George Will writes in the Jewish World Review, Hubris Heading for a Fall ( January 20,2011 – 15 Shevat, 5771) a great analysis of why government is failing and why the political divide is widening.
The idea that America’s problem of governance is one of inadequate resources misses this lesson of the last half-century: No amount of resources can prevent government from performing poorly when it tries to perform too many tasks, or particular tasks for which it is inherently unsuited.
Actually, government is not sufficiently demoralized. The hubris that is the occupational hazard and defining trait of the political class continues to cause government to overpromise and underperform. This class blithely considers itself exempt from the tyranny of the bell-shaped curve – the fact that in most occupations a few people are excellent, a few are awful, and most are average.
The vicious cycle that should worry Summers is the reverse of the one he imagines. It is not government being “cut back” because of disappointments that reinforce themselves. Rather, it is government squandering its limited resources, including the resource of competence, in reckless expansions of its scope.
Try… to think “of a human want or difficulty that is not now defined as a ‘public policy problem.”
The public sector’s involuntary tendency to become, regarding productivity, a concentration of stagnation is a reason for government to become more circumspect than it has been about the voluntary acquisition of vast new responsibilities, such as micromanagement of health care’s 17 percent of the economy.
HKO comment- the biggest challenge in business is getting competent people. It is suicide to engage in new strategies without competent staff to execute it properly. It is inconceivable that there are enough competent people in government to execute the array of programs and initiatives pursued by our government in the last few years.