Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

One Stop Stopping

Government is an inherently failed entity. It always is – it always will be. Government can do a few things well (the military leaps to mind). But even those successes are woefully mismanaged and obstinately wasteful of money (with the military – usually due to its civilian overseers).

There is no “reform” of this. You can’t improve government quality of service. Because government is organized and run by humans – and thus subject to the immutable laws of human nature. Two particularly pertinent such laws: the Wallet and Yellow Pages Rules.

The Wallet Rule: You go out on a Friday night with your wallet. You go out the following Friday night with my wallet. On which Friday night are you going to have more fun?

Obviously you will have more fun with my wallet than yours – because at the end of the revelry you care what your wallet looks like. My wallet? You don’t care quite so much. Government is always using other peoples’ wallets – and the Friday night party never, ever ends.

The Yellow Pages Rule: If you can find it in the Yellow Pages – the government shouldn’t be doing it.

In large part because of the Wallet Rule. The private sector will always do things more wisely and well – because they are spending their own money. And thus are constantly caring about the shape of their wallets. (And because they are businesses competing for our attention – our wallets too.)

The horrendous disaster that is ObamaCare is giving us countless additional examples of government uber-failure (not that we needed them). Both in the cataclysmic damage it is doing to the private sector – and its own miserable forays into pretending to be the private sector. To the latter – behold: the collapsing ObamaCare co-ops.

ObamaCare co-ops were/are twenty-three separate state-level attempts by the federal government to serve as health insurance clearinghouses. The results? Predictably – disastrous. In fact, the government knew they would fail – they just (as usual) underestimated how much and by how many. From June of 2013:

ObamaCare Co-ops Are Focus of Four Federal Investigations

Because co-ops are relatively untested vehicles for selling and managing health insurance programs, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget has predicted that as many as 43 percent of the new groups will go bankrupt within a few years.

Again, government doesn’t care about this titanic waste of money – because it’s not their money. The underestimation of their failure? About 57%. Flash forward two years:

ObamaCare Co-Ops at Risk of Failing After Billions in Loans

Just 15 of the original 23 co-ops remain in operation, and the (Barack Obama) administration acknowledges that more of them could fail, potentially leaving a strike against President Obama’s signature law.

I’ll bet large coin the other fifteen are on the way out – any takers? Water is wet, the sun rose again today – and the government fails at pretending to be the private sector. So why on Earth have governments all over the country since the early 2000s been trying to impersonate Internet Service Providers (ISPs)?

Proof that Municipal Telecom Networks Are Financial Disasters

Taxpayer Bailout in Philadelphia

iProvo: More Problems in Public Utility Paradise

More on Muni Fiber Failures

Muni Wi-fi Postmortem

These attempts have been so terrible – twenty states have passed laws limiting their local governments’ getting into it. But undaunted by a decade’s worth of evidence, President Obama and his federal Democrats immediately jumped in with both Left feet.

The Internet ‘Stimulus’ – Just as Destructive as the Rest of the ‘Stimulus’

Tucked into the fatty, flabby folds of the nearly $1 trillion alleged “stimulus” bill foisted upon us (and our children, and their children, with interest) in 2009 was $7.2 billion for local government broadband Internet projects.

Yet Another Terrible Internet ‘Stimulus’ Project

Municipal Broadband Is No Utopia

Many projects are white elephants. If the (Federal Communications Commission) FCC’s Tom Wheeler has his way, there will be many more.

Obama-appointee Wheeler doesn’t care about trite notions like federalism. In typical Administration fiat fashion:

The FCC’s Plan To Steamroll State Laws Against Government Broadband (Video)

Because why fail all over again in thirty states – when you can fail all over again in all fifty. (Or fifty-seven – or fifty-nine. Or whatever.)

Government’s rigid insistence on involving itself in this sector is above-and-beyond absurd. Private sector ISPs have in twenty years invested $1.2 trillion in building and rebuilding anew our Internet network. Creating and exponentially increasing the Web speeds by which we are now all dazzled. Remember 28K dial-up? No one under 30 does – because the private sector left it in the dust a more than a decade ago. We now effortlessly, seamlessly stream HD videos on multiple devices – on the same WIRELESS network.

So what exactly will a government ISP add to this equation? “Competition!” the Left screeches. But at least 94% of Americans have access to at least two broadband providers – with more being added all the time. As both wired and wireless providers of all sorts (cellular, satellite, etc.) get faster, bigger, better and have ever further reach.

And realistically, if by now you do not have access (and 99+% of us do) – it is likely because you have chosen to live so remotely as to render yourself all but unreachable. By just about anything – let alone broadband. And that’s your choice and responsibility – not ours, and certainly not our government’s.

And if you are that remote – and are anxiously awaiting broadband access – in whom do you have more faith reaching you first? The private sector – or government?

I’ll bet large coin on the private sector – any takers?

This first appeared in Human Events and Red State.