Why Good Business Applies to Government Infrastructure – NOT Services

August 31, 2012 at 9:53 AM Leave a comment

In a political economy based on capitalism and democracy, the role of government is to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Socially, government must take care of people who fall out of the system due to market failures. Fiscally, it should be a crime to wastefully spend the money set aside for those who are under-served. Unfortunately, politicians who want to run the government like a business seem to undermine its infrastructure with privatization while setting up tax-funded social services for effective profit-takers without manifest need. This is the worst of both worlds.

Political extremism cannot solve problems for a nation. This is true with either party. In times of partisan gridlock, Democrats try to be fiscally and socially liberal while Republicans try to be fiscally and socially conservative. There is no common ground, and the problems for America’s neediest citizens remain unsolved.

The summer of 2012 has left me nostalgic for the mid-90s…when the Bill, Bob, and Newt Show offered a spectacle for the press that kept everyone abuzz while they quietly did the good work of government. While politically and ideologically diverse, our government leaders found middle ground in fiscal conservatism and social liberalism. They knew who they were serving and tried to meet their needs prudently. By the end of the decade politics had sadly run amok, but Bill Clinton left office with the US enjoying peace and prosperity. I wish the latter for Barrack Obama and the nation in 2016.

The Republican Party has just ended its national convention, where the party faithful have reveled in partisanship during a week that has turned ugly more than once. Their platform reforms government by privatizing its functions rather than using their business sense to reinvent the existing infrastructure.  Further, they have redesigned the system to offer better access to government services to the rich than the poor. All this is funded mysteriously while further benefiting the wealthiest citizens with tax breaks. This would result in a dreadful breakdown of the role of government.

If only the political conservatives understood how to apply their business acumen to make government work more efficiently for the under-served rather than denying them services. And that those who thrive in the market can and should take care of themselves.

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Entry filed under: ESEA-NCLB.

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