Does it matter who's Minister?

An old hat like Shekhar Gupta thinks the cabinet reshuffle at ministries of Indian government is partly based on performance or the lack of it (of Ministers in charge).

Ha ha ha.

I am not sure why Shekhar or anybody else should associate the term 'performance' with government. Far from performing, all governments around the world operate with costly inefficiencies which explains why citizens suffer. The truth is, governments can't, and don't have to perform!

Ted DeHaven says it right when he says, 'Government efficiency proponents make the mistake of viewing the cost of government in the same light as the cost of operating a private business. However, government cannot operate like a business because it isn’t a business.

Private businesses obtain their revenue through voluntary exchange: consumers willingly give a business their money in return for a product. Businesses must control the cost of providing a product in order to maximize profits. A business that does not adequately control its costs can find itself undercut by a competitor offering a like product at a lower price. In the private sector, the market sets the price of a product through the interaction of supply and demand.

Government is unconcerned with “profit.” The “cost” of government is equal to the taxes extracted from the private sector to pay for government activities, plus the economic damage caused by extracting resources from the private sector. Taxes are involuntarily obtained through compulsion and force. Regardless of the value a citizen assigns to the services provided by government, a citizen must pay for those services, and at a price set by government. The price one pays for government is primarily a function of political factors, which are only indirectly influenced by economic considerations.

Therefore, the question of how efficiently government provides services is less important than deciding what services government should provide.'

You see in India as anywhere else, it matters none who is at the helm of any government ministry. If you did want government to matter, all it must do is cut itself down to size, get out of way of private value creators, and dedicate itself to its sole responsibility, that of propagating and protecting liberty.


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