Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Audit to show waste in environment plans

This latest revelation should not come as a surprise, after all this was the same government that wasted over $2 billion on a gun registry that doesn't even encompass hand guns. Irrespective of politics, by definition most government-initiated programs on environment are primarily programs that promote more government. As pointed out by Easterbrook in his book A Moment on the Earth, academics and NGOs push for environmental regulation, the media trumpet that message as "news" and the government responds by implementing government programs that largely fund academics and NGOs who provide further "evidence" of the need for such interventions -- a nice mutually re-enforcing cycle.

The challenge for most people is to begin thinking of how environmental objectives can be obtained without large, wasteful government programs. Peter Huber set out a viable option in his book Hard Green but many find his rhetorical style heavy handed and miss the point that he is writing in exactly the same style as the eco-activists he is challenging.

So the default in most public policy arenas remains ineffecient and often ineffective government management programs, mostly because too many people are inured to accepting this as the only option and have little or no experience with any alternatives.