The Future of Government: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s pace setting changes

A friend of mine gave me a nice book by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum which I’ve had for a few weeks and browsed through with some enjoyment. Given the Thanksgiving break, I was able to set aside another 7 hours to complete the book and found it very enjoyable, especially with his views on government. Now in reading this with an open mind, I had to put his support of Palestine against Israel into perspective and also consider the large amount of drama that has been following one of the world’s richest men and the driver of Dubai’s leap into the future, especially in regard to his daughter, the missing princess. But great energy and intelligence are often criticized, and nobody ever fits into the square holes that society gives us as we are all circles, triangles and rectangles and usually don’t fit unless we beat them into place with a hammer.

I like Dubai very much and I especially like what they are doing in that region of the world with the Hyperloop and the efforts at skycars. It takes a person thinking like Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to do big things like that. In the United States we do have a mind thinking like this in the Oval Office in President Trump. There is less democracy in Dubai, so it is far easier for a big personality like Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to have his way and get things done. Often very wealthy people like this are hated by the lazy and stupid, so much of the smoke that comes from these types of people is scrutinized with more of a focus on pushing them into one of these square holes instead of understanding their true value to the context of the human story. With that said, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s opinion on government is something worth considering as I share his sentiment.

I make it no debate; I hate government as it has been presented to me over the years. They are slow, unambitious and filled with people afraid of real performance. They get to work too late in the day and they leave way to early. Just a trip to the BMV is a miserable experience, the hours of operation is in the middle of the work day so you have to take time out of your schedule to get silly things like drivers license renewals completed which is an extremely low value add contribution to the day of people who are really doing things in life. Government in the United States especially is too expensive and does not serve customer interests nearly enough, especially for the cost. They are corrupted by liberal labor unions that push back against very basic requests and are generally a huge waste of time. I was happy to read in Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s book that he feels much the same way that I do about government and in the UAE he is pushing reforms with the following sentiments:

• The government of the future is open for service 24/7, all year round. The private sector remains open for business so why not the public sector?” We want our government to be just like an airline—available around the clock.

• The government of the future competes with and surpasses the private sector in service quality. We want our government to welcome customers more professionally than hotels; we want our government to manage processes better than banks.

• The government of the future is connected. Citizens should be able to complete any government transaction at any government service center. Integrated service centers will spare citizens long trips from one entity to another.

• The government of the future is available anywhere. We want to shift government services onto smartphones so that customers can file and follow up on transactions using mobile devices at their convenience.

• The government of the future is innovative and constantly able to generate ideas. In 2012 the UAE government was able to generate over 20,000 fresh ideas to simplify and improve its services. Our goal is to create an environment that encourages people to generate innovative ideas. Implement them and constantly measure their effectiveness. Innovation is the capital of the future.

• The government of the future is a smart government with integrated and efficient technical systems. A smart government is so much faster in completing various kinds of transactions.

Now, all that sounds very logical to me. It makes perfect sense. In the United States when I complain about taxes being too high it is because I have always my business hat on, which requires the kind of thinking that Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has set as targets for his own government in the UAE. And I am quite sure that they are working to make that a reality in the city of Dubai. Its important to realize that this is what the United States is competing with, its not Europe, or China or anyplace other than the very innovative thinking coming out of the UAE. I noticed this first actually while visiting Harrod’s in London and seeing on the top floor all the future plans for cities of the future in the UAE. London was no longer the cultural center of the universe, nor was New York, or Hong Kong, but rather it was Dubai and more specifically this way of thinking from Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The forces at work in the United States that are keeping us from matching the ambitions of Dubai are what I would call domestic enemies because they are standing in the way of the kind of innovation that we need to be utilizing aggressively. Every time I hear some teacher’s union complaining about less kids, less work hours and more pay it makes me literally sick, because the rest of the world is starting to realize that people like Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum are shaping the future. And it should be the United States that everyone should be emulating. It also makes me very angry to see that our own government would rather fight to protect the status quo by attacking our own President Trump, who wants to think ahead of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. But instead, they want to impeach him any way possible so that they can resist the need to change their behavior in government.

A healthy hatred of government if it proves to be a detriment to productivity and a happy life is good. We shouldn’t expect something to be bad just because its government and rationalize that we can’t do anything about it. Government works for the people, not the other way around and for too long governments around the world have grown complacent and more intrigued with their aristocratic status than in being known for what they accomplish. That isn’t acceptable to me and it was refreshing to hear that Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum doesn’t find it acceptable either, that some people in the world do get it. That is why it is good to read books, especially from cultures that are not native to your own, so that ideas can be generated, and understandings met. The media certainly wouldn’t report this information, I didn’t know much about Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum until I read his book except that he had family problems with one of his daughters. The media will report that, but not all these thoughts about government. And that is another huge part of this problem that we should all be angry about.

Rich Hoffman

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