Sunday Readings on Open Gov

From today’s New York Times: Adam Davidson on whether happiness is an adequate metric for government’s performance in Money Changes Everything:

“So much debate over government policy is based on economic statistics that come out of the market. But the goal of government is not just to maximize revenue. It’s also to make citizens better off. There is no standardized way for it to see how its decisions influence our well-being. What if government is spending money on things that don’t make us happy?”

Rob Trump on Why Would You Ever Give Money Through Kickstarter?

“Kickstarter as a phenomenon is made much more comprehensible once you realize that it’s not following the logic of the free market; it’s following the logic of the gift… And it’s not correct to say that Kickstarter gives nothing back. To the contrary, it provides something increasingly rare in today’s society: a platform for an essentially noneconomic transaction, the kind that builds friendships and communities.”

NYTimes Public Editor Margaret Sullivan on Keeping Secrets (and the Drones Program):

“…when the government’s only chance of keeping an inconvenient truth out of the news media is to warn of a national security threat, it’s amazing how these threats pop up. This has turned out to be a powerfully effective tool. News organizations, after all, don’t want to endanger the nation’s safety, or be accused of doing so, so editors often listen to government officials when they make their case for not publishing. And, after listening, editors occasionally consent.

But a countervailing force — people’s right to know what their government is doing and the news media’s responsibility to find out and tell them — ought to rule the day. … The real threat to national security is a government operating in secret and accountable to no one, with watchdogs that are too willing to muzzle themselves.”

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