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[qs=Rahvin]Do you have any specific examples where the government was more incompetent than the private sector at a specific task that was not a failure due to a lack of funding, but to real incompetence, inefficient management, or the like?[/qs]

Do you have any specific tasks where government and private sector performance can be compared?

The areas where government unambiguously demonstrates its incompetence are pretty much the sole domain of government. Last year's debt ceiling impasse comes to mind. Social security as a inter-generational Ponzi scheme does, too, as do Iraq and Afghanistan and our foreign policy in general. I haven't heard many express satisfaction with Medicare and Medicare - what I mostly hear is how difficult it is to find competent care because so my providers won't accept their fee schedule. The interstate highway system is a marvel, but maintaining it is another matter and we've inherited a crumbling infrastructure. Congress is at the mercy of special interests, so any tax bills on the rich will be shot full of holes before they ever come to a vote. They can raise taxes for one purpose and then devote the tax income to another. Where governments are concerned the law of unintended consequences is the rule.

But as bad as government is, it certainly beats the alternative, and we in western democracies are very fortunate to have governments that much more than other governments are servants of the people instead of the other way around. I'm not anti-government, but I'm very wary of it because it is so big and powerful it can squash without ill-intent or taking any notice.

So is government better at using your money for the benefit of all than you are? I don't know, and I don't think it is possible to know with any certainty. But I'd be very skeptical.

--Percy

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