Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Michael Bissell's Blog

On Kings and Colonies -- Running Government as a Business

2012-07-25 19:30:27
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Iím pretty dang liberal. But after running a business for over a decade, Iíve found I suffer from moral schizophrenia -- as a liberal Democrat I believe we need to take care of those who canít take care of themselves. As a business owner I feel my pocket being picked by lazy-ass do-nothings.

I donít think anyone wants incompetent bureaucrats making life hell from stupid mistakes, but I donít think anyone wants to work 14 hours a day, 7 days a week living in a corporate town and finding themselves indentured to the corporation. Which is what happens when you let business make all the decisions.

Granted, when you let Government make all the decisions you end up with the USSR, and that didnít end too well. You could say you end up with China, except China wouldnít be what it is today without the influence of Corporate Earth (if you think itís Corporate America, you havenít seen Romneyís tax returnsÖ.)

But my argument here is that Government shouldnít be run as a business. Business shouldnít be run by the Government, either. Theyíre two different things. ďBusinessĒ is about making money. ďGovernmentĒ is making sure everything works smoothly. Sure, smooth business operations are good, but big profits happen in times of chaos like gold rushes or new technologies. You know, ungoverned things.

I donít want Business making the rules, because the only rule in Business is the He Who Has the Gold, Rules, and that leaves a LOT of people out of the rule making process. I donít think ďregulationĒ is a bad word -- regulation implies regularity, that we can expect things to happen a certain way.

This country did pretty good for a couple hundred years because we tried to keep the money people out of Government -- you may not be old enough to remember, or you may have gone to one of our underfunded schools, but the American Colonies broke away from England because England was run by a bunch of privileged rich guys who wanted to extract as much money out of the colonial rabble as possible.

We havenít always succeeded, and I donít know if the Super Pacs are any worse than the political machines that ran the newspapers back in the 20s and 30s, but I do know that whenever we look at a time in history where the Golden Rule is the one about having Gold, we think, ďWow, those poor peopleÖĒ And itís usually followed up with, ďWow, what a bloody revolution.Ē

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Eric Weaver: Re: - On Kings and Colonies -- Running Government as a Business
2012-07-25 20:33:18

When you get right down to it, gummint is all about "externalities" - effects on other people. If you dump your trash in the stream, it pollutes the neighbors' water supply.

You might say it's the managing of externalities for the smoothest overall functioning. Just what constitutes that smoothest overall functioning is where all the interesting discussions happen.

But it's a different business than... well... business, which is providing a certain service and/or product for the enrichment of the owners (which sometimes includes employees).

I'm sure I have a point here somewhere.

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