Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It Really is Important for Government to Make People Happy - With Government

One more interesting idea from David Halpern's The Hidden Wealth of Nations:

"the growing use of subjective satisfaction measures may prove to be the single most important innovation in public services of the last decade."

Subjective satisfaction measures means asking people if they are happy with the services they are getting from government. By looking at the details of what citizens do and not like about their interactions with the state, the government can get a reality check about how it is doing, and which things it needs to improve.

The Canadian government did detailed studies of citizens' satisfaction with the service they were getting. The government was often surprised that the things that bothered and pleased people were not what the government workers providing the service thought it would be. For example, people were much more upset about the police not showing up when they said they would than about whether the police solved the crime. The Canadian government then set targets to improve consumers' satisfaction with government services, starting from this baseline. They evaluate agency heads on whether people are actually more satisfied with the service they are getting, not on whether the agency was satisfied that it followed its own procedures.


Jill said...

I don't know if this would work right now with the current regime in Washington.

Polls showed and show now that a substantial majority of Americans did not and do not want Mr. Obama's health care bill. It was rammed through anyway.

Just because the government knows what the people it supposedly serves want doesn't mean that the government will listen does it.

Anonymous said...

So the president elected by an overwhelming majority shouldn't try to pass legislation he campaigned on?

Anonymous said...

Not when the overwhelming majority have seen what his policies actually are and what they will mean to them and decide that they don't like them.

May 18 anon said...

May 19th anon, it's not Obama's fault if you or anybody else weren't paying attention and voted for him. He's has overwhelmingly done what he said he would do.

Jill said...

Just because someone wins an election doesn't mean they get to play dictator. This is not a banana republic, at least not yet.

"He's has overwhelmingly done what he said he would do."

He didn't end Guantanamo in one year as he said he would or end the Iraq war when he said he would.

What he did do was to raise the deficit astronomically,raise taxes on the poor, enable a drastic increase of abortions, apologize to the world for America and to demonize capitalism.

May 18 anon said...

I agree that this isn't a banana republic, but you should realize that means President Obama isn't playing dictator, at least not any more than the 10 previous guys.

Under President Obama an overwhelming majority (~90%) have seen a decrease in their tax load (only cigarette taxes have been raised). I agree with you on Guantanamo and Iraq, and I would like to see the administration take more action on several other issues like DADT and personally I'm wondering why we're still in Afghanistan, but that's for another day. However, that doesn't mean you get to pretend he didn't do almost exactly what he campaigned on in regards to healthcare. As for the silly abortion and apologizing for the US comments, well they don't deserve comment.

Jill said...

Polls show Americans did NOT get the healthcare bill they expected.

Sad to hear people make fun of abortion.

Anonymous said...

Votes show Obama was elected (by a huge majority), prove to me the healthcare bill is significantly different than what he campaigned on and we'll talk. Also, nobody is making fun of abortion, just ridiculous comments.

PG said...

I didn't vote for Obama - I knew better. But when you get into office, you should be smart enough to see which way public opinion is turning. The public is MUCH more interested in jobs and the economy than they were about health care but HIS agenda meant more to him than the issues important to the people. He's an ideologue and he wants what he wants because he believes HE knows better than the people. But I can only hope that after the 2010 elections, he will (as Clinton did) see the writing on the wall and move to the center.

And I don't understand why you are ridiculing Jill's statement on abortion. He did overturn the Mexico City policy. If that doesn't enable more abortions at taxpayer expense, then what does?

Jill said...

Thank you PG. When the left don't have a good arguments they tend to riducule their opponents.

5. "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage."

Saul Alinsky... Rules for Radicals #5