Based on my experience, "government efficiency" is not an oxymoron. I've worked in or around all three branches of government, in both state and federal venues, as well as in the private sector. Trust me: people in the executive and judicial branches of government work plenty hard. As a group, they're about as efficient as private-sector employees. Indeed, many are more efficient, because they don't enjoy the luxury of adequate staffing.
As for the legislative branch of government, the front-line workers -- clerical and support personnel, security, legislative aides, librarians, lawyers, et cetera, et cetera -- work really hard, too. I know, because I have to keep up with them during the legislative session.
So, who's left? Where are all those surly, inefficient government bureaucrats I keep hearing about?
Well, all I can tell you is this: the government folks I haven't yet mentioned just happen to be the same ones who love to perpetuate the stereotype.
Hey. Just saying.