Monthly Archives: March 2015

Government Efficiency

Recently I got a letter from a court with an update on a legal matter. Problem is, the letter is referencing events that occurred two months ago. And to top it off, it appears that I actually paid more to the court then I had to and in order to get the extra money back my attorney might have to file a petition.  The letter stated that if I had a question, that I was not allowed to call, but rather I had to write and send a letter in the mail. How’s that for customer service? In the 21st century with online technology, cell phones, emails, and text messages the idea of being notified of something two months late is preposterous.   There’s a simple explanation – it’s the government and it has no competition, no customers and no reason to innovate because no one will put it out of business, unfortunately.

Contrast that with my bank. On a recent trip out of the country I used my debit card to pay for a guided tour.  My bank, noticing that I had made a purchase outside the USA, sent me a text message to notify me of the fact that my debit card had been charged and then requested that I verify the transaction. It took me all of three seconds and my bank knew that I was alive and well and in control of my debit card. Now that is efficiency.

Like many people I have an iPhone and my minutes and data are provided by AT&T. I can login to my AT&T account and see how many minutes I have used and how many more minutes I have to go before I would get charged an extra fee. The same thing applies to my data usage. Instant, real-time information.

You couldn’t have a more stark contrast. Up-to-the-minute information available as needed on demand vs. getting a letter in the mail with information that’s two months old, and cryptic at that.What amazes me, is that some people think that government can run healthcare better than private organizations. Sadly, it appears that they may get their wish. The problem is  that when government, which has no competition, no customers, no incentive to change or improvise or innovate is the one making health care decisions for 360 million people – it’s going to be nothing but an absolute nightmare.  On the other hand, it might be kind of fun to watch the shock people are going to have when health care is as efficient as the legal system……