Over at CATO@Liberty, Chris Edwards chronicles yet another government failure – this time it’s a large computer system implementation/upgrade.
The federal government simply cannot manage large, complex tasks with any degree of efficiency. The list of multi-billion dollar failures of technology, highway, and weapons projects grows longer all the time.
This type of argument is frequently how us small-government types immediate lose arguments before they have even begun. There is simply no reason why government can’t run massive complex project successfully, we libertarians need to stop framing the argument this way.
The basic premise behind the public v. private sector argument is that profit is a unique motivator that provides a much higher rate of innovation and efficiency. When your own money is on the line you tend to be more careful with it. Government is only spending other people’s money and if they run out, they simply ask (or simply take) more.
Government is full of smart, dedicated people – just like any other industry – they could succeed at these large projects if organized in the correct way. So it is not an inherent flaw in public organization that prevent them from succeeding, it’s a lack of reasons to try.