Mr. Tama Foa and Mr. Siosaia Fatani (Government should educate and employ its people, 22 September, 2007) are, perhaps, wishful thinkers. But to their credit, they have some basic ideas.
For a starter, people should never look to government to solve their problems, and that includes employment. Government’s main responsibilities are only to guarantee liberty, justice, security, education, stable economy, and some social services such as health. Employment is not one of them.
Government can only facilitate the environment in which the economy could grow and provide “meaningful” work for its citizens. Example, provide a stable monetary currency for commerce, and business transactions, etc.
A fully employed economy controlled by government is called “communism.” And the collapse of the former Soviet Union (USSR) is the best example: The government was bankrupted, despite the fact that it is blessed with a much richer supply of natural resources than the United States. Perhaps the two gentlemen did not mean it in that way.
The first reason why Government is not a good employer, or good in business for that matter, is because of bureaucracy. I don…t think Mr. Foa and Mr. Fatani want Tonga’s services to be all provided by bureaucrats.
Secondly, Government does not compete with anyone like businesses do in the private sector. Competition is the cornerstone of business success. With government services, we have no choice. Without competition, management does not see the need to be more efficient, be more productive, and take better care of their customers who are also their employers. Instead, they compete like little piglets sucking on their mother…s milk (who can suck the fastest and the most milk).
Government services are funded by tax dollars. The bigger the government’s payroll gets, the fewer services will be available to the public. And we all know what happens when the expenses outpace revenues: Bankruptcy.
But Mr. Fatani is absolutely correct in his summation that politicians ought to quit burning up wasteful resources and “Cut the rhetorics and be realistic for a change and do something to improve the lives of the Tongans… ”
These politicians are more interested in burning Nuku…alofa than enacting laws that will create opportunities for more businesses, which will create more jobs for the people.