I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend with family, friends, and football. Mild take: If you’re feeling sluggish after eating all that food, maybe start the whole health kick gym thing now instead of making it your new year’s resolution. This way you look like you know what you’re doing before the rest of the population joins you on Jan. 1st.
Also, Go Blue for my Michigan readers. This is one of the few days a year where I feel comfortable wearing Michigan apparel in Columbus. Hopefully many more days to come.
Alright, lets lock in.
The last few weeks we’ve talked about decentralization. And guess what, we’re doing it again this week. This will probably be the last week on the topic before we move on to something new and ~fresh~.
I’ve been highlighting two big industries that I think of (and by now, you should too) when I hear the word slow and boring: healthcare and government. Over the last two weeks I’ve pitched some ideas that would disrupt the healthcare industry, so today we’re going to focus on the latter.
Well, not decentralization of the government itself, but government jobs that could be decentralized (AKA jobs that could be transitioned to the private sector and done better).
Government entities that everyone complains about, take an unnecessarily long time, house no sense of urgency from the staff, and could be made so much easier… like the DMV.
Why Work for the Government Anyway?
Before we talk about the jobs that could be moved to the private sector, lets address why they are part of the government and why people would want to work there.
You see, back in the day, things were easier. There were less cars on the road, cities were still being developed outward instead of up, and ultimately fewer people to worry about. And this made it easier for the government to take on additional responsibilities, because they were trivial.
In other words, things weren’t that complicated.
But now you have millions of cars that need registrations, policing, and road maintenance. You have giant metropolises that need inspectors, city planners, and constant maintenance. And you have more people to worry about.
And guess who has to worry about all of that? The government.
So, it’s relatively easy to see how the government had to increase its workforce and introduce standardized processes (making it slow and complicated), still responsible for industries that had outgrown their expectations.
Ok, but why would you want to work there?
Well, the government had/has some nice incentives used to attract workers:
- Solid pension
- Better job security in most cases
- Student loan forgiveness programs
- Free childcare
In general, a good ole sense of stability.
But the Government is in Trouble
These were some pretty good incentives back in the day, but they haven’t been updated in years and may not be enough for the current, job-seeking workforce.
You see, a disproportionate amount of government workers are older than 50. This proves that those incentives did work, back in the day, but it also shows that the government is in some trouble when those people retire and it comes time to backfill their positions.
I also think it’s safe to say that our generation doesn’t view government jobs as “super desirable” either.
And it shows. Following the pandemic, the government struggled the most when it came to recouping their workforce, compared to the private sector.
Most of this struggle that we’re seeing is due to wages. Nearly every job that can be found in the public sector can also be found in the private sector. The only caveat is that the private sector will pay more in nearly every instance. This wage difference is the highest it’s ever been.
I don’t know about you, but this shows, or screams, that the government should either start utilizing some third-party help (AKA transitioning responsibility to the private sector, AKA decentralization of the government workforce).
Show Me the Opportunities
Most of the opportunities to “decentralize” the government workforce and make a killing come in the maintenance/service industry, and at the local government level.
What do I mean by that?
To keep it simple, the government has more trouble filling positions for a city employee that inspects/lays the cement for the local sewer than it does a statistician.
Also, it’s harder to make this adjustment federally compared to locally. Local governments are easier to access and change.
Hence the local maintenance/service industry.
With that in mind here’s a list of areas that I think could be easily pitched and offloaded to a privately held company:
- Painting city street lines (just copy the private businesses that paint airports)
- Installing traffic signs
- Majority of city inspection work
- Street cleaners (this would make streets so much cleaner)
- Plumbing maintenance
- Printing license plates
And then you could get to the big hitters like completely improving how the DMV works.
There will most definitely be a need for regulation and oversight, but we’ve seen the public and private sector work harmoniously together before, just look at SpaceX and NASA.
This has been done successfully before with vanity plates. MyPlates now has an exclusive deal that allows them to make all of Texas’s custom vanity plates. Nobody else besides them can print and stamp them, and they’re making a killing (more than $5 million, with under 20 employees).
They took something boring, made it slightly cooler, and the government was happy to give them the business. Now the government doesn’t have to worry about it as much.
Off the Bench
You know what else is decentralized? Off the Bench. It can be done at any gym, anytime, with anyone. Just like I mentioned in the beginning, get ahead of the new year’s rush, and start now. Go check it out! Tell them Matt sent you, and you’ll get a nice little discount. #ad
All I’m sayin’ is that I think the government would be happy to offload a lot of these responsibilities to the private industry, and this could help combat the labor shortage they’re on the cusp of. Sure, it’ll cost more, but not any more than it would’ve to increase the wages to a competitive level.
Bringing what the private sector has to offer to the federal landscape would be pretty progressive and awesome.