The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Posts Tagged ‘small government

Could “Government is the problem” be part of the problem?

with 10 comments

Like so:

Government is bad,
therefore,

We should cut its funding whenever we have a chance to do so.
Of course, then …

Government agencies end up under-staffed, under-equipped, and unable to keep up (years-long immigration-hearing delays come to mind, or the Katrina response, or …)
And,

Government’s best and brightest administrators get fed up and leave, finding industry positions that ask less and pay more,
Which opens the door for …

Incompetent, patronage-appointed bureaucrats become administrators (“Great job, Brownie!”)
And, Presto!

Proof!  Just look at how badly this agency functions!  Government is the problem! It can’t do anything right!

Maybe the idea that “government is the problem” needs to be replaced with “bad government is the problem.”

Finally, a related quote:

(Newser) – Barack Obama’s former car czar says he had no choice but to fire GM’s Rick Wagoner. “Everyone knew Detroit’s reputation for insular, slow-moving cultures,” Steven Rattner writes in an essay for Fortune. “Even by that low standard, I was shocked by the stunningly poor management that we found, particularly at GM, where we encountered, among other things, perhaps the weakest finance operation any of us had ever seen in a major company.”

Aha!  “Business is the problem?”

‘Course not.  Bad business is the problem.

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Name 10 things the government does well

with 178 comments

A dear friend of mine left a challenge in a comment.  Here ’tis:

Other than the military, can you name 10 things that the government has done really well, better than the private sector?

It’s an important question, for skepticism toward all government (rather than reform of bad government) is not only common, but at the root of a couple of major political outlooks.  And because it’s important, it seemed worth a post of its own.

Here’s my quick response. Maybe you can do better:

You betcha. Off the top of my head, I’ll give you twenty, most of which are under-funded for the work they do:

  1. The FAA. Crashes are a rarity here, thanks to equipment safety tests and massively successful air flight controlling.
  2. Medicaid: private sector insurance companies make money by ditching their customers when they get very sick. Medicaid picks up the castoffs.
  3. Social Security: What if Mr. Bush had succeeded in privatizing SS before the markets crashed? Can you imagine how many old people would be working at WalMart, since their SS would have been cut in half? And did you know that before SS, thousands of older Americans simply starved to death?
  4. SCHIP: Healthcare insurance for children who would not otherwise have it – enormously preventive of school absence, long-term illness, loss of physical and mental development
  5. Read the rest of this entry »

Vacation in Somalia: The Libertarian’s Paradise

with 13 comments

One

Government is like television.

Lots of television programs are bad.

But television isn’t bad.

Television is just a thing, neither bad nor good.

If it’s used badly, the result is bad.

But if it’s used well, the result is good.

Two

Government is like a hammer.

Much damage has been done with hammers.

But hammers are not bad.

A hammer is just a thing, neither bad nor good.

If it’s used badly, the result is bad.

But if it’s used well, the result is good.

Three

Government is like . . . [your turn!]