Adopt an Incentive Compensation for Governmental Officials and Employees to Bring Prosperity to a Town or Village As you might expect in reviewing your own list of social, economic or other improvements you would like to see, there seems to be an endless number of candidates for you list. I am going to add some additional ideas to this "Developing Issues" part of my website to start developing issues, some of which may wind up in the main list above, and some of which may turn out to be of little or no value for this website.
One main issue that has attracted me over the past 20 years or so is the ever-increasing compensation being paid to government workers while non-governmental workers as a group are undergoing on average a reduction of compensation. The reason for the reduction of compensation clearly seems to be what we are calling "globalization of the economy", in which American jobs and opportunity are spirited out of the United States for the profit of the major corporations, who have managed to create a cover story that in the long run everyone of us will benefit. Of course, although it is too late to argument against such absurdity, this general uplifting of the economy for U.S. residents is not going to occur. What appears to be a transfer of American jobs and wealth to other countries for their benefit (and the benefit of the intermediates arranging such transfer) is just that, and nothing else. In the long run, as in the short run, we need jobs in America to give workers the money they need to maintain their standard of living, and as the jobs leave the country so goes the ability to maintain the same, high standard of living.
So, on one hand, we see that economic expectations for non-governmental workers is declining.
As to governmental workers, I have noticed the reverse to be true. Whether things are getting better or worse for non-governmental workers, the economy and standard of living for governmental workers keep getting better, starting with our highest elected officials (even the wealthy who choose not to take a salary and get their higher income from greater successes with their investments), and down the ranks to the lowest municipal workers. Everyone keeps getting more and more, paid for by the non-governmental workers who are getting less and less. It is important to note that when I refer to compensation I refer to all types of compensation including vacations, free time, personal days, sick days, non-sick days, maybe going to be sick days, pension payments, contributions, health plans, dental plans, free parking, inability to get fired, lack of work ethic more than acceptable, and various other types of costs imposed on taxpayers for the benefit of the governmental workers.
The reason for this largesse given to governmental workers is in part because of their proximity to the lawmakers who themselves are taking advantage of their position, and undoubtedly feel that it is ok for others around them to get more than their fair share of the economy - because, after all, isn't that what politics is really about - the winners are able to take more from the voters and the losers wait until next time around to try to get back what they lost, but to a great extent their close proximity to politics and the willingness and ability to use politics (including threats of strike or job actions) to coerce higher pay from legislators and other elected officials who pay these higher costs with other persons' (taxpayers') money.
Anyway, it strikes me that it may be beneficial for a small town or village to put all of its officials and employees on a compensation system that would provide basic compensation tied in to the local economy, so that government employees were not earning more at the starting gate of their election cycle than non-governmental employees who are in a more competitive employment market. In addition, incentive compensation would be provided to the governmental workers that would encourage them to make decisions and perform their work for the economic benefit of the town or village, particularly the residents of the town, the property owners of the town, the town's taxpayers, and the town's small businesses (who are dependent on the town for their well being). The major chains have to be left out of the equation because they are causing the problem and are not dependent on the one town as much as its local businesses.
A group would have to be formed to try to identify the factors that need to be increased by government policy and action, such as the gross sales of small businesses, the profit margins of small businesses, the number of persons employed in the small businesses, the total salaries and other compensation paid to the employees of the small businesses, the value of the business properties, the value of the residential properties, the rate of employment, the increase in employee compensation, the health of residents and availability of healthcare; and various other factors, undoubtedly, perhaps including a reduction in nuisance taxes, fines, penalties and particularly criminal prosecutions, a most disasterous use of governmental time and money when not regulated by budget and common sense. A community does not prosper when everyone who has committed any type of infraction or crime is prosecuted, pleads guilty and becomes a convict, including the overzealous prosecutors later down the line when they become higher elected officials exposed to even greater financial incentives. So, a reduction in plea bargains, a reduction in guilty verdicts, a reduction in prosecutions, a reduction in jail time, a reduction in prisons and sentences should be part of any equation to determine if a town is better off economically, to be able to calcuate what incentive compensation should be paid to the town's officials and employees as a reward for making the town better than the start of their election cycle.
Should there be a cap on the incentive? Many captains of commerce will say no. Why would you want to stop a salesman from bringing in additional orders by saying you won't give him/her a commission on all orders in excess of a certain amount. You want the orders and are willing to pay a price for them, so don't put a cap on success. Adjust your program if it's paying too much.
I have been thinking about this general problem for many years. My thought was to pay U.S. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives with a percentage of the improvement of the economy, carefully defined to ensure that the improvement was for the people, not the major corporations. Why not give something like 1% of the improvement to the 455 people who worked hard to get their share of the 1%? This would leave the remaining 99% for the people, a share for the people that hasn't been seen in many years. Such a program would deter wasteful spending, and would provide far more than enough for the member of Congress to finance his/her campaign for reelection without the need for any campaign contributions.
Anyway, this is just an idea, but it does seem quite possible to use at a start in a small town or village. If the town or village appointed a town attorney general the probability is, I think, that the officials and employees would earn their incentive pay from the start.