The private sector has repeatedly proven itself more efficient in terms of generating wealth, reducing inflation, reducing unemployment, and providing opportunities for advancement than the public sector just compare stats from when Carter left office to when Reagan left office. The expansion of government by presidents Carter, Bush, and Obama has hurt the economy and the American people.
I don't want to flat out say that the public sector has been a failure. But I just don't see how it could compare to the private sector. Take NASA for example. While NASA has done some amazing things, they've also had some amazing failures. This is partly due to the nature of their funding, which is publicly based. The private sector, if given the opportunity to provide funding to space missions, would have an exceedingly easier time getting projects off the ground and into the air in a more efficient, effective manner.
In recent economic events the public sector has been regarded to as somewhat of a failure. However, we still see the public sector taking care of the daily tasks that help the world run. City workers, school employees, and more all make up a diverse workforce that completes an important job.
The public sector does a lot of wonderful things for the people of this country. While there are always ways to improve, I think programs like NASA and government-run assistance events are necessary and should continue as scheduled. The private sector can feel free to share its input, but it is not time to ask for the private sector's complete rule.
The free market has become the accepted model for the public sector. Politicians on all sides compete to spread the gospel. And so, in the UK and elsewhere, there's been massive investment in public sector 'improvement', 'customer choice' has been increased and new targets have been set and refined. But our experience is that things haven't changed much. This is because governments have invested in the wrong things. Belief in targets, incentives and inspection; belief in economies of scale and shared back-office services; belief in 'deliverology... these are all wrong-headed ideas and yet they have underpinned this government's attempts to reform the public sector. John Seddon here dissects the changes that have been made in a range of services, including housing benefits, social care and policing. His descriptions beggar belief, though they would be funnier if it wasn't our money that was being wasted.
I do not believe that the public sector has proven a great failure. While I do not think that any sector, whether it be public or private, is perfect, I do feel as though many things in our society are taken care of greatly through this sector. To say that the public sector as an entire unit has proven a failure -- and a great one at that -- is ludicrous and denies any progress or productivity created from within it.
The public sector is not the most efficient way to get anything done, but, when the private sector can't or won't do something, it's the only way. Fields like basic infrastructure or pure research are historically things that the private sector won't touch (not much profit in it!) so the public sector has to step in. It's not the best, but it's not a "great failure, "either.