Economics If We Can Put a Man on The Moon…Then Why Does Government Screw Up Everything Else?


In If We Can Put a Man on The Moon… (Harvard Business Press), former Reason Foundation privatization analysts William D. Eggers and John O'Leary analyze why large-scale government projects typically go so wrong—and how to change a culture that almost demands such failure.

The response to Katrina, the Iraq war, NASA since the moon landing, Boston's Big Dig—it isn't difficult to list examples of utter, often tragic failures in the public sector. The key to avoiding such debacles, say Eggers and O'Leary (who bring a wealth of public and private-sector experience to the material) is to first make sure that government should be doing a given project in the first place. From there, both policymakers and the bureaucrats who will administer a given program need to understand and anticipate all sorts of traps into which they can, and all too often, do fall into.

Approximately 9 minutes. Interview by Nick Gillespie. Shot and edited by Meredith Bragg.

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