Are you dismayed by the actions of the federal government? Try viewing Uncle Sam as a business, and you’d quickly conclude it’s a poorly run operation. Government bureaucrats would loathe to admit it, but the federal government is a business dealing in services and products with a high failure rate.
Consider this. Any legitimate federal government should be responsible to “sell” and assure its citizens:
- Individual freedoms and rights
- A strong national defense
- Open courts that try and settle disputes with fairness and impartiality
- A monetary system, a common currency and a functional transportation system
That all sounds great. But the American government doesn’t actually pride itself on the fact that it’s in the selling business, even though it is. It sells entitlements to the masses, giveaways that are funded by other people’s money — in the form of taxes shelled out by those who rarely enjoy the entitlement spoils.
So, instead of paying out profits, the business of American government pays out handouts, benefits and food — rewards to those who support its growth in exchange for their votes for the politicians who push for more freebies. The devil’s bargain has been struck: handouts for votes.
And yet, the recipients of government handouts pay a price, too – in the dependency that leads to misery, loss of self-esteem and the cheap thrill of taking money they haven’t earned. But as philosopher Thomas Sowell has asked, “What is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?”
Our government is a business that doesn’t make any products that can be used. It doesn’t invent anything, develop medicine or drugs, make automobiles, grow food. In fact, government is never a source of goods. Everything that government gives to one group of people must come from another group.
Government’s most basic responsibility, according to author and filmmaker David Mamet, is to build “roads, defense and sewers.” But it does so much more, at least in America, where government immorally confiscates money from one class of people and re-distributes it to others, often carving a big chunk off the top for itself. This farce is compounded when government foists the Big Brother concept that it must become larger and more controlling, or else it cannot provide safety and security.
Perhaps worst of all, the U.S. government claims to protect minorities, but it does so by imposing and compelling the tyranny of the majority. It claims that one of its missions is to end exploitation, but then exploits the productive members of society, taking from those who have earned their way to give to those who have not.
The feds are able to accomplish this deception by promoting vague and rudimentary goals like “hope and change, security, prosperity, peace.” When such goals fail, government explains away the failures by claiming insufficient taxes and blaming political predecessors.
A classic fatal disease of America’s executive branch is its failure to understand that it’s not the obligation of government to provide needed services, but to be sure they are provided. The goal should not be to operate the transportation service but to make sure citizens have mobility.
How should we fix a business, like government, that’s not well run? Change management. Elect leaders with experience in business management, financial and budgeting expertise, and personnel matters such as hiring and firing. Vote for people who will apply sound fiscal policies, avoid debt financing that imposes heavy future financial obligations, and cancel government projects that are not actuarially sound or have open ended costs. Elect legislators who will focus on policy, not micro-management. Support candidates with a history of leadership and accomplishment, not those for whom public office is the best job they can ever get.
If you, as voters, fail to elect effective leaders, you will continue to get what you deserve: empty-suit officials like the ones we have now, especially in the executive branch.
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