Monday, April 25, 2011
“You can’t run the government like you run a business”- Our Dinner Table Blog
"I often hear folks proclaim that you can’t run the government like you run a business.
Next time I hear that I intend to ask, what should you run the government like? Is there a good analogy?
What special circumstances does government face that makes it unattractive to run it like a business? What aspects of running a business is not befitting of the government?"
A most excellent question.
However, is the more basic question/problem what F.A. Hayek described as the arbitrary decision to deliver public goods through a government controlled public sector? Hayek argued that the government levies tax and gathers tax revenue for the choice of public goods taxpayers desire. The arbitrary disconnect occurs after the funds are collected. Why create a public sector to deliver the public goods? Outside of defense and public safety, why have government deliver the public goods? Why?
Hayek’s argument was that public goods would be more efficiently delivered by the private sector with government merely acting as the tax gathering mechanism and ordering the delivery of the public goods that taxpayers desire.
Hence every opportunity exists for government to choose what delivery mechanism it desires. Enter the politico. One must never forget that governments don't think, decide, discuss. Only politicos as the power purveyors of government think, decide, discuss. If the politico creates a public sector to deliver public goods then the politico can expand his/her power. Hence the delivery mechanism is an arbitrary decision finding its basis in decisions by politicos. Therefore we end with a system of politicos through the mechanism of government delivering public goods.
Possibly the answer to the question "What special circumstances does government face that makes it unattractive to run it like a business?" lies in that the delivery of public good is not a business but rather power politics.
“You can’t run the government like you run a business”- Our Dinner Table Blog.