With no incentive to turn a profit, government becomes quite inefficient. Take for example a report from the Orlando Sentinel highlighting discontent on the part of a few Census workers who walked off the job.
The story noted the following:
As the 2010 census winds down, three Volusia County census takers couldn’t wait for the latest phase of the headcount to end. They walked off the job three days after they started, adding to the complaints that the effort is wasteful, inefficient and frustrating. Andy Miller, 54, of Daytona Beach said he quit after being told by his supervisor to return three times to a vacant house that he verified with a real-estate agent had been empty for more than six months. … What the Census Bureau defends as being as thorough and accurate as possible, Miller and the others regard as a system designed to take as much time as possible. The attitude of managers, they said, was that the three-visit rule was a good way to make the job last longer.
[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=u.s.+census&iid=8983856″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/8983856/census-bureau-director/census-bureau-director.jpg?size=500&imageId=8983856″ width=”117″ height=”175″ /]So not only did the Census pad the new job numbers earlier in the year, it also apparently over-padded man hours. Now that the Census is nearing its end, the jobless numbers are expected to go back up.
I remember when I worked for a local government program for a few months a while back. There was definitely not much of an incentive to save on man hours.
The federal government’s inefficiency is even more exacerbated by the fact that it can just borrow or print more money. State and local governments, despite their inefficiencies, still have to live within a budget.