Maybe We SHOULD Run Government Like These Businesses…

Political Animal had an interesting item a few days ago, pointing out that American businesses are increasingly uncomfortable with the supposedly “business-friendly” strategies being pursued by the GOP.

It isn’t just business’ pushback against retrograde anti-LGBT measures, either; recently, 51 New York millionaires asked Governor Cuomo to raise their taxes, and there has been a mass exodus of large corporations from ALEC–mainly as a response to that organization’s denial of the reality of climate change.

Most recently, several corporations have expressed concern about participation in this year’s GOP convention–at least, if Trump looks likely to be the nominee.

The discomfort of savvy businesses with the increasingly radical positions espoused by Republican officeholders has led President Obama to pursue an interesting strategy:

When President Obama initiated his “pen and phone” strategy, a big part of the effort was aimed at convincing the private sector to do what Congress refused to tackle: raise the minimum wage, embrace paid family leave, hire veterans, ban the box, implement policies that mitigate climate change, expand access to broad band, etc. The President’s recent trip to South by Southwest was a call for engagement of the tech industry in addressing challenges like improving access to voting and countering ISIS recruitment strategies online. Interestingly enough, he’s had more success with these efforts than he has with Republican legislators.

If these trends continue, we may finally be seeing what some in the punditry have long been predicting– collapse of the never-comfortable alliance between the pro-market, pro- business, “country club” Republicans who are generally fiscally conservative and socially moderate (or even socially liberal), and the Religious Right extremists who have come to account for so large a portion of the GOP base.

The 2016 election may be the last for the GOP in its current iteration. We can only hope that–once the smoke clears–America ends up with a responsible, adult center-right party that can engage productively with the Democrats’ center-left philosophy, and once again give conscientious citizens a thoughtful and meaningful policy debate.

 

20 thoughts on “Maybe We SHOULD Run Government Like These Businesses…

  1. “We can ony hope that-once the smoke clears”

    Is it smoke or a raging fire? I tend to believe it’s the latter. If I’m right, it’s going to take much more than a group of millionaires who are trying to jump off what they see, at the last moment, is a dying ship. What’s really dying is FREEDOM which many of those millionaires could care less about. Where have they been all these years?

  2. In terms of executives in Indiana government, most have said, We are going to run [office] like a business, and do. Employment Security was changed to the workfare emphasis, Work One — just like all the State’s employment counselors thereby put out of business. School corporations, rising numbers of sectarian schools, new ones, and dysphoria of courses leading to degrees in anything but business administration, business law…courses only in the daytime hours. So the executives’ evening contacts were wiped out. The local labor union members…the local agriculture workers, construction and trade…all businesses that require college-level reading and laboratory literacy for those occupations that humans do lifelong. Rails to trails; trails it is. Business machines to improve communications; cables it is. Pesticide and herbicides to kill pests and herbs, done. More Christians in business, there you go with the missionary businesses. Shortages in the other 195 disciplines – not in the other 20 developed nations and the 175 developing ones. Stats; daily deaths of SBs;births 3:1 recreation: earnings. As one of the Texas or Arizona or Oregon exodus retirees said. No more illness, just more business.

  3. Those of my generation have lived through the deterioration to the current level of dysfunction; some were part of the cause while the others have had to adjust to the downward spiral. Few of us will live long enough to see the recovery – IF recovery is to be realized. I believe it is worth whatever efforts I can make regarding elections, signing petitions and voicing support for protesters to bring about change which will benefit my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Today I watch them toil in their chosen work fields; construction, waiting tables, janitorial, home health nursing, specialized nursing, baking our bread, assembling vehicles, providing office staff support, and the list goes on.

    They are part of the greater number of Americans working at their craft; they outnumber the elected officials and corporation heads with the “big bucks” coming in (I refuse to use the term earning those big bucks), but have no control or say in the conditions they are caught in…and must stay in to feed their families. Most are active registered voters, a few are not; makes no difference when up against the controlling 1% (including those who want to pay more taxes), they are busy surviving the current economy. When I have mentioned to some people the few members of the 1% who stated they should be paying more taxes (President Obama, Warren Buffett, Stephen King); they actually asked why they don’t just pay more. And these people are voters, forgetting that over-payment must be returned to payee.

