Set Fair Rules. Don’t Call the Plays

Public policy should never be a surrogate for private enterprise. A small group of bureaucrats, no matter how thoughtful and insightful, will not be as effective as the private markets at allocating capital, pursuing opportunity and changing direction from inefficient ideas – perhaps the markets’ most important role. As the Financial Times article below, highlights, intelligent public policy allows private industry and capital to fill needs on a sustainable and economic basis. It enables competition which will enhance services and deliver value to consumers.

You’re No Steve Jobs

But success of companies like Google (almost universal and effective access to information), Uber (more efficient transportation services), and Facebook (social connection and public broadcast – real and fake, unfortunately), who have filled an essential infrastructure gap left by inadequate government policy, now create another threat from bad public policy – government is now convinced it should control these services by controlling these companies via over-regulation or outright seizure (for all practical purposes).

How About Thinking First?

Once an essential service is established and provided efficiently by private industry, thinking the government now can take over as if it is the appropriate entity to provide those services from now on only leads to inefficiency, misuse of capital, the demand for more tax revenue to support the inefficiency, and the downward spiral which ultimately creates more inefficiency that private industry will look to rectify. It’s a terrible cycle, and in this era of headline-grabbing superficial statements, with no substance, thought or nuance behind them, it’s a trend that looks to accelerate. All we need to do is look at this current presidential campaign and the first casualties seem to be thoughtfulness, nuance, and substance.