• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS
36°
Monday November 24, 2014
View complete forecast
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Local Business Search
Stock Summary
Dow17817.907.84
Nasdaq4754.8941.92
S&P 5002069.415.91
AEP56.80-0.62
Comcast55.0150.935
GE27.000.01
ITT Exelis18.090.05
LNC58.180.49
Navistar36.470.22
Raytheon106.590.81
SDI22.95-0.02
Verizon49.50-0.71
COMMUNITY VOICE

It really is the private sector, not government, that does things best

Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 12:01 am

The private sector does things better.

What would you rather drive, a car built by GM, Ford or Toyota or a car built by the U.S. government? How about a U.S. government-built computer rather than an iPad or ThinkPad? Imagine a dining-room table cobbled together by a government factory instead of an exquisitely crafted Ethan Allen.

Perhaps you would want to dine out at a government-run restaurant on your next special occasion rather than eating at a locally owned fine establishment? The private sector does things better.

I worked in the former Soviet Union for five years and got to see first-hand the quality of government production. The little tin toy trucks and cars my son played with were barely held together by pieces of bent metal.

Purchased in 1996 they looked identical to toys built in the U.S. in the 1920s. With no market pressure to improve the look, the quality or the design, the little tin trucks continued rolling off government-operated factory lines decade after decade.

Furthermore, with the government in charge of both manufacturing the tin trucks and setting the safety code standards, the tin trucks had any number of unsafe aspects: sharp edges, parts that could be swallowed, pointed pieces, etc.

The government wanted to be able to produce the cheapest possible product, so it lowered the safety standards to allow cheap production. There was no accountability when the people in charge of production were also in charge of regulation.

Toy cars were the least of the problems in the former Soviet Union. And now in the U.S. with the rollout of Obamacare, perhaps the largest government program ever created, health care has taken a huge step backward.

The private sector does things best because of the law of competition. For example, if McDonald’s falls in quality, Burger King can grab more share of the market with better service and products. Competition keeps everyone on their toes and pushing toward excellence. Without competition in providing health care, the U.S. government can make mistakes — like it did with the embarrassing Obamacare website and the misleading statement that no one would lose their current insurance policy, period — and it doesn’t matter, because there is nowhere else to turn.

Just like the Soviets who had a monopoly on building pathetic little tin trucks, the U.S. government can hold a monopoly on health care and force people to use substandard services.

The private sector does things best, but President Obama and his team don’t believe that. They are driven by a certain political and ideological elitism. They think that the masses need an elite government that makes decisions for them: Drink this, eat this, go here and there, and do this and that. They think the government does things best.

But that’s not America. That’s not why a group of pilgrims boarded a tiny wooden ship and left Europe for the New World. It’s not why the founding fathers penned the Declaration of Independence from the elite British monarchy. It’s not why Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

America is about individuals making their own decisions in the private sector.

America is about freedom, period.

Ron Coody, who considers Waynedale his home, lives and works in Istanbul.