    Yes; some basic areas of government should be run like a business (knowing and following laws and rules, office procedures, payroll routines, etc.) but the current privatizing and/or outsourcing of actual government work paid for with our tax dollars is not the solution. There is a difference between using business (common) sense to run a government department and turning it into a business office. Too many of our elected officials don’t know the difference; neither do they know the difference between allowing citizens basic civil and human rights and turning the country into a religious sect – and remember religions are not taxed.

  4. JoAnn, I come unarmed and waving a white flag. Your mention today of religious groups not paying property tax is something that bothers me to no end, especially as I get older and my property taxes continue to increase and even more especially as I see the massive, huge mega-churches that have sprouted like fields of dandelions in Hamilton County. I have no particular animus toward people of faith; however, I’m not so sure we can continue to subsidize 10 to 20-acre properties set aside as tax exempt for the faithful.

  5. One of the favorite ideas of the Republican party has been for a century, “The Economy is a living entity.” In depressive times it was often said by Republican stalwarts, “The Economy will repair itself. It will make an adjustment.” Okay, let’s call the economy Lola, as in “Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.”
    Economy needs a name if, for nothing else, to be personified. So this presents us with a major matter to ponder. If the economy will make its own adjustments, why make the economy business friendly? What about a “poverty friendly” economy? What about a middle class friendly economy?” In wonder if have an earth friendly economy might do best for all!

  6. “The 2016 election may be the last for the GOP in its current iteration. We can only hope that–once the smoke clears–America ends up with a responsible, adult center-right party that can engage productively with the Democrats’ center-left philosophy, and once again give conscientious citizens a thoughtful and meaningful policy debate.”

    I believe the divide now in the Democratic Party is much greater than the Republican Party. The divide in the Republican Party is about candidates, not ideology, as compared to the Democratic Party where the divide is ideological.

    Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, a socialist (his brother ran for heading up the Green Party in Great Britain), are as different as night and day. How many of Bernie Sanders supporters, if he’s not the nominee, are going to vote for Hillary Clinton? If I was 50 years younger, I sure wouldn’t.

    Now is the time to engage, not after the November elections. By then it will be too late.

  7. Well, there are two classes, probably more, concerning this matter in FW: we have those who are younger and at the trough and those who are older, have made their fortune and seem a bit more sanguine, perhaps even repentant. Surplus breeds a sense of community.

  8. By the way, ALEC is holding its annual conference in Indianapolis this year, July 27–29. Also, keep an eye on ALEC’s new spinoff, the American City County Exchange (ACCE), which is bringing its Koch-funded ideas to state and local governments. Emphasis on privatization, of course, and union-busting.

  9. Government and business are completely different institutions. In fact business is not an institution at all but a collection of independent competing institutions.

    Government must satisisfy all Americans, business only their customers, employees and shareholders in that order.

    Businesses optimize only themselves under the mission make more money regardless of the impact on others.

    Government must regulate businesses to keep their impact acceptable to all Americans, but the tail (business) has no business ever wagging the dog (government). Government must also continuously regulate to maintain competition the only force that keeps business from running rough shod over the people.

    The people select who governs but have no say in who runs businesses, that is done by essentially nepotism like processes.

    Business is efficient at making money.

    Government is efficient at enhancing people’s lives.

    Government and business are apples and oranges, way more different than alike.

  10. Marv, the following is a personal observation, actually a compliment. You possess a sense of urgency rarely observed except in university students or in the Apostles of the New Testament.

  11. Those legislators who want gummint run like a business should use their own gummint body (Reps or Senate) as a business. Be the first. Make yourselves an example!

  12. Marv, correct observation on your part – The divide in the Republican Party is about candidates, not ideology, as compared to the Democratic Party where the divide is ideological.

    My own personal support for Bernie is based on ideology not on an allegiance to the Democratic Party. I have my absentee Ballot and I will gladly “X” the box for Bernie. I will still stand out in front my Polling Place with a Bernie Sign on Primary Day here in Indianapolis.

