David Henderson on private companies like Walmart filling the gap while Flint, Michigan’s government flounders to provide safe water to its citizens.
The point I’d add is that failure happens in government and private companies. That’s a fact. There’s no getting around it. That’s why Walmart is closing 100+ stores.
There never has been an organization of humans that only produces successes. We live in a trial-and-error universe.
The question then becomes what handles failure better?
I wrote about this in a series of three posts that can be accessed here. In short, I think there are 3 things to look for in systems that handle failure better:
- Lots of independent trials. In a trial-and-error universe you can never predict what works and what doesn’t, so it helps to try lots of stuff.
- No single point of failure. Think Death Star. And, yet the First Order didn’t learn from the Empire’s mistakes! Just like one generation of central planners don’t learn from previous generations. They believe they will do it better.
- How far away the decision-makers are from the benefits and cost of their decisions. The further removed they are, the less careful they will be in their decisions.