Every government, within its jurisdiction, buys certain things for the people within that jurisdiction in a sort of big, mandatory public buying club. Presently, we only have the vaguest idea what we are buying. That has allowed a number of the things we buy via these public buying clubs to get out of control. They no longer entirely serve our needs so parallel systems are created. Sometimes these are systems created by different governments. Other times they are private.

Lately, the private alternatives have turned technological. Uber, Sidecar, and Lyft are competitive regulatory bodies to taxi commissions. Hotel regulators have rental regulatory competition from Airbnb, VRBO, and a number of others. But they only join plenty of old style alternatives such as parochial schools who have been competing with the government for a century and are acquiring their own technologized competition.

All of these alternatives, public and private are a waste because unlike normal markets, you don’t stop buying from that public buying club called government, you can’t.

These supplementary competitors only appear when the public buying club option produces a solution with poor enough value that a sustainable portion of the population is willing to pay twice, once for the public solution they don’t want, once for the solution they actually do want. This second solution might be public or private. When both solutions are public, they tend to fade from conscious consideration and occasionally a third or fourth duplicative public solution is layered on top.

One of the questions that Citizen Intelligence necessarily does is to answer the question what does government do for me. Once that question is answered in a complete (what do all governments do in toto) and personal (what do my governments do for me) manner, actually figuring out what is a good deal and what is being done better elsewhere will come into much sharper focus.

The public buying club model will continue, but over time will become much less irrational and also more effective in doing the jobs it takes on because Citizen Intelligence makes oversight automatic and constant instead of sporadic and episodic.