Accountability, at the end of the day, prevents
any system of Core values from being misused. The Freedom to
Be does not extend to harming others- whether by intent or by
accident. Our responsibility to others cannot be used as
an excuse to trample on the three other values- the system will
seek restitution if this value is abused.
Both governments and individuals must be held accountable
for their decisions. Individuals can be held accountable by their
peers- who may choose to limit their cooperation and interactions
to the bare minimum required by society's responsibility to others.
Governments, in exchange for the power ceded them by the people,
must be honest and clear in its dealings with the public. The core
value of Accountability underlies the need for a court system, with
proper laws and a neutral enforcement branch.
held accountable is meaningless unless someone is charged with
doing the holding. Our court system provides a neutral forum to uncover
facts and to assess penalties. The courts are not isolated arms of
the government- they implement laws passed by citizens, and citizen
juries interpret those laws. Despite some high profile cases where
the legal system veered out of control, in general law suits protect
individual rights and society from the lack of accountability of others.
If the right to sue is reduced, we must be sure other mechanisms of
equal capability are in place- and currently, law suits are among
our most effective tools. Otherwise, this core value becomes valueless.
Smoking and drinking are, to the greatest extent,
a personal choice with mostly personal consequences. An alcoholic
may lose their job; a smoker may lose their life. Clearly, a drunk
driver must be held particularly accountable for any accidents they
cause, and smokers should pay more for insurance- since both know
the risk inherent in their lifestyle choice. Greater freedom is
always tied to greater accountability- and once a person is shown
to misuse that right, society is justified to impose reasonable
Laws prohibiting minors from drinking or smoking
should be unnecessary, as these are moral judgments as well as best
left to parents- but our responsibility to others sometimes requires
(when serious harm can be anticipated and its effects cannot be
reversed), restricting minor's behaviors.
If a legislature passes a law, they have a responsibility
to accurately and honestly convey the cost of implementing that
law. Hiding costs through subterfuge (e.g. turning a "tax"
into a "license fee", or forcing states to take on federal
responsibilities as a way to give the impression of cost reduction)
means the government is shirking accountability- unacceptable in
a democratic society.
Similarly, the tax system is now so complex, inconsistent
and impenetrable to the average citizen, that it is nearly impossible
to ascertain the effect of new tax levies on ourselves or on our
children. You cannot be accountable for what you cannot understand-
simplifying the tax system (which absorbs about a third of all economic
activity), is a priority.
Of Information Act, Just Wars,
golden rule - responsibility for others - freedom to be - accountability for actions - four core values - links - contact
Democracy - - www.sharingdemocracy.org