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Anand Manikutty

I don't think it is fair to categorize the collapse of Lehmann brothers as an instance of 'poor performance'.

Roger Chittum

"Every good cause is worth some inefficiency."--Paul Samuelson


You had me until you got to the 'safety net' thing. Yes, we do need a safety net, but as long as a democratically elected government runs the safety net, it will primarily be a means of buying votes.

B Wilds

Part of the problem is government jobs often pay more and provide benefits, security, and pensions that the private sector cannot afford to meet. An unhealthy system supports this, politicians give raises to government employe unions that in turn support the politicians reelections so they can get further raises, this has created a ugly cycle. This should be the crux of the discussion about the economy going forward, the size of government must be contained and reduced. More on this subject and how a government centered economy distorts the private market in the post below,



Is it fair to compare private corporate bureaucracies to public government bureaucracies? Can bureaucracies be made more effective and efficient? Sure. Could the government learn a few things from the private sector? Of course.

But bear in mind that governments are here to do a completely different job than a private corporation. The corporation exists soley to make money while the government is there to look after the well being and health of its given society and all of the people who live within it. This includes handling those highly complicated, non-monetarily rewarded projects that corporations steer away from, in addition to a host of other tasks that are not related directly to the running of our domestic affairs (ie, interacting with other societies, handling those relations and connections between citizens and organizations and, of course, working with the conditions of our environments in which we all live).

Could government be run better? Yes. But this would require a greater amount of investment in its services and personnel that, given the attitude towards taxes, isn't likely to happen.

Therefore, I would make the distinction between private corporations' bureaucracies and public government bureaucracies, because they are working towards different ends and serve completely different purposes in our societies relative to themselves and relative to all others.

B Wilds

Another quick thought. In reference to the statement "many formerly powerful corporations have vanished after they no longer performed well. These include Lehman brothers, A&P Groceries, Wong computers, Bethlehem Steel, and Woolworth."

It should be noted these companies vanished a lot quicker than many governments. Governments tend to hang around much longer after they become inefficient. While it seems politicians at times have painted themselves into a corner they also have super powers that allow the constant creation of new exits. Pray tell what you might ask. The power of the pointed finger and the placing of blame should never be underestimated for they are indeed magical.


Ha B. Wilds! Lehman, in addition to being run by arrogant and foolish management was just as corrupted as the many other big names of our cancerously growing "financial sector" that "produces" little by comparison to their gleanings. Lehman "forgot" to supply the Bush admin with a Treasury secretary, as did the recently taken public Goldman, who protected the monstrously off-base AIG, which then covered GS.

The Wang computer days were hard on most mfg's of mini-computers. Beth steel? Largely fell prey to "changes in governmental priorities" that once included having the Navy subsidize our cargo ships with the caveat that when WE need them WE get them. Instead............ Ha! "we" save money by trying to support the wars ginned up in the M/E by air. The fuel for one C-5 trip across the Pacific with an Abrahms tank aboard, and how many mid-air refuelings from fuel guzzling tankers could fuel a small fleet of ships........ which is how the private sector ships heavy cargo.

Fortunately! "The slow moving government" or the many layers of government from city, county, state and fed aren't in the competitive game.... there job is more like making sure the ball field is maintained for the competitive games to be played on them.

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