Sunday, September 9, 2007

Two CIAs

Economics teaches us that competition is good. No system of resource allocation is more efficient than pure competition. Going by this analogy, Michael Higgins asks an interesting question - Why not two CIAs?
In the free market, if I don’t like the information the Washington Post provides, I can always buy the New York Times. However, if I don’t like the information the CIA provides (and who does?), then I cannot opt to spend my taxes on CIA2. We can hope the government reforms CIA1, but CIA1 is the only choice we have, except for not having a CIA altogether.
The obvious problems here
1) CIA does not follow the free market principles in a true sense. More to do with political economics.
2) Cost of maintaining additional CIA.
3) Risk involved. Two CIAs = Double the blunder.

Michael also suggests extending the idea of "Dueling" other govt. agencies besides CIA. Getting into the organizational structure of "Dueling" would imply that for every employee E1 of the organization, there would be another employee E2 who is assigned the same job and we expect at least one of them to perform. Does not seem to be an economically viable decision.

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