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Freedom's Phoenix

Government Efficiency

October 14, 2008 - 12:00am
Richard Sutton by Richard Sutton


Governments don't make any wealth but they cost a great deal of it.

It can generally be agreed that there is waste and inefficiency in governmental operations so it would seem to be a good idea to keep the functions of government to a minimum wherever possible but what if government were efficient?  Would it be a good idea to have it take care of our every need then?

I suggest that even were government to be wondrously efficient it would be a terrible thing to see Americans (or anyone else) giving up their freedom for a comfortable nanny state.  To quote Peter Drucker "There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all."

But since governments are not efficient and only crudely beneficent what the heck are we Americans doing voting for most every expansion of government power that comes up for a vote?  And why do even politicians that know better cower before the supporters of entitlement programs and entrenched bureaucracies that are bad ideas that get worse every day as the national debt grows? 

The valid functions of government are for most purposes those that ONLY the Government can do (i.e. National Defense).  There isn't any call to get 50 cents on every dollar spent on governemnt services if it can be left to private for-profit and non-profit businesses.  If your favorite government program were to disappear you would be more than welcomed to try providing the same services with a for-profit or non-profit business. 

Related Content:

National Security and a Bloated Bureaucracy - Austin Raynor
Fortunately, We Don't Get All the Government We Pay For - Richard Sutton
One Small (Flavored) Puff for Freedom - Ross Kenyon

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