I just read this excellent article by Lean thinker Michael Balle called “Waste-Free Capitalism.” Most Americans accept that capitalism is the best economic model for allocating scarce resources and maximizing wealth. Most Americans also know that it isn’t perfect. Waste — until recently — has been seen as a “cost of doing business” or using economic jargon, an “externality.” Then along came a Japanese car maker named Toyota, which is daily proving that you can make a profit and minimize or even eliminate waste such as pollution, scrap, landfill, etc.
I believe the government can do this too. While we are not in existence to make money, we do exist to provide value to our customers (the citizens of this country) and be good stewards of those taxpayer dollars entrusted to us to carry out that mission. Using process improvement tools such as Lean can help do just that.