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Politicians Paid by Achievement

Politicians' wages directly linked to their performance.
  [vote for,

This is a response to "Politicians Get Minimum Wage" and "Politicians Wages Based On Average Income."

If we pay politicians minimum wage, I fear that the adage "you get what you pay for" will apply.

On the other hand, if we pay politicians a wage based on averaging together the incomes of all citizens in the politician's jurisdiction, I think that the politician wouldn't have much incentive to do a lot to raise wages for very low-income people. You'd have to raise the bottom end of the range of incomes quite a bit before the politician would see a significant raise in their own income.

Anyhow, more money for lower-income families, while helpful, is not the only important accomplishment that a politician should strive for.

I think that the chief of state for this hypothetical country, should post a list of improvements that state and city offices can make in their jurisdiction. (Ideas for postings include: lowered crime, lowered prison population, lowered pollution, increase in health of citizens, lowered traffic accident numbers...)

Each of these improvements would have a pay scale listed for achieving it. For example: Lower the rate of traffic accidents in your city 3% in a given monthly pay period, and receive $5,000.

Given time and experimentation, each state or city could set a pay scale for achievements in each politician's sphere of influence, such that if a politician does an excellent job during their term, they can expect to earn an upper middle class wage consistent with the local economy.

In other words, a Mayor who was successful in making her city a much better place to live, would end up earning as much as a well-paid doctor, attorney, or CEO of a small company would earn in that city.

This idea was inspired when I heard that doctors in France get paid an incentive for every patient that they get to quit smoking. The healthier they make their patients, the more they are paid. This is really an extension of that principle.

The thing that frustrates me the most about politicians is that they seem to get to partially set their own to-do list for their time in office - and then there's little to no accountability if they don't achieve. I think this system would give politicians incentive to be accountable to the citizens who elected them.

WhatArmy, Aug 12 2010

Checks & Bonuses Checks_20and_20Bonuses
[theircompetitor, Aug 13 2010]


       Largely symbolic, as (1) the congressional payroll is a drop in the budgetary bucket and (2) the congressional salary is dwarfed by the cost of campaigning for Congress. Nevertheless, [+] as I admire feedback loops in general.
LoriZ, Aug 12 2010

       This suffers from the same problem identified by banker's bonuses in that there's a difference between what looks like a good achievement on/after a year and what might turn out to be a good idea over the longer term.   

       There is already an indirect incentive for a politician providing good results in that it places them in a better position for re-election, carrying with that an increased chance of after-dinner speaking engagements, corporate consultancy positions and other lucrative work.
zen_tom, Aug 13 2010

       // spread the targets out //   

       Why ? "We know where you live" is the best possible motivator ...   

       Pitchforks and flaming torches, anyone ?
8th of 7, Aug 13 2010

       Why not pay them by voting? In order to vote, you have to send $10 dollars or some farcical sum to them.
normzone, Aug 13 2010

       "Our politicians are the best that money can buy ...."
8th of 7, Aug 13 2010


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