Name me one success

I find it fascinating that people turn to government (local, city, state, federal especially) thinking it will solve their problems. Number 3 on Anthony G. Martin’s list of 10 Conservative Principles notes that usually government is the problem.

So I’ve been curious. Can someone name for me something the government (and for purposes here I’m talking US Federal Government) has done that has been good? That has been run efficiently, has been properly accountable, has done a better job than the private sector, has left the majority of people as “satisified customers”. I’m honestly looking to find something the Feds have done that one could say was great. If you know of something, please add a comment and some evidence to support it.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So, when you have failed government program after failed government program (e.g. FEMA), why do folks keep turning back to government expecting success?

7 thoughts on “Name me one success

    • Hoover Dam? Ok. That’s one. I should clarify… I reason after a couple hundred years and millions (billions?) of projects that there ought to be a few successes. But the batting average is still pretty abysmal here.

  1. The only reason that came to mind was that a few days ago I was watching one of those shows on The History Channel or Discovery about Hoover Dam and how they would do it today. They had some good ideas on making it work better, but they also basically said the project would never happen because of the environmental litigation.

    The visitors center that was constructed 10-15 years ago was more expensive than the original dam. (Not adjusted for inflation, just an interesting statistic.)

    But back to you original point, big government today is about trying to change people or reward/punish behavior, it’s not about creating anything but more government.

    If Washingotn really wanted to spend on infratstructure that might create jobs, then let’s build 50 nuclear power plants. Or, back to the countless hours I spend watching Discovery and History Channel, let’s build a bridge across the Bering Straight. Let’s do something amazing and challenging that actually has a postive monetary ROI, that is what America does best. Every time we issue a targeted tax credit or a stimulus check, we just get more of the same crap.

    We need a revolution in this country, not one of violence, but the return of common sense.

    • See, there’s a bit of irony. Government project that couldn’t happen now because of government interference (the laws and regulations put in place that would lead to the litigation). This is what I’m talking about.

      The one trouble with “common sense” is that it’s not very common. When people use that term there’s an implication of returning to the core sensible values that the speaker holds, and that everyone ought to hold these same values — and if you don’t, you’re an idiot. Alas, this is how the term gets (mis)used these days (not saying that you, Aaron are using it that way). We must accept that folks are different, that we have different opinions and different approaches to solving problems, different measures of what’s important. But you see, the more we put up walls, restrictions, regulations, laws, and so on, the less we can exercise those differences towards solving our problems.

  2. um, fighting crime, terrorism, gangstas, drug lords (although admittedly they create the dragon first, then attempt to slay it), bridges, roads, medicine, regulation of doctors, fire services, police, stopping serial murders, other stuff like that…

    basically, i’m not a fan of big gov’t, but to say the do zero, is just not rational, in my humble opinion

    • I’m not implying anarchy (zero government). We need some government, but the government that governs best governs least.

      What I was asking was for something “that has been run efficiently, has been properly accountable, has done a better job than the private sector, has left the majority of people as “satisified customers”. Yes the Federal Government has done a lot of things, but does it mean it was done well? efficiently? that it was even supposed to do it in the first place?

      Of the things you listed Daniel, how many of those things are things the Federal Government is supposed to do? Getting back to that “governs best governs least” thing, let’s remember the US Constitution and the few things it delinates that the .gov is supposed to do.

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