A Country without a Government

In If I ruled a Country, we explored what you would do if you were an absolute monarch. Today we consider whether a country could exist without any Government whatsoever.

I have always been a BIG fan of small Governments. I am sure, that since the first families evolved into clans, leadership has been important. In the animal kingdom, this is not unique, with Alpha Males emerging in most animal groupings. The concept of “Government” however, only evolved as clans became larger and more range-bound and geographically defined. Many of the roles of Government that we just take for granted, are just accepted as such, because of what went before.

We learnt an interesting concept in Accounting at University which was called “Zero-based budgeting”, and I have applied the principles of this to many scenarios over the years. It entails forgetting what went before, and justifying and motivating everything afresh each year. This was a great principle in budgeting, where previously we just added on 6-10% to last years actuals.

With Government, we could do the same. Instead of Trevor budgeting R50bn for Police, we could rather ask ourselves, “Do we need a Police Force? Should we rather not just outsource it? Why not just scrap all laws anyway?” This makes us THINK about the role of Government instead of just following what went before.

Here is a list of Government Ministries, with my comments/suggestions.

Agriculture and Land

Municipalities and district councils can handle zonings etc

Arts & Culture

Not a Government function

Communications

Nothing to do here

Correctional Services

Outsource the prisons on 5 year performance-linked contracts

Defence

Outsource this function as above (or phone George Dubya if we get into a corner)

Education

Private schools are private, State Schools outsourced on contract.

Environment & Tourism

Not a Government function.

Finance

5% of all bank transactions into a fund for State expenses. A 5-man team with a top-end computer could handle this.

Foreign Affairs

Elect someone annually to go to the UN. Pay his travel and accommodation.

Health

Same as schooling. Private hospitals are businesses, State hospitals outsourced.

Home Affairs

Dughh, get your ID or Passport on the Internet. Outsource the Admin.

Housing

Go to the bank, get a loan, buy a house, EASY. Scrap this Department.

Intelligence

Oh please, stop wasting my time here.

Justice & Constitutional

Important, keep an independent Judiciary.

Labour

You work, you get paid. You don’t work, you don’t get paid. EASY. Scrap it.

Minerals & Energy

All mines are privately owned. What do we need a Government Department for?

Provincial & Local

Exactly, next?

Public Enterprises

WTF is this?

Public Service and Administration

ditto

Public Works

ditto

Safety and Security

Outsource this. Security companies are protecting Police Stations anyway.

Science and Technology

The Universities are doing a sterling job. Leave them alone.

Social Development

Yes, but what do you DO?

Sport & Recreation

Don’t get me started on this one. Leave the people to play their games. This is most. most. most, definitely NOT a Government function.

Trade and Industry

South African companies are doing just fine, here and abroad. Leave them alone.

Transport

Buy a car. If you cannot afford one, take a bus or a taxi. If we need a road, there are plenty of companies out there who will build one for a fee or a toll.

Water and Forestry

Yes, very nice, but what do you DO?

See what I mean. Now I need YOUR comments.

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