Today we are starting an article in six sections. Each section will be published independently and can be read independently. We are going to tackle head-on the 6 reasons why you should distrust governments, reasons that were kindly provided by the apparatchiks of The OECD A Bureaucratic Organization You Should Know.
Some time ago, we published the article In Government We Distrust and promised we will continue in that direction because of the massive amount of useless information (i.e. job security) that the apparatchiks from the OECD created. If you are interested in the original OECD article, search for the "Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development", specifically "Trust in Government". Let's make it happen.
In the original article the OECD explained that only about 40% of people trust governments and then it proceeds to enumerate 6 areas where governments can win trust back and the specific steps those governments should take. It goes without saying that no politician in their right mind would do anything even remotely close to what the OECD suggests in candid terms because that would be political suicide. However, this long litany of would-be "rationales" is perfect for our purposes because it allows us to highlight exactly what governments are doing and doing wrong on purpose. Thank you OECD for making our jobs of debunking governments so much easier! We could not have done it without you.
LACK OF RELIABILITY
Governments are notoriously unreliable but they are very good at camouflaging this characteristic. To prove this point is very simple indeed, almost trivial. When was the last time that you know of a politician that fulfilled all the major promises that were made during the electoral campaign? Allow us to spare you the suspense: never. Politicians simply cannot be relied upon and if they cannot be relied upon then the government they command cannot be relied upon.
Sure, some routine government operations do take place on a… well… routine basis, such as the mail, or street maintenance or public transportation or schools or -in some places- socialized medicine. But can they be relied upon? Not really. Excluding developed countries (Canada, US, EU, Japan and a few more - or about 30 countries in total - ) the remaining 166 (or 85% of all countries in the world) all those services are a disaster. Consider the following.
Mail services are subsidized through taxation and you have no idea how much this is costing you. Their fares change all the time mostly due to inflation (yet another government invention). They provide a hit-and-miss service. You send something through mail but you never know if it is going to make it, if it will be broken, stolen, intercepted, or if it will simply disappear into the black hole of government organizations. Furthermore, as most mail organizations do not rely on up to date equipment, even if you present a complaint, there is no way to trace anything. Can you rely on mail services? No.
Street maintenance is a classic black hole where lion-sized government contracts are issued to "buddies" while nothing is actually being done. If you are lucky, some potholes (which rival the depth of the Laurentian abyss) my get fixed simply because they threaten the re-election of politicians du-jour. Even in "developed" countries this is really bad. If you live in one of them, you are surely familiar with the perennial construction "inconveniences" that go on year-round, year after year after year with no end in sight. And by the time the end of the road is fixed, the beginning requires maintenance again. Road maintenance is simply unreliable anywhere on the planet. Can you rely on usable roads? No.
Public transportation is either massively uber-expensive with projects having plans 10 years or more into the future to the "modest" cost of tens of billions (pick your hard currency here) from you, or they are thoroughly incompetent and incapable of providing a service without heavy subsidies (by you) or they go broke (see for example A Maltese Bus Called Bankruptcy). Can you rely on having affordable, sustainable and functional public transportation? No.
Public schools are yet another source of gross unreliability although in this case the unreliability is more subtle. Yes, in general terms public education operates in most places around the globe. By "operates" we mean that schools do exist, they take children and they provide education. This is not the problem. The problem is the type of education that our children are being provided with and the bureaucracy that comes along with it. The education is exclusive, in the sense that they exclude most children (see Exclusive Education). The bureaucracy is ridiculous (see for example A Tale Of Two Schools or A Lesson For Violent Australian Students). The ultimate purpose of government curriculums is to indoctrinate children into socialism hence ensuring the perpetuation of jobs for politicians (see Lost Memories). Can you rely on governments to provide your children with objective and unbiased education? No.
Socialized Medicine is yet another headache. In "developed" countries is it extremely expensive (tax-wise), bureaucratic and unreliable (see for example Let's Blame The Government). In "under-developed" countries is thoroughly crippled, obsolete, overloaded, inefficient, insufficient and ultimately ineffective. If you don't believe us, we offer the current Ebola debacle as an example and our little article Ebola Libertarianism And Austrian Economics. Can you rely on socialized medicine? No.
In summary, yes, governments do offer "routine" services but those services are most definitively not reliable in the full extent of the word.
Un-Reliability of Governments
The OECD says:
Governments have an obligation to minimise uncertainty in the economic, social and political environment.
And the question of the year is why? If we go back to the origins of Social Contracts (even though Social Contracts Are A Scam) we will notice that the primary (and only) government obligation was to provide for mutual defense against external aggressors. That's it. Everything else was left up to people. The "classic" example of this point of view is the US. The US Constitution is the ultimate Social Contract and you will notice that nowhere in this document there is anything mentioned about "minimizing" anything. All this "minimizing" stuff comes from a Political Theory called Socialism, which dictates that "good" is defined as what is best for "society as a whole" and not what is best for the individual. As such it is then reasonable to minimize uncertainty in statistical terms; this is, generally speaking. The only problem is that Socialism increases economic (booms and busts), social (massive controlling bureaucracies) and political (incompetent and self-oriented leaders) uncertainties. This is, governments are the primary causes of uncertainties which governments are supposed to minimize. F&P
The OECD mentions that the crisis [of 2008] demonstrated that governments were:
- Ill-prepared in reacting to rapidly occurring and overlapping crises
- [With a] shortage of analytical data to guide them
- [Acting in a manner] seen to be disjointed, lacking direction and the capacity to make sense of complex issues
Thank you OECD! We could not have said it better. The only caveat we would add to it is that this is not only applicable to the 2008 economic debacle but to everything that governments do in all crisis. Governments do not need complex crises to act disjointly, unfocused and incapable; they do so naturally every day. Why would this be different in a crisis? A crisis would only exacerbate those behaviours.
And what does the OECD recommends as a solution to this unreliability? They recommend to:
- develop a long-term vision for the public sector
- strengthening planning functions and … monitoring
- more… reporting… on progress in implementation
So the OECD, a vast and overbloated organization full of left-wing aparatchiks recommends that in order for a government to regain "trustworthiness" from people, they should:
- plan for more bureaucracy (i.e. more socialism)
- add more planning roles to the bureaucracy (i.e. communism)
- add more bureaucratic reports (i.e. socialism/communism)
WOW! This is really paradigm blowing! Nothing short of revolutionary. The solution for bureaucratic incompetence is… drums please… more bureaucracy! That's right ladies and gentlemen. If an idea is stupid and it was thoroughly proven as stupid, unworkable, idiotic, counterproductive and all around wasteful for over 200+ years… we must have more of it!
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.