Well, that raises a good point. How do we get competent people to work for the government by choice? I've done a lot of contracting work for government agencies and the like so I speak with some authority on this. There are some good, hard working, competent people in government. No really - there are.
The problem is that almost none of them - in my experience - are in management or leadership positions. Now some might say that is true in the private sector as well. No argument there - there are certainly a lot of idiots in management in the private sector as well. But not nearly as many as I have seen in government. It's not even close.
So the question becomes...why is that? Lots of reasons.
They have to deal with insane procurement regulations...the kind that lead to the $100 pencil. Unlike private companies, managers do not get rewarded for saving money. They get punished for it with a reduced budget for next year. So that leads to waste. It is difficult, or nearly impossible, to fire workers. Likewise, it's nearly impossible to get rid of incompetent managers. That leads to a lot of dead wood.
Many of the higher positions in government are either appointed (political cronyism) or elected (money/popularity contest). Neither of these methods addresses the issue of whether or not the person is actually qualified and has the skills for the position. So you end up with some people in way, way over their heads. The problem is that the government is so big that this rarely gets noticed unless there is some sort of colossal screw up.