Home > posts > San Franciscans Getting the Government They Deserve
December 17th, 2009 12:35 pm
San Franciscans Getting the Government They Deserve

It’s hard to imagine rational people living in San Francisco.  As detailed in the newest edition of San Francisco Weekly, voters by the bay have repeatedly approved billion dollar bond measures even though in many cases the old bonds would have been sufficient but for the incompetence and malfeasance of city hall.  In another instance, the city tried to save money by mixing elderly patients with younger mentally disturbed ones.  After one elderly patient was attacked four times the staff’s response was to put up a sign saying, “Don’t Hit.”  Apparently, it was not effective.  By the second of a six page article, the author seems exasperated by the parade of horribles.

These are dramatic examples of how the city wasted time and money and made people’s lives miserable — with no apparent repercussions for those responsible. But these are far from isolated incidents (see the “Annals of Incompetence” sidebar on page 12). And in each case, it comes back to the same basic problem of accountability: Plenty of public figures make promises, but no one is responsible for keeping them.

But there is a mechanism for holding them accountable.  However repugnant these occurrences are, though, the population most at fault isn’t the one occupying the seats of power.  It’s the people who continue to elect and empower them.  As long as a polity can vote out its leaders the system of representative democracy works.  In a certain sense, it’s hard to blame the wardens of an insane asylum for mismanagement when their superiors keep cutting checks.  In the carnival of incoherence that is San Francisco, the first step towards rational government is as close as the next election cycle.

Comments are closed.