stat counnnter

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The New Enron...New Jersey

In my last post I emphasized the incompetence of government control over services like roads and bridges that would be run much more efficiently by private enterprise, and how people just don't seem to notice or even care and continue to worship government control.

Well Amit Ghate at Thrutch has a post on the state of New Jersey's badly managed pension funds for state workers. Evidently, this mismanagement has been going on for some time. Mr. Ghate correctly says:
Imagine if any business were to practice this type of behavior. The government and the public would call for their necks -- and probably get them. Yet no such calls go forth when the actors are government bureaucrats.
Yes, you can bet there will be no Sarbanes-Oxley type laws being brought to bear on these government officials. Why? Because they are government officials who automatically have pure motives and therefore, anything goes. He links to a NYT article with all the Enronish details. It's my guess we won't even hear a peep out of sirs Sarbanes-Oxley about these shady accounting practices.

Mr. Ghate nails it when he says:
The sad truth is that under altruism results don't matter, only motivation counts. So private businessmen who are pursuing their own values are evil by definition while conversely every bureaucrat can simply wave his "for the public good" wand to avoid any further questions.

To right this wrong requires nothing less than challenging the morality of altruism.
For sure.

1 comment:

Roderick said...

Thanks, Mike. Another piece to my "Get the government out of the economy" arsenal.

I hadn't thought that altruism only looks at motivations, not results. I'll have to ponder this a bit.