My Cup of IT: Worth a Read

By Steve O’Keeffe —

Cup of IT. Short. Cheeky. Now he’s writing about a book? Non sequitur. Can this idiot even read? What’s worse, writing about book called “Transformational Trends in Governance and Democracy”. Now that’s a title that’d make an insomniac yawn. But, don’t judge a book by its cover. This tome from NAPA bravely takes on the difficult issues confronting our society. Pointedly, it considers the relationship of the citizen to the government. The Obama inspiration is dead – this book gives new hope to the American dream.
Don’t worry, I’m not talking Tea-Party-nut jobbery. The book opens with alarming stats to frame America’s crisis – by 2019 Medicare will fail elderly Americans. By 2080 the cost of government will be three times its revenue. But it’s not all tomorrows – interest on our national debt in FY2009 equaled the budgets for Education, Energy, HHS, DHS, HUD, Interior, and Justice combined.
The book paints a vision of options for new kinds of government – distributed, outcome-focused, and market-aligned. I would direct you to the first chapter – it’s easy to find – inked by our own Alan Balutis – the man with the best manners in Federal IT and an unhealthy penchant for dairy products – Terry Buss – a view from down under – and Dwight Ink.
Look past the chapter’s cliché 3.0 title – please. Like a Marxian manifesto, it lays bare the drivers for change, but mercifully skips drawing any inevitable conclusions – “whether American governance is hopelessly broken or simply needs re-engineering remains an open question.” The gang of three square off against the bi-polar disorder that has lobotomized our government in the last decade or so. If D.C. is Rome, is this the plebes and the patricians? Are war and circus – read scandals – the only distractions from our problems? The fellas provide an armchair review of the major events dating back to Clinton – and reverberations of the Reagan administration.
Okay, this is not a beach read – but it’s October. For those of you that have lost interest in government – and even think that democracy itself may make it impossible to address any of the significant problems facing our nation – this book’s worth a read. It certainly made this cynic think…

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