Almost everyone seems to be opposed or at least guarded about the government becoming engaged in more services.  There seems to be a general assumption that it will be badly run, or simply bad.  However, in thinking about it, it seems that when we remove our own political beliefs or objectives from the equation, it becomes more difficult to really gauge the effectiveness of this process.

There are many programs that we may disagree with, but does that necessarily mean that they are run poorly?  Certainly there will be mistakes that we have to contend with, but are they really substantially worse than what we encounter when dealing with private corporations?  Even the IRS which is readily equated with the "darkest depths of Mordor" is not necessarily badly run (at least any more than organizations of comparable size).

Certainly there are many things the government actually does pretty well, such as the military, law enforcement, prison system, fire departments, highway system, etc.  Once again, I can understand differing opinions about what should be done, and even how it should be done, but when we compare these functions to other businesses, are they really any worse?

I'll concede that there may be a fair amount of waste in government, although I have to admit that there's quite a bit in private industry too.  

I'm asking this question, because I would like to get feedback from people either pro or con regarding government functions and services.  As I said, let's try to keep our own beliefs and desires out of this, but rather focus on the actual function being performed.  I'm really curious to see what people say and try and determine just how bad (or good) government actually is.  Additionally, if anyone is so inclined, it would be useful to see if any described service is actually bad or simply inefficient.

Have a go! .. Let'e see what people have to say.