How Would You Evaluate The Governance Record Of Governments?

Government Accountability
Image used for representation only.

A lot depends on how you think. Here’s a simple test you can take to discover your thought process and how that affects the way you evaluate he governance record of your government.

A certain government is habituated to spending more and more tax money. What additional information do you need to predict that a) this will lead to over taxing the people b) this will lead to the belief that spending more tax money is progress c) this will lead to increasing the climate crisis?

Would you argue for the need for more data? Would you claim there is insufficient evidence to draw the conclusions? Would want to examine the relationship between tax spending and tax rates? Would you want to survey large groups of people and compare their responses to questions about progress and corelate them with tax spend of the government? Would you want to examine different data sets to determine if there is an increasing climate crisis? Would you then corelate that with government’s tax spend? Would you then argue for the need for more evidence? 

Many, including scientists and lawyers, would do just this. Their world view requires them to establish truths about the world through data. Everything else, in their world, is unproven till the data exists. If your response was similar, you are an inductive thinker. Your world view relies on what you observe. You want data for everything. When you change your data, you draw different conclusions. 

Would you ask who is asserting the statements? Would your conclusions depend on whether it happens to be asserted by a demagogue or a person who wields power, influence or money? Would you consider it otherwise if the person has little power, money or influence? Would your world view require you to hold the truths of those who assert power over you? If the statements above were made by someone who wields little or no influence over you, would you declare them as being incorrect?

Politicians and bureaucrats do just this. Many in science do this too. Their world view requires them to declare as true those statements that are stated by those with power over them. Everything else is untrue. If your response was similar, you are an egotistical thinker. Your world view relies on who says it. You want to name authority for everything. 

Would you value reason and logic, ask if the conclusions can be reasoned from the assertion that the government is habituated to spending more tax money? Would you argue that it is reasonable to assume that more tax money for more tax money spends can only come from more taxes? Would you reason, therefore, we can predict that a government habituated to spending more tax money will end up levying more taxes on the people? Would you argue that if the government spending money is considered progress, it is not unreasonable to conclude that spending more tax money will lead to the belief that increased tax spends are progress? Would you, then, also reason that it is logical to assume that increased tax would worsen the climate crisis? Would you reason that if current spending causes economic activity that requires a certain energy, more spending will cause more economic activity, requiring more energy?

Would you then conclude that more the energy required would result in more greenhouse gasses, and more greenhouse gasses would mean increased climate crisis?

Reasonable people do just this. Their world view requires them to trace the reason that allows the conclusion drawn from the assumptions to hold. They also distinguish conclusions being true from the assumptions being true. They are willing to change their assumptions, as the truth of the assumptions cannot be established by reason alone. If your response was similar, you are a deductive or reasonable thinker. Your world view relies on recognizing the assumptions and the conclusions. Your world view requires that the conclusions can be reasoned from the assumptions. 

Why does it matter how you think?

Depending on how you think, you will evaluate the governance record of your government differently. Inductive thinkers require data. They may require surveys to gather data. They may require data warehouses to find patterns. They will draw conclusions only where they consider there is evidence shown by data. Their world becomes what they believe. Egoistical thinkers require authority. They will evaluate the governance record based on the authority that holds sway over them. They will be influenced by others who can hold authority over them. Their world becomes who they listen to. Deductive thinkers require reasoning. They will evaluate the governance record of the government based on the reasonableness of the claims. Their world becomes reasonable.

Why does it matter how you evaluate the governance record of governments?

Unless you are a reasonable thinker, you may not examine the reasons why the governance track record protects the dignity, justice, liberty and equality. These have little value in egoistical thinking. These have little usefulness in a world where one needs significant examples to demonstrate indignity, injustice, absence of liberty or equality. Both inductive and egoistical thinking reinforce the short term. Unless you are a reasonable thinker, you may be trapped in the short-term. For only when you reason are you likely to care about the Short Now, a hundred years, or the lifetime of a child born now. 

~~

#All views expressed in this article are those of the author and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to the same.

Anupam Saraph

Anupam Saraph

Dr. Anupam Saraph grew up in a Pune that was possibly a tenth of its current expanse and every road was lined by 200 year old trees. He’s committed to the cause of de-addicting the short-termers.

He can be reached @AnupamSaraph
Anupam Saraph

Latest posts by Anupam Saraph (see all)

Comments

comments