The offices of the Employment Development Department in Sacramento. (CalMatters Photo/Miguel Gutierrez Jr.)
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In theory, we humans practice politics as a pathway to governance – providing an array of laws, regulations and services to protect and otherwise enhance the lives of the governed.
In practice, politics often – too often – become all-consuming exercises that bear only the faintest relationship to governance. Case in point: the U.S. Congress.
An aspect of that disconnect is the eagerness of those in office to build their images by constantly offering up proposals for new laws, services and programs while ignoring whether earlier laws, services and programs that officialdom birthed are performing as promised.
Often they are not, but even when informed about the shortcomings of design and/or implementation, officials tend to minimize or brush aside the criticism, fearing that acknowledgement would be a sign of weakness. Management and oversight just don’t have the political sex appeal of some shiny new notion that promises boundless benefits.
About the Author
Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers. He began his professional career in 1960, at age 16, at the Humboldt Times.CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.For more columns by Dan Walters, go to calmatters.org/commentary.
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Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers. He has written more than 9,000 columns about the state and its politics and is the founding editor of the “California Political Almanac.” Dan has also been a frequent guest on national television news shows, commenting on California issues and policies.