Transparency

transparency

When we know what's going on we can change it.

 

Knowledge

knowledge

The more we know, the better ideas we have.

 

Rationality

rationality

The more objective thinking we do the better decisions we make.

 

Compromise

compromise

We all live together and and depend on each other.

 

Transparency

Thousand of law enforcement requests for electronic surveillance remain sealed from public view long after the investigations that spawned them are over. It has become habitual for government agencies across America to request and receive perpetual sealing of these activities away from public view.

The majority of the secret files are not hidden because of state secrets or other justifiable reasons; it is simply various jurisdictions keeping their activities unavailable and unquestioned, even for as mundane cases as robbery and drug crimes. Nearly all other judicial proceedings are eventually made public and completed surveillance should be also.

Our brains have an affinity for hording and self-preservation as survival mechanisms. Put those together and you can have the senseless result above.

"Secrecy, once accepted, becomes an addiction." ― Edward Teller

Would you rather pay $11,000 or $126,000 for a hip replacement? Would you rather go into a hospital that had a near zero chance of you acquiring an infection while on site or a 15% chance? That kind of range in quality and in value of service is rampant in the medical field. Without this information, a consumer cannot wisely choose the appropriate health procedures and providers and there is little incentive for health providers to improve when their performance is secret.

Providers' self-preservation instinct and fear of loss of control will not allow them to provide this data voluntarily.Though Medicare.gov and others are trying to get this information to the public, the data supplied is generally voluntary, incomplete and impossible to use by regular people. Mandatory reporting, a simple rating system and wide dispersal are the way to use the power of customer choice to improve healthcare.

“The doctor of the future will be oneself.” ― Albert Schweitzer

The use of low-dose antibiotics in animals to promote growth creates superbugs that become resistant to the medicines we take to treat human illness. Over 80% of antibiotics sold in 2011 were for livestock enhancement. While we know superbugs are being created, we cannot address the issue intelligently because nether drug makers nor livestock processors are required to explain exactly how our medicines are being used on the farm. Without that information, there is no way to create a policy for legitimate needs while protecting the public health.

“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The FICO score you pay to see from credit rating agencies is NOT your FICO score. Federal law mandates you can get a copy of your credit report for free once a year from the three major credit reporting agencies - this does not include the three-digit numerical score that lenders use to summarize your credit worthiness. To get that, you have to pay the ratings agencies. EXCEPT, that what you receive is not really the FICO score; it is a substitute number that the raters call an "educational" number. So lenders pay and get the real credit score, while you pay and still cannot get your own real credit ranking score.

“Some false representations contravene the law; some do not. The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.” ― Clarence Darrow

All Terms of Service, Insurance contracts, Loan agreements and other contracts that everyday people have to sign must have a short summary containing the salient points in common language. Normal people cannot understand the long, complicated documents used today, even if they read them.

"Sedulously eschew obfuscatory hyperverbosity and prolixity." ― Roedy Green

All political donations should be made public at the time of donation. After-the-fact disclosure does nothing to inform the public.

"A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." ― James Madison

The Standing Rules of the U.S. Senate allow a senator to anonymously notify his/her party leadership of an intent to object, preventing a motion from reaching the floor. Even though that person's name now has to be revealed after two days, if two senators join forces, they can take turns maintaining the hold in secret. This is yet another reason our Senate is only semi-functional.

"The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings." ― John F. Kennedy

Colleges and Universities should be required to publish information related to graduates, including graduation rates, job placements and salaries. Since most people are not economically able to look at education as a reward unto itself, they must view higher education as an investment. To do that, they need to understand the potential return on the investment and be able to compare between institutions.

"The best math lesson we can teach college students this year is to subtract a tuition increase and benefit from the dividends of higher education." ― Jodi Rell

top