Big governments grow too fat and they waste money.
FBI director Robert Mueller reportedly squandered 1 billion dollars on a computer system that was dodgy. (government-waste/)
The US federal education bureaucracy costs around $100 billion each year. At least 30% of the money never reaches the classroom. (Government waste, duplication and mismanagement)
Over an 18-month period, Air Force and Navy personnel used government-funded credit cards to charge at least $102,400 for admission to entertainment events, $48,250 for gambling, $69,300 for cruises, and $73,950 for exotic dance clubs and prostitutes. (Army Purchase Cards: Control Weaknesses Leave Army Vulnerable to ...)
Let's take a look at barmy Britain.
In the mid-1970s, Britain had to go to the IMF for a bail-out.
At that time the deficit was 7% of GDP.
In 2009-10, Britain's borrowing is expected to be at least 12% of GDP.
(Source: Deflating the state)
Gordon Brown spent too much money over the years.
Yet Britain's hospitals are dirty, its railways are a mess, its schools are full of illiterate bullies, and its army can't win wars.
Much extra money went into Britain's health service.
But that money went to pay for the following: computers systems that don't work, over-generous salaries to doctors, and vast numbers of administrators who do more harm than good.
Britain has about 5.8m state employees. Most of the admininstrators in schools and hospitals are not needed.
The Office for National Statistics recorded falling productivity in the public services in the decade to 2007. (Deflating the state)
Deflating the state
One way to improve things is to have smaller empires.
Perhaps places such as Dallas, Sacramento and Los Angeles should have their own powerful parliaments.
Here are our proposals for reform in the UK:
Scotland's parliament has control over several areas of government, such as health and education.
English regions (eg Cornwall, Yorkshire) should be given their own parliaments.
Our advice to Britain's various parliaments would be to consider the following:
2. Welfare benefits.
Young workless people should be put on to community work schemes.
Young people who refuse to work should lose access to benefits.
Well-off parents should not receive child benefit.
Single mothers should receive lower benefits.
The minimum wage should be greatly increased.
Immigration should be curbed.
The number of administrators should be reduced each year.
Most patients should pay a small sum for treatments.
The school leaving age should be reduced to 12.
All state schools should be run as independent charities. Headmaster would have the right to expel disruptive pupils.
The number of education administrators in local and national government should be reduced each year.
Children who get generally good reports on their behaviour would receive free education in state schools.
Children with repeatedly bad reports on their behaviour would have to pay a small sum for their education; and their education could be in special schools.
The military should be closed down.
5. Public Order
The number of police should be increased, as the military is phased out.
There should be more, and much smaller, police districts.
The public should be able to hold referenda on issues such as police efficiency.
Build more railways and bicycle tracks; increase congestion charges; increase the tax on luxury vehicles.
Place an extra tax on goods produced by multi-national companies using 'slave labour' (very low wage labour).
Nationalise those banks which are using up too much of taxpayers money on bonuses.
Impose high taxes on houses worth millions.
Increase taxes on alcohol, except that produced by small companies.
Reduce taxes on smaller companies.
Exempt the first £10,000 of income from tax, and increase income tax on the highest earners.
Freeze local taxes.
"Secessionist organizations are operating ... in Texas, Vermont, New Hampshire, Alaska and Hawaii." - Secession movement moves beyond Texas