Big government projects fail because real world business dynamics are absent
October 24, 2013
The Obamaites are scrambling to cover their political posteriors in the wake of the crash and burn of their multi-million dollar fiasco known as HealthCare.gov.
It’s not their fault, Politico insists. Building a complicated website is a difficult thing to do. We are told the site contains 500 million lines of code and it will take time to ferret through it all and patch it up.
500 million lines of code? Really. Windows Vista, the notoriously bloated and slow computer operating system, only had 50 million lines of code.
“If you contract something out and get 500 million lines of code back, there’s no way it’s going to work correctly,” noted Slate’s vice president for technology, Dan Check.
But then we’re talking about government and over-budget contractors here. It’s only natural that big government projects fail because real world business dynamics are absent. Crash and burn is a routine feature of the state when it takes on projects better suited for business.
In government, if something fails bureaucrats simply throw more expropriated money around until they get the results they want. And even if they don’t get the results they want or expect – as in the case of Obamacare – they just force it down our throats at gunpoint.
Here’s an idea. Instead of bitching and moaning about how difficult it is to get a website up and running, Team Obama should head out to Utah and round up a few of the geeks who worked on the super-secret software the NSA is using to suck up all our email, text messages and phone calls.
Or Facebook. The social media network runs on around 20 million lines of code. It has over a billion users. Maybe they can spare a couple programmers.
Obamacare and its malfunctioning website constitute a magnificent train wreck. But when we assume government can do what the private sector and for-profit business can do more efficiently, we can expect not only to be disappointed but also taken to the cleaners.