Saturday, March 27, 2010

The representative plumber

In any society that is growing and developing, there will be a need for construction of houses and other buildings. For this they would need, out of the many trades, plumbers. Suppose, to address the needs of the society, they envision the following scenario:

The society is divided logically to territories of 5000 inhabitants each. Each unit will be allocated a plumber chosen by a popular vote. This plumber is called a Master Plumber or MP for short. This MP is supposed to cater for all the plumbing needs of his territory. Same goes for the other territories and MPs.

The MPs go to work to a nice big palace called the Citizen's Plumbhouse or CP. The CP was quite expensive so that it had to be donated by some friendly country. They are to be paid comfortably from the public purse, after all how can they work if they are not paid? If a citizen in a certain territory is not happy with his representative MP, he can try to vote him out couple of years later. Until then he has to get his house fixed by his MP whether he likes it or not.

Looking at the scenario above, it is quite obvious that such a system will fail miserably to cater for the plumbing needs of the public. MPs don't draw their earnings from productive service to the public. There is no room for dismissing an MP when he is performing poorly. There is no incentive for MPs to do good service unless its the election year.

But when it comes to the matters of the state, such a system is supposed to work? Yes it would work wonderfully for those who know how to game the system.