The F-22 Raptor is a classic government failure. The project was ultimately massively over budget. The project was also essentially killed before it could be useful (only about 200 fighter jets were manufactured and they have never seen combat; it’s doubtful that they will). It is also a project that was arguably never useful (see previous note about never seeing combat, and the intelligence of the military who probably knew that the plane would never see combat given the realities of Russia, China, and terrorism).

The WaPo reports on the plane, discussing how the many oxygen system problems that have contributed to most of the controversy surrounding the fighter were known years ago and could, possibly, have been solved years ago.

The government does not admit mistakes. It does not have to. It is not in any kind of market with any kind of competition. The F-22 would never have happened in the free market. It wouldn’t have gone massively over budget and behind schedule. It wouldn’t have been created when there was likely no market for it; and certainly wouldn’t have been created when there was no market for it at the scale and quantity created. And it would have been killed by the company (and a regulatory agency) when people started getting hurt using it (I’m referring to the pilots, not to enemies that might potentially have been attacked by it (but who haven’t because there is no “market” for its “services”)).

The government does not ever need to admit to mistakes or take responsibility for them. So the government doesn’t. When this informal focus group identified the problems and tried to solve them that group was easy to ignore. The government faced no consequences in ignoring them. (If you don’t believe me all you have to is look at the fact that the government is currently not accepting any consequences of having ignored them in continuing to fly the failed fighter.)

This is one of the problems with big government projects. There is no such thing as failure. It just gets bigger. Responsibility can be avoided by adding 2, 4, or 6 years to the life of a project. The funds can easily be found since there is no restriction on government spending.

Big government results in super sized f**kups.

-JD Cross

 

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