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Entrepreneurial Government:

Walter Russell Mead has a interesting article that lies somewhat along my own way of thinking.

The bureaucratic state is too inefficient to provide the needed services at a sustainable cost – and bureaucratic, administrative governments are by nature committed to maintain the status quo at a time when change is needed. For America to move forward, power is going to have to shift from bureaucrats to entrepreneurs, from the state to society and from qualified experts and licensed professionals to the population at large.

This doesn’t mean that government becomes insignificant. The state will survive and as social life becomes more complex it will inevitably acquire new responsibilities – but it will look and act less like the administrative, bureaucratic entity of the past. The professional, life-tenured civil service bureaucrat will have a smaller role; more work will be contracted out; much more aggressive efforts will be made to harness the power of information technology to transfer decision making power from the federal to the state and local level. All this change runs so deeply against the grain for many American intellectuals that they have a hard time seeing it whole, much less helping make the reforms and adjustments these changes demand.
Yes, but let's ask the more important question: where do we draw the line? What functions absolutely demand an actual officer of the government, commissioned or elected? Which ones can be executed by a private actor, under the authority of the government?

The answers may lead to some interesting places. For example: military force? No, the Constitution provides a clear authority for Congress to contract that out ("letters of marque and reprisal"). Congress considered (but rejected) a bill to delegate that authority to the President just a couple of years ago. It was a Ron Paul bill, and for now is without support beyond his small following; but nevertheless, the authority for such practices is certainly there.

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