Ten Principles of Sound Public Policy

A VC in NY‘s Fred Wilson wondered how many of his readers had blogs. He set up a poll and a hackpad to put in blog, url and author, comma delimited There are hundreds listed. I put in my two.

Browsing the list, I punched on Punctuated Equilibrium and got this. Couldn’t think of a better place to put it.


Ten Principles of Sound Public Policy

  1. The government should only do what people (individuals and associations) cannot do for themselves.
  2. A sound public policy would impose the same standards, norms and punishments for non-performance on government as are imposed on the non-state providers.
  3. A sound public policy will enhance:
    a. Choice
    b. Competition
    c. Freedom
  4. A sound policy would consider long-term consequences over all groups of people, not just the good intentions behind the policy.
  5. Subsidiarity: A sound policy would enable governance (decisions about taxes and expenditure) closest to the people.
  6. A sound policy would place incentives according to Friedman’s Law of Spending:
    a. Spend your money on yourself.
    b. Spend your money on someone else.
    c. Spend someone else’s money on you.
    d. Spend someone else’s money on someone else.
  7. A sound policy would rely more on participatory instead of representative democracy (referendums, tax allocations by citizens’ choice).
  8. A sound policy will not sacrifice the rights of an individual for the interests of many.
  9. The premise of sound public policy should be that people are responsible, resilient and self-governing given the right set of incentives and framework of law.
  10. A sound policy should have an expiry date (sunset clause).

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