So many people keep harping how wasteful and inefficient government is. They shouldn't be doing this, shouldn't be doing that. Yada yada yada.
Does the government do ANYTHING right? Or, at least better than private industry?
What does government do better, you ask?
There are some things that government may or may not do "better", if you only look at costs, but still should be in charge of over privatization. In other words, some things come down to factors other than simply cost and money. Some of these items would include...
- Roads & highways - Could be more efficient, but overall government actually does a pretty good job. Plus, I'd rather pay taxes than be bothered by constant private toll booths and/or separate monthly bills from electronic tolling. I just want to get in my car and drive, and I don't want 7 roads to one town when one or two will do, while there are no decent roads to another town.
- Law enforcement & prison systems - All aspects of law enforcement should have ZERO profit motive. While I do care about cost, cost is secondary to the job of enforcing the law and keeping people as reasonably safe as possible. A profit motive... as is clearly evidenced by both private prisons and civil asset forfeiture... effectively serves only to pervert the very core concept of justice, and should not be allowed. At all. Again, could use some tweaks and adjustments, but this one is a clear case where government is better.
- I actually like the overall concept of how cities and counties and states coordinate things like coherent layouts and utilities. Again, not all perfect, but the randomness of fully privatizing some of these things would be counter-productive.
- The Depression-era Rural Electrification Administration (REA) was a huge boon for our country, and that if left to privatization, our country would have actually been backward overall for far longer than it was. It helped propel us into being the First-World country that we are/were. Unfortunately, on the flip side, our government is horribly and completely incapable of knowing when a job is done, and persists in perpetuating unneeded departments and bureaucracies into infinity. The REA itself was a good idea, but it should have been shut down sometime in the 1950s. It still exists today, but the name was changed to deflect attention after 60 Minutes did a story on it several years ago.
What are some things the government should let go of and either privatize or at least scale way back?
Education - At least at the federal level. Should be limited entirely to state level and lower. Private and/or charter schools should be given much more freedom, as long as they don't violate rights and meet certain goals... said goals being exactly the same as public schools, whatever that may be. Federal involvement should be completely eliminated. They're just siphoning money off the top with no real return.
- Name one thing the government does better than private industry.
- Name one thing private industry does better than government.
Answer both, not just one. Even a person at the extreme of their side of the political aisle can find something significant that is good about the other side and something significant that is bad about their side... if they're intellectually honest.