Businesses Solving Trivial Problems

In a recent survey asking people to identify the biggest problems in Silicon Valley, Jennifer Pahlka, founder and executive director, Code for America, replied:

New York magazine recently reported that there are no fewer than a dozen venture-funded start-ups trying to make doing your laundry easier. That’s the problem the ‘innovators’ in our country feel is most important to solve? Try to solve overcrowding in jails or climate change—or avoiding the next—and I think those minds will find themselves pushing for more-innovative solutions.

Pahlka says in her talk, “Government is about doing together what we can’t do alone.” This is true in a utopian state but not in the real world. Unfortunately, she is wrong because mostly government is about “redistribution” and “transfer” payments, stealing money from one group of people to benefit another. Government can only be fixed after citizens renounce theft as a means to increase wealth. People aren’t angels so I don’t expect government to be fixed.

It would be better to abolish areas of government and replace them with private businesses. PayPal and Bitcoin were started to abolish the dollar. Uber’s wants to abolish municipal taxi regulations and plans to persuade their customers to lobby politicians. Maybe other businesses will attack government.

Jennifer Pahlka believes that many new profitable technology businesses could be created that serve governments. The problem is that government employees aren’t as responsive to fear and greed as the rest of society. Government employees usually can’t get rich by doing a good job so greed doesn’t work, and they hardly ever get fired no matter how badly they do their job, so fear of being fired doesn’t work, either. Governments can never work well but they can sometimes defeat other governments in wars. Governments are best at perpetuating power, preventing Scots and others from separating from existing countries.

Startups are trying to solve trivial problems because the government is printing too much money, inflating an investment bubble. The economy will not prosper until government contracts, providing space for services that are currently poorly provided or subsidized by governments such as education, health care, and energy production and distribution. There is an election being conducted in the USA but no candidates are discussing the question of which government services should be discontinued. We can’t expect progress in the near future.

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