Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ten Reasons A Democratic Government Should Never Be Run as a Business

US Government Spending FY 2012

We have been told countless of times that if the government was run like a business, there would be no wasteful spending. We have also been told that every aspect of our lives would run smoothly because companies and corporations know how to do their job better than any government.  This is one of the premises in which Mitt Romney is basing his candidacy and it is worth exploring the touted benefits of running a government with the same dedication one would a business enterprise.

There are a number of reasons why democratic governance should never, ever, be given the same latitude as a business. Here are ten.

1.  A business is a profit-hungry machine. It requires that cuts to expenses be made without regard for how it affects anyone who depends on the work provided by the business to survive.  For instance, cost-cutting involves taking necessary positions away from one group of people and handing them over to another group of people who will do the same job for less pay and benefits.

We have called this outsourcing and off-shoring. Either way, it means that the corporation continues to increase profits while necessary positions are still maintained.  A bottom line could care less who the employees are, or what country they are in. All that matters is the maximization of profits.

Credit to 
2.  Governments build. Companies destroy. A company like Bain Capital shreds jobs, equipment, and manufacturing plants.  A government invests the people's capital into infrastructure, national security, education, and more. A government ensures that food, water, and air are safe for human consumption.

Corporations need to maximize profits and operating under safety and regulatory standards is a burden that costs money and time. 

We have had every major polluting industry introduce bills to Congress that will dismantle the safety net of regulations in order to maximize said profits. What corporations view as a waste of funds, government and people tend to view as a necessary element to prevent illness and early deaths.

3.  Companies and corporations can be dissolved overnight and most people won't even notice. A government gone over night would create chaos affecting millions of people in an instant. The repercussion would last decades.

We can live without a corporation. We can't live without governance.

4.  A democratic government ensures that its citizen's voices are heard through all levels of government. Decisions made must include the majority and include the minorities. Companies don't want to hear from their employees. An all-important ruler makes the final decisions based on profits, not human needs.

5.  Corporations get rid of extra baggage. This includes employees that are too ill or old to perform at previous levels. They also get rid of knowledgeable and skilled people in order to hire "green", or younger workers, who will work for half the salary and less benefits. This is a cost-effective method to use up their youth and energies. 

Unemployed Professionals NJ - Star-Ledger
A democratic government does not get rid of its people. It provides safety nets to account for the unfairness of life. Illnesses, accidents, mental impairments, birth defects, and natural ageing are some of the least profitable conditions that affect most human beings. Companies have no use for "broken" or "damaged" goods.

To a government, we are human beings. To a corporation, we are tools that are valuable for as long as they are useful. Once broken, we go to the landfill.

6.  Speaking of landfills, it is the role of government to ensure that waste is properly disposed of with minimum impact to the environment. Corporations could care less, the faster, the better. Things got messy? too bad. (Think Exxon Valdiz and recent spill by British Petroleum in the Gulf Coast)

Recycling started out as a profit-free endeavor in order to minimize the waste and create less toxic by-products that will continue to affect subsequent generations.  It was never the intention of corporations to adopt vegetable-based containers until they realized that A) there was demand from consumers that would translate into B) Profits.

7.  Companies operate on a year-to-year basis broken into quarterly profits. Democratic governments operate on the basis of future generations and their general welfare.

8.  A democratic government pays its bills. A corporation will avoid paying theirs at all costs. Bankruptcy, dissolution, reconfiguration of the company, and off-shoring the profits are tools used by Bain Capital and Willard Mitt Romney.

9.  Corporations are in the business of gambling. They take risks because there are seldom any repercussions. They lend funds to average people at exponentially higher rates than they get their funds from the Federal Reserve.  If the government operated at a profit and was in control of the Federal Reserve, these corporations would get borrowed funds at 22 percent. 

image credit to student loans central
Instead, that is what they are able to charge for the privileged of using their preferred credit cards. By comparison, Student college grants are made available for free to ensure an educated population that would otherwise be unable to afford tuition and textbooks. Corporations are in the business of student loans and massive debt accrual to the individual.

This point cannot be overstated, a democratic government invests in the health of its population through education, upward mobility, and quality of life. Corporations do not. There is no immediate quarterly profit in this endeavor.

10.   A business is a dictatorship that operates in a vacuum. A democratic government operates at all levels of society, making it possible for businesses to operate using and abusing public spaces.

There is ample room for free-enterprise and production. What we can’t afford is a free-for-all in which capital gains trump benefits to the population. 

JP Morgan Lost over 2 Billion Dollars - Huffington Post: JPMorgan Trading Loss: 3 Share Holders File Law Suits

1 comment:

guavaflower said...

Very nice arguments in favor of government. Lolapowers