Every so often some worthy in government claims the breathtaking innovative idea of making the public service more like the private sector.
Let's remember how the private sector works:
In firms I've worked for we enjoyed: lunch provided by the employer, free alcohol whenever one wanted it, another firm provided drinks every Friday afternoon; a firm-hosted picnic day once a quarter, free Christmas parties...all good stuff. I'm awaiting the government following suit.
I see private sector workers (I guess...they are not dressed like public servants) in the city bars near me from about 3pm every day; more on Fridays.
Now let's look at private sector performance:
Phillip Morris and purchase of 7UP: they couldn't make a quid on it and eventually sold it.
New Coke: big loss...let's get 'Coke Classic' back on the shelves.
VW and its emissions scandal.
Enron and Arthur Andersens and their shared scandal.
Xerox's numerous forays into IT, and back out again at huge losses (not to forget DEC, Compaq, IBM's late run at PC, Blackbery...)
And things you might not have heard of:
Bic underwear, Heinz cleaning vinegar, Virgin Cola, Gerber Singles (baby food for adults), Harley Davidson perfume, Pepsi AM.
Some things you have heard of:
Ford's Edsell (old now, but a goodie from the private sector experts), or what about the GM bailout from the US government because they cocked up their finances/customer knowledge/product development/forecasting/you name it?
A few from Australia: Queensland Nickel, SPC cannery, every car manufacturer, Arrium (SA steel mfgr), Australian Submarine Corporation, it goes on and on.
I'd think for some things, the public sector is a safer bet than the private...at least we can toss the clowns out every few years.