We oft highlight the very many massive examples of government cronyism:
“(P)rivate companies getting government – to craft policy that unfairly benefits the private companies.”
Once ensconced as awful government policy, cronyism grows all sorts of additional awful tentacles.
Two of the biggest, nastiest tentacles – are laziness and attrition.
Government bureaucrats – don’t behave like normal people. For a panoply of reasons. Importantly including my Wallet Rule:
If you go out on a Friday night with your wallet – and you go out the following Friday night with my wallet – on which Friday night are you going to have more fun?
Obviously, you’re going to have a whole lot more fun with my wallet – because you don’t care what my wallet looks like at the end of the evening.
Well, government is always on other peoples’ wallets – ours. In gambling parlance – they’re playing with house money. And the Friday night…never, ever ends.
Government will thus never spend money as wisely or well as the people who earned it – from whom government takes it.
Normal People are spending their own money – so they behave rationally and reasonably. They very carefully consider just about every single purchase they make.
And then Normal People continue to pay close attention – to ensure each purchase was worth it. And if they make the determination one wasn’t – they stop making that purchase, and never, ever make it again.
When I was a kid, my parents generously purchased my sister and me summer memberships in a recreation park with a pool. When my mother noted that neither my sister nor I had for a couple of weeks visited the park – she warned us, then cancelled the memberships.
Because she rightly, reasonably determined – she wasn’t getting for what she was paying. Because she is a normal person – prudently allocating her money.
Government bureaucrats nigh never do anything remotely resembling this. They spend four trillion of our dollars a year – and they do so blithely…without even the remotest concern for practicality or prudence.
Government is the guy walking into a bar and immediately shouting “Drinks for everyone – on me.” Because he has our wallet in his back pocket.
When cronies buy government – government stays bought. No matter how awful the purchase. No matter how failed the purchase continues to be. The government money keeps flowing, and flowing, and….
So you can imagine how HUGE The Fail has to be – to get to this:
“The Pentagon grounded its fleet of F-35 strike fighter jets on Thursday, weeks after one crashed in South Carolina in another setback for the advanced aircraft that has long been mired in mechanical problems.
“The decision to halt F-35 flights stems from what the military suspects is a faulty fuel tube installed in some of the aircraft….”
“Long been mired in mechanical problems.” Yet government continued to again and again push the plane back out there. What “mechanical problems” – besides the fuel tubes?
Particularly widespread have been recurring problems – with the very unimportant…engine. Because what plane needs that, really? Let’s go to an all-glider air armada. This Pratt & Whitney nonsense from April 2015:
“The F-35 is having significant problems with one of its most important components: the engine.
“In a report issued on April 27, the Pentagon’s Inspector General noted 61 instances in which F-35 engines were didn’t meet the Pentagon’s regulatory standards for the F-35 program during an inspection.
“The nonconformities were wide-ranging and affected almost every level of engine development. They included problems with the supply line and project management, as well as mechanical issues and software deficiencies.”
Well none of that can be very good.
“Long been mired in mechanical problems.” How long, exactly? This from September 2013:
“The Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive weapons system ever developed. It is plagued by design flaws and cost overruns. It flies only in good weather. The computers that run it lack the software they need for combat.
“No one can say for certain when the plane will work as advertised. Until recently, the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, was operating with a free hand—paid handsomely for its own mistakes. Looking back, even the general now in charge of the program can’t believe how we got to this point.
“In sum: all systems go!…
“When the J.S.F. program formally got under way, in October 2001, the Department of Defense unveiled plans to buy 2,852 of the airplanes in a contract worth an estimated $233 billion. It promised that the first squadrons of high-tech fighters would be ‘combat-capable’ by 2010.”
Whoa – wait…did you get that? The government program began in October 2001 – seventeen years ago. The plane was supposed to be ready to go…in 2010 – eight years ago. More from 2013:
“The aircraft is at least seven years behind schedule and plagued by a risky development strategy, shoddy management, laissez-faire oversight, countless design flaws, and skyrocketing costs.
“The Pentagon will now be spending 70 percent more money for 409 fewer fighters—and that’s just to buy the hardware, not to fly and maintain it, which is even more expensive.
“’You can understand why many people are very, very skeptical about the program,’ Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan, who has been in charge of it since last December, acknowledged when I caught up with him recently in Norway, one of 10 other nations that have committed to buy the fighter. ‘I can’t change where the program’s been. I can only change where it’s going.’”
Except Lieutenant General Bogdan – apparently couldn’t change where the program was going. Because half a decade later still – the plane STILL isn’t working.
And government has finally – FINALLY – grounded the thing.
Seventeen years after inception. And eight years after the plane was first supposed to actually work.
All of which is a preeminent example – of the crony laziness and attrition of which we spoke.
Once cronies buy government – they ensure government stays bought.
Cronyism buys the government contracts. And then cronyism buys the laziness and attrition to keep the contracts rolling – WAY past their rational expiration dates.
And it takes ALMOST TWO DECADES for this stupid crony government cycle – to FINALLY be broken.
Normal People, of course, would have pulled the financial plug on this nonsense…LONG ago.
But “normal” – is asking WAY too much of government.