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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

State Investment Officer Bonus Illustrates Myth of Government Competency

Like many people, I am disappointed and disgusted that state investment officer Matt Clark received a $147,178 bonus, even though South Dakota's investment fund lost $692 million.

The Rapid City Journal editorial board talks about that in today's editorial.

Obviously, it was gross incompetence at one or more steps of government that provided a whopping bonus to someone who lost a whopping amount. After all, their job is to make money for the state, not lose it.

I'm not saying the guy should be fired; investments can be tricky, and can go south even on the most prudent manager. But to give a bonus for losing $692 million?

What I don't get is, with such an obvious illustration that government does few things well and most things poorly, some of the same people who rightfully condemn this inefficiency and waste of taxpayer money still insist that government should run most aspects of our lives--including health care.

Not only are there few things our federal government are actually authorized to do according to the Constitution, almost everything the government does costs way too much, wastes way too much money, involves way too much inefficient bureaucracy, and provides too little benefit for the money.

As problematic as our current health care system is (largely due to the amount involvement the government already has), do we really think that somehow government is going to magically get health care right, when it has gotten so much wrong?

Man, don't pull my other leg. It's been pulled too much lately.


Anonymous said...

His bonus is based on a certain benchmark, of which he outperformed. That means he gets a bonus, by doing better than the benchmark. (The S&P most likely) Get your facts straight. Do you know anything about investments?

Bob Ellis said...

I don't see where any facts are wrong, Anonymous.

Regardless of whether he outperformed a benchmark or not, the point is that handing out huge bonuses for losing money doesn't make sense. It would seem that the requirement needs to change to be more realistic.

If you work for the government, then maybe the current thresh hold makes sense to you.

But then, that again is part of the problem that I'm trying to point out: government is the last place you want to look for intelligent behavior, so why would we entrust things like our health care to it?

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