Thursday, January 5, 2012

Two Wrongs Making a Right

In a wildly flawed syllogism, we can demonstrate that two false premises can lead to a valid conclusion:
  • Government is a business. (FALSE)
  • Businesses are people. (FALSE)
  • Therefore, government is of, by and for people. (TRUE)

Despite the oft-heard claim that we need business leaders to run government, nothing could be further from the truth. The purpose of a business is to make money for its owners. That's it. Any seemingly good works, such as treating employees well or serving customers or protecting the environment, is simply what the owners have decided will make them the most money. Or lies.

Government, on the other hand, exists to ... well, to form a more perfect union, establish justice, blah, blah.  It's all spelled out in the Preamble of The Constitution. You can read about it here. Nothing about making money for the owners or anything like that.

Likewise, businesses are not people. People pursue happiness. They want things like plenty of food, shelter and clothing and opportunities for their families to enjoy same. Beyond that, they want lifestyles, entertainment, friends (real and virtual), and everything else on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

Businesses want ... repeat after me ... money for the owners.

But, as Lincoln famously noted, our government is "of the people, by the people, for the people." Government is all about serving the needs of the people. Government officials are called public servants for a reason. They're supposed to be working on our behalf. All of us. The one hundred percent.

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