Let´s look at all the industries that are in cahoots with government to make a killing while degrading the nation.
The education industry is a huge racket in collusion with the government. At the normal school level in return for enormous tax payer dollars spent we have monopolies in education, with teachers that can´t be fired, unhealthy school lunches, and poor academic achievement.
At the university level we have another huge racket. Costs are out of control mainly because students can load up on government debt, and because the educational mafia has made it difficult to get ahead without a degree regardless of ability so students feel obligated to pay any price to get their degree. Universities are riddled with stifling political correctness, brain washing and intellectual intimidation. The basic education system has changed little since the Renaissance and Gutenberg, so it is inefficient and costly. Is it really the most efficient use of our time and resources to have people, after spending 12 years in school, spend another 4 in an expensive classrooms learning theory instead of getting real world experience as an employee. How much does it cost the economy to have all of these able bodies young adults parked in academia for 4 or more years loading up on debt when they could be working, gaining real experience and contributing to the economy? It would be a lot more logical to give people the option of either studying in academia or doing an internship. It would also be good to use a lot more internet, computer, and multimedia forms of education, which can be much much cheaper and often more effective, but this would mean a lot of job losses, so people will resist changing the status quo.
The medical industry is a huge racket which is slowly killing the country. The health industry is not interested in health, but in sickness because that is where the money is. Healthy people are terrible for business so there is an incentive to promote sickness and lots of unnecessary procedures and medications. Drugs are not designed to cure people but to treat symptoms and create lifelong dependence. Doctors and hospitals have every incentive to over prescribe and over test. We have turned our medical system over to the AMA which is a private monopoly only interested in maximizing its own welfare and creating a physician shortage with overpaid overstressed time constrained personnel. The FDA has been turned into a rubber stamp organization releasing dangerous drugs onto the population which plays the role of Guinea Pig. Government funded research is used to support the whole sick care system. Alternative approaches and treatments are actively repressed and harassed because they provide potential competition to the monopolistic status quo and might actually bring costs down and promote real health care.
The financial industry is another huge leach on our economy. They control the Federal Reserve and Treasury which keep interest rates artificially low and provide cheap money to help out the banks. We have created tons of moral hazard with all the bailouts of Freddie and Fannie, TARP, the S&L crisis, house ownership supports, etc. Why should these institutions be prudent when they get to keep the huge profits when they take large risks, and the taxpayer bails them out when their bets fail? Also most of these institutions spend their time not in legitimate banking, but in speculative activities finding clever ways to move money around and bet with it, while providing little to no actual benefit to society.
The military is another big industry which uses its government contacts to suck up resources. Instead of developing needed cost effective reliable useful weapons, it seems that the goal of military procurement is to develop the costliest, most unreliable, most delayed weapons possible to increase profits for the arms industry. With the cold war over and no serious enemies near us, why do we need to spend so much on the military, especially when we are broke? The reason seems to be that the arms producers and the military have been able to coerce the government into beating the strong patriot drum.
Agribusiness is another abuser. It gets special subsidies and favors from the government so that it can push out family farms, monopolize food production, create low quality unhealthy food, contaminate the environment, violate our labor laws, and make us sick. Our cows are sick because they eat corn, and they eat corn because it is cheap, and it is cheap because the government subsidizes corn production which leads to cheap surpluses which have to go somewhere so they become cow food and high fructose corn syrup. One of the biggest obstacles to better school lunches is the USDA which provides cheap subsidized low quality unhealthy food to schools at prices they find hard to resist. Your tax dollars at work. Subsidies even hurt the third world by undermining their own agricultural production.
Scientists and experts have also become a problem. Just look at the corruption of science on the issue of global warming where the whole topic has been hijacked by special interests and agendas.
Government employees have also become part of the problem. Their compensation has become double that of the average private sector worker with less stress and demands placed on them. Public sector unions have been able to hijack government compensation to a level which is unrealistic. Many employees and departments are maintained not because they do anything useful with tax payer money but because they provide comfortable employment for a lot of people who are very motivated to defend their interests and careers. I see this as a big problem in places like Spain and Greece where comfortable overpaid government employment has become just another privileged interest group that must be appeased even if it means ruining the public finances.
We do not enforce our labor laws in the US primarily because businesses finds cheap, powerless, exploitable illegal immigrant labor to be very attractive. Why deal with payroll taxes, workers compensation, overtime, minimum wages, sexual harassment lawsuits, when one can hire people like in the 19th century. Pay them in a bit of cash and get rid of them when not needed or injured. Meat packing plants can hire thousands of illegal workers with virtual impunity. Of course the INS knows what is going on, but businesses pay off the INS to do nothing.
Often these different groups work in concert. For instance a lot of ADHD could be cured by better nutrition, by turning off the television, and an improved/structured home environment, exercise and natural treatments. But fixing problems does not make people money. Families often do not want their kids fixed because they get subsidies from the government if their kid is labeled as disabled. The doctor only wants to prescribe meds for the kid because that makes him and big pharma money. The schools like the kids to be labeled disabled because they get special funds, and are able to employ more people who have gotten degrees in special education. In the end all of these interested parties are doing well by not fixing the problem. Unfortunately the kids and the general society suffers from this.
Another example is where Agribusiness produces unhealthy food which makes people sick. So food producers make money on the bad food, and then the medical industry makes even more money on the lifetime chronic illnesses that result. No wonder the government is not serious about promoting heath. Promoting sickness is just too profitable for the special interests which pay off the politicians.
In all of this we see the common thread of government in bed with special interests and selling out the nation. As long as special interests are able to buy off our government, we are never going to have a government or a system which serves our and the nation´s interests. Tax dollars and policies are going to be diverted to serving special interests at the expense of the general interest or us.