Thursday, November 14, 2013

Why “progressive” programs fail…

A view from a retired government bureaucrat.

Having been in public administration for 35 years I have both been and managed eager, wild-eyed, inexperienced, college-trained Pollyannas.  That experience gives me a valuable perspective of “governments gone wild”, also known as failed public programs.  Fortunately in my younger career years, I was significantly influenced by private sector reason and practicality.  I learned that government programs and mandates have consequences. 

At the federal level most bureaucrats and politicians are insulated from the immediate impact of consequences – it may take years for repercussions of their actions to appear.

ObamaCare will be a notorious case study in failed public policy and programs for the next 50 years.  It will also be a case study in dishonest public communications.

How does such a fiasco come about?  Here are the ingredients:

  • Progressives believe government is the only entity capable of solving all personal and social problems.
  • Progressives in Federal Government believe the Federal Government is the only entity capable of solving all personal and social problems.
  • Progressives have a disdain for the private sector and business, believing that only government can provide the “social justice” they seek.
  • Progressives are smitten with and influenced by eager, wild-eyed, inexperienced, academically-trained Pollyannas.
  • Progressives look to academia much more than to the private sector for guidance in solving problems and implementing solutions.
  • Progressives in government, both elected and administrative, tend to hire staffers from the ranks of academia more than from the private sector.
  • Consultants and employees from the ranks of academia most often have little or no private sector real world experience.  Their experience is primarily theoretical and ideological.
  • Consequently, they have more interest in initiating programs than actually knowing they will work in the real world.
  • The world is a test tube for progressive government programs, thus Nancy Pelosi’s statement that we need to adopt it to know what’s in it.
  • Progressives do not care about testing their theories and programs before they are implemented.  They are impatient to implement them. 
  • Failure is acceptable because the whole thing is a social engineering experiment.
  • Progressives are not concerned with the inefficiencies and financial costs of their experiments because they are dictating the use of other peoples time and money.
  • We are academia’s and progressive’s lab rats.

The world view of the progressive is that government is the highest good and the individual and business are selfish animals that are not to be trusted and must be controlled.

The world view of those who seek smaller government and greater individual responsibility and liberty (conservatives, generally) is that either God (for the theist) or the individual (for the atheist) represents the highest good and therefore the less government there is, the more room there is for individual responsibility, motivation, innovation, productivity and liberty. 

Conservatives believe 1) The government is involved in numerous areas it has no business in, and 2) Those areas the government MUST bre involved in must be managed by individuals who have real world experience in the areas they are charged with administering.  Their programs must be proven to work as intended before they are inflicted on the American people.

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