Our use of contractors has indeed gotten nearly entirely out of hand. This privatization push has enriched those associated with the security complex, often at obscene and deficit punishment to the Treasury and our credit and standing. The Snowden case is only an example, and not (incredibly) a glaring one.
“The centerpiece of the clean campaign is doubtless umuganda, a monthly day of
mandatory community service. The tasks are varied, but often involve litter removal and other beautification projects. Politicians are not exempt: Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, recently labored with residents of a Kigali neighborhood to prepare construction of a school building. Rwandans must have their umuganda participation certified on a card by local officials (Professor’s Note: LOCAL officials, not centralized national ones).
Without that document, they can be denied services at government offices.
“As (Kigali Mayor) Ndayisaba put it: ‘There are some who just are street people because they are irresponsible or because they are drug consumers. We take them; we bring them [into] re-education centers.’
“Kigali residents who are considered vagrants are subject to arrest and confinement in these centers. Residents are sent to the centers without trial; a spokesman for Ndayisaba said the decision to commit a detainee is made by a team of social workers as a last resort.
“The mayor himself was unapologetic about the policy, which he said applies to those considered irresponsible, but not to the sick. ‘When you can’t take decisions for your [own] good,’ he said, ‘we take it for you.’
We Americans often criticize those who see the world differently and conduct themselves differently in it. While many here could rail against the measures taken in Rwanda about vagrants, etc., our policy of unbenign neglect isn’t working either.
Things to think about. America’s rabid frothing about anything that remotely hints of social responsibility is holding us back from finding sensible mosaic policies of taking the best ideas from anywhere and giving them a try (even on a small scale) here.
And by the way, for those with short memories who want to criticize Rwanda severely, Taiwan and South Korea, among others, were once police states. And while they had their problems, they didn’t have nearly completely nonsensical colonial arbitrary divisions on maps (and similar legacies). And didn’t have ethnic divisions. And weren’t recovering from genocide.
Getting from A to Z rarely works. One at a time, maybe!