The lines are quite blured between sectors. I've worked in private, government owned private and full government (Navy) and local public sector.And with all these discussions, reality inevitably deviates from theory. Yes, in theory the private sector spends its own money and is driven by a desire to create (long-term and stable) profits. The US car industry is an excellent example of how that is not how reality works. The financial sector is another (too big to fail, thank you very much ). I've worked for government, semi-government and private sector in four different sectors (healthcare, education, IT and local IRS) and the notion that in the private sector management is more efficient because they care about not wasting 'their own money' is just laughable. That notion only exist in small (and arguably medium-sized) enterprises where management actually does has its own money on the line. The more you scale upwards the more that line is blurred, until you reach the ultimate goal where losses are socialized and profits are privatized (eg. banking). Middle management at Google had exactly the same mentality as middle management at the Ministry of Finance or the in-patient facility I worked: try to hit some abstract targets you received from upstairs, without any insight into how this connects with any long-term vision or strategy, while going through the day hoping for as little drama as possible while doing a good enough job to not get fired. That is it.
Neither corporation nor government has the innate tendency to 'do the right thing'. Instead, power simply seeks more power; money seeks more money. A government that is not powerful enough will be unable to prevent corporate corruption. A government that is too powerful will steamroll over its own people. Finding a stable balance is the challenge, and the coming decades will reveal whether we succeeded or not. Right now we seem to be... struggling.
Private and government owned private are the same, except for where the profit ends up. Gov. was perhaps a more demanding owner. +10% EBITA or cuts.
Local public is just about doing the best you can, with limited funds. More focus on LEAN than anywhere else I have worked.
The Navy is the Navy. Practice for war and let someone else worry about finances.