Thursday, May 29, 2014

Five Popular Excuses For Government Failure

Government provision of goods and services will always leave consumers and taxpayers wanting, because of the absence of a profit motive. "Public servants" will never be fully motivated to serve the public as there are no conferred benefits for performance or negative consequences for non-performance. 

Here are five common excuses for government non performance. 

1. The existing legislative framework is inadequate - Obviously, we need to enact new legislation and create another regulatory agency so that we can avoid this failure in the future! 

Required action: Hire expensive lawyers friends, host consultations and hire other experts at tremendous taxpayer expense.

2. Exogenous factors. The current problems being experienced are not our fault rather they are due to exogenous environmental factors we have no control over  e.g. - the weather, longer than usual dry season, longer than usual rainy season, el nino. 

Required action: Increase funding to the institutions like the EMA enact stricter environmental laws and regulations, build expensive infrastructure, increase staff compliment at the Ministry of the Environment etc. 

3. Greedy businessmen, the wealthy, hoarders. Because the number of business people and market participants are always less than the number of persons in the general public, business people are convenient scapegoats. A great example is increasing food prices blamed on greedy farmers or supermarkets even though the primary driver of food inflation is Central Bank money printing, taxes, regulations and government bureaucracy especially related to imports. 

Required action: Increase regulatory budget to ensure oversight over greedy / dishonest market actors

4. Government salaries and benefits to staff are too low which prevent the government from attracting  and retaining the best talent! 

Required action: Hire expensive HR consultants to justify hefty pay increases for "public servants" so that they will be "more motivated" or so that the particular state agency can retain the best talent. 

5. Government budgetary allocations are inadequate to handle the challenges at hand. We cannot discount the value of solving such a problem, therefore no expense should be spared!

Required action: Immediate and ongoing increased monetary allocation; announced preferably at a political gathering to score political points. An opportunity to be self righteous with other peoples money, while funneling tax dollars to political friends must not be wasted! 

Unlike the private sector where poor performance is punished with losses, in the public sector ironically, failure is rewarded with an infusion of funds. Consequently the taxpayer continues to be to be perennially abuse and exploited.  

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