Why Government Fails So Often by Peter H Schuck

by | Jun 4, 2021

Last week, I listened to Why Government Fails So Often: And How It Can Do Better by Peter H. Schuck. I would highly recommend the audiobook verses reading it in some other form. Though, you might want to buy it in paperback for reference.


Confession: I used to be super involved in American politics. And then I wasn’t. By “super involved” I mean that I worked on many campaigns at the national, state, county, and city levels for almost a decade. Some of my candidates won, others didn’t. I was part of the Young Reps. I went on a date with the president of the local Young Dems until we saw each other across the debate state one night and realized our relationship wasn’t going to work out. I went to special camps, schools, institutes, and academies centered around American politics. 


And then various things happened in my life. I realized that the political, governmental, and social service realms were not where I was meant to be. So I stepped back. I didn’t exit completely, of course. I’ve never missed an election for any level, primary or regular. And I still do enough research on candidates to feel confident in my votes. But I no longer campaign for anyone, nor am I involved in any parties, associations, committees, clubs, or conventions.


So picking up a book that was 100% about government effectiveness was definitely out of character for the Adriel of the last 20 years. So why did I, you might ask. There are a couple of factors. One was that one of the very few political bloggers I follow recommended it during one of his discussions about balancing the budget. Secondly, I’m on this mission right now to figure out why some people, groups, programs, companies, etc are very successful…while others just aren’t. I was looking for lessons that I could apply to my business and those of my customers.


And, boy, did I learn a lot. Even though it was written in 2013, and definitely didn’t take into account any of Trump’s presidency, it was still very enlightening. The primary lesson I walked away with is that changing the environment and incentives is much more effective than changing the thoughts and motivations of large groups of people. And while I’ll always be an educator, I will likely focus that on individuals, rather than trying to educate the masses to change the world. 


If you care about American Politics at all, definitely read this. If you like the analyzation of effectiveness of various things, definitely read this. If you are in social service, or work for the government (at any level) at all, definitely read this. But if none of those things apply to you, you’ll probably not enjoy this title as much. Though, listening to Allan Robertson is always a good thing. 🙂



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I only post reviews for books I am not connected with. If I beta read or edited the book, or work as a virtual assistant for the author, I do not post a review. However, authors occasionally send me books to review.

Adriel Wiggins

Adriel Wiggins

Owner, Adriel Wiggins Author Services and Consulting

Hello! I’m Adriel Wiggins, wife, mother of three, bibliophile, art geek, and all around student. I’ve been on a quest all of my life to learn as much as I possibly can about everything I possibly can. This has helped me tremendously in what eventually became my life’s purpose: to help other people become the best version of themselves. It is in that line that I became an assistant.

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