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This sort of argument comes up all the time, claiming governments somehow screw everything up but private industry has some sort of amazing track record at producing value.

There’s a continuous stream of evidence to the contrary, particularly if you’ve ever worked for large companies and seen the kind of wasted resources that go toward pet projects and other high value items that fail miserably.

The difference of course is that one costs tax payers whereas the other costs shareholders, and in one case (government and tax payers) there is some hope of oversight and accountability. If shareholders actually knew about this sort of waste I am not sure they would ultimately care because they may chalk it up to the cost of doing business.




> There’s a continuous stream of evidence to the contrary, particularly if you’ve ever worked for large companies and seen the kind of wasted resources that go toward pet projects and other high value items that fail miserably.

There's also a continuous stream of evidence not to the contrary, particularly if you've ever worked for the government and seen the kind of wasted resources that go toward pet projects and other high value items that fail miserably.

The difference of course is that one costs taxpayers whereas the other costs shareholders, and in one case (government and tax payers) the only feedback mechanism is votes every couple of years, which don't really make any difference because incumbent reelection rates are in the high 90s even though Congress's approval ratings often drop into single digits. Whereas shareholders (or their proxies, mutual funds) can simply sell a company's stock if it looks like the company is wasting resources; stocks get traded every day.




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