The fantasy of “Running Government like a Business” | Street Jazz

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The fantasy of “Running Government like a Business”

Posted By on Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Nobody talks more of free enterprise and competition and of the best man winning than the man who inherited his father’s store or farm. - C. Wright Mills

About 30 years ago I wrote a short story about a future America in which citizens no longer voted for politicians; they voted for whichever corporation promised to take care of them best for the next few years. I never finished that story, though I think that reality is taking care of that for me.

Every election year candidates (liberal and conservative) bombard us with truckloads of cliches and bumper sticker slogans.

“On Day One I’m going to . . .”

If any of the Tea Party pandering GOP candidates somehow find their way to the White House, they will indeed have a busy first day.

In addition to restoring the American Constitution - didn’t know it had been stolen, did you?

Repeal “Obamacare” - because none of them actually know the real name of the damn thing.

Get rid of of bunch of those pesky regulations that are holding American business back - oddly enough, mo one seems able to actually mention any specific regulations. Ah, well, it doesn’t bother the Orcs in the audience overly much.

And probably send a whole bunch of American troops back to Iraq, just for good measure.

None of that Inaugural Ball crap for these folks; they mean business.

Oh, and another thing.

They are going to “run America like a business,” a line which delights many in the audiences present, but sends shivers of terror down the spines millions of Americans watching at home.

No one is quite sure what this means, but the idea of it is almost orgasmic to folks for whom democracy is a little too, well, messy. Still, these are folks who seem to be getting political advice from a man whose catchphrase. “You’re fired!” way too many Americans have heard in recent years - and and sometimes from the likes of folks who are currently running for president.

The fact that government has never actually been run like a business never enters into their pretty little heads.

Like millions of other Americans, I have spent an appreciable amount of my life punching time clocks, and I know the horrors of the fantasy of “running government like a business ” and the experiences last to this very day.

Business exists to make a profit- which, in turn benefits their stockholders - and in some way, their employees.
But government rarely makes a profit, because the way you make a profit isn’t exactly pretty sometimes.

You let employees go - the “Human Resources.” Lots and lots of employees.

The idea of government workers losing their jobs delights those who think on a superficial level, until they start whining about not getting served quickly enough because there are enough workers, or the unemployment rolls have gone up dramatically, because all of those government workers are now on the public dole.

Cheaper parts are used.

“Hey, yeah,” goes the angry chorus. “What about them $500 toilets? Huh? What about that? Huh?”

No.

Business will often use cheaper parts.

Those who have worked in factories know exactly what this means. Using cheaper parts can often mean using parts of inferior quality. I don’t think I need to elaborate on that one. You figure it out.

Leaving those thoughts aside, here’s a taste test. Have you ever wondered why a favorite food suddenly tastes a little off? It may well be because the plant making it has switched to a cheaper ingredient. It can make that much difference.

Rates will go up on basic services. Because, after all, business/government will now exist to make a profit.

“O brave new world! That has such people in it!” - Tempest, Act 5, Scene 1 (I have my my own theory on who actually wrote it)

******

Rest in Peace, Cora Ila Lovelace - and Congratulations, of a sort

Ah, the future has arrived, with the first of the 50 words or less for free obituaries in the Northwest Arkansas Times today.

Cora Ila Lovelace died this week. Too bad we don’t know when she was born, or anything else - but hey, them’s the breaks, folks.

*****

Quote of the Day

"The truth which makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear." - Herbert Agar

rsdrake@cox.nett

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