure that Social Security Number has not been borrowed. If we catch your church handing out charity to illegal aliens, we tax you like a business. If we catch you making loans to illegals or selling them other services, we hit you with the same fine. When these laws hit, there would be a few tragedies — and then illegal immigration would dry up. More Americans would be hired. Back in Mexico, their best and brightest would resume work on making Mexico better, instead of fleeing to America.
End the housing bubble. Right now when bad loans are written, we attempt to sue the owners of those loans. These are large corporations that fight back hard and prolong the case until no one can remember why it was important. Instead, go after the loan officers. They are no longer acting as agents of their employer, but as selfish agents of themselves, gaming their employer and the loan recipient by writing bad loans. Make them accountable. In the same spirit, if someone has signed on to a bad loan, make them accountable. Drop that loan back to a sensible rate, and make them pay it off with criminal penalties if they default. A few greedy lenders and many greedy (and stupid) home-buyers crashed our economy. Make them accountable, instead of socializing the cost.
Riots don’t just happen. When we have riots like the Watts Riots, the LA Riots, the G20 riots, or even “flash mobs” who bustle into some mall and wreck everything, we need to stop treating this as a natural phenomenon like an earthquake. Mobs are formed of individuals. The only reason they act as a mob is that they think that, as individuals, they are no longer accountable. If you drop everything and bust everyone in the mob, not just the “ringleaders,” people will stop joining mobs. If you just bust a few of them, the rest will feel free to join and egg each other on to do more destructive things, knowing that only a few people will ever pay the price if at all. A mob is not accountable; individuals are. Send them to jail and others will not follow their dishonest path.
Be honest about pedophiles. Ask law enforcement agents about pedophiles. They will tell you that aside from one case in Ohio back in 1987, they have heard of very, very few pedophiles who get “rehabilitated.” Other than the poor idiots who get nabbed under statutory rape laws (this is why we didn’t date judge’s daughters when we were kids) the people who get convicted of pedophilia are, on the whole, so very twisted people who will behave like cornered feral animals and get rid of witnesses. Why are we indulging this charade? We act as if law enforcement should be accountable for the thousands of these people they return to the streets, but it’s our laws that demand it be the case. We need to make pedophiles accountable, and set up a special city for them somewhere in the distant suburbs. Let them set up their own economy and society and molest each other if they get bored.
Get real about pollution. We talk a great game about global warming, but our main focus seems to be on crippling our economy with cap-and-trade so the third world, who are ten times as numerous, can make their companies and homes as pollution-intensive as ours. Why not instead make the polluters accountable? Take everyone in the EPA and make them free agents licensed to file civil suit against polluters. Put them on commission, so to speak. They’ll cruise around detecting pollution and suing idiots. Then let our police pull over smoking junkers, no matter what sob story they get from the drivers, and impound those little pollution epicenters. Finally, make a graduated tax by engine size so that those who want to drive Hummers can pay for the excess pollution they generate.
With all the talk about accountability, I’m certain these solutions will be looked at.
Just kidding. “Accountability” is our code word for hiring some fall guy to deal with problems we can’t focus on because they are politically difficult.
Next time you hear someone tossing “accountability” around, remind them not to be a coward — and to implement that term by its original meaning, which is that the doer pays the price.