President Obama recently complained about the technological backwardness of the White House. According to news reports, he said:
“The Oval Office, I always thought I was going to have really cool phones and stuff. I’m like, c’mon guys, I’m the president of the United States. Where’s the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up? It doesn’t happen.”
Brian Williams of NBC News added that this “extends to the president’s aircraft. The truth is Jetblue had live tv on its planes before air force one did.”
Score: Market 1, Government 0.
This is hardly surprising. But I wonder why such realities don’t cause the President and others with excessive faith in the government to stop and consider how much better the market is compared to government in providing what we want or need in area after area (which is not to say there isn’t a role for government in some realms). In particular, would you want Obama’s technology provider to also provide health care or groceries?? More sharply, would you rather have the government (and its contractors) provide the skills and technology to do an appendectomy and eye surgery or market participants like doctors and medical industries (with the government tort system in the background of course)?