Government, Like Moldy Cheese

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There are many good parts of government. There are many, many great people in government. There are parts of government that are extremely helpful, and obviously parts that are just flat out necessary.

But kinda like moldy cheese or bread, all too often, the good parts and the talented, dedicated people in government are crusted over or encroached upon by varying kinds of disgusting malfeasance. When we see moldy cheese, the oddly shaped growth on it makes us want to toss the whole thing out – when, if we could actually just cut off the bad part, we might still happily enjoy the tasty core.

(Yes, I know some really really strange people actually like moldy cheese. Whoever you are… you’re nuts.)

As citizens, we see that damn pothole in front of our office and think “Fix my street!” not “I can drive all the way to my home, X miles away, on some pretty nice streets.” And it’s good that we think that way, because we are paying for those streets, and our expectation should be that we get some decent customer service for our societal investment when something’s not right. But, point is, we don’t want to scrap streets overall, we just – rightly – want to fix what’s wrong with them.

We don’t want to throw out schools, we want to keep the good parts of our educational system and “cut off” what’s not working anymore.

Perhaps the single biggest problem though, is that we simply don’t know where the mold on our government cheese is and where the good parts are. When it comes to government, there’s not enough sunlight to see all the mold on all the cheese! …we just simply don’t have the data.

So that’s what we’re working on: Shining some sunlight on government – through online, real-time data – so that we can see the massive, massive …massive cheese and allow people to make informed, unbiased decisions about what’s good and what’s not.

Taking this analogy a step further for your enjoyment, Dan Munz had some fun last night and asked another intriguing question: “What kind of cheese is your government?”

Take a moment and laugh a little on Friday with Cheesy Gov.

Gotta say, I’m a fan of the cold queso dip :)

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  • Jake, I resent you calling me nuts.

  • I love the analogy of the moldy cheese Jake. This is appropriate. One of the things I’ve noticed with governments everywhere is the reluctance to scape off the mold by closing down programs that have outlived their usefulness. Like you point out, part of the solution is transparency. If we can look into government, (and if government can look at itself) in a reasonably objective and non-partisan way then we can at least identify where to cut.

    Then we will need to find leaders that know how to wield a knife with focus and precision.