From Facebook to security guards, private alternatives to government are on the rise.
Governments today face largely the same problems as businesses. The key challenge everywhere is not to downsize per se, but to compete more effectively by delivering the highest value for whatever they charge, in an environment where people increasingly have more say as to whether they're willing to buy it at all.
Consider a world where each of us in fact could just "buy" the government we want -- not the old-fashioned way, with a bribe to a well-placed official or a hefty campaign contribution to a politician, but the way you'd buy a new consumer product.
You would select the size and capabilities you want from a producer you chose. Of course, it would probably come with some annoying features you wish you could eliminate but are included anyway, either because others tend to want them or the provider itself just thinks they're good for you. Isn't it that the way with government -- not to mention several major high-tech companies?
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