A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 09, 2009
“Government is inherently incompetent”

"Government is inherently incompetent, and no matter what task it is assigned, it will do it in the most expensive and inefficient way possible” was the first of six basic premises in a May 2005 newspaper column by conservative/libertarian Charley Reese. “Government is inherently incompetent” is a long-established principle of conservative thought; the lack of free-market competition causes government inefficiency, according to this theory.

Reese had written “government is inherently inefficient” in a 1978 newspaper column. “Government is inherently wasteful” is another popular variant of this school of thought that dates to at least the 1950s-1960s in print.


Wikipedia: Charley Reese
Charley Reese (born January 29, 1937) is a syndicated columnist known for his plainspoken manner and conservative views. He was associated with the Orlando Sentinel from 1971-2001, both as a writer and in various editorial capacities. King Features Syndicate distributed his column, which was published three times a week.

Wikiquote: Charley Reese
Charley Reese (born January 29, 1937) is an American syndicated columnist.
(...)
Government is inherently incompetent, and no matter what task it is assigned, it will do it in the most expensive and inefficient way possible.

Google Books
Economic Policy:
Business and government

By Donald Stevenson Watson
Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin
1960
Pg. 78:
Government is inherently uncreative and sterile, and its expansion is potentially dangerous — “creeping socialism.”

Google Books
John Kennedy: a political profile
By James MacGregor Burns
New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace & World
1961
Pg. 94:
He repudiated the central conservative idea (in America) that government is inherently incompetent, wasteful, and evil; on the contrary, he saw the enormous potential of an ably staffed public service.

Google Books
Conservatism in America:
The thankless persuasion

2nd edition, revised
By Clinton Lawrence Rossiter
New York, NY: Knopf
1962
Pg. 266: 
It will rise above the easy judgment that government is inherently arbitrary and inefficient, acknowledge that government has vital functions to perform in…

Google Books
Truth and Untruth:
Political deceit in America

By Paul N. McCloskey
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
1972
Pg. 32:
By its very nature, government is inherently incompetent, or at least less competent than organizations that must competitively excel in order to exist.

Google Books
A Government as Good as its People
By Jimmy Carter
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
1977
Pg. 54:
The other concern is that government in Washington is incompetent to deal with the very complicated and growing problems and opportunities of our people. Again, I don’t think the government is inherently incompetent.

Google News Archive
13 June 1978, Boca Raton (FL) News, “The Opinion of Charley Reese,” pg. 4A, col. 2:
For one thing, government is inherently inefficient and can never achieve the same level of productivity as private interprise. (Enterprise?—ed.)

Google Books
Private Means—Public Ends:
Private business in social service delivery

By Barry J Carroll, Ralph Wendell Conant and Thomas A Easton
New York, NY: Praeger
1987
Pg. 51:
Government is inherently incompetent to perform certain responsibilities. The demands for efficiency in government are in essential conflict with ...

Google Books
Our Long National Daydream:
A Political Pageant of the Reagan Era

By Sidney Blumenthal
New York, NY: HarperCollins
1990
Pg. 26:
Carter’s record ended up giving credence to Reagan’s assertion that government is inherently incompetent.

LewRockwell.com
Basic Premises
by Charley Reese
What follows are a few of the basic premises on which I base my thinking. You might or might not agree with them, but may I suggest that you make a list of your own basic premises. It will help you clarify your thinking.

1. Government is inherently incompetent, and no matter what task it is assigned, it will do it in the most expensive and inefficient way possible.
2. The American government is corrupt from top to bottom.
3. If you rely on the mass media to inform you about your community, state and nation, you will, with rare exceptions, be woefully ignorant of what is really going on.
4. The universal franchise is a bad idea. The notion that the destiny of the nation should be put in the hands of ignoramuses, parasites, boobs, party hacks and idiots is absurd on its face.
5. Public education in America is a failure and is so flawed it cannot be reformed.
6. Not much has changed in the past 5,000 years of human history.
(...)
May 5, 2005
Charley Reese was a journalist for 49 years, reporting on everything from sports to politics. From 1969–71, he worked as a campaign staffer for gubernatorial, senatorial and congressional races in several states. He was an editor, assistant to the publisher, and columnist for the Orlando Sentinel from 1971 to 2001. He wrote a syndicated column which is carried on LewRockwell.com. Reese served two years active duty in the U.S. Army as a tank gunner.

24 February 2006, Oelwein (IA) Daily Register, ‘Republics sing” by Charley Reese, pg. 4, col. 1:
If you watched the hearings on Hurricane Katrina and the hearings on the fate of whistle-blowers on C-SPAN, then three words come to mind: “incompetence,” “cover-up” and “denial.”

Those of us who are of a libertarian bent have been arguing for years that government is inherently incompetent and inefficient. Only a government could have 11,000 empty trailers sitting in Arkansas while at the same time it evicts thousands of homeless people from hotels and motels.

Los Angeles (CA) Times
COMMENTS
I take great pleasure in pointing out what a numbskull partisan hack Jonah Goldberg is (liberals=Hitler, anyone?) So here we go again. The standard conservative attack line is that government is inherently incompetent. Bullshit. Under Clinton, FEMA was known as a model government agency. It was fast, it was competent, it was reliable and it got the job done time after time. How is this possible? Clinton hired James Lee Witt, a man with actual emergency management experience. GWB put an incompetent crony in charge and then horrible results resulted.
Super90 @ 11:51 AM PDT, Jun 10, 2008

Google Books
Why I’m a Democrat
By Susan Mulcahy
Sausalito, CA: PolipointPress
2008
Pg. x:
It’s been said that Republicans claim that government is inherently incompetent and corrupt, and when they get a hold on that government, they set about to prove it. One might also say that Republicans believe that deep down we’re all fundamentally bad, ready to descend into a Hobbesian nightmare of all against all—and when they campaign, they set about to prove it.

Jewish World Review
Nov. 18, 2008 / 20 Mar-Cheshvan 5769
The truth about government
By Tom Purcell
The Democrats will be running the White House, the House and the Senate soon. Before they make drastic changes, they may want to consider some interesting quotations on government.
(...)
“Government is inherently incompetent, and no matter what task it is assigned, it will do it in the most expensive and inefficient way possible.” — Charley Reese

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Wednesday, December 09, 2009 • Permalink