Those of us who are anti-government have the opportunity to enjoy the current dysfunction that characterizes our ruling class. But, despite the fun, hasn’t it gone too far?
Government Can’t Rule.
If ruling means that those in subordinate positions do as they are told, our current Federal Government is falling down on the job. Several states are lining up to sue the Federal Government to prevent the Trump Administration from building a wall on the southern border, which is what it wants to do. There’s insubordination for you. The Sanctuary Cities in California refuse to implement or even countenance Federal immigration laws. In the same state, the local bureaucrats refuse to be bound by the Federal bureaucrats’ rules on auto emissions and pollution. If the subordinates won’t do as they are told, the Government is losing some of its claim to be all-powerful in deciding matters for the rest of us.
Government Can’t Control Its Own Bureaucracy.
We’ve been peppered lately with comedic snippets about a “coup” attempt by members of the FBI. There’s no need to respond to this particular piece of political theater, except to note that the FBI members in question are government employees. In functional parts of the world, like the private sector, an employee revolt would be short-lived. Dismissals would come quickly, and possibly lawsuits. How should we think of an organization that acts as if its head were a criminal? We certainly wouldn’t buy anything from it. We shouldn’t “buy” any part of what government tries to sell us.
Government Can’t Legislate.
The job of the legislative part of the government is to draft laws and pass them so that the executive can execute. Since the goal of government is to accumulate more and more power over the private sector, it certainly wants its legislative branch to be active and productive in getting new laws on the books. But it’s got itself into a position where the legislature is “divided” between a Republican-led Senate and a Democrat-led House, and so nothing much gets done, legislation-wise. Why would government shoot itself in the foot like this, strangling its own productivity? It certainly doesn’t speak to sound or clear-headed management.
Government Can’t Count.
We recently read that an audit revealed that $21 trillion of expenditures was unaccounted for – it was spent, but not tracked and so nobody knows what it was spent on. We understand that there are some things – like installing nuclear weapons on the moon, perhaps – that government doesn’t want us to know about. But really? Twenty-one trillion dollars. It just seems sloppy.
Government Can’t Appoint.
Another job that government seems to stumble over is hiring. If the organization exists to expand its power over us citizens, and if bureaucratic enforcement of a growing body of rules and regulations is its main weapon, it needs to keep adding bureaucrats. But, apparently, there are all kinds of internal arguments over who should get hired, to the point that no-one gets hired. Again, this seems sloppy. It seems like the organizational design is not well thought-through, and the processes are not well enforced. No self-respecting CEO or Board Of Directors would put up with this kind of strategic failure.
Government Can’t Keep People In Or Out.
It was disclosed recently in the UK that the richest individual was moving out to Monaco, to avoid paying taxes to the UK government. It seems as though it’s a significant revenue blow. Doesn’t it seem like, if you are running a confiscation scheme, you need to keep the people you are confiscating from inside the walls of the reservation?
On the other side of the “can’t keep them in / can’t keep them out” dilemma, Italy, the USA, Hungary and others are finding it incredibly difficult to keep out those immigrants who want to replace the rich by coming in as starving refugees with no assets and no relevant skills. Isn’t this going to dilute the tax revenue yield of the average person in the jurisdiction, while at the same time raising the cost in government expenditures for that same average person? It doesn’t seem prudent, on many levels.
Governments Can’t Maintain Their Relevance.
Government markets itself as the solution to the people’s problems. But the people see it as the problem – the biggest problem they face. This is a colossal marketing failure – akin to a brand-owning company like Kraft Heinz destroying the value of its brands, or a football team losing all of its games. The government is supposed to maintain its legitimacy, but virtually no-one grants it any credibility any more.
Who’s managing this thing? There’s a need for a rethink. Perhaps a hostile takeover from somewhere. The US Government has implemented its own hostile takeovers in places like Iraq, and now it’s thinking about one in Venezuela. Maybe they should invite a reciprocal takeover from outside. In sports, teams in trouble hire a new coach who has been successful elsewhere. How about Kim Jong Un? North Korea seems to be doing better. In business, companies sometimes outsource functions they can’t run effectively themselves. How about bringing in Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party? He could install a lot of hard working Asians in government and make it work.
There must be a better way.