On Kings and Colonies -- Running Government as a Business
I’m pretty dang liberal. But after running a business for over a decade, I’ve found I suffer from moral schizophrenia -- as a liberal Democrat I believe we need to take care of those who can’t take care of themselves. As a business owner I feel my pocket being picked by lazy-ass do-nothings.
I don’t think anyone wants incompetent bureaucrats making life hell from stupid mistakes, but I don’t 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 didn’t end too well. You could say you end up with China, except China wouldn’t be what it is today without the influence of Corporate Earth (if you think it’s Corporate America, you haven’t seen Romney’s tax returns….)
But my argument here is that Government shouldn’t be run as a business. Business shouldn’t be run by the Government, either. They’re two different things. “Business” is about making money. “Government” 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 don’t 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 don’t think “regulation” 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 haven’t always succeeded, and I don’t 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, “Wow, those poor people…” And it’s usually followed up with, “Wow, what a bloody revolution.”