Think Federal Agencies are Interested in Success? Think Again

Today, an unprecedented amount of individual responsibilities have been delegated to the Federal govt.  This trend has been to the detriment of our society.  What is the goal of any human?  The goal of any person is to make their life better, whether through more money, more security or less work; everything we do is geared towards this goal. In Mises’s own words;

“Action based on reason, action therefore which is only to be understood by reason, knows only one end, the greatest pleasure of the acting individual.”

Therefore, we cannot expect the individuals who compose the public sector to act contrary to their own best wishes.  So to see what we should expect from our public employees, we should look at what actions they should take to advance their (and not ‘society at large’s) aims.  We will compare for each goal what the respective incentives for private vs. public individuals.

Job security:

One of the biggest goals of employees (especially ones with families) is job security.  What actions does a private employee have to take to ensure job security?  One of the best things a private sector employee can do to ensure he will come back tomorrow would be to Be as productive as possible, maximize profit, and ensure that customers have a nice experience while using whatever product or service is being produced.

How does a government employee stay employed?  Under no circumstances “should” a public employee accomplish anything if they want to keep their job. The fastest way to end a govt. program would be to solve the problem it was created to solve, right?  The employee should perform poorly, thus retaining a deficiency, causing lawmakers to throw more money at it…. in the hopes that voters will see how much they care. Under no circumstances would any lawmaker cut the headcount at a dept before the “problem” has been solved; coincidentally, few problems are ever actually solved.