Government is rife with very well educated, highly intelligent people. When you check the credentials of the people at the top of the government food chain, you find some pretty impressive people. Many of them have been educated at the best schools the world has to offer. Many of them have received degree's from more than one ivy league university. We're talking about people of significant intellect and ability.
So, why does it seem that the government is so incompetent? Why does it seem that the government cannot discharge it's responsibilities more effectively? Why does it seem that the government cannot be more cost efficient?
I would suggest that there are a several reasons for this sad state of affairs.
One reason is happenstance. It seems to me that the government has become so big that the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. There are reportedly several government programs in different government departments providing essentially the same service. For example, there are approximately 56 government programs that provide job training. Is that either effective or efficient? I think not!
Another reason is that the government has expanded to perform services that it was never intended to perform. If you want to know what the government is supposed to do, read the U.S. Constitution. That founding document clearly designates the functions that the various branches of the government are empowered to do. If the constitution doesn't give authority for a given task, then perhaps the government ought not to be doing it. Ironically there are some functions the government is supposed to be doing but is not. Securing our national borders, for example.
A cynical explanation why government performance is lacking is that the government has been deliberately designed to be inefficient and ineffective. I'm sure some design is ideology driven. Look at the great programs of the past, The War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, the Great Society, etc. All of those programs expended billions of dollars and what was the result? We lost the war on drugs and the war on poverty because both drugs and poverty are still rampant in our society. So follow the money...who profited from these programs? Certainly not the people who these programs were intended to help.
Evil intent and/or blind loyalty to political party or the programs themselves could be another reason. They helped create a climate where these programs became sacrosanct and woe betide anyone who would dare suggest that they were a waste of hard-earned tax money. Look at the very loud protests around the recent discussions regarding re-thinking so called government entitlements.
One definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again expecting different results. Unfortunately, that also is an apt description of many current government programs.
So, with all the highly educated and intelligent people at the top levels of government, I ask again...does government service make people stupid? What do you think?