Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Government Efficiency...

Do you harbor some lingering belief that government is the most efficient way to get big jobs done?  This story should cure you of that mental illness.

The outline:
  • The federal government has long had a “Lifeline” program that provides free phone service to poor people.  This program is paid for by a charge on your phone bill.
  • The program originally provided free land lines, but was recently extended to provide free mobile phones (the notorious “ObamaPhone” that was the subject of a viral YouTube video last year).
  • Mobile phone retailers make money by giving away these free mobile phones.  They're supposed to follow federal guidelines about who gets the phones, but there's no enforcement and the financial incentive is for them to give more away, not fewer.
  • People approach the phone retailers, tell them that they're going to resell (“flip”) the phone to raise money for drugs, shoes, whatever, and the retailers still give them the phones.
Personally, I find this completely unsurprising.  Of course that's what happens; it's almost as if someone designed the program like that.

A business, operating with profit motive, would never behave in such a stupid and inefficient way with our tax dollars.  Only the government has that capacity.

Something for you to think about...  When you think of the tax dollars that you pay to both the federal government and the state government, what percentage of that do you think is utterly wasted (like above)? 

For the federal government, I'm guessing around 50% or 60%.  For the state (California), I'm thinking more like 70% or 80%...

No comments:

Post a Comment