Foundations by which to govern

Foundations by which to govern

It never is tedious, or grows old, to espouse foundational principles of sound public policy. But in this day of onerous government diktats, runaway spending and galloping inflation, it is most necessary to, metaphorically speaking, grab our many strayed leaders by their collars a set them straight.

There have been many iterations of “sound public policy” lists over the centuries. Today’s come from Dick Davies, posting back in 2013 on the GovLoop.com website. And, as most before him have done, he borrows liberally from a deep well of truth, common law and common sense.

Among the precepts:

“The government should only do what people (individuals and associations) cannot do for themselves.”

“A sound public policy” should “impose the same standard, norms and punishments for non-performance on government as are imposed on … non-state providers.”

“A sound public policy will enhance choice, competition and freedom.”

“A sound public policy” will “consider long-term consequences over all groups of people, not just the good intentions behind the policy.”

“A sound public policy” should “enable governance (decisions about taxes and expenditures) closest to the people.”

“A sound public policy will not sacrifice the rights of an individual for the interests of the many.”

“The premise of sound public policy should be that people are responsible, resilient and self-governing, given the right set of incentives and the framework of law.”

“A sound public policy should have an expiry date (sunset clause).”

These are powerful concepts, simply stated. Sadly, too many of our “leaders” do not accept, yet alone recognize and understand, them.

More’s the pity, of course. But we must never stop attempting to instill these principles in them. For our very liberty and freedoms are at stake.

Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).