T Nation

Incentives Matter

Government bureaucrats have no incentive to do justice, to understand underlying laws, or to do anything other than check boxes on forms they receive. Think about that before you advocate for increasing any governmental power or oversight.

I offer Exhibit A:

http://www.reason.com/blog/show/131006.html

and Exhibit B:

http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/01/car_success.php

But I’m sure they’d do a great job rationing health care…

Welcome back to Washington, Barrister.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Government bureaucrats have no incentive to do justice, to understand underlying laws, or to do anything other than check boxes on forms they receive.[/quote]

Only profits can provide the necessary feedback to inform when a product is meeting consumer demand. This goes no less for products offered by a governmental agency as it does for products offered by private enterprise.

Furthermore, if government exercises a monopoly on arbitration how can it offer a product that will meet the standards of justice if it has no competition? As far as justice is concerned, a decision is “just” because some government judge says so. Even the appeal process requires the state have the ultimate say in a conflict involving itself. How can that be considered “just”?

Do you notice also, in general, the only places where the notion of customer service is nonexistent are in governmental offices like the DMV, etc?

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

Do you notice also, in general, the only places where the notion of customer service is nonexistent are in governmental offices like the DMV, etc?[/quote]

It’s nonexistent pretty much anywhere in which the employees know you essentially have no choice but to be there. Mostly government, but the emergency room is another example…

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Mostly government, but the emergency room is another example…[/quote]

Not if you frequent a really expensive private hospital – there’s virtually no waiting.

How bout them Eagles!!! Sorry for the Hijack Boston…
E-A-G-L-E-S…
Could not resist…choke him Eli is back…!!!

Here in the UK we are blessed with local councils that have zero incentive to perform and deliver the worst service imaginable whilst increasing council tax each year in the 6% to 10% range. They preside over the most inefficient & bureaucratic organisations whose sole purpose in life appears to be finding new ways to squander tax payers money on irrelevant projects.

This is a good short article on the subject.

http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/2009/01/04/why-high-pay-in-the-public-sector-can-be-offensive/