The government shall engage in no service that private enterprise is able and willing to provide not specifically designed to protect the rights of others. – My proposed Constitutional Amendment.
Recently a Michigan woman named Amanda Clayton was discovered to have been using food stamps after winning a million dollars. Once the story broke, her assistance was quickly cut off, but apparently her actions may not have been illegal. (update: She pleaded No Contest for fraud, and eventually was found dead of a drug overdose.)
I liken government to a loving three year-old who draws their parent a picture. Sure they mean well, and the picture was drawn with love, but let’s be honest; the kid is not Picasso, and it’s a picture only a mother could love.
Government tries honorably to help the helpless, but if you put food outside for the local feral cat, it’s probably going to get eaten by a raccoon, opossum, or a myriad of other local scavengers because self-enrichment is in every animal’s nature. Whether it was intended for them is irrelevant.
Imagine if I were to put a million dollars in a town square, leave it unguarded with only a sign that reads:
Money for the needy. Take ONLY what you need.
Most understand that money would be gone in seconds, and much of it would be going towards “wants” not “needs,” and not necessarily taken by the needy either. It may seem like they are bad people, but they are not—they are simply doing what comes natural, either by squirreling away every nut they can in case winter comes early and ends late, or just improving their own standard of living.
The government should try to prevent this type of behavior that leads people to take advantage of government programs they don’t genuinely need, but why would they? They do not fear going out of business nor have a bottom line to meet. They have no motive to improve because they don’t have a competitor coming up with more innovative methods they could emulate such as private companies in a free market.
I want America to go crazy with privatization! For example, statistics show charters and private schools predominantly outperform public schools. Some fail, just like any other business, but they will be replaced with newer and better ones, just like any other business.
I’m 40 years old, childless, and sick of paying to educate the children of others. If you’re going to produce children, it’s your fiduciary responsibility to educate them, not mine. I’m even sicker when young people don’t understand why I give them $8.14 for my $7.89 Taco Bell order because they apparently don’t teach mathematics in public schools anymore either. All I want is a freaking quarter, kid!
With my new PEP amendment, the government would be banned from education altogether. Give every citizen their money back from school taxes, and let the parents deal with their children’s education how they best see fit.
The post office loses money like a gambling addict in Vegas. Let Fed-Ex or UPS buy up that business. Their balance sheets show they’re clearly better at it, and if the USPS went away, one of them would certainly pick up the slack more cheaply and efficiently. Some might argue that if this were true, Fed-Ex and UPS would already do it, but since 1845, federal law prohibits any organization from delivering 1st class mail outside USPS.
Private jails have proven to be far better economically than government-run ones. Privatize them all!
Ever watch a public road crew work? There are five supervisors watching one guy do all the labor. You can just feel your tax dollars burning, and you can’t even make s’mores with the fire. When the government allows private companies to bid for these jobs, they are almost always done ahead of schedule and under budget because companies get rewarded for doing so. The quality of the work is often better as well.
Back to the lottery person and entitlements in general; I used to work for an insurance administrator overseeing the claims process. We were literally in charge of a third party’s checkbook. We processed claims using our expertise on contractual law, parts resource knowledge, ability to detect fraud and waste, and so on. There are many similar administrators–some good, some bad. The bad ones failed, but we grew strong because we paid every legitimate claim possible while guarding the checkbook like our life depended on it. Oh wait, it did.
If the government had paid us to do so, I have no doubt we could have protected your tax dollars from Welfare, Social Security, Food Stamp etc. fraud and waste far better than they do themselves.
A friend argued that if we got an incentive for saving money, we would just avoid paying claims altogether and deny everything. However, we would still answer to our claimants as well as our employer. If we didn’t pay legitimate claims, we’d open ourselves to lawsuits which are more expensive than just paying the claim, public outrage, our auditor’s ire, and the people with the checkbooks taking their business elsewhere.
The one shining example of our government doing something right is our military. Ever notice that the military doesn’t build much? They get planes from Northrup Grumman, weapons from Colt, vehicles from AM General, etc. It’s a great example of the government utilizing the private sector whenever possible, and it works damn well as evidenced by our dominant military might.
I’m sure many of you could think of more instances where government could turn services over to private companies. I’m also confident most of our legislators could as well. It’s time we Americans demanded it of them.