Running Government ‘Like A Business’ Kills People

Government should not be run “like a business,” and doing so repeatedly leads to people dying.

The point of a government is to provide services for people so they can safely live their lives. It is not to generate profits or earnings. That is the point of business. There is no reason to run a government that way.

In fact, running a government modeled on business is a proven failure, time and time again.

The last two American presidents to ostensibly run the government “like a business” failed at their jobs. George W. Bush watched as Hurricane Katrina drowned New Orleans. The hurricane required a massive government response, with the safety and well-being of New Orleans residents taking priority over everything else. Instead there was massive paralysis, because Bush’s pro-business instincts were the wrong mindset for the job.

Instead of knowledgeable experts who could respond to the problem, Bush put business-oriented people like Michael Brown in charge of FEMA, the responding agency. Bush’s instinct for public relations, which are a virtue in the business world, led him to praise “Brownie” for doing a “heck of a job,” even as the levees were breached and thousands died in the city.

Years later, another man from the world of business also failed in a government response to a major crisis.

Donald Trump stocked his government full of business-oriented people, instead of knowledgeable experts and officials who could have gotten the job done. When COVID-19 hit, Trump took a business approach. His son-in-law Jared Kushner pitted states against each other for resources instead of coordinating a national governmental response. The result was constant chaos and death.

Hundreds of thousands died unnecessarily as a direct result of running government “like a business.”

Again and again, the desire to orient government around business-style goals results in failure. It doesn’t work. It should not be tried.

Government should be run like a responsible civic organization, not a profit-driven enterprise. Government should help people, both in their day-to-day lives and in moments of extreme crisis and stress. Otherwise it is a failure, and thousands die.

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