Public Direction

Giving all citizens a say in the federal budgetary process.

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Frequently Asked Questions



What is Public Direction?

Public direction is a plan to have voters determine how public funds should be spent by rating government departments, agencies and services on a scale of 0.0-10.0.

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How is the 0 to 10 scale intended to be used?

Voters should not attempt to put departments in order from 0 to 10. Instead, think of the scale like movie ratings or a judge's scores. You can give the same score to multiple departments.

For a voter to have the most influence with the ratings it is best to use the entire scale. A 0 on the scale is the 'worst' rating that can be given to a department, it indicates a voter's disapproval. Similarly, a 10 is the 'best' rating, symbolizing a voter's approval.

Rating each department with the same number indicates that the voter has the same opinion of all of them. As such, all 0's shows overall disapproval, and all 10's shows overall approval.

Ratings are calculated relative to each other. So, rating departments A, B, C, D, and E with a 4, 5, 4, 4, and 5, respectively, will have less influence on any single department as compared to a voter who gives ratings of 0, 0, 0, 0 and 10.

This system also works in a way that allows greater change when departments are doing poorly and less change when things are going well. If you look at the lower end of the scale, from 0 to 2, you will notice that a rating of 2 is double that of a rating of 1. Similarly, a rating of 1 is double 0.5. And as you move down the scale the percentage change between ratings becomes much larger.

Comparing ratings from 8 to 10 is a different story. The rating of 8 cannot be doubled in this range because the scale does not go that high. The percentage change between these values is much smaller than at the lower end of the scale.

As a result of the variation in the scale, when departments are rated as doing poorly there will be a greater percentage of budgetary change. This is good because change is necessary to get the departments moving in the right direction. Similarly, the lessening of change when things are doing well will uphold the positive action that is already in place.

The Public Direction ratings each year will be made available to be seen by all levels of the government. Every department will then know if they scored higher or lower than the previous year. This open display of voter's feelings can provide a psychological boost to those who are doing well and a punch to those who are doing poorly.

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How am I funding programs through my ratings?

Over time, transparency will develop into more of a need than a luxury, both for the government and for the American people. As transparency develops, one will see both high- and limited-interest programs come into being.

The limited-interest programs are specifically important to note. For example, considering a vote of 49% to 51% does not mean that the lesser program should be turned away. On the contrary, it means that support exists for both sides of the vote. It is easy to see that Public Direction provides positive implications for departments who are willing to look at the desirability of all options in question. Departments will learn and adapt to the desires of the general public, who will reward most the departments which enact favorable programs.

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Determining the federal budget is a large responsibility. Can the public handle the burden?

Every citizen can be fully entrusted with this responsibility. The United States runs on a similar process, the free market system, which is evidence enough to show the capability of the public. A free market automatically adjusts the value of a good or service, based on the availability and demand of the item. The government is a service industry like all others. It provides goods and services to the public, and Public Direction effectively turns the public into clients of the government. The public can easily handle the market system and will easily be able to handle the distribution of the budget.

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Is Public Direction an official government program?


This program was created by two American citizens who want to help the government become free from debt, operate more efficiently, and respond to the needs of the public. We have put up this website to display the properties of the program and to get the public involved.

Public Direction has been submitted to the federal government with hope that the program will be adopted.

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Why are there so many departments that I need to rate?

The structure of Public Direction reflects the structure of the government itself. The data in all of our calculators and spreadsheets is based around the federal Summary Tables documents, which can be found here.

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Creative Commons License
by Casey Houser and Christian Yaeger
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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