My child participates in a youth swim league. In a couple of weeks, all the regional swim teams are gathering together for the big meet of the season. Each swim team has to pay a fee to participate. Because I’m on the planning committee this year, I learned something interesting: the private swim clubs pay their fees the moment they’re billed; the swim clubs that are run through the cities can take months to pay their bills. Every bill has to wend its way through the city’s bureaucracy until it finally gets to the right desk and gets the right signature. Meanwhile, the team that hosts the event is left out-of-pocket while awaiting payment.
Government is useful and important in the right places, but it is inefficient. Very, very inefficient.