Some dispute the oft-quoted(at least by libertarians) line that “everything the government does is done more efficiently by the private sector.” That anyone might dispute this only indicates their naivete, with a little understanding of how business operates, it becomes clear that things done privately will always respond more reliably to what consumers want, and more quickly than a Government project.
We start by assuming that efficiency is the goal. If we use less and get more, we can say that we are being efficient. How do we measure efficiency when input or output are not the same unit? That’s easy. We can measure EVERYTHING in terms of dollars. Trust me on this, there are econ-geeks who get their jollies solely out of coming up with interesting ways to quantify things in order to attach a dollar value. So we define efficiency as putting less dollar’s worth in and getting more dollar’s worth out. Obvious so far, right? Now comes the kicker: competition. When Jeff is spending some amount to make his widgets, and selling them for some higher amount, all is fine and dandy. Until Kevin comes along and figures out a way to do it more efficiently and is suddenly producing more widgets for the same amount. What does Kevin get out of this? A pile of money. He gains in return for his innovation an amount equal to whatever Jeff was making + the improved efficiency. Now, Jeff better rush to keep up if he wants to stay competitive, or find a new industry(or go to work for Kevin).
Whenever you have open entry to competitors, you see the wonderful light of innovation shine into dark places and improve efficiency. This has a trickle down effect on EVERYONE. The things we buy become cheaper and more abundant. This has an exponential expansionary effect. If the cost of the things you need to buy in order to live reduces over time, you needn’t work so hard(or so many hours) to get what you need. If you spend your new free time finding a way to do something that someone else already does in a cheaper way, you’ve carved a niche for yourself in the economy- and everyone will reap the benefit.
Competition makes everyone better off. The Government has no competitors. When they do something inefficiently, you can’t take your business next door to the guy who is motivated by profit to maximize efficiency. There’s no alternative DMV with shorter lines. There’s no alternative NASA with more to show for it’s BILLIONS spent than some lousy shuttle missions. There’s no alternative FDA that ACTUALLY STOPS BAD THINGS FROM GOING TO MARKET.
None of these ideas are my own. They are not new. They happen to be right. If you think you don’t need to care about politics or economics, give me all of your money and ask me every time you have a life decision to make. No right to complain if you are unhappy after that, because you will have willfully surrendered control through NOT CARING. I will close by saying that you should definitely NOT VOTE unless your ideas are like mine.
This is all I have to say for now. Next time I will restate Milton Friedman’s ideas about public goods vs. private goods.
I welcome any and all hate mail in the form of comments.
On an unrelated note I have plans to create a Death Metal cover of the theme from the Golden Girls.