Paving Pathways: A Story About Great Governance

Paving Pathways: A Story About Great Governance

A new green college campus was built, but one thing was still debated:

Where in the grass should we put the paved walkways?

Some felt the walkways should be around the edges, to leave the center green and untouched.

Some felt the walkways should cut diagonal, connecting all buildings to all buildings.

One professor had the winning idea: Don’t make any walkways this year. At the end of the year, look at where the grass is worn away, showing us where the students are walking. Then just pave those paths. [HT to Derek Sivers]

This is a great example of great governance. Another example is in the fruit industry in the USA. Often the farmers are required to drop 20% of their crop on the ground when harvesting to maintain market prices. It's foresight and the governance enables farmers to all make a steady and consistent income for their families and communities. Without the regulation, the market would be saturated and many farms would go out of business.

The beauty and power of effective government is something to be desired. It's undeniable that we need good governance to sustain healthy and whole life in our nations. But without government that strives for innovation and managing itself, it becomes demotivating and frustrating quickly.

Please don't ever take governance for granted. Every streetlight that lights the path, traffic signal that changes colors, police officer that does his job well, and smooth patch of pavement came from government. And we need them to create markets, incentivize business, and protect its people's interests.

Without that, life becomes what we are seeing outside of many of our banks. Desperate and hard, even hopeless for many.

Don't take government for granted. It's a beautiful and powerful thing when done well.

(photo via bulke41)