A useful little example of why the world progressively gets worse. It is entirely true that government can – even does – at times do things of use to us all. It’s equally true that some of the things that government used to do which were of value then aren’t of value now. We’d like government to stop doing those things therefore. The problem with government being that it never does stop doing something.
Its elegant canals, brightly-coloured tulip fields and world-class museums attract millions of tourists a year, but the Netherlands has decided that enough is enough. In the latest revolt against the over-tourism that is crushing the life out of popular destinations, from Venice and Santorini to Thailand and Kyoto, the Dutch government is to switch from encouraging tourism to managing the visitor numbers that it already has. The country’s tourism board is to move from “destination promotion” to “destination management”, as locals complain that tourist hordes are putting too much strain on resources and ruining the very attractions that they have come to see. “To control visitor flow and leverage the opportunities that tourism brings with it, we must act now. Instead of destination promotion, it is now time for destination management,” the tourist board said in a strategy document which addresses the challenges to be faced between now and 2030.
A tourist board was indeed a useful thing. Now it isn’t. Therefore the correct answer is to stop having a tourist board. Fire them all, plough the land with salt and just get rid of the organisation. This is what markets and the private sector do. Toys R Us no longer adds value to human civilisation. The test being that the outputs were worth less than the inputs and so they went bankrupt. Good, Toys R Us used to add value, no longer does, our system has that inbuilt method of getting rid of the Toys R Us we no longer need nor desire.
This being exactly what government does not do with actions nor bureaucracies we no longer desire nor need.
One of the things wrong with government is that we don’t cull it enough.