5.8 A Transparent Government is an Invisible Government

When I was working for the federal government, we often were told that government operations should be transparent. We knew that meant government operations should not be secret and that the public should know what we were doing. The problem is that words do mean things. Making government operations truly transparent actually makes them invisible.

If you have read my previous posts on government then you know something about what I call the 4th Branch. However, do you know how many federal government employees working in your city make more money than elected officials like your Mayor, your Sheriff, your School Superintendent, and your Judges? (Are they worth what they are being paid?) Do you know the overhead costs of each Federal Department? (You probably know more about the overhead costs of the charities you support.) Does it matter if the government monitors your email, social media, and phone calls? Do you know exactly what you are getting for the taxes you pay on your income, property, phone, plane ticket, or gasoline?

All aspects of government, except those that must be kept secret to protect us from our enemies, must be made visible to those being governed. Imagine if the overhead cost per $1.00 of benefit were posted daily on a sign outside Social Security offices, or if the total cost per patient visit were posted outside each VA Health Care Facility? Forget about transparency. The costs of government operations must be be as visible and as easy to understand as the price of gasoline.

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