The fact that government does not have to make a profit (as in the private sector) – is likely a very rooted reason behind some of the apparent behavior and attitudes that are inherent to government bureaucracies – and despite the logic, government continues to grow without having ‘made a profit’ so to speak. How can that be?
While government agencies, departments, etc.., are operating under budgets which have been granted to them by Congress, there is no actual pressure to make a profit. It must be quite a different environment than that of the private sector where employees are part of a company, a business, which will only continue to exist if profits are made.
Motivations are different between .gov and the private sector. Do you agree?
I do not wish to ‘pick on’ any of you who might happen to work for the government (I’m sure many of you do – given the sheer size of government), while I’m simply asking the question while making my own observation – are motivations and attitudes quite different in government versus the private sector?
As we all know (or should know!), the government gets its money from the private sector – the tax payer. Their paycheck comes on the back of the private sector – their employer. I’ll bet though that the government (generally speaking – the agencies, departments within – and all down the line…) doesn’t view it that way… These agencies are appropriated the money from Congress and it’s as simple as that.
As an employee of a company in the private sector, your paycheck comes from the company itself – which would not have any money except for having made a profit (or at least breaking even in their sales of their widgets or services). While not every employee and worker of every company is motivated to the same extent as another, most of them realize that if their company isn’t successful, that their jobs will be at risk.
Do government bureaucracies concern themselves about profits and efficiencies like the private sector? Probably not so much, if at all. On the other hand there is probably a serious motivation to be sure and ‘spend’ all of their allocations (even if wasteful) in order to put in for the same (or more) amount of appropriations for next years budget.
Remember, I’m speaking generally here, while making a general comparison between .gov and the private sector. I have no doubt there are some within government who are adept and efficient, but still, they don’t have to make a profit. There are different motivations at work, wouldn’t you think?
I bring up the notion because I believe this is partly why our government has grown so enormously huge. The attitudes and motivations are a bit different. Additionally, any new agency or bureaucracy or new department, etc.. will want to self-justify their existence and will also want to grow themselves. This is part of a self-preservation attitude (normal human response), and will want to keep their jobs even if they are non-essential.
They don’t have to turn a profit, but instead must become ‘essential’. This is accomplished through PR marketing themselves, scare tactics, ‘feel-good’ programs, political agendas, etc.. all the while they do not worry about having to be efficient at making a profit or making money. They simply spend money. Spend. There is no making money. Congress keeps shoveling the money to them, so there’s nothing to be concerned about…
Why does Congress keep shoveling them the money? Because they are the money brokers of that system and part of the overall machination of government. Another reason is because more of the voters (the majority) have realized that they can vote themselves benefits by electing the politicians who will do it for them. The fact that we don’t have the money is not a problem, because the government simply borrows it from the Fed (from future generations). Although the reality is that it’s so bad now, that there is no possible way that it will ever be paid off – but that’s another story (and eventual collapse).
If we really took a hard look at the many functions within government as it is today, I wonder how many of them would really be ‘essential’? How big of a government do we really need, and why is it always getting bigger? One reason is they don’t have to make a profit. The money is seemingly ‘free’. The joke is on the private sector in a way. I wonder how many laugh at us?
I would dare say that many of the many, many government bureaucracies have been built upon a web of perceived necessity. Who is it that will even question or challenge the bureaucracies in a serious way and their need to even exist? Certainly not us in the private sector – other than the few voices here and there. Everyone’s too busy doing other things. Who has the time to even begin to investigate it anyway and who would even care if it was revealed? Congress should be doing this, but they’re not. They’re simply spending more. They are willing participants in the same gargantuan bureaucracy! The joke’s on us!
We seem to be on a course which simply cannot be changed. The ship is too big and the current is too strong. It is seemingly inevitable that government will continue to grow and grow – all the while they don’t have to make a profit…
Apologies that I’ve been on a .gov rant during these last several articles. I promise to get back to more stereo-typical preparedness soon 😉
In the mean time, what’s your opinion about the apparent inherent differences between .gov and the private sector as it relates to the situation today?