Sunday, October 12, 2008

Structural Problems

Dave Schuler points out that government in this country has critical structural problems:

Government in the United States remains mired in a 1950’s model of corporate management and operations. Over the period of the last 30 years, impelled by both domestic and international competition, businesses in the United States have changed the way in which they function in basic ways that result in their producing a lot more with a lot less. Governments haven’t been subject to these pressures and haven’t made these changes. We just can’t afford to continue with a government that works like a big company in 1960. That’s just too expensive but, unfortunately, nobody is talking about this because our current crop of politicians are too invested in things as they are.

[Dave provides two excellent examples in the paragraphs I'm cutting. Go read his whole post.]

Inefficient, antiquated, wasteful, and self-serving government agencies undermine the idea that government can be an effective technology for solving human problems. They delegitimize government and encourage cynicism.
In the comments I make a suitably cynical remark:
Yeah, but government agencies being self-serving is a design feature, not a bug - if you’re working for the government. I don’t see how anyone can reform governments at this point, given the power of the government employee’s unions. And in Illinois aren’t creations like the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority simply an expedient way of granting political favors to people?

I just don’t see how government can be reformed at this point, because no one has the guts to take on the government employees.
The structure of government itself has become one of the biggest problems we face in this country, and I see no way to change it. This is one more reason to pass on voting, as it is one more reason that not a god damned thing will change regardless of who I vote for against.

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