We all recognize the cost associated with Big Government, or we should. The massive national debt is due to Big Government.
Cost is certainly a major issue, but not the REAL problem, at least not in my mind.
The REAL problem is that government can’t fail.
Failure is a key feature of ‘free market capitalism’. Without failure we would see no progress, no economic growth, and no improvement in our standard of living.
A government program cannot fail. It will not and cannot go away without being actively eliminated by an act of congress.
No matter how bad the program, it cannot fail. Instead it goes blindly ahead and generally requests more funding in order to improve results.
A private business that fails to serve its customer’s needs will automatically fail. It may seek more funding to expand or re-launch itself, but it must rely on voluntary investments and if they are not forthcoming the business will collapse.
This difference is why no government program should attempt to do anything that a privately run enterprise could do.
The only functions that government should undertake are those that cannot be done by a private enterprise. A good example is national defense. No private enterprise could successfully finance or manage our national defense.
I believe every proposed law should be challenged. ‘Can private enterprise do this?’
We have a government agency that handles government real estate. There is a vast amount of real estate that is vacant. You may not remember the scandal a couple of years ago where this agency was cited for lavish conventions. At the same time they cost us millions of dollars because they are hapless at managing these buildings. There are real estate management services that could be used in place of this agency. If we found they were not performing as well as we think they should we could simply fire them and hire another private firm to do the job.
To me the VA mess is another good example. Why does the government get involved at all? Why isn’t the veterans health handled just as Medicare patients? Wouldn’t the vet be better off going to local private doctors?
I have some experience with this. My father was treated at a veterans hospital. He was bounced between Madison and Tomah. Neither facility impressed me and certainly neither facility was convenient. Ultimately the treatment failed. Would he have been better off in a non-veteran hospital? We’ll never know.
All businesses should be allowed to fail. Unfortunately anything run by the government is never allowed to fail. It may be eliminated or funding may be cut off, but it cannot fail on its merits. More than likely more taxpayer money will be poured into a failing program. Instead of failing and moving on to another alternative the government program will continue until congress decides to end it. How often have you seen this happen? There is a champion for every program, whether effective or not. The result is that the program will have a long and costly life.