First, let’s dispense with the notion that government is all good or all bad, all overpaid or underpaid. Like any large organization, there are inevitably poor performers and there are excellent performers. But many of the problems associated with bureaucracy aren’t of any individual’s making. They are a product of bad decision making at the top. Not deliberately bad, of course, but systemically bad. Political appointees may not believe in, or necessarily even understand, an agency’s mission, and so it becomes aimless and ineffective. The push and pull of politics has sometimes had government working at cross purposes, regulating tobacco while also promoting its use, for example. Meanwhile, old habits die hard and inertia sets in. Members of Congress decry spending but won’t give up their own pork barrel projects. The list goes on and on.