Government Efficiency

I recently criticized the idea that policymakers should focus their attention on making government more “efficient.” Instead, I argued that policymakers should focus their reform efforts on reducing government’s size.

Government efficiency proponents make the mistake of viewing the cost of government in the same light as the cost of operating a private business. However, government cannot operate like a business because it isn’t a business.

Private businesses obtain their revenue through voluntary exchange: consumers willingly give a business their money in return for a product. Businesses must control the cost of providing a product in order to maximize profits. A business that does not adequately control its costs can find itself undercut by a competitor offering a like product at a lower price. In the private sector, the market sets the price of a product through the interaction of supply and demand.

Government is unconcerned with “profit.” The “cost” of government is equal to the taxes extracted from the private sector to pay for government activities, plus the economic damage caused by extracting resources from the private sector. Taxes are involuntarily obtained through compulsion and force. Regardless of the value a citizen assigns to the services provided by government, a citizen must pay for those services, and at a price set by government. The price one pays for government is primarily a function of political factors, which are only indirectly influenced by economic considerations.


Free Pigs!

We very rarely ask ourselves what is the true purpose for a society’s
existence because we just assume it exists without any effort on our
part. It is important to ask ourselves this question because knowing
its purpose will determine the proper way in which we should think of

Most of us just assume that society exists and that we, being members
of that society, just wake up, go to work, and function within it
without ever considering what it is we are functioning in. We are
like fish who just assume the water is there but we should begin ask
the question of what is the nature of the water we swim in.

Most of us assume that the purpose of society is to provide a place
for us to meet our social needs that satisfy our emotional needs for
companionship and belonging. That is not the true purpose of society
but only one of the beneficial byproducts of it.


Obama’s Dubious Purchase of the Free Market

When people respond to the claim that Obama is not friendly to “business” they normally start with something like… ‘How can you say that? He (Obama) bailed out the banks, the auto makers and the insurance companies!’  If you claim he is anti-small business, they will point to one of the dozens of tax credits…