Kickstart... well anything / by Jared

Kickstarter is a fantastic website which makes supporting projects we love an easy and effective proposition.  The interface and structure of the site is simple and very intuitive.  The direct and very personal participation in these projects reflects the enthusiasm and shared commitment of the supporters.  This works very well for short films, music, and other creative productions.  Also, one of the nice features the system provides is that projects are fully funded before they are performed.  This seems like a nice way to operate.  Get the capital you need to proceed first, then execute the proposed plan.  Seems pretty straight forward.  Well, what if we applied this type of funding model to other applications such as local government budgeting?

Positive effects
  1. Local services such as garbage collection and snow removal would be pre-funded (no more budgeting short falls) kind of like saving up and buying a new TV rather than getting it on credit.
  2. Just funding these services would essentially be direct voting for which services are valuable to residents.
  3. There could be less chance of government corruption and misappropriation of funds (this would only work of course if the hiring practices and evaluation of service providers for the local government was transparent and published).
  4. Hard quantifiable data for residents wants and needs would be all there for anyone to see.

Negative effects
  1. You and your neighbors may not agree on what is necessary and what is not (but what else is new)
  2. Direct participation in societal matters I think on the whole is a good thing, however, “the mob” is capable of terrible things.  I think the best way to start this type of local government is to apply is to non-essential services such and waste management and snow collection before going for something like Police and Fire.

There are many details that would have to be worked out, but I would like to see a local town or city attempting to automate and pre-fund their residential services pretty soon.  We have the technology and even the IRS is online, no reason why smaller government can’t pave the way.   The Kickstarter system can be applied to many situations.  Any other ideas where?