Government, Taxes, and Productivity
Better government, lower taxes?

Governments are among the most wasteful, the least productive of any organization yet devised by man.

Throughout the private sector, managements are under constant pressure to remain competitive.

Monopoly public services do not suffer such pressures, so it is easy for service standards to fall back. But there is no compulsion to use them. Though a monopoly supplier, your power company cannot require you to use its services.

It is here, that Government stands alone. Government is not only a monopoly, it is unique in being an enforced monopoly, there is no option to reject it, and refusal to pay its taxes will land you in prison. The simple result is that both taxes and government debts slide slowly upwards, services remain stagnant or decline, and government departments proliferate.

Unknown in government circles is the "P" word – Productivity – the concept of striving continuously to give a better service at less cost, a concept taken for granted throughout the business world. So the burden of government, its size and its cost, steadily increases.

Over the past twenty years just about every part of the world economy has been transformed by technology and new ideas, yet no sector anywhere has changed less than government. Government accounts, for a start, are totally meaningless to anyone conversant with company accounting procedures. What pass for accounts are vague estimates, fudged by transfers between departments, and budgets set as targets which are never adhered to.

The remedies are fourfold.

One: commission a major firm of internationally recognized accountants to put government's accounts on a standard business footing. Then put every detail online, easily and clearly accessible. Transparency is the first line of defence against waste.

Two: separate-off infrastructure administration and the major welfare services of education, healthcare and pensions so that each can then be reviewed individually.

Three: ruthlessly eliminate the grants, projects, pseudo-government appendages... anything not directly essential to the good governance of the nation. Be ready to question the current usefulness of departments set up long ago and hanging on out of tradition and nostalgia... or simply lack of serious questioning.

Four: subject what remains to an outside professional time-and-motion study. Identify the objectives of each department, institute a measure of its success or failure, then ensure that it meets and exceeds its targets with the maximum efficiency and the minimum of expenditure through continuous monitoring.

Development Banking can spread growth across the nation, creating jobs and providing the wherewithal for existing companies to increase their competitiveness, as well as for infrastructural improvements.

Pay and Price Evaluation makes it possible to expand the economy to full employment without fear of inflation.