Capitalism is populated with human capitalist. As such they can be dishonest, incompetent, and worse. One of the strengths of capitalism is that capitalists have very clear goals, make money, the more the better, but our interests and BP’s aren’t the same, and we can’t rely on their good intentions.
The same is true of government, bureaucrats are people to, that is it is populated with incompetents and liars, who put themselves first. I think the best you can hope for is the government and private capitalism check each other’s worst excesses.
Liberals have too much faith in government as a tool to remedy a multitude of ills. The Department of Education hasn’t accomplished much that I can tell either. The UN’s mostly a flop too.
But, most fans of the teaparty seem to think that less government and unfettered private activity is an unambiguous good. They clearly see government as full of again liars, and incompetents drunk on their own power, but they turn a blind eye to private sector fiasco like the oil spill.
They also ignore or discount successes of government policy. Social Security in its current form may not sustainable, but it has helped reduce poverty among the elderly substantially from the period before it existed. I lean toward means testing it and treating it more an insurance against extreme privation in your later years, not a universal entitlement. I think civil rights and environmental laws have been at least modestly successful.
I think liberals have unrealistically Utopian views of what government can accomplish, but libertarians have unrealistically Utopian views of what little or no government can accomplish.
There is a reasonable center right position, I just don’t think most of American right is there right now. Look at Mitt Romney trying to run away from the health insurance system he signed into law in Massachusetts. Instead that less government is always and everywhere best reduced is an article unquestioned faith on in American Right today. I don’t think that is faith is justified