Paging Private Sector 2: Have Governments Become Obsolete?


There comes a time when people are pushed to the wall and necessity becomes the mother invention. And there may come a time when from the United States to the bottom tip of Africa, people decide they’ve had enough.

We are talking about an intellectual insurgency – when the people take their problems into their own hands, solve them, and move on with their lives. A time when government simply becomes irrelevant.

What is the point of having a Minister – no, a whole MINISTRY of Agriculture – when it does nothing? what is the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture? Why are people drawing paychecks? For doing what? What exactly are taxpayers paying taxes for? And government has the nerve to go on a revenue drive, squeezing small Liberian businesses out of already meagre profit margins?

What is the point of having a Liberia Electricity Corporation when most of the country, after eight years, is still in darkness? What is their budget?

What is the point of having a Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy when the land issue is a mess, our mines are being given away for a pittance (unmonitored, we might add), and we have no energy to speak of?

What is the point of a Ministry of Defense when most of our porous borders our undefended save for the grace of God?

And for heaven’s sake, why do we have a Ministry of Public Works when after eight years we can count on one hand the number of major highways that have been paved? When there is hardly any monitoring of the work being done by foreign contractors?

Why do we even have a national legislature full of men and women who pretend and promise to seek the interests of their constituents only to demand more and more county development funds with nothing to show after NINE years in office?

Does anyone realize how big this government is for such a small country? How big its budget is? If so big a government was effective, we might not mind so much. But for government to be so large and yet so ineffective is preposterous.

The truth is that governments HAVE become obsolete. The problem is that for starters, they have too much power and too much money concentrated in the hands of a few – an often undeserving few. Secondly, the hands of said few, are often tied by other larger powers that be. Governments, especially those of already impoverished nations, are too beholden to the World Bank, the IMF and the United Nations. Finance Ministers are too busy attending Spring meetings, in the midst of a budget shortfall. Health Ministers and others are too busy meeting unrealistic, superficial, one-size-fits-all Millennium Development Goals. In short, governments are too busy governing internationally to govern nationally, as in hands-on. Development goals should be developed internally, not externally.

Perhaps the answer is decentralization and a major dressing down of the unnecessary expenses that have accompanied government to date. Even then, government cannot continue as it is. It is simply unsustainable.

What we need, is for people to be able to function wirelessly. Government is representative of the landline age. Nowadays, everyone uses cell phones and Wi-Fi. People no longer have to wait by the phone at the house for a phone call, the way we wait for government to solve all of our problems. We need to form consortiums that handle our problems wirelessly. We need more sophisticated societies. Of course, that would come with much more responsibility and education on the part of every citizen. We would have to agree to govern ourselves with civility. Each man and woman will be responsible for the society. Government is too encumbered; too busy, and often too don’t-care-fied.

Every now and then, there’s a demonstration planned or going on somewhere over corruption or some other issue. The next day, business as usual. Forget demonstrations. Let us roll up our sleeves, get to the drawing board and demonstrate to government that we can govern ourselves, and very effectively.

The beauty of it is that it would be entirely legal. Against such, there is no law.

Leave a Reply