The problem is ideology. Privately provided services have to deliver value for the customer's dollar. While there are many possible "nice to have" enhancements to the core service, customers ultimately are purchasing the core service. As long as there's competition, the core service is run efficiently - or the company goes out of business, is bough up by a more efficient competitor, or its assets are liquidated.
So what happens when the government runs services? Particular groups lobby the government for their favorite "nice to have" enhancements, based on their ideological preferences. If there is a critical mass of political power brought to bear on the government, those "nice to have" become "must haves". Costs go up.
And at this point, it's worth pointing out that many of the "nice to have" enhancements are arguably nice to have. But they're not doing anything to provide the ostensible core services; on the contrary, core services often get cut to fund the "nice to haves". Case in point:
Facing a $12 million to $17 million budget shortfall next year, Portland’s TriMet transit agency is cutting bus service for lack of funds. But it has enough funds to spend $250,000 on a giant sculpture of a deer with a baby face.Ideology (driven by organized political lobbying) has captured the transit authority. Actual transit is being cut to ensure the continued delivery of Correct ideologically-driven "nice to haves". It's Rich People's Leftism.
The agency has already cut bus service by 13 percent and light-rail service by 10 percent in the last two years. Yet it is spending at least $3 million on “art” as part of its $200-million-per-mile light-rail line to Milwaukie, one of the most wasteful rail projects ever. As a matter of policy, TriMet spends 1.5 percent of its capital expenditures on art, even though it is not required to do so.
For all the noise we hear form the Usual Suspects that we're a bunch of Baby-Eating Capitalists who don't have any compassion, you'd think they'd have some actual, you know, compassion for poor people who rely on mass transit.
But then they'd have to sacrifice their SWPL "art" for benefits aimed at poor people. Got to have your (ideological) priorities, right?