Government by Google

February 25, 2010: 10:46 AM ET

You'll have to excuse me but I'm just so excited that I can barely type. I just finished watching Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, elsewhere on this site, and the implications of what he said for our nation just fill me with hope or something.

Knowing all the problems that we face as a country, and the difficulties our government has to face in trying to solve them, it's good to know that somebody who really knows how to run something is thinking about the big picture.

Some things that Mr. Schmidt said:

  • It would be very, very easy for Google to track and measure all the activities of the government. All they'd have to do is ask.
  • He doesn't understand the way legislation gets bogged down with earmarks and special-interest riders, etc., and would love to get in there, observe, record and measure all the activities of our legislators and others in the Administration who are making policy;
  • He is absolutely flabbergasted that the government has not invited a firm like Google in to monitor and measure its activities.
  • The Founders of this nation -- presumably excluding those who wrote The Federalist papers -- envisioned a country without a strong, centralized government. They wanted the states to make all the important decisions.

Not since the old segregationist days of the 50s and 60s have I heard that persuasive argument used with such aplomb. It was followed by a rather genial, populist statement opining on how a lot of the key decisions in our society should be made on a local level. This would presumably include pesky questions on subjects like... copyright, maybe? Who can say. One thing is for sure: nobody's against localism. Localism is the new Quality.

I know this has been a tough time for America. So it's nice to know that a smart, efficient business entity is on hand to provide policy guidance, surveillance and measurement, bringing business rigor to the messy process of governance.

Not too long ago, another society effected a smooth merger of government, business and the military, so that each would efficiently serve the needs of the others. Let's see. Their symbol was a bunch of white birch rods bundled together. What did they call that again? I can't quite remember. But I do recall that they succeeded in making the trains run on time.

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