November 04, 2010

Government is Not a Business

This ad wasn't a joke. Did you read the bullet points? One said "Treat citizens like customers." This TV ad was created by candidate Rick Synder, who ran and won the race to become Michigan's governor this past Tuesday.

This idea of "running a state like I ran my business" has become a more popular talking point in the last few years. Because in times of financial suffering, it sounds appealing. This was Meg Whitman's big push. She ran eBay. eBay did good. So let's give her the reins to California, and she'll turn it into a successful online auction and shopping Website...wait.

It's not the same thing. The government is not a business. A state's role is not to increase total ROI, get bigger and buy-out other states. A state's role is not to take your tax dollars and invest them in blue-chip index funds.

Like it or not, government is charity. It's justice. It tries to right civil wrongs. That's what it is. And even if you think that's not what it should be - even if you think the role of government is simply to protect the constitutional rights of the populace, a business doesn't do that either.

If you want a balanced budget, elect an accountant. If you want social "justice", elect a community organizer. If you want a good ROI, invest in the market yourself.


Bradenex said...

Singapore runs their country like a business and they have the fastest growing economy in the world. But it's kind of hard to compare a large city to America, I know.

Eric Olsen said...

making policy and regulation decisions that create a thriving environment FOR businesses is not the same thing as being a business entity yourself. It may be mincing words. It may be what they're trying to say. But, it's a completely different idea.

Anonymous said...

I was caned in Singapore, but it was them or me.

Anonymous said...

in all honesty the business aspect of government, is not the purpose as you state but the running of it should be, eg efficiency of the system, redundancies ALWAYS cost more money, eliminating these in the business world saves money, as well as, in the government. which yes means eliminating government jobs, people out of work that you and/or i pay for anyway.

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