One of the primary reasons that the government manages things so much worse than the private sector is the high total cost added by additional non-value-added activities, and the transactions associated with them.
Consider the following transaction in which you want to buy a loaf of bread. You hand someone money (or credit) and they hand you the bread. Simple, right? The exchange seems straightforward enough. The simplicity of this transaction is misleading because we must, as Bastiat reminded us, endeavor to see "that which is unseen."
A better understanding of the transaction would analyze both sides in greater detail. From the buyer's perspective, what costs were incurred in paying for that bread? Well, if he is a gifted surgeon who COULD be spending that time making hundreds of dollars per hour instead of buying bread, then the cost—opportunity costs—are rather high. It's possible that the brief amount of time retrieving his wallet from his pocket actually costs him more than the bread itself does. The true cost of the bread to the surgeon is the highest value of anything else he could have done with his time and energy. That value is in turn affected by the scarcity of the time and energy due to other demands—and the value added by each of them. This valuation chain is why something seemingly unrelated like an increase in the amount of time spent on medical paperwork can raise the cost of the that bread to the surgeon. The price is the same—but the true economic costs are not.
This reality may be even more apparent when viewed from the supplier's perspective. The store bought the bread from a bakery. The bakery had to hire people to work there, pay their salary and benefits, comply with OSHA requirements and labor regs, FDA inspections, and many other things. But it also had to buy lots of flour and yeast. That flour came from mills who also had similar cost as the bakeries. The mills bought the wheat from a wheat farmer.
That wheat farmer paid for seed and for machinery. He may have had to pay more for seed that was FDA compliant. He may have had to pay more for pesticides because the lower-cost options are not EPA approved. He pays crops insurance (and has taxpayer assistance).
All of these costs drive up the price of wheat to the flour mill. But nothing drove it up so much as an ethanol subsidy that is causing more and more corn to be produced and less wheat. The reduction of wheat supply drive the price far above what it would otherwise be as farmers grow more corn/less wheat to cash in on the ethanol action.
All if these aspects are embedded in the simple exchange of money for bread. Taxes, regulation, subsidy, supervision, are all 3rd party actions of government that distort the market and levy additional transaction costs.