Another Reason Why Government Run Enterprises Don't Work

The story itself is of little consequence, but it demonstrates yet another reason why government enterprises don’t work. It seems that the Alberta Culture Minister is in trouble for saying that the quality of government run entertainment productions produced with tax payer money is “crap”

While I do not watch Canadian TV and cannot verify the validity of the claims, the news reaction to his comments is instructive.

Alberta Liberal critic for culture and community spirit Laurie Blakeman said Thursday if Blackett cannot support and promote an industry so important to his portfolio, he should step down.

“If the minister of education said our teachers were crap, that minister would be fired,” Blakeman said. “If the minister of energy said that the oilsands were crap, you can bet that minister would be sitting on the backbenches faster than the minister of culture and community spirit can think of something stupid to say.”

Blakeman is correct. The leader of a government agency can never speak ill of government workers and dare not say that the product or service produced is poor. The heads of government agencies are there to serve the government workers, not the people who use the government service.

What if the television produced by the government is “crap”? or the teachers hired or oilsands are “crap”? Even if true, a government agency head can never say so. Their job is to “support and promote” their industry. By that they mean the government. But who represents the taxpayer? The answer is no one.

If you go to a restaurant and the food is bad, you will not go back. You take your money with you. Your money will not be used to keep that restaurant in business. But if the government provides poor service? You are powerless. Liberals will say that the government is elected by the people and thus serve the people. Really? Imagine a restaurant owned by the government and the food is poor. You decide not to return, but your money (through taxes) will still be used to support that restaurant, and the quality is not likely to change. Imagine a new government manager is hired who dares to say the food is “crap”. He will immediately be fired for failing to “support and promote” his industry.

When government takes control of industries, it takes power away from the consumer and puts it into the hand of non responsive “producers” who only seek to serve (and enrich) themselves.