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Backing Trump to run government as a business doesn’t make sense

Posted 29 February 2016 at 12:00 am

Editor:

Recently Mr. Ed Morgan, Orleans County Republican Party Chairman, said “Government should be run as a business and not political.”

This is a popular notion among a great many Republicans and some Democrats. Without thinking too hard about it, it would appear to make sense. Those popularizing this notion feel this way because they see business as more efficient.

This must be the case, so the logic goes, or the entity in question would lose market share and go bankrupt. Only the fit survive. But on closer inspection nothing could be more nearsighted, unimaginative or wrong.

We all like efficiency. But efficiency in the private sector means profit. To suggest the government be run as a business is tantamount to desiring it to seek profit. The problem in a nutshell is that, “Not everything that has social value is profitable, and not all that is profitable has social value.”

Reality TV, pornography, fashion, gambling and selling illegal drugs are of questionable social value, but there is little doubt they are extremely profitable ventures. Furthermore – our public schools, libraries, fire and police departments, our national military forces do not exist in the private sector – yet they could not exist at all if they were required to be profitable. Our military is not supported by magazine subscriptions and half-price sales.

How many people do you know would like to see a local fire department sales rep stop by with a brochure that outlines your three different levels of fire protection – please choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.

A business may upgrade and maintain their facilities to stay competitive or increase sales. But they don’t create or maintain roads, bridges, an electrical grid, environmental standards, traffic laws, economic and monetary commerce standards or much of anything else that facilitates and regulates their ability to do business in the first place – and that everyone gets to use free-of-charge. The reason you may wait in a long line to get a passport or driver’s license is because its nonsensical to outsource things like these – as a profitable business might do.

When a business has a belligerent employee, that employee is generally terminated – or in Donald Trump’s TV land, “You’re Fired.” But what if the belligerent isn’t an employee but Syria. Or China. “You’re Fired” sounds like a really bad joke, doesn’t it.

And while a lot of folks are enthralled with the notion of an “outsider” shaking things up in the political field, it’s worth noting that Congress is made up of 535 politicians. So anyone going into a field of politicians as an “outsider” is nearly guaranteed to stay in that position, an outsider. In other words, Peyton Manning doesn’t hit a lot of home runs, but that’s not because he’s a lousy quarterback, it’s because baseball isn’t his game.

Donald Trump has been very successful at many things. He’s also getting sued for $40-million and has declared bankruptcy several times over. That’s business. I get it.

But it’s not the way our country should be run.

Our country doesn’t have the luxury of filing for bankruptcy protection and it can’t plead innocent in a court of law. Businesses can, we can’t. I wish Mr. Morgan appreciated these realities more.

Darren Wilson
Lyndonville