Friday, November 5, 2010

Government Efficiency

Last month Tad DeHaven wrote an article on government efficiency... ‘Government Efficiency’

The article was based on the premise that "government cannot operate like a business because it isn’t a business." True or false?

False! Government can easily operate more like a business simply by allowing tax payers to decide which public goods they "purchase" with their taxes. Because of free-riders we can't allow people to choose whether they pay taxes but we can allow people to choose which public goods their taxes help fund. This would force government organizations to compete for our taxes and the result would be greater government efficiency.

In the aftermath of Mao Zedong's devastating policies Deng Xiaoping led China from a command economy to a market economy. His most famous saying was that he didn't care if a cat was black or white...as long as it caught mice. In other words...results matter more than rigid adherence to ideology. This is the foundation of pragmatarianism.

2 comments:

  1. but we can allow people to choose which public goods their taxes help fund

    They already do: it's called elections.

    In the US and to a lesser extent other countries, big business and special interests prevent the implementation of what people want.

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  2. 1. Just because you vote for somebody doesn't mean that they will be elected

    2. Just because somebody is elected doesn't mean that they'll fund the public goods that they said they would

    In a pragmatarian system neither big business nor special interests would be able to prevent you from funding the public goods you value.

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