If We Can Put a Man on the Moon…Then Why Does Government Screw Up Just About Everything Else?


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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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