Thursday, March 30, 2017

Portraying "Good Government Administration"

Yesterday I wrote that the back of the Grover Cleveland-themed $1,000 bill should show "good government administration." I wrote that because that was one of the lasting hallmarks of his two (non-consecutive) administrations. If you want to know just how important a legacy this is, read some about the economics of institutions and reflect on what is happening currently in our return to a politicized bureaucracy that fights the administration from within.

However, even as I wrote it, I thought to myself, "I have no idea what the back of this bill would look like." But I was hoping no one else would notice. I mean, it was the last point in a post that was probably of interest to no one but me (which is the general theme of all my blog posts, actually). Yet, within half an hour, eagle-eyed reader Alanna commented, "Not sure how you portray 'good government administration' on that $1000 bill, though...".

Interestingly, as soon as I read her comment, I could answer the question I couldn't answer to myself before. The image would be one of a diverse group of Americans experiencing "the pursuit of happiness" while above them would be the words of Henry David Thoreau, "That government is best which governs least." Perhaps you might say this is begging the question, since a depiction of "experiencing 'the pursuit of happiness'" has no cultural touchstone. Well, what's more quintessentially American than a block party that required no government permits?

I realized that my brain was basically showing me some artwork I had seen years before. It was a Jehovah's Witness portrayal of the Millennium. (It was memorable because it featured a lion hanging out with a beach ball.) But that's to be expected; the reason Jehovah's Witnesses use that type of diverse-block-party imagery is that it resonates with most of us as a place we would be able to relax and feel peace.

© 2017 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania [I'm not trying to violate their rights, here; I'm pretty sure I'm safe within the "fair use doctrine."]

So that's my answer for how you would show "good government administration" on the back of the $1,000 bill. Secularize it a bit and throw in the Thoreau quote and you're good to go.

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