If you want to accomplish anything that involves working with the government in an easy to use, affordable manner - you're forced to pay a corporation for this convenience. I know this because I've built and used the software I'm talking about.
- I helped build out the software that allows U.S. citizens to expedite their passport renewal with online access to the current status and customer support.
I built JINXD
- an app that automatically pays your parking tickets. We wanted to remove the hassle of waiting 7-10 days for a parking ticket to show up on the online database that doubles your fine if you forget to pay it.
When working to secure my wife's visa status here in the U.S. we were faced with three options; Learn all about the immigration process and law, pay a lawyer $5000+ for their knowledge or use SimpleCitizen
, which provides a superior experience to both.
I could go on, talking about renewing your car registration, filing unemployment, etc. but I will not. To me, it appears our tax dollars are not being effectively allocated. I'm not sure if the U.S. government is unwilling to pay market rates for the software engineers, product managers, and designers needed to make these processes smooth or what. Still, I would not be opposed to the U.S. government acquiring (bka nationalizing) companies, or even better, paying them on behalf of the people to make this friction go away.
With that said, I've seen some exciting projects that have made me think about how we can remove friction while incentivizing private companies or individuals to compete to make government more accountable and government services easier to use at a cost that approaches zero over the long term.