  13. BSH,

    “Marv, the following is a personal observation, actually a compliment. You possess a sense of urgency rarely observed except in university students or in the Apostles of the New Testament.”

    I appreciate the compliment especially coming from you. Maybe it’s being sort of a student of Sheila and also the prophets of the Old Testament, sometimes called the Jewish Bible.

    However, I differ from both Sheila and the prophets in that my sense of urgency is based completely on the facts that I have that other don’t. It’s about first-hand knowledge of the activities of the Religious Right/Far Right from as far back 1967.

    At the end of last February, I was invited to be one of the featured speakers at the 1st Annual Sun Tzu Conference in Nashville. http://www.Sonshi.com. Sonshi is the #1 site in the world on “Sun Tzu’s Art of War.” I was invited because of my ability to SUCCESSFULLY engage the oligarchy at the deepest level in their political manipulations in the Deep South since the civil rights battles of the 60’s. And the additional factual knowledge by the Director of Sonshi.com that I have never lost.

    The reason for my urgency is that I don’t want to spoil my record. We must move now or it will be too late. I’m 100% sure of that.

  14. Louie, I see the Democratic Party situation somewhat different than you do in that I don’t see much ideological space between Hillary and Bernie. In fact I would be happy with either as a Presidential candidate as well as our next elected President.

    Here’s an interesting Bill Moyers writing that explains his (and it turns out my too) view of Hillary.

    http://billmoyers.com/story/the-media-have-a-hillary-story-and-theyre-sticking-to-it/

    I’ve never regarded any seasoned politician that I could say I agreed with every action and vote they’ve ever offered, Bernie and Hillary and President Obama included. For one thing in their various actions they’ve always had way more complete information than I. The only more informed that I am is looking at things in retrospect rather than with foresight.

    Republicans have been dishonest about Hillary for 30 years and some of it has become almost cultural. I try to ignore the BS and stick to the facts.

    To me the facts don’t reveal much ideological space between Hillary and Bernie and Obama but they definitely have different political styles.

    Nothing wrong with differences of opinion.

  15. Oh, one other thing Louie. A point that I disagree with Bernie on is his almost congenital dislike of trade agreements as costing us jobs. In fact the evidence shows that they frequently create jobs here. There is some trauma for individuals who find themselves with skills or in a business that is becoming obsolete but that’s not the fault of trade agreements.

    America can’t be successful by being disconnected from the rest of the world. It’s no longer possible. Despite what Trump says most trade agreements are good deals for all parties or they’d die on the vine.

  16. I dare say most businesses are run by reasonable people, but the businesses driving the Republican party to extremes are closely held corporations, who really have very few people to answer to. Most of them don’t care about the religious right, except as a tool to dismantle government. Unfortunately, these people are billionaires who couldn’t spend their accumulated wealth in their combined lifetimes. They give tax deductable contributions to groups that turn around and funnel money into Super-Pacs. That way, their gifts get reported as donations to not for profits, and money is less traceable from there.

  17. “The 2016 election may be the last for the GOP in its current iteration. We can only HOPE that–once the smoke clears–America ends up with a responsible, adult center-right party that can engage productively with the Democrats’ center-left philosophy, and once again give conscientious citizens a thoughtful and meaningful policy debate.”

    Quote from Paul Kierkegaard: “When someone faints, we call for water, smelling salts; but when someone wants to dispair, then the word is: Get possibility, get possibility, possibility is the only salvation.”

    That is what HOPE is all about. But as Paul Ricoeur has emphasised over and over, it has to be “realistic hope.”

    All I’m saying is that there are more possibilities for HOPE than JUST the presidential election in November. There are HOPES.

    By the way, yesterday, I received my copy of “Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s challenge” by Scott Walker. It’s a splendid primer for RECALLING THE TEA PARTY MAYOR IN JACKSONVILLE.

    It is now time for OPERATION H.O.P.E.S.[HarmonyinOurPoliticalEnvironmentSoon] to be unleashed inside the DALJAXINDY [Devil’s] Triangle. This peaceful engagement should be over by the end of this Summer.

    Let’s make sure that we don’t put “the cart before the horse.”

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