When I used to live in the UK, many industries like gas, electricity, and transport were owned by the government. Since government services don't have to compete, there was little incentive for these industries to innovate, reduce costs, and otherwise behave like regular businesses. After years of stagnation, the government finally sold these industries to private enterprise and now they are run much more efficiently.
It is no surprise that businesses in a free market provide better service than those supplied by the government. Customers buy products and services from the businesses that best meet their needs, and businesses dissolve if they can't provide good value for money. Government services on the other hand are tax-fueled monopolies that don't have competitors. This allows them to expand even if they are inefficient or provide mediocre service.
Surprisingly enough, even in the face of historical evidence, the success of free markets, and the performance of government services, most people actually want the government to provide critical services like health care and education! Why? I'll present my thoughts on this situation in a subsequent blog post.