Traditional arguments for competition and free markets go something like this: let the markets work, this will lead to more choice, better value and improved service. Competition is generally perceived as a good thing. Politicians have often used this argument to “open up” government run businesses such as the old AT&T to competition.
This question is, does the government believe what it tells the people? Do they “eat their own dog food”? Or is the competition argument only used when convenient?
Apparently, our government only believes in competition when it wants to believe in competition. Last year, the federal government spent $412 billion last year on procurement. Of this total, $206.9 billion, or 50.2%, was awarded through no-bid or limited competition processes.
To get the best value for our tax dollars, shouldn’t we open up these bids to competition? Wouldn’t the government and taxpayers get a better deal if firms competed for that $206.9 billion?
The government should use competition to get the best returns for taxpayers.