In an episode that seems to confirm William Jennings Bryan's aphorism, "No one can earn a million dollars honestly," private contractors are reportedly overbilling the U.S. government for post-Katrina recovery work. The entrepreneurial graft in New Orleans may help drive the price of recovery from $63 billion to $200 billion. Contractors with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers are alleged to be allowing "fraud, waste, and abuse" by subcontractors cleaning up the debris.
My question is, allowed or not, why do subcontractors choose to resort to fraud, waste, and abuse? Could it be that the private sector and the market are not the best tools for disaster relief?