What If Our Government Ran Like A Business?

govt and businessOur country was built on business.  Free market, survival-of-the-fittest, improve-or-die business.  The United States of America has always been the land of opportunity – a place where success is not only possible, but fully expected by those who follow the timeless and dependable business formula:  work hard, be fair and honest, embrace change, meet the customer’s needs, strive for continual improvement.  Roll up your sleeves, git ‘er done. Take care of business.

American business people know how to build success and wealth that is shared by all.  It’s a perfect system, where vendors, employees, owners, and customers all benefit when the business model is executed right.  Our Constitution was written by geniuses – all of them businessmen.  It empowers individual citizens and protects our property rights, both of which build prosperity.  The framers clearly viewed daily life as business.

We are, and always have been, good at business.  So why do we suck so badly at government lately?

GDP growth is stagnant.  As our labor participation rate shrinks, our debt explodes.  Real wages and buying power have plummeted.  Federal government gets bigger while the quality of its work gets worse.   Our military has atrophied, our infrastructure is pathetic by international standards, and we have achieved banana-republic corruption status.  TSA security lines at airports are three hours long.  Our government can’t control our borders, but they are laser-focused on who goes in which bathroom.

It seems like our federal government can’t get anything right these days.  Maybe it’s because we haven’t had any business people running the show for a long time.  Washington, DC is now bulging with academics, lawyers, and career politicians.

If a business leader were in charge of our federal government, he or she would find a world of opportunities for easy and quick improvement.

A business leader would establish accountability.  In business, if an employee or a manager is given adequate resources and training and still doesn’t get the job done, he or she is fired.  In the federal government nobody is fired – ever – no matter how egregious their performance or corruption.  We can no longer afford government employee unions.  The outrageous pay rates and guaranteed benefits, the horrendous productivity, the protection of bad employees and the corrupt crony connections between government unions and politicians must stop.  Without the drag of government unions, the cost of government could be significantly and quickly reduced, and performance improved.

A business leader would face fiscal realities.  Unlike the current group of academic dreamers and socialists in government who think throwing taxpayer money at any problem will solve it, business people know that money does not grow on trees or printing presses and does not magically cure every hiccup.  Believe me when I tell you that no company (at least none that survives) budgets like our government does.  Can you imagine Ford increasing its budget for production of each model by 15% every year, regardless of sales and profit?  Of course not.  Ford, and every other company, large and small, operates by zero-based budgeting.  Every department or product must justify every dollar spent with performance and profit, every year.

A business leader would set and maintain priorities, and establish a functional management structure.  Sadly, our federal government has become a patchwork of obsolete and redundant agencies and departments with overlapping or obsolete agendas and nobody really in control.  Survival and success in government work relies on political connections, not performance.  Bureaucrats are rewarded based on the number of employees they acquire, not on their accomplishments – and certainly not for efficiency!  Every successful private enterprise has a business plan.  We need a government plan, with real and measureable objectives, and a solid management framework to ensure that the objectives are met.

Government insiders, and most liberals, would argue that government can’t be run like a business, because it does not exist to react to consumer demand and offer a product.  I disagree.  Citizens have needs that must be supplied by the federal government, and they are set forth in the Constitution.  Unfortunately, our behemoth government cranks out mountains of products that we don’t want or need, and does a pretty lame job of providing the services we do.  Some will say that most of the cost of government is “entitlements” that can’t be reduced.  That’s BS.  Built into the cost of entitlements is a huge bloat of inefficiency, fraud, and corruption.

Of course the nation’s executive must share power with Congress.  But that’s no different than a private business being driven by consumer demand.  The leader must have vision and the ability to direct and motivate others.

If Donald Trump is elected, we may have the opportunity to see if our government can be run more like a business, and if that results in improvements for American citizens.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

And I’ll be taking care of business (every day)
Taking care of business (every way)
I’ve been taking care of business (it’s all mine)
Taking care of business and working overtime! Watch out!

Bachman Turner Overdrive – Takin’ Care of Business

 

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