You have to give props to the private sector. You really do. While it took only a few million dollars to get the core iterations of Facebook, google, Yahoo, and other sites off the ground, the US federal government burned through several hundred million hard-earned anxiety-filled recession era dollars of its taxpayers to roll out healthcare.gov which, as many of you reading this article, already know has its fair share of drama. Well, a small team of developers got together and managed to create a replica of Healthcare.gov in three days. It didn’t cause hundreds of millions of dollars and years. Nope. Just focus, a solid plan, and passion. Also, it works.
While it can be argued that the replica doesn’t really have the bells and whistles and deep information of the original, the speed in which the site was built is a testimony to the power of private enterprise. Private enterprise and private business don’t have the luxury of putting up stuff that doesn’t work. The market will clobber them. As a result, private players are quick, nimble, quick to fix, and always evolving. The federal government could have done much better with a privatized solution but we are stuck with what we have. This all kind of reminds me of a lame lightbulb joke regarding how many bureaucrats it takes to screw on a lightbulb. The answer? Too many. Leave it to government to do something for a huge price tag, take forever, and fail to deliver what it promised. This shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, famed Nobel laureat economist Milton Friedman sagely advised that when people are spending other people’s money on other people, they don’t care what they spend on and how they spend.