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This has become a media buzzword of late. Like most media buzzwords, its connotations and even its meaning are being massaged and modified. It seems to have become a catch-a;; antonym for "corruption", whatever exactly that means. Previously it was economic terminology for the widespread knowledgeability about prices, that characterizes competitive markets. Anyone who's actually dealt with markets (which is to say anyone) knows that transparency, like the frictionless plane of physics textbooks, is merely a device for simplifying mathematical models enough so people can actually understand them. Nevertheless, while tranparency is a hypothetical ideal, there's certainly more of it some places than others. Financial markets are the usual textbook example of markets with more than the usual amount of transparency. An EDS golfomercial a few years ago lampooned what a similar level of transparency in consumer goods might look was an image of a "island" style dupermarket produce display with an electronic price sign changing every few seconds. Call me strange, but I see this as a good thing iff a "feed" of such a "ticker" can be had for free or at least cheap enough to afford from below the poverty line.

Actually, I said cheap out of diplomacy and deference to the TanstaaflPrinciple. The public has enough of a legitimate interest in transparency that it should be free.